Is $224,000 of taxpayer money too much for a condom that doesn't bust during the most intense of anal sex scenarios, fits like a glove, and is specially designed to accommodate the most-oddly shaped or oddly-sized of penises?

If you ask the National Institutes of Health, the answer is clear: no, nearly a quarter of a million dollars is not too much for condom and penis research. The NIH has funded a study entitled "Behavioral and Manufacturing Science to Commercially Develop Fitted Condoms" until July 2014. 

In non-scientific speak, they're figuring out how to create condoms that men will actually use. What researchers found is that even though condoms can protect people from all kinds of nasty stuff they don't want (like drug-resistant gonorrhea), condom usage remains "disappointingly low." And American men, between one-third to one-half of them, say condoms don't fit right, leading researchers to believe that this might be a big reason they don't wear them. Riiiight, it's all about the fit. 

So, they're funding TheyFit, a condom company, to research "custom-fitted condoms" which can accommodate a variety of girths and lengths — 95 different sizes in all. Ninety-five might sound like too small a number to represent all the different kinds of penis on the spectrum, but it's more than the narrow range of condom sizes currently available.

TheyFit also wants to improving a personal measuring tool (this might be a humbling experience for many), and figure out how to make condoms strong enough for gay sex. "[W]e will analyze data, previously collected from a national sample of men who have sex with men, to establish condom breakage rates for anal sex. This analysis will provide innovation by allowing further research to move condoms towards being regulated medical devices for anal sex," the abstract reads. 

While these intentions are noble, the study is getting some criticism from conservatives who believe that this might be a case of irresponsible spending. "I don't understand why the Feds are spending this money on condoms. The never used one in the past when they f****d us," a user on WorldNetDaily pointed out, while there are a few "liberals have small penises" jokes over at right-wing CNS News.

This isn't the first NIH study that fiscally responsible conservatives have jumped on. In the past, conservative sites have highlighted NIH-funded studies like the infamous shrimp on treadmills or the notorious obese lesbian study, and as NPR points out, mischaracterized them by focusing too much on one aspect of the research. 

“Only by developing effective prevention and treatment strategies for health-injuring behaviors can we reduce the disease burden in the U.S. and thus, enhance health and lengthen life, which is the mission of the NIH," the NIH told CNS News. 

For what it's worth, this condom study might be a deal. Last year Bill Gates doled out 11 grants at $100,000 a piece to people who had ideas on how to make a better condom— for example, one of the winning prospects had an idea how to make one that "wraps and clings" rather than squeezes, another had an idea on creating a condom that can be, umm, "applied" in one fluid motion. Projects showing the most promise can apply for an addition $1 million from the Gates foundation — much more than the $224,000 the government is spending. 

Photo by: mast3r via Shutterstock.