Florida businessman-turned-inventor Doug Sturlingh just filed patent papers for a product he believes will "change the world." It's called the Genital Shield, and — though the name is a bit of a boner-shrinker — he believes it will eventually rid the planet of STDs. His target consumer: responsible gentlemen with herpes.
The two-piece condom works like this: A latex mold covers the scrotum and pubic hair, leaving a hole for the shaft. A special jimmy then attaches to the "shield" in the manor of a Ziploc bag. The goal is to prevent diseases transmitted by skin-on-skin rubbing.
Naysayers such as Riptide might inquire, "Isn't that kind of like a Speedo?" But don't. Questions like those make the emphatic, hot-tempered 53-year-old Clearwater man testy. "Are you kidding me?" he snaps in a thick Brooklyn accent. "No, no. The guy is going to gain stamina, feelings of adequacy, and confidence. And the girl is going to get pleasure beyond her wildest dreams."
Brian Osterberg, president of IXu condoms, hates to burst Sturlingh's bubble. "God bless him. He's talking about it like it's the best thing since sliced bread — but it's far from that," Osterberg says. "A patent application does not a marketable product make."
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But Sturlingh is still banking on it. He has already spent $20,000 developing the idea. He points out old-school Trojans can't prevent the spread of the STD that causes genital warts or cancer — the human papillomavirus — which at least 50 percent of sexually active Americans carry. "Condoms are obsolete," he boasts. "They are the horse and cart, and I'm the automobile."