Want to master natural contraception? It's simple. All you do is monitor your menstrual cycle and body temperature, enter this info into a specialised app for some algorithmic analysis, and moments later, you have your own, personalised programme for consequence-free sex. Sounds pretty great, right? But before you prepare a contraception burning ceremony, answer us this: are you willing to take the risk?
Cue the growing circle of subscribers suing said app for their unwanted pregnancies. Sure, they may have misread the instructions and had sex on a forbidden ‘red day’, but what if we made the same mistake? Could drinking an iced latte throw your temperature off whack? And what about hot flushes? Add in the fact that sperm can live for up to seven days in a woman’s body, and this natural method of preventing a 'mit bebe' scenario sounds just a little bit perilous.
Let's consider our alternatives. Apart from total abstinence, we have hormone-pumped pills, injections, implants, or sperm-diverting devises that need to be surgically inserted. Sometimes with a complementary gift of side effects. Hmmmmm...tempting. Oh, btw, not one of these options protects from Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Seriously. What does a lady have to do to have a risk-free, recreational romp?
Which brings us to the humble condom. Currently the only contraceptive to protect against most STDs (if intact and used correctly - be careful with those nails, ladies), our trusty rubber friend has been pioneering pregnancy prevention since its initial launch in 1855. Today, manufacturers have reacted to concerns such as lack of size variation and reduced pleasure (see ya, fin flop), with a vast range of options to suit all preferences. Plus, at 98% effective, we may just be able to overlook that awkward in-the-moment fumble.
So why is there still such a resistance to condoms? "Until recently, condoms have been a necessary nuisance. An obstacle that has to be tolerated", Stu Nugent, co-creator of intimate lifestyle company, LELO tells us. That’s why LELO created Hex – a new design of condom that uses an intelligent structure of hexagons to prevent it from slipping or breaking, all the while boasting a wafer-thin feel. Think Stretch Armstrong meets Harry Potter's cloak of invisibility. "The technology in HEX condoms make it a part of sex, instead of a barrier to it." Stu tells us.
oms can even tick the eco-conscious box, with brands such as Glyde, Sustain Natural, Sir Richard's, and L. all offering Johnnys that encourage you to consider the environment while you do the deed. Then, there's the lambskin option. No, we're not suggesting you get to grips with a woolly willy. This creation uses an all-natural membrane for a real-feel effect, all the whilst being biodegradable. Vegan? Absolutely not. But biodegradable.
So what's next?
One bonus of condoms is the factor of shared responsibility. Why should women be the ones to deal with all those potentially life-altering side effects? It takes two to tango, after all. But what if men took the baton entirely? "As well as the male pill, research into new types of contraception for men includes an injection, and a gel to block the tubes that carry sperm", a representative from FPA Sexual Health Charity tells us.
Oooooh, now we're talking! Watch this space.