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Bill Gates' condom quest: $100K for a feel-good product

Sara McGinnis is a slightly mossy Northwest gal living in an otherwise all-male household. She contributes to both the BabyCenter Blog and SheKnows Entertainment, and is a fan of Twitter and Facebook friends. When not tethered to wifi...

Next generation condom wanted

Bill Gates is on a mission to have the perfect condom created. The billionaire philanthropist has a $100,000 grant up for grabs to whomever can get protection for getting it on just right.

Melinda and Bill Gates

Bill Gates is ponying up some of his sizeable profits in hopes someone out there has a brilliant idea for a new kind of condom. The billionaire and his philanthropist wife Melinda Gates, pictured above, believe a reinvented prophylactic could not only be more pleasurable, it'll be more likely to get used!

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which tackles global health issues, is inviting all to reinvent the rubber with the "Next Generation Condom" challenge. Whoever comes up with the best idea will be awarded $100,000.

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"The primary drawback from the male perspective is that condoms decrease pleasure as compared to no condom, creating a trade-off that many men find unacceptable, particularly given that the decisions about use must be made just prior to intercourse," the challenge description explains. "Is it possible to develop a product without this stigma, or better, one that is felt to enhance pleasure?"

"What if we could develop a condom that would provide all the benefit of our current versions, without the drawbacks? Even better, what if we could develop one that was preferred to no condom?" the Gates Foundation's blog reads.

Stephen Becker, deputy director of the HIV Program at the Gates Foundation noted simply, "The more appealing a condom is for a man to use, the greater likelihood of use there will be."

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Need a little more info to get your creative inventor juices flowing? Consider using new materials that "preserve or enhance sensation" and be sure to ponder "new condom shapes/designs that may provide an improved user experience."

The deadline for proposal submissions is May 7, while winners of Bill Gates' condom quest will be announced in November!

Image via WENN
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