From robots to spray-on condoms, the year was impressive for its dedication to the act of reproduction.
And we're not just being cheeky, either -- there's some serious science in the list below.
We found five inventions that might someday see the light of day and influence the future of sex.
(And if you're wondering, yes, some of the links in this post are not safe for work.)
Surely, these inventors get an A for effort:
1. Sex robot Roxxxy: The world's first robot girlfriend was designed to engage in conversation. The creator reasoned that, "sex only goes so far – then you want to be able to talk to the person."
She's everything a man could ever want in a woman. (Or maybe not.) But the ultimate artificial partner doesn't include laundry, dishwashing or dog-walking programming to assist you in living life -- so perhaps we'll have to wait until 2011 for a $7,000 robot can satisfy both practical and carnal needs.
(Don't worry, lonely ladies: a male robot is coming soon, too. Yes, Rocky could be the robot of your dreams.)
2. Spray-on condoms: The concept of the spray-on-condom comes from a desire to have a better fitting barrier to accidental pregnancy, and was inspired, oddly enough, by a drive-through car wash. Researchers at the German Institute for Condom Consultancy (how about that!) thought the future of sex involved a man inserting his penis into a device that sprays latex on it.
A good idea -- in theory. But during clinical trials, the spraying contraption made a loud hissing sound and apparently killed the mood. Plus, some trial participants thought the machine was intimidating.
3. Rape-fighting condoms: Rape-aXe is a female condom with teeth. Inserted like a tampon, it's akin to a miniature bear trap, with hooks -- that only a doctor can remove, mind you -- that attach to the perpetrator. (It's designed not to break any skin, however.)
Cringe-worthy for sure, but one tool in the fight against this social problem. One problem: critics say the device doesn't address the trauma of rape. (Not to mention the impracticality of the user wearing one.)
4. Spray-on "Viagra": The pharmaceutical industry wants to play in the bedroom, too. A topical spray called PSD502 is said to "enhance" male performance time, extending it six-fold. It's not for casual use, though -- the spray is a form of treatment for men who have been clinically diagnosed with premature ejaculation.
5. Molecular condom for women: This novel condom releases anti-HIV drugs when the gel comes into contact with semen during sex. The polymer gel blocks viral particles when it reacts to semen and forms a tight mesh. The gel is intended to stop the virus from moving from the semen to the walls of the vaginal tissue. Researchers think molecular condoms could provide a chemical line of defense against HIV -- something a conventional condom isn't capable of.
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com