The good news is that 2/3 of the world’s population has easy access to condoms and here “easy access” is defined as taking less than two hours per month to acquire and less than 1% of their monthly income to purchase. The bad news is that everyone still hates condoms.
The porn industry made this point to no avail leading up to yesterday in Los Angeles, arguing that overseas buyers would not purchase pornography that included condoms and further that this was a supposed “free market” and no one in their market had suggested they just needed to see more condoms in adult films. Some even suggested that seeing a little mangled up, translucent balloon full of fun and sin might even turn some people off (see all people off) and that the industries required 30-day STD check was enough, but the Los Angeles city council disagreed, voting 9-1 that condoms needed to be the new, extremely awkward lead of adult films.
On that note, let’s talk condoms. Specifically, male, latex condoms. They don’t always work when operated by an idiot. That is to say that if you have nothing to contribute to society and have not been employed for the last four years, they may fail. For everyone else, when used correctly (and this means using them from start to finish) barring abstinence, they are the most effective prevention for transmission of STD’s and prevent unwanted pregnancies 98% of the time. On average, they are seven and a half inches long and two inches wide (Magnums are eight inches long, two and a half inches wide), are destroyed by oil (lubricants, lotion, olive oil, etc.) and expire at a far slower rate than the human self-esteem. That is to say, if it’s been four to five years since your last sexual encounter, it’s time to throw away the condoms.
Female condoms are available in the United States and, to some extent, world-wide but continue to be unpopular. They average between $2.00-$4.00 per condom and when used correctly will prevent pregnancies 95% of the time and reduce the rate of STD transmission. The advantage to using female condoms is that the female further dictates her protection and does not need an erection for insertion, but the disadvantages of the female condom are that they are visible during sex, loud, messy and there appears to be a general lack of knowledge about them.
Despite the porn industries groans of dis-pleasure and assertions that the industry and the ADULTS that participate in it don’t need to be babysat or protected from themselves, Slate.com ran this 2010 article, suggesting that they do. First, they assert that there have been outbreaks in the industry which is a problem because an adult film star can be active between infection and detection- which obviously means they can jeopardize others. Secondly, the article alludes to the fact that the adult industry may take protection about as seriously as teenage boys do. That is to say, the practice may be to state that they take protection seriously while the reality is something else. And, herein lies the real crux of the argument: how can we as a nation continuously advocate the importance of protection and then not even back it up with legislation in the most visible portrayals of sex? If we want people using condoms, we need to demonstrate their use.
Lest I be criticized for saying earlier that everyone still hates condoms, I assure you that while gross and smelly, they are also magical as so adequately depicted here.