A new bedroom product that promises to deliver a "higher form of intimacy than condoms" is a misleading advertisement for an ineffective contraceptive, experts say.
The product, called "Jiftip," is being marketed as a "contraceptive," and has been gaining attention on the internet. Its creators claim on their website that the product is an adhesive that covers the tip of the penis so that couples can "enjoy real sex."
The website specifies that a man must still use the pull out method and remove the cover before ejaculating to prevent pregnancy — it also says that it cannot promise the sticker will work at all.
Tyler, one of the people on the website who has reviewed the Jiftip and is listed as a "Team Jiftip beta member" even admits in his review of the product: "Jiftip is not a guarantee, it's a compromise — a very elegant compromise perfectly suited to a certain subset of individuals. And just like the condom, Jiftip lies at a point somewhere in the middle along the scale of risk."
But the Jiftip is nothing like a condom for two reasons: It can barely be counted to prevent pregnancy, and it doesn't protect against sexual transmitted diseases at all.
In fact, halfway down the Jiftip home page, buried under advertising, is a legal disclaimer: "THOU SHALT NOT USE FOR PREGNANCY OR STI PREVENTION PURPOSES."
Although it may seem obvious that people should be skeptical to buy this product, the Jiftip, which comes in a pack of three for $6, has people commenting on the page about wanting to try to the so-called condom alternative.
But Doctor Lauren Streicher, M.D., and associate clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University, said the product seemed extremely dangerous and possibly painful.
"A guy cannot ejaculate with this on," she explained. "It is essentially a patch that goes over the urethra and if he were to ejaculate it would either come off or he would potentially have a retrograde-ejaculation."
A post on the Jiftip website says, "Unless you live in a country without any lawyers, joining the beta team starts with a liability waiver to confirm you accept all risks, both known and unknown."
Doctor Debby Herbenick, Ph.D., a sex educator and professor at Indiana University's School of Public Health said in an email any potential buyers should read all about a product, especially all the way to the end which is where the notice is located.
"Condoms remain the only FDA approved device for reducing risk of both pregnancy and STIs," Herbenick noted.
Streicher called the product very "male-centric" and "abusive" and feared it could be used to lie to sexual partners.
"The big danger is when a guy goes and buys this product and he shows up and says to a woman 'Oh,this is going to be better than a condom,'" Streicher said. "She doesn't have the opportunity to necessarily go on the website or read about it."
She instead suggests that if a man tells a woman he doesn't want to wear a condom then the woman should consider using a female condom — or kicking him out.
"The female condom is a very viable alternative that the woman has control of," said Streicher.