In the early days of his quest for a better condom, Beau bought Trojans by the case. He "sliced and diced" the handles from Hefty garbage bags and attached them by hand. At one point, he disappeared into the shed behind his mother's Coconut Grove house for four days and nights, he says, taking naps on a shabby couch and subsisting on beer and sandwiches. He emerged with a wood-and-metal production prototype. He had mined a '67 Mustang engine and a dot matrix printer for parts.

By the early '00s, he was making good money building rich people's houses. He claims he spent a year's income applying for patents around the world. In 2005, he led a group that founded Grove Medical LLC, which began producing the condoms at a factory in Georgia. The latex sheets come from Malaysia.

A year later, 2,000 students, mainly from the University of San Diego, became Sensis's first major, um, focus group. One student — a very tall Cosmo Kramer doppelganger — reported back, "This is great, because even drunk in the dark, I can get it on!" It became a Sensis marketing pitch.

Beau Thompson demonstrates his invention, Sensis, a condom with handles.
Michael McElroy
Beau Thompson demonstrates his invention, Sensis, a condom with handles.

Online reviewers were also converted. "A blind blindfolded retard would have no trouble using" it, opined the luminary behind the Nayshun blog.

This year, Sensis took a step toward the big time, landing on Walgreens shelves. Beau says he accomplished that partly by calling the right bigwig at the pharmacy chain: "I kind of had a number I wasn't supposed to have. I wriggled in."

But, he says, "We still consider ourselves a startup." And because he insists on matching larger condom companies' prices — usually $13 for a 12-pack box — profit margins are slim. He's certainly not living the life of a tycoon: Beau's family dwells in a $250,000 house on SW 83rd Street.

His next target: CVS, which has thus far resisted stocking Sensis in its stores. "We're hoping this is our year," he says earnestly.

Back at Sandbar, Beau's presentations get more successful as patrons drink more. Members of a sailing team — who happen to be sucking on candies from a tin of "mint nipples" — point out that the condoms look like wounded jellyfish. Cries of "Genius!" are heard almost every time Beau shows off the handles. Across the bar, a server with orange hair wraps a condom around a customer's Corona bottle. A bosomy Bacardi girl handing out free shots says excitedly: "Condoms! I need some of those!"

As the night continues, Beau drinks wine, a few beers, and a rum shot from the Bacardi lass. These days, he's usually at home with his 5-year-old son by the early evening. About 11 p.m., he's rosy-cheeked and a bit ragged, slouching forward on a stool.

Then a thin patron politely interrupts. "Do you know what the score was?" he asks about the basketball game, which the Heat won.

Beau's hazel eyes suddenly light up again. "Do you want to see a cool new condom?"

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13 comments
user
user

Excellent idea and finally some ingenuity in condoms after ... well, within my lifetime anyway. Anybody resistent to this type of inventiveness is the same type of idiot who originally thought the internet was a useless fad, but now uses it everyday, but only to criticize others. My hat goes off to this inventor!

zhenglishu
zhenglishu

Finally (48 hours) time limit to buy.

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Liberatedi
Liberatedi

It is completely ridiculous that this is one of yahoo's lead news stories. SO SAD

guest
guest

Open condom, push thumbs through, if they don't go flip it over. If they do you know what side is where. Unnecessary invention.

EDDIE
EDDIE

TOO DRUNK TO CARE ABOUT A CONDOM.

Henry
Henry

yeah, the S. African Pronto got pulled b/c of quality standards - didnt work same way either. Either way, great idea - wonder if Trojan coming out with one.

A Guy
A Guy

These already exist in South Africa

Ekavet
Ekavet

As useful as a submarine with a screen door

Zhenglish38
Zhenglish38

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Zhenglish38
Zhenglish38

hello everyone,im wholesale supplier online==

our website:=====( http://www.tntn.us)=====free shippingaccept paypal credit cardlower price fast shippment with higher qualityBEST QUALITY GUARANTEE!!SAFTY & HONESTY GUARANTEE!!FAST & PROMPT DELIVERY GUARANTEE!!Air jordan(1-24)shoes $30=====Nike shox(R4,NZ,OZ,TL1,TL2,TL3) $35===Hndbags(Coach lv fendi d&g) $35===Tshirts (Polo ,ed hardy,lacoste) $16=====Jean(True Religion,ed hardy,coogi) $30=====Sunglasses(Oakey,coach,gucci,Armaini) $15===New era cap $10===Sunglass $ 15COACH_Necklace $ 27handbag $ 33AF tank woman $ 17puma slipper woman $ 30Bikini (Ed hardy,polo) $25---FREE SHIPPING,accept paypal-very good shopping -----our website:======( http://www.tntn.us)===Believe you will love it.

israelikid
israelikid

@Henry where did you hear that Pronto condoms got pulled?

 
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