The Lelo Hex is the first re-engineered condom that the world has seen since condoms were invented in 1855. Lelo – a company that is trusted in the world of sex toys, took it upon themselves to create a stronger and thinner condom that is truly better engineered than simple latex condoms. I got the chance to try the Hex line and I was impressed with how they held up, and how they held on.
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So whats different about the Hex? Simple: hexagons (hence, Hex). Hexagons are one of nature’s strongest and most commonly occurring structures for a good reason – they are light and strong and fit together perfectly due to their structure. So, these condoms are designed to be even stronger, thinner, and more flexible than traditional condoms – giving them a unique reliability and comfort compared to their competitors. The flexibility of the condoms also allows them to better fit and conform to your partner, regardless of their shape and size (curves and all).
LELO also says, “With its structure of 350 interconnected hexagons, HEX™ allows body warmth to be transmitted between partners for a more sensitive and more intimate sexual sensation.” What could be more lovely than that?
There has been much discussion about LELO’s Hex condoms in the sex educator community. In short, the hexagonal structure of Hex reinforces the condom, causing breakage to be less obvious. This means that users might not realize that a condom did, in fact, break. However, it’s important to note that in the case of a “regular” latex condom breaking, many people do not notice until after ejaculation has occurred and the sex act has been completed anyway. Afterwards, many still do not pursue alternative forms of birth control, such as the morning after pill, or get tested for STIs/STDs. So it’s possible this added protection from Hex condoms being more “shatterproof” might be beneficial, too. Overall, it’s up to each condom user to decide which condom is best for them. Hex might be ideal for those unconcerned with STIs and using condoms as a form of back-up birth control, but perhaps not best for those using condoms as their only form of birth control, or those with an STI- or STD-positive partner.
It is also important to note LELO’s choice of Charlie Sheen, who has been accused of domestic violence, as an initial spokesperson for this product. Despite Sheen’s bad history, the marketing campaign for Hex makes sense: Sheen has been open about his HIV diagnosis in a time when STI rates in the US are rising, but society has seemed to forget about HIV/AIDS and ditched condoms in place of birth control methods that do not protect against STDs and STIs. Regardless, Charlie Sheen certainly does not represent sex positivity.
For more information, we refer you to this in-depth take by Zhana Vrangalova, PhD. Vrangalova is a sex researcher, educator, and coach with a PhD from Cornell in Developmental Psychology.
When using the Hex condoms, I didn’t notice anything different in sensation – which is a good thing. I didn’t feel any of the “I feel the latex stretching against me while penetrating” which always makes me nervous. The penetration stayed smooth and while the condom did tug and flex on my partner while we engaged in fast-paced sex, the condom never came off or had to be pulled back down at the base. Even when it was time to apply more lube, I still didn’t feel like the condom was going to stress with the increased friction of a drier vagina.
My partner agreed with me, saying that he didn’t have to worry about the condom falling off while at the same time it didn’t even feel like he was wearing a condom – which is pretty high praise.
These condoms are expensive, and while I got them for free, I looked into re-ordering them and they are sold for $34.90 per 36 pack, which is almost $1 per condom. Compared to a Trojan 32 ct pack, which will run you around $18 – about 60 cents per condom. However – isn’t a dollar a pop worth peace of mind when you’re with a new partner to prevent pregnancy and STDs? I think so. Even though these condoms are more expensive, the quality difference is noticeable, so I think they’re well worth the money. Editor’s note: Again, keep in mind that this quality difference is subjective based on the user’s needs and preferences.
Will I buy them?
I will. LELO is a great toy company, I liked the feel, and I felt like there was enough of a difference between LELO Hex and traditional condoms that is worth the extra 40 cents each.
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