all things condoms

Archive for June, 2009

AIDS-Condom-Genital-Shield Craziness

Posted by Condomologist on June 24, 2009

It’s hard to take a guy seriously who seems to have very little grasp on some of the basics of sexually transmitted infections, but Doug Sturlingh (see pic below) claims to have 2 patents that will make anyone willing to buy them “trillions in earnings.” So says the inventor of the bizarrely named AIDS-Condom-Gential-Shield — why the hyphens I have no clue — which involves a 2-part combination condom and molded scrotum covering that connect to one another and provide protection against skin-to-skin based infections like Herpes, Syphilis and HPV. The invention, like the Sensis and TheyFit condoms, is not a bad idea, but it’s hard to get on board with products that seem more the brainchild of money-hungry entrepeneurs than sexual health gurus — though I guess that’s how most products come to fruition. Seems like a gimmick to me, but at least reading an at-times incoherent interview with Sturlingh   provided me with some amusement. Before he’s going to sell any patents, someone needs to explain to him the difference between HIV and AIDS and the fact that his invention is no more likely to prevent against HIV infection than the thousands of other condoms on the market.



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Condoms Fit for your Penis

Posted by Condomologist on June 23, 2009

I was a bit skeptical when I first came across TheyFit condoms, precisely because — as you can see — they have a website with no content, and a website in 2009 with no content doesn’t engender much trust. But the condom-selling site Condomania is promoting them, sizing kit and all, which is promising and worth mentioning. From what I hear, there’s almost more of a concern finding condoms for smaller penises than larger ones, so it’s a bit upsetting that they don’t appear to have their smallest length in stock. Still, something to keep an eye out for.

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Go Kinsey, it’s your birthday!

Posted by Condomologist on June 19, 2009

The Kinsey Institute  at Indiana University has been awarded an NIH grant to study condom use, in particular why heterosexual men choose not to wear condoms or take them off mid-coitus due to lack of sensation. Much needed research, look forward to the results.

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Don’t use for sex!

Posted by Condomologist on June 17, 2009

But definitely use the Chain Condom on your bike. I could use one these for my upcoming cross-country move to Minnesnowta.

chain condom

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Lifestyles Lubes it Up!

Posted by Condomologist on June 17, 2009

I can’t get enough of lube. It’s not talked about enough, not used enough, not explored enough, and damn it people, why do we keep telling people that you can use only water-based lube with condoms? Silicone lube is mighty good for many folks. AHHH!!! So how refreshing to stroll into a condom shop on South St. in Philly — I’ll miss Philadelphia a lot when I leave in 3 weeks — and find Lifestyles and their new X2 condom, lubed on the inside and outside. As usual, I’m no condom tester, but I do like my lube, and one point I’m always stuck on is making sure guys (and ladies) know they can lube up their penis before putting a condom on — or just put a few drops in the tip of the condom. (I’m a fan of lubing up the penis.) It makes sex feel better, it’s causing less friction, it feels better…oh, said that already. So I’m excited by this new development, hope you all are too.

lifestyles x2

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Sensis condom testers wanted!

Posted by Condomologist on June 16, 2009

As I wrote about awhile back, there’s a new condom on the market called Sensis, which promotes its QuickStrips technology as a foolproof way to put on a condom without the fumbling and bumbling associated with other condoms. I’ll admit that putting on a condom is not the easiest of tasks, so while I mocked it a bit in my previous post, I’m willing to give these condoms their props if the people respond. If you’ve used one already, please give me your feedback. And if you want a free sample, I’ll happily send you the one I just received in the mail. Just shoot me an email. I’ll leave you with the write-up from the insert that came along with my sample.

Because of the new Quickstrips technology, condom application is quick and secure every time. The tabs mean no more fumbling to figure out which side is correct — a true benefit since 30% of the time users initially put condoms on incorrectly and then have to flip it, at which point it’s contaminated. Given your hands don’t even have to touch the condom you avoid nicks and breaks plus the lubricant stays on the condom — no messy hands. As one user said, “This is great because even drunk in the dark, I can get this on!” Like we said, “Quick, easy, safe, secure.”

I’ll simply point out — especially in the wake of the withdrawal effectiveness debate — that studies have shown that pre-cum does not contain sperm, despite what most people in the sex ed world will tell you, unless the sperm comes from a previous ejaculation where the man has not cleared his urethra by urinating. So the chances that putting a condom on upside down, then quickly realizing the error and putting it on correctly, will lead to pregnancy is slim-to-none. But like I said, if folks want Quickstrips for ease of use, then let them have Quickstrips.

Posted in Condom Brands and Styles, Distribution and Availability, Education, Marketing, Research and Study, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Trash Talk with Condom Ads

Posted by Condomologist on June 13, 2009

My partner in crime on the rap stage, dude named TWise living down in Mexico, put me on to this hilarious ad from condom company Tulipan, some pre-match intimidation prior to Argentina facing off against Brazil in soccer.

Posted in Condom Art, Condom Brands and Styles, Humour, Marketing, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Condoms for Camels

Posted by Condomologist on June 11, 2009

Courtesy of Comic’s Voice:

Two old ladies were outside their nursing home, having a smoke when it started to rain. One of the ladies pulled out a condom, cut off the end, put it over her cigarette and continued smoking.

Lady 1: What’s that?

Lady 2: A condom. This way my cigarette doesn’t get wet.

Lady 1: Where did you get it?

Lady 2: You can get them at any drugstore.

The next day Lady 1 hobbles herself into the local drugstore and announces to the pharmacist that she wants a box of condoms. The guy looks at her kind of strangely (she is, after all, over 80 years of age), but politely asks what brand she prefers.

Lady 1: It doesn’t matter as long as it fits a Camel.

Posted in Condom Brands and Styles, Humour | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Kids are so resourceful

Posted by Condomologist on June 11, 2009

Soccer balls made out of condoms and rags in Mozambique. These are kids close to my heart.

condom soccer ball

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Withdrawal as effective as condoms. Let’s be honest.

Posted by Condomologist on June 9, 2009

While I try to stay focused on condoms on the blog, the fact is that such a focus stems from my larger goal of promoting safer, more responsible sex. And that means providing a forum in which I discuss a means of contraception that can prevent both pregnancy and STDs. But occasionally the word “condom” keeps popping up amidst discussion of some other related topic — in this case the act of withdrawal, or “pulling out”, prior to ejaculation as a means to prevent pregnancy — and I can’t ignore it. The blogosphere is rife with debate and commentary since a piece came out in the June issue of the journal Contraception outlining data which shows withdrawal to be comparably effective to condoms: Couples will get pregnant 18% of the time with typical use of withdrawal, compared to 17% of condom users.  Props to my hometown Philadelphia Inquirer not just for summarizing the issue fairly well, but for highlighting the hypocrisy and dangerous views of some of the sex-postive sexual educator crowd. 

Science isn’t perfect here, as the data collection methods leave something to be desired in terms of providing greater insight and detail into how exclusively withdrawal is used, how exactly it’s used, how often it’s even reported as a method of contraception…but I won’t get into details, as the larger point stands that withdrawal is not only a decent option, but it’s fairly commonly used. Check out the blog from one of the co-authors of the study for a good synopsis of the debate. My goal is simply to bring awareness to the issue and make the point that we need to start addressing all forms of contraception openly and honestly and then believe that users — young people included — have the ability to make an informed decision. That includes information on condoms, of course, and it definitely includes information on abstinence and monogamy.

Still, we see and hear too much from professionals in my field espousing their own personal biases and essentially committing the same sin as the abstinence-only crowd by denying their students the truth — something they vehemently claim to support and practice. Case in point, from the above Philadelphia Inquirer article:

“I’m certainly not outraged by the article, but I’m concerned about how it could be interpreted,” said Dayle Steinberg, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania. “The whole thing about withdrawal is that it’s hard to control yourself when you’re in the middle of the act. For someone who has no access to anything else, sure, it’s better than nothing.”

The “better than nothing” rap is one of several misconceptions about withdrawal, Jones and her coauthors say.

Really, the CEO of Planned Parenthood, for which I volunteer as an educator, is on record as saying withdrawal is simply “better than nothing?” She’s not arguing with the data — although, to be clear, Planned Parenthood hasn’t yet updated their website to account for this story, which summarizes data which has been around for quite some time — but rather arguing that men simply aren’t that good at controlling themselves. Well most men I know do know when they’re about to ejaculate, but regardless, the point here is that the numbers speak for themselves.

But Steinberg is not alone, and her company includes other very prominent sex educators:

“For plenty of young couples using withdrawal, it doesn’t take long to get to a time when a male partner decides to go without withdrawing on purpose – often without consulting his partner,” wrote Heather Corinna, a Seattle sex educator who runs, a popular sex advice Web site.

Yikes! All the comprehensive sex ed crowd is running for cover, quick to rationalize their years of avoiding the withdrawal discussion with stories of irresponsible, incompetent men who can’t be counted on to make withdrawal effective. It’s fair to mention the downsides of a contraceptive method, as Steinberg sort of does, and as we all do in our programming. But if we’ve reached the point where we’re essentially telling women that men can’t be trusted and that their intentions are selfish — and, as such, implying that men have little role to play in the safer sex process — then we’re a long way from doing our job.

Part of our failure to find common ground with the abstinence-only crowd is a failure to address the need to address the cultural values and sexual mores of young people that contribute to astronomical teen pregnancy rates in this country. And one step in that huge process of achieving meaningful dialogue involves accepting young people’s sexuality while encouraging them to engage in meaningful relationships in which they can communicate with and trust their partners. Achieving progress on that front means continuing on with our goal of making sexuality less taboo, but in the process treating teens like human beings capable of making difficult decisions; that might (and often should) mean postponing sexual intercourse until they’ve known their partner for some time, and then it will follow that, if and when they engage in vaginal intercourse, they’re able to discuss condoms, rings, patches, IUDs, pills, and — yes! — withdrawal. But as long as men are pushed to the side and dismissed as pointless in the reproductive health world, and as long as we condescendingly treat young people as not worthy of science-based information, then we have a long, long way to go.

Posted in Activism, Communication, Education, News and Current Events | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »