A South African doctor has developed a device worn inside the vagina that gives quite the surprise to any sexual assailant unlucky enough to encounter it. During an act of forced penetration, the unfortunately but accurately named Rapex attaches itself — via 25 sharp-edged teeth — to a man's uninvited penis and can only be removed by a doctor. You know those metal-spikes at airport exits that shred your tires if you back up over them? Think of Rapex that way!
The device is "inserted with an applicator like a tampon, and removed with the same applicator," according to the Rapex website. It can stay in for up to 24 hours. And it will be "available in various sizes... small, medium and large."
We don't mean to dismiss the very real and disturbing prevalence of sexual assault (some 1.7 million are raped in South Africa every year), but this device raises some interesting issues. First of all, the sizing thing. Are "small, medium and large" the vaginal equivalents of the fashion industry's sizes 2, 8 and 12? Does this mean that vaginas are the new abs? Secondly, what will Christian conservatives make of Rapex? Pills and condoms are no-nos, but would a razor-studded vaginal condom make the cut? (Sorry, we couldn't help ourselves).
Unfortunately, as of now, the Rapex website doesn't address these particular issues — we'll email them and see what they say! — but it does have a few thoughts from inventor Sonnette Ehlers and her colleagues:
- What is your response to the few negative responses to RAPEX? (Question to Sonet Ehlers - inventor) "As with everything in life there will be negative attitudes and I can't be responsible for people who refuse to educate men and feel the device is medieval". "A medieval device for a medieval deed"!
- From what age can this device be worn? Menstruating age, thus 11-12 years of age. [Which begs the question: Can prepubescent girls not be raped? -Ed.]
- Can this be worn during masturbation? No, not at all.
- Is there a similar device for men? Not at this stage.