Walking down the condom aisle at the pharmacy can elicit feelings of irritability, as many find the much-needed barrier for safe sex to be one of life’s necessary evils. Even when it’s used correctly, with a 98 percent effective rate at preventing unwanted pregnancy and reducing the risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), condoms can slip, break, and even decrease sensitivity in between in the sheets. However, maximizing your pleasure in the bedroom while using protection is as simple as choosing the right contraceptive to make you and your partner feel at ease.

Scientists have been working around the clock to come up with fun and innovative condoms that can help bed partners enjoy sex, without feeling like there is a barrier between them. Currently, there are different types of condoms — with differences between and among them being their thickness and shape — that can cater to each partner’s sexual needs. Condoms, from the world’s thinnest to a latex-free hydro-gel condom, are reliable and can take away the stress of pregnancy, STDs, and HIV for both men and women.

Intense Sensitivity And More Pleasure

Sagami Original 0.01: World’s Thinnest Condom

Couples who want increase their sensations and feel more pleasure, may benefit from the world’s thinnest condom by the Japanese company Sagami Rubber Industries. Japan’s “Sagami Original 0.01” is only 0.001 millimeters (mm) thick, while standard latex condoms typically have an average thickness of 0.070 mm. Not only is the super thin condom durable, it has no smell of latex, which is innovative of a polyurethane condom. The safe, effective, and more “pleasurable” condom can help convince more people to practice safe sex.

Electric Eel: An Electric Condom

To stimulate the shaft, the “Electric Eel” is equipped with electrodes that send mild electrical impulses up the shaft of the condom. This condom aims to increase pleasure while also providing ease-of-use as the amount of electricity, which is applied in “very small” amounts. It could be controled through Internet APIs or with controllers. The Electric Eel can add new sensations to condom styles already on the market. Partners will be able to experience heightened sensations even while using protection.

Galactic Cap: 'Just The Tip' Condom

The Galactic Cap condom (G Cap), a two-piece prophylactic device, claims to greatly reduce the risk of unwanted pregnancies with covering only the very tip of the penis, working in two parts. The first piece is a U-shaped polyurethane adhesive film that can be applied “hours or even days before sex,” allowing for urination and showering. The second piece is a reservoir cap that attaches by adhesive to the base film, leaving the high sensitively coronal ridge and shaft fully exposed. This is applied right before sexual activity. The G Cap leaves the coronal ridge and the shaft exposed for a more powerful orgasm.

Woman In Control

Elliptical: Female Condom

Female condoms on the market are currently just pouches placed in the vagina that are capable of preventing both pregnancy and STDs. These condoms cover the inside of the vagina to prevent sperm from entering the woman, according to Planned Parenthood. Unlike most female condoms that are big and baggy and may not even match a woman’s anatomy, the elliptical-shaped condom is said to fit better with the female body. This condom is said to be provide a “female-initiated or a female-controlled option.”

Latex Alternative

Tough Hydro-Gel: Latex-Free Condom

People who are allergic or have a sensitivity to latex can rejoice with the University of Wollongong’s development of the tough hydro-gel condom. The condom that feels “just like skin” is not only an alternative to latex, but it can also increase sensitivity in the bedroom. Dr. Robert Gorkin from the University of Wollongong says unlike the latex condom, users can put lubricant into the condom.

STD Protection

VivaGel: STD-Killing Condom

The transmission of STDs, including HIV and pregnancy, can all be reduced with VivaGel-coated condom, manufactured by Starpharma, an Australian bio-tech firm. It is known to be the only condom of its type that provides barrier protection and includes a proprietary antiviral compound — VivaGel — in the lubricant. The condom contains 0.5 percent Astodrimer sodium — the non-antibiotic antimicrobial drug — that is a compound specifically designed against HIV. The gel-coated condom is a great alternative for those who seek to further protect themselves from STDs, especially for those who have, or are with someone who has STDs.

These six innovative condoms will help you and your partner get to know your preference, and experiment while having safe sex.