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We tried LELO HEX condoms to see how innovative they really are
We were pleased, to say the least.
Presented by LELO
It’s 2018 and we’ve figured out how to build robots for the sole purpose of serving us a beer, but condom innovation has been stagnant for decades. Despite a rise in STIs, fewer people are wearing condoms than ever before.
Why? Because they’re too tight, they break, and they’re generally uncomfortable to wear. LELO HEX condoms were designed to fix those problems.
LELO is known for its high-end sex toys. It’s a quality brand that doesn’t skimp on pleasure. So when the company claims to have developed “a groundbreaking condom that aims to change the way the world views safe sex,” expectations are rightfully high.
These condoms are latex with an integrated hexagonal pattern that covers the whole condom on the inside. This design—inspired by graphene, one of the strongest materials in the world—serves a few purposes. It’s durable, thin, molds to the body, and made for everyone’s pleasure.
We put these condoms to the test to see how they hold up.
LELO HEX condoms review
HEX condoms are individually wrapped in all-white, minimalist packaging. No bright purple pleasure packets here.
The discreet design could easily be mistaken for a hand wipe or glasses cleaner. Nosey guests snooping around your purse or nightstand may be surprised to find the actual contents aren’t so great at cleaning. But that’s what they get for rifling through someone else’s bedside drawer!
There’s nothing sexier than being mounted on top of your partner in the dark—except for the part where you’re awkwardly fumbling with a tiny wrapper that is so difficult to open, you’d swear it’s black magic.
For those who know the awkward dance, well, I have good news. LELO wrappers are made with a hefty paper material, instead of the annoying tin foil or plastic packets designed to mock you at your most vulnerable moment. HEX is easy to rip open and get it on, but, most importantly, still durable enough to keep everything inside the package safe.
One of the biggest reasons people choose not to use condoms is the band is too tight around the penis or the material is too thick. Both of these issues inhibit sexual feeling and become a distraction.
The first thing I noticed after opening the packet was how stretchy these condoms are. The band is thick enough to make it glide on easily without cutting off circulation a few minutes into foreplay.
They’re also clear, which is nicer than the usual beige-colored condoms that make penises look like rubber gloves.
To give you an idea of how much girth these condoms could handle, I fit my entire forearm in one comfortably. (At least physically—from a social perspective, not so much.) I did not document that because I looked like a serial killer. But we did blow one up to see just how much that baby could give.
It was impressive that these condoms expanded bigger than my head without even budging. But I was more blown away by the fact it took three stabs with a kitchen knife to finally pop. I (nor any condom company!) would not recommend puncturing any condom before actually using, but for such a thin condom, LELO’s claim to a stronger design holds up.
Those who need even more room down there can try HEX Respect XL condoms, which were designed for larger guys.
Slides right on
If you thought struggling to rip open a condom package was cool, try accidentally putting on backward. No one tells you these things in sex ed.
A nice, user-friendly touch to HEX is the distinction. The tip of the condom pops up and it’s not rolled as tight as most condoms. You’ll know which side to use right away. It slid on easily without leaving my hand full of spermicide.
Speaking of liquids, these condoms use a non-toxic, water-repellent silicone oil that’s light to the touch. It’s a nice departure from the gloopy mess some condoms are drenched in.
Best of all, it doesn’t have that weird latex-y condom smell that lingers on your hands for hours. That alone is a scientific breakthrough. It’s a light hint of latex. But I could only detect it on the condom and package, not on the skin.
But does it feel good?
This is the closest you will get to protected sex without the inhibition of a barrier. It stays on snug, it does not rip, and it’s easy to forget it’s even on. The hexagonal pattern makes you feel warmer than with a standard condom.
At the end of the day, you will still be wearing a condom. So if that is your major gripe, then HEX won’t completely solve it. But if you’d choose to eliminate the risk of STIs and unplanned pregnancies if condoms weren’t so distracting, uncomfortable, or tight, these are a game changer in the bedroom.
LELO HEX condoms are $34.90 for a 36-pack and $19.90 for a 12-pack, which makes them a little pricier than your average brand. But at under $1.00 per condom, for the amount of improvements they make, it’s well worth the cost. They are available for sale online and in stores at Target and Walmart.
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Christine Burkson is the Senior Ecommerce Manager of the Daily Dot. Her work focuses on product reviews, Amazon deals, and online shopping. She previously served as an editor at Mashable, where she helped build the site's viral news section, and Yahoo, where she focused on DIY culture. Her work has also appeared on Bustle.