Come May, many drugstores will be carrying a new brand of sustainable male condoms that is being marketed specifically towards a female audience. The prophylactic — called Sustain — is made from non-toxic latex that has been produced on a fair-trade/fair-wage rubber plantation in India, a fact that company founders hope will appeal to women's socially and environmentally conscious hearts.
From ABC News:
Condoms may have macho names like Trojan and Magnum, but some women are now taking the reins, hoping to appeal to women by making more environmentally friendly condoms that purport to serve the greater good.
Sustainability is great and all (really!), but let's not pretend like condoms didn't already have SOME kind of built-in appeal for women. I mean, they (generally) help keep your sex partner from accidentally putting a baby or sex disease in you, which is something a lot of us tend to appreciate.
Or maybe not, according to Sustain co-founder Meika Hollender, who says, "While women are buying condoms, they are not doing it very happily. Even though we are a big part of the market, we don't use them when having sex."
It's true. We're actually using them to make balloon animals when we're bored.
What Meika and her cofounder and father Jeffrey Hollender hope to do is tap into the condom market by making women feel less awkward about buying sexual protection in public.
"Part of the challenge we are facing is the huge discomfort women feel buying condoms," Jeffrey told ABC News. "If a man buys them, he's having sex and he's cool. Women have a negative attitude."
Which is why they're using Sustain's environmentally friendliness as a way to draw in women who will feel better and more confident about their purchase if they're buying a sustainable product.
It all sounds fine (sustainability = good! sex positivity = good!), but there's still something a little condescending about the whole thing, like the implication that women need an emotional or ethical reason to buy condoms rather than simply buying them for their intended purpose. That said, if the next product they develop is a condom that's covered in photos of rescue dogs, plays Sarah McLachlan's "Angel" when in use and automatically donates $1 to the ASPCA anytime a person comes, I will be AMAZED.
Sorry if I seem cranky — I think I'm just annoyed with ABC News' insistence on putting the word "crunchy" in the same sentence as the word "condom" several times in their article.
Image via Getty.