Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Captain Condom: Cover Me, I'm Goin' In!

Sexually transmitted diseaseImage via WikipediaValentine's Day and STI's just go together.

Well, generally the one follows the other, because many people feel the pressure to fall in love over this time of year.  Who wants to be alone over Valentine's Day? 

Not that love is a mistake, but rushing into a romantic and/or sexual relationship... Yep.  Regrets.  And although the poster on the left blamed women (of course) for spreading VD (once upon a time, they called Sexually Transmitted Infections - Venereal Disease, or VD), plenty of men who "look clean" are bringing more than a good time to the party, too.

As a writer of erotica and romance, one of the questions we ask ourselves is: How do we write about condom use and keep it sexy?

First let's debunk the idea that irresponsible sex =  more enjoyable sex.  Even leaving pregnancy and the life-threatening possibility of AIDS out of the equation (and nobody knows when the next AIDS-like disease is going to appear), ain't nothin' sexy about being treated for gonorrhea, chlamydia, or even crabs.  Responsible sex = hotter sex, because smart partners who are willing to protect us and themselves are much sexier partners.  It falls upon contemporary romance and erotica writers to either write condom use into their scenes in a sexy way, or provide a plausible reason why condom use is unnecessary (vampires don't carry or catch STI's).

I was surprised, however, upon watching this video clip, to discover several facts about condoms I did not know.  Like how to test the package, pre-opening, for leaks or punctures.  That there's one side designed to open easily. Or that the tear-it-open-with-teeth move can damage the poor li'l thing. Yikes!

Were you surprised as well?  Did you know about the sombrero vs. baby bottle?

What about the female condom?  (Yes, Virginia, there is such a thing.)  Despite appearing large enough to serve as a rain protector for a Smartcar, there are many advantages to using one.  Here's the how-to's:

For those sensitive to latex, or women whose partners balk at wearing a standard condom, the female condom is well worth trying.  There's also the advantage of being able to put them in hours ahead of time, so if we happen to be sluts the super-spontaneous type, inclined to say, "Just this once won't matter," then it really won't.

For a writer, condom use can also increase the drama or humor.  The horror of that busted condom moment (less likely if one avoids the errors pointed out, above), or that always awkward "fishing trip" post-coitus for a condom that has "disappeared."

Plus now, there's even designer condoms on the horizon.  Would you be more likely to become involved with a big spender who flashed one of these?  (That's a Louis Vuitton prototype; unlike me, you probably have oodles of things around the house with that brand on it, and recognized it right away.)  Notice the embossing on the actual condom surface itself, for added enjoyment.  Estimated price, should these go into production, $68 a pop, er, condom.

Did you learn something from the clips, above?
Have you ever used a female condom - and did it squeak?
Ever had to "go fishing"?

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