Condomologist

all things condoms

Archive for February, 2009

I’m disappointed in you, Sweden

Posted by Condomologist on February 28, 2009

In my mind, Sweden is a wealthy, peaceful country of beautiful people where condoms are flowing in the streets (I have nothing to base this on, but when do you ever hear bad news coming out of Scandinavia?). So it makes me sad that thieves felt the need to break into a univerity’s sexual health center and steal 50 condoms. But they were XL condoms, and maybe a big sex party with men with large penises was taking place that night and they’d spent all their money on food and booze and decorations, and they just felt an urgency to get the necessary protection right away. That is the story I will tell myself. Otherwise, shame on you guys.

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Posted in News and Current Events | 3 Comments »

Kids and credit cards can mix

Posted by Condomologist on February 28, 2009

Kudos to our British friends for their seeking to bring innovative condom solutions to the high rates of teen pregnancy and STDs in their backyard. In Reading they’re giving out credit card-like incentives to be redeemed for condoms when teenagers go to clinics to speak with sexual health professionals about risk reduction. Until sex ed is part of normal school curricula the world over and larger structural deficiencies like poverty and homelessness and unemployment are remedied, the best we can do is think outside the box in promoting condom use. Part of that is discussing how sex can still be pleasureable with a rubber, and part of that is putting condoms in the news like they’re doing in Reading or, as I mentioned the other day, with the soccer club Burnley FC, by putting condom vending machines in college dorms, or whatever clever condom campaign you decide to take on.

Posted in Distribution and Availability, Education, Marketing | Leave a Comment »

Thank God it’s 2009

Posted by Condomologist on February 28, 2009

If there’s any question that the Bush administration politicized sex to the point of downright irresponsibility, check out this fact sheet from Advocates for Youth. It highlights the stark differences between 1999 and 2002 at the CDC and their view of giving the people needed information about condoms and letting the chips fall where they may. We should be grateful that one of the many byproducts of electing Obama is that this kind of nonsense will hopefully cease to exist.

Posted in Education, Policy | Leave a Comment »

Just a Little Quickie

Posted by Condomologist on February 27, 2009

How likely is it that a man or woman would come away from having really bad sex praising the top quality of the condom?

Posted in Pleasure | Leave a Comment »

My other true love

Posted by Condomologist on February 27, 2009

Yes, besides being slightly obsessed by sexual health, my other true love is soccer (football to most of y’all). So I can’t help but get excited when the two come together: Burnley FC in England takes the fight to chlamydia by branding their own condoms and encouraging youngsters to get tested.

Posted in Condom Brands and Styles, Distribution and Availability, News and Current Events | 3 Comments »

“Think, communicate, use protection, go slow, and use lube”

Posted by Condomologist on February 27, 2009

This advice from the sexual health counselors at Swarthmore College (in my neck of the woods) to a young woman who writes in asking for counsel regarding her first foray into vaginal intercourse. I find it fascinating to read college newspaper sexual health advice columns, especially because so much wonderful dialogue takes place at universities, where there’s a general recognition at most schools that college kids are doing it. I think this column is generally very good, but I’m gonna keep fighting to make the educators of the world more sex-positive. This woman’s question seems to be about the fear of sex hurting the first time, and so the above advice is generally excellent — think, communicate, go slow, use lube — but the protection part assumes that she hasn’t thought about that; they’d be better off saying “If you decide to use a condom, there are many brands, sizes, materials, etc. and you can put lube on the inside and outside to make it feel better.” Instead, they feel it their duty to strike fear in her and throughout the piece, remind her of the things that could go wrong.

 

Why the need to start off advising the young woman to think about “boundaries” and what to do “if [her] partner crosses [them]?” Why can’t we promote communication between two partners without immediately putting into question whether it will be successful? Why the assumption that she needs to protect against STDs, especially when her boyfriend is a fellow virgin? Yes, it’s very possible that she’s at risk — of herpes, HPV, or even a fluid-based infection he has from sex he hasn’t told her about — but it’s also quite possible he has no STDs and a couples date to the student health center to get tested might alleviate the stress of this possibility. And worst of all, how depressing to be told “your first time probably won’t be magical, phenomenal, or particularly memorable (except for the anxious build-up)?” All of this was true for me — other than the memorable part; who forgets their first time? — but at least I went in thinking it would be magical and phenomenal. Hell, a lot of sex isn’t magical, phenomenal or memorable — even the thousandth time. Anyway, like I said, it’s generally good advice, especially the lube part, since I’m the world’s biggest fan of lube.

 

Lastly, just to keep the people honest, I’ll point folks back to the double-bagging (two condoms at once) myth that continues to be perpetuated by public health experts everywhere. There’s no sound evidence for not using two condoms, so while Swarthmore’s sexual health experts and 99% of their peers will tell you not to do it, I’m keeping the question alive: Why exactly not?

Posted in Communication, Education, Pleasure, Research and Study | Leave a Comment »

Religion and Sex Don’t Mix

Posted by Condomologist on February 27, 2009

I’m all for religious tolerance, but when any institution — at its highest levels, but in this case the Vatican — is so out of touch that they would suspend a priest for speaking out in favour of condoms and tolerance of homosexuals, it becomes clear just how far we have to go.

Posted in News and Current Events | Leave a Comment »

New Uses for Condoms

Posted by Condomologist on February 27, 2009

Because we all know the biggest problem with the wind on rainy days is not that it inverts your umbrella, but rather that your umbrella cover blows away. Use a Trust condom to not only keep your umbrella dry, but also as one of the most unorthodox pick-up moves ever. Is this condom really as long as it appears in the video? If so, this should be sized not XL or Magnum but T-Rex. On a side note, how hot is this couple?  And how awesome is the excitement of the old dude in the car? This video from Nigeria.

 

Posted in Communication, Condom Brands and Styles, Humour, Videos | 3 Comments »

High Schoolers and Condoms and Abortion and Picking Fights

Posted by Condomologist on February 26, 2009

I’ve gotten a bit caught up in the whole make-your-voice-heard-on-the-web thing and engaged in some lively debates with other bloggers and writers out there. One of them was about abortion and contraceptives and such and William Saletan’s op-ed in the New York Times, and I felt it was a healthy debate with Jodi Jacobson over at RhRealityCheck.

 

The other was with a young woman who writes for The Rebel Yell at UNLV, and I was an asshole, so I’m publicly apologizing. I think I was pulling a Glenn Sacks and slightly irrationally fighting back against what I felt were unnecessary attacks on men. That debate was over why a hormonal male contraceptive has not come to the market, and she made a reasonable argument (and one shared by a female friend of mine in Philly) that part of it was that we make it a woman’s responsibility to take the pill or patch or ring or whatever, and that men aren’t eager to take a pill (or injection or implant) of their own because of the side effects. And that if there was more demand from men, it would be on the market by now. She may very well be right. I contend that men would jump on such a contraceptive, and that it would bring in big money for big pharmaceuticals, but as long as nothing’s on the market we’ll never know. In the meantime, there is a website devoted to promoting research into male contraceptives, and they maintain — as I do — that men are ready for such a pill or shot or whatever to exist. In any case, I picked a fight over her contention that condom rates are decreasing, and while we’re both sort of right — condom use has greatly increased since the early 90s amongst high schoolers, while it’s decreased slightly the last few years — my apologies to Leslie Ventura. Sometimes you gotta step back from hearing yourself ramble on the internet, do some research, and take a chill pill. These were the data we were arguing over, from the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report in June 2008:

The percentage of sexually active students who used a condom at last sexual intercourse increased during 1991–2003 (46.2%–63.0%) and then did not change significantly during 2003–2007 (63.0%–61.5%)

Posted in News and Current Events, Research and Study | 1 Comment »

Applying to colleges? Here’s your guide

Posted by Condomologist on February 26, 2009

Trojan drops its annual Sexual Health Report Card for 2008, looking at how students view their sexual health resources on campus. Take a look and see where your school ranks. Most notably, the study, conducted by Sperling’s Best Places, reveals that students attitudes towards the resources at their schools improved from last year almost across the board (3% ain’t drastic, but it’s something). But how dare they put my alma mater at #35!

Posted in Condom Brands and Styles, Distribution and Availability, Education, News and Current Events, Research and Study | Leave a Comment »