We rely on tech products daily, and expect constant evolution. Without improved effectiveness and user experience, tech innovations quickly become outdated. Imagine if Apple went a year without an iOS or iPhone upgrade—totally unacceptable, right?

Yet nearly a century has passed without innovation on the tech product perhaps closest to our bodies: the condom. That antiquated trend ended with the new, structurally re-engineered con-dom LELO Hex.


Launched by LELO, a Swedish intimacy company dubbed the Apple of the pleasure product industry," HEX condoms represent one of the first major advances in condom technology since the reservoir tip was added almost 70 years ago.


The new design

LELO engineers spent seven years developing their new condom, driven by one crucial dis-covery: it didn't require new materials but an upgraded structure.


"The challenge was to make something radically different with a material already approved for condom use," Filip Sedec, LELO founder and inventor of LELO HEX, told Mashable. "We did this because people need to be having great, safe sex today, not ten years from now."

Why hexagons? It turns out this six-sided shape is among the most durable under pressure and seep-resistant, as represented in nature.


"There's a reason why honeycombs are the shape they are, and why snake scales move the way they do. It’s because hexagons are strong, symmetrical, and tessellate perfectly," Sedec explained. "They’re one of nature's go-to shapes for anything needing to be at once lightweight, and incredibly strong. That's why the structure of Graphene – the thinnest, strongest material we know of today is ... you guessed it, hexagonal."


Unlike others on the market, HEX condoms feature a honeycomb hexagonal lattice. Each HEX condom integrates 350 small hexagons through its latex surface, resulting in effective perfor-mance.


The extremely thin hexagonal panels also flex and mold to the wearer. It's more forgiving of fri-ction and stress, preventing the latex from tearing, LELO claims. Even when repeatedly poked with a needle, the taut HEX doesn't rip—trust me, I tried!

The hexagonal ridge is on the inside of the condom is a big reason why the condom is less flimsy — it acts like a tire on water, gripping and flexing with the penis. The poked hole stays within the hexagonal cell and doesn't rip the entire latex condom.


Why should you care?

In America, condom use is dropping significantly, while STIs are on the rise. In fact, the largest-ever nationwide study on sexuality in 2010 found that only 1 in 4 acts of vaginal intercourse are protected by condoms in the U.S., according to Indiana University.


Americans aren't ditching "no glove, no love" because condoms are hard to find; rather, it's due to physical appeal. A 2007 study surveying hundreds of college students published in the Arch-ives of Sexual Behavior found that men and women who reported unprotected sex as more pleasurable were less likely to use condoms.


But 20 million people contract STIs annually in the U.S., though only half are aware. Mean-while, 49% of U.S. pregnancies were unintendedThese dangerous realities make condom innovation not only important, but essential.

Actor Charlie Sheen, who publicly announced that he is HIV-Positive in November 2015, endor-sed the product at its launch event, as a part of an effort he says to reduce stigma around con-dom use and encourage STI education.


"Announcing my HIV condition gave me a new sense of purpose in speaking actively on sexual health," Sheen said. "That's why LELO HEX is such an important project for me."


"We all know condoms are the best defense against STIs, but less and less people want to use them, he added. "I hope my experiences can remind of their importance, while LELO's innova-tion offers a genuine alternative."

Ultimately, whether hexagonally super-powered or not, condoms aren't for everyone. But whe-ther you love with a glove or not, LELO's call for safe sex rings true. Always ask your partners if they've contracted any STIs or STDs before engaging sexually, and have your sexual health checked by a doctor regularly—you, and your partners, won't regret it.


And for the skeptics out there, don’t be wary: We tried the HEX personally and can report top-notch pleasure.