According to the Wall Street Journal there isn't much true innovation in the condom market (apparently they haven't they seen that disturbing condom featuring Gene Simmons' tongue). But a new invention promises to shake up the world of prophylactics. European regulators are close to approving a condom that's coated with a gel that helps men maintain a firmer erection for a longer period of time. From the WSJ:

Futura's condoms contain a gel with an agent that boosts blood flow-a so-called vasodilator-which is absorbed through the skin, enhancing erections. Finding an active ingredient was straightforward-it's a generic compound for the treatment of angina, a severe chest pain caused by lack of blood flow to the heart. However, "immobilizing" the gel in the condom, so the vasodilator only touches the wearer during sexual intercourse, was the clever part.

"The challenge is having a stable product in a condom-a gel that doesn't do anything detrimental to the condom," Futura Chief Executive James Barder said. "Some products can degrade the latex very quickly."

The condom, which was developed by the U.K. biotechnology firm Futura Medical PLC and will be marketed under the Durex brand, may be on sale in Europe by the end of the year. Other companies are expected to develop similar condoms.

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While the product is being called "Viagra for condoms," it isn't aimed at men who complain about erectile disfunction while strolling on the beach or dancing with their wives in slow motion. They're targeted at all men who find condoms to be a boner killer. This is good for marketers because it increases the pool of consumers, and good for everyone else because it encourages these dudes to use protection.

Right now the condom goes by the decidedly unsexy name CSD500, but feel free to suggest your own euphemistic monikers. "Neverest" and "Stiffease" aren't taken yet, are they?

New Condom Nears Approval [WSJ]

Earlier: New "Picture Condoms" Feature Gene Simmons' Tongue

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