The Downside of LELO Hex

I actually don’t wish to be scripting this. Properly no, that’s not true. I don’t wish to have to write down this, however, intercourse schooling is missing as it’s and much too many individuals are being quite lackadaisical about the entire thing. As a result of I can’t in good conscience let condoms which may it reliably condom be available on the market without taking up. As a result of I’m Not OK with Lelo’s Hex.

lelo-hex_pr-images_product_condom_close-upAll of it started on April Fools Day, a minimum of for many of us. My colleagues and I awoke on probably the most distrustful day of the yr to an electronic mail from from “lifestyle-brand” intercourse utensil producer Lelo saying Hex, a “revolutionary” new condom. I used to be, understandably, skeptical however dependable sources reported that no, regardless of the unlucky (and considerably foreshadowing) title it was legit. Lelo was attempting one thing new. Questions abounded: What was going to be completely different? Will there lastly be extra non-latex choices? Had Lelo teamed up with one of many Invoice & Melinda Gates Basis startups? However, Lelo was fairly tight-lipped about the entire endeavor.

Till The Product Launch

Lelo didn’t a lot “launch” Hex, as made an IndieGoGo web page to lift cash for… effectively, I’m not even actually positive. Hex was already in manufacturing. Launch gala attendees have been handled to reside demonstrations of the condoms features- together with “revolutionary” patterning and a base emblazoned with the phrase “RESPECT” which means “respect the person who wears it” in line with what Gizmodo author Bryan Menegus was instructed. This was additionally once we realized that Charlie Sheen had been chosen because of the spokesman for the brand new prophylactic. Now, I’m not even going to enter this bit as a result of whereas it’s a downside a) others have already written about this quite effectively and b) I’m higher capable of forgiving a poor spokesman alternative than I’m the design/issues of safety of Hex.



Check Out The Animated Gif of Lelo Hex

img_0606As I regarded by the press-kit Lelo despatched me, I used to be confronted with a distressing picture. An animated GIF of a stretched-out Hex being repeatedly poked with a pin.

Lelo was showcasing a function of their new condom, which was nonetheless latex in the best way, that you may poke a gap in it without breaking it in any noticeable approach. Learn that once more. That is a marketed design function. I’m Not OK with this.

Mysteriously, Lelo despatched me a 3-pack of Hex. That identical day fellow sex-ed author Aerie arrived to spend the weekend with me. It was clear that we needed to do an unboxing and livetweet/Instagram event. Hex was just about what I expected- inside every sq. foil pouch was an ordinary-sized and formed lubricated latex condom embossed with a hexagonal sample “impressed by graphene”.

Let’s pause for a second right here to recollect what the aim of a condom is. Scarleteen defines a condom as:


A skinny sheath or tube of latex or one other materials, worn over the penis throughout intercourse to forestall or cut back the chance of being pregnant and/or sexually transmitted infections.


Trendy Condoms

Most trendy condoms are made out of polymers (latex, polyisoprene, polyurethane, nitrile, and many others.), nevertheless, condoms have traditionally been made out of the intestinal tract of sheep. Besides the squeaky issue of “sheepskin” condoms, as they’re kinda incorrectly referred to as, they are additionally ineffective for one of many two main roles of a condom.

Guts have holes in them, tiny pores and the like, which permit them to do their factor whereas they’re nonetheless inside a dwelling being. Nice for the sheep, unhealthy for STI safety. They work to scale back being pregnant as a result of on a micro-biological scale, sperm a fairly large, and the pure pores of the gut are sufficiently small to sieve them out whereas microorganisms and viruses are a lot smaller and simply go by. What does that need to do with Hex (which I’ll remind you remains to be boring previous latex)?

Properly, I attempted their pin-prick check and was horrified to search out that the advertising GIF was not a dramatization. I may certainly pierce Hex a number of occasions per area and the condom gave no fucks. “So what?” folks retorted.

After all, isn’t some safety higher than none? Aren’t I making raging assumptions {that a} condom which stays intact regardless of perforation is worse than a condom which shatters upon puncture? I’m not kidding- these have been the arguments that resulted in my Hex experimentations. And no, in this case, I’m not so positive that some are healthier than none, or that any assumption I’m making concerning the percentages of transmission matter within the least. And right here’s why:

Condom Break

Whereas it sucks to have a condom break, the best way during which they break acts as, whether or not deliberately or not, a crimson flag system. The shattering of the condom means you already know that your barrier has failed and that you just now have to take steps to handle the situation- emergency contraception, STI testing, post-exposure STI prophylaxis (the place relevant and out there), implementation of barrier strategies within any other case fluid-bonded companions, no matter an occasion of publicity means to you.

The way during which Hex fails, nevertheless, means the intercourse act could be accomplished and there be no signal that there was a breach of safety. Whereas we now not reside in a world the place contraction of HIV is an assured dying sentence, we do reside in a world of tremendous gonorrhea, the Zika virus, and medically resistant syphilis. Being pregnant remains to be a high-risk medical situation. For a product with “RESPECT” emblazoned up it, Hex doesn’t appear to respect your proper to know what’s up whenever you fuck. Do not forget that bit I mentioned about the microbe dimension? They are certain to let you know that the field Hex is available in tamper-evident, although.


img_0619Possibly this doesn’t trouble folks as a result of everyone seems to be simply numbed to the nonsensical nature of the condom trade. Probably the most broadly identified model is named for a sneak-attack, in any case. I mean- Trojan? A story of a perceived peace providing that, as soon as introduced inside town partitions poured forth with males to grab town? That’s alleged to make me really feel secure? And Hex. Actually? Hex?

I do know they meant it as a reference to their foolish textured floor (I’ll get to that in a minute) however all I can consider are curses. I’ve nonetheless left agog on the variety of folks whose bios embrace the job title of “intercourse educator” who’ve fired again at me on Twitter or Instagram that they don’t perceive why I’m upset, or they don’t get why it is a downside. Keep in mind too that this isn’t only a side-effect of the design, it is a built-in function. Lelo is advertising Hex by displaying off that it doesn’t shatter when it develops a gap and apparently individuals are shopping for the hype.

I can’t assist however really feel like that is vastly irresponsible on Lelo’s half. Individuals who purchase these condoms, which retail at $10 for a 3pk, are seeing the title Lelo and recognizing it as a pacesetter within the intimacy trade. There may be status and high quality constructed into the Lelo title. There’s additionally a little bit of tough wording linked to Hex- “impressed by graphene, the thinnest, strongest construction identified to science”.

With the Gates Basis fueling condom analysis, speak of graphene condoms have been within the information for years. After I began studying extra about Hex, even I assumed that Lelo will need to have teamed up with one of many teams engaged in graphene limitations. However no, Hex shouldn’t be graphene. Hex is a latex condom with a honeycomb sample to it and quite a lot of deceptive textual content on the packaging about graphene. There’s nothing “re-engineered” about them.


img_0600I’m not so positive we have to re-engineer the condom, from a design side. Condom design isn’t the rationale that folks don’t use them anyway. What does want “re-engineering” is intercourse schooling, accessibility, and our cultural strategy to condoms. Let’s put a few of this condom analysis cash into rising the non-latex condom market and enhancing availability/accessibility of inside condoms.

Let’s put a few of that condom analysis cash into really doing analysis on condoms for anal intercourse, as a result of telling of us to “seek the advice of healthcare supplier for recommendation” when utilizing limitations for something aside from vaginal intercourse is absurd.  And let’s put a few of that condom analysis cash, no- let’s put loads of that condom analysis cash, into enhancing intercourse schooling. That’s what will probably be actually revolutionary and “re-engineer” how folks use condoms.


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