Collapsible "Origami" condoms coming to a penis near you

The Origami is a "radical new condom" inspired by paper-folding techniques and supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Designed to slip on more comfortably than easily-torn rolled latex prophylactics, Origami comes in male and female forms, and there's even a special model for anuses of either sex. The creators are testing the designs in clinical trials, and hope to have them available by 2013 2015.

Previously: the prototype.


  1. I’m enjoying the juxtaposition of this article above the photo for the “homeless tunnel city” article.

      1. Ha, was just about to upload said screencap. bb commenters a lot like me often, for better or worse.

  2. With a conventional condom your penis still looks like a penis.  With this, so far as I can tell, your penis will look like a weird contraption that may not leave your partner in the mood.

      1. I put those ribbed condoms on inside-out.  To hell with HER pleasure.
        – (think I heard this attributed to Steven Wright)

  3. I’m under the impression that once the condom is placed on the appendage of choice, the ridges will not be as prominent.  I think the folding/ridging design is for ease of application and not meant to be some extreme version of “ribbed for his/her pleasure”…

  4. …easily-torn rolled latex…

    I mean, knock on wood (huh-huh) and all that, but really?  I’m beginning to think I have an abnormally spur-less member or something.  I hear all these statistics about “condoms are 90% effective” and I have to wonder, they fail for other people one time in ten?

    “Oh, uh, yeah, no I totally used a condom.  Must have, uh, broke.”

    Or maybe everyone gets their contraception statistics from the Vatican?

    1. the 90% efficacy is for “typical use,” so yeah, you’re probably right. it’s just the reported average failure rate for people who claim to use regularly a condom as their sole means of contraception.

      the estimate of failure for so-called “perfect use” is 1%, which iirc means that each year there is an average 1% chance of a pregnancy.

    2. I think those figures are annual effectiveness – i.e. when couples use them regularly for years, they fail on average one year in ten.

      1. Even that seems really high.  If you used a condom for a decade with a 10% failure rate each year the odds of having a child by the end of the decade would be 65%!  Over a 30 year marriage you would be almost certain (over 95%) to have an accident.  That’s just not what I’ve seen with condoms in the real world.

        1.  Do enough 1% failure rolls on a D100, eventually you’re gonna have a bad time…

        2. No, the odds of becoming pregnant by the end of the decade would be (just under) 65%. The chance of having a child is entirely dependent on what happens after that. Between first term miscarriages (which frequently happens before people even realise they’re pregnant) and other reasons for pregnancy’s not resulting in children there are substantially lower than 65% chances of having children.

      2. Actually, they’re calculated based on percentage of women using said method as their primary form of birth control who become pregnant in a year.  “Typical use” includes people who don’t actually use a condom every single time, or use one condom for two rounds of PIV, or use expired condoms, or store them in wallets.  

        This is why the typical use effectiveness of abstinence is really very low.

  5. I can’t applaud this kind of R&D enough.  It drives me insane that condom manufacturers basically have a license to print money, yet haven’t managed to fix their crappy design for a century or more.  I’m sure it says a lot about society that we haven’t demanded better, either out of embarrassment or some guilty sense that we deserve to not enjoy sex.

    It doesn’t matter how much you get on your high horse about it, the fact remains that millions of people have HIV and/or unwanted children because these $0.01 bits of plastic are badly designed and so they didn’t wear one.  To say that people should wear a condom, even if it means not enjoying sex, is no different to saying that people should abstain completely: it’s not incorrect, just a spectacular waste of time.

    Anyway, the main failure mode of condoms (tearing due to friction) results from the exact same design flaw that makes them unpleasant to wear, namely the way they (don’t) move.  This design looks like they’ve thought carefully about, you know, how sex works, which has to be a positive step.

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