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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Safer Sex & Birth Control » Condomversaries for National Condom Week

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Author Topic: Condomversaries for National Condom Week
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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So, it's National Condom Week this week, which made me realize I'm having a big condomversary this year: it's our (me and condoms) 25th.

Given, there have been some times in my life I've gone without when I have been in long-term, fluid-bonded relationships post-safer sex, and in same-sex relationships, they've only been used to cover toys with. But for most of my sexual life, with only a handful of years without, condoms and I have been together, joined at the hip (as it were), and doing very well together.

On this Condomversary, I'd like to thank condoms for being there for me, both to prevent pregnancy as well as STIs. Condoms have allowed me to have a very long, active and happy sex life with minimal worry about my health, they've been a great help in screening who was and who wasn't a good partner for me to be with, they've kept me healthy and for all they offer me and my partners, they've posed little strain to my pocketbook and not had any negative side effects.

Are you celebrating a condomversary?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Ecofem
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Yea for condoms!! While I can't celebrate 25 years like Heather, I'm a huge fan. I've used them now for 10 years but I can't remember not knowing about condoms, which may sound weird but they were typical dinner conversations growing up (along with stuff like STIs, pornography, prostitution, etc.) There were a few years when I went to a park that was a Girl Scout day camp by day and anonymous sex spot by night, so we had to be careful. I remember back when I was in elementary school and my dad was a leader, explaining to some older high school GS counselors "to be aware of and careful around prophylactics" and the girls just giggling to death, which I just didn't understand because it was serious and nothing to be immature or embarrassed about! Unfortunately, I guess they didn't grow up with the same exposure I had.

As an RA at college, I had condoms out in a basket in front of my dorm room. I remember our great coordinator learning about and then recalling all the spermicidal condoms for the same reason why we don't recommend them here. [Smile] People used the condoms, for sure, but the "Kiss of Mint" flavor just wasn't so popular... until they kept going like hotcakes and I had to get more... I had my explanation when a resident-friend decorated my room with them! I was still finding those greenie weenies all over my room in the strangest places the rest of the semester but I *thought* I had gotten them all before I went home. I then went abroad for a year and it wasn't until I came back that I found a little SnackPack ziploc bag full of them: turns out my mom had gone into my toiletries to, you know, help out by neatly organizing them. [Razz] I explained the story to her later and she was cool, of course, but I can only imagine what she was thinking when she found them! (Like I was so into using Kiss of Mint ALL the time that I needed them (and Kiss of Mint only!) ALL over for easy access.)

All that said, I pretty much had always thought sex = condom. I'll admit that I thought the only time I'd ever go without (but with other birth control) was when I was married, which is to say something like NEVER because marriage wasn't really on my radar. I've changed my mind about when to go without; I realize there are some fun reasons to go without... with extensive testing and all... I really can't say what a huge deal it is to me. I've always considered taking care of my sexual health ultra important, and it's so cool that condoms are SO effective, so easy to use, so cheap: pretty much perfect! You definitely get a LOT of bang for your buck, if you'll please excuse my pun. It's kind of amazing that they didn't have them earlier or at least I have trouble imagining a time without them!

And just for fun: I like seeing condom commercials in/from different countries: I guess I have an informal (and small currently) international condom collection! And I love the Midwest Teen Sex Show's clip on condoms, my favorite of all their great shows. [Smile]

[ 02-16-2010, 12:04 PM: Message edited by: Ecofem ]

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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quote:
It's kind of amazing that they didn't have them earlier or at least I have trouble imagining a time without them!
Well, they have been around for a mighty long time, they just weren't always like the condoms we have now.

We can clearly document condom use and construction back to the 1500's, and it's very likely we had them well before then, we're just not able to document earlier use as well.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Ecofem
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Yes, I've seen contraceptive devices throughout the ages on display at various museums over the years; some of the old stuff seems really ick compared to the options these days. And the 1500s actually seem pretty recent to me when I think about how long humans have been around. [Smile] But, as you said, something similar was very likely around earlier.

I do think it's sad that they carried so much stigma previous (like specifically 40s? 50s?) in the US and like how US soldiers didn't receive the same education about condoms and STI prevent during WWII (not that education prevented soldiers on all sides from raping civilians but that's getting off-topic. [Frown] )

I had not realized that fewer women these days are procuring condoms than in the 80s. What's happening?! (Oh yeah, abstinence only education...) I hope those condom carrying rates go up again soon. [Smile]

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Know what one of the real pissers re: condom stigma is as a feminist? Some of that stigma started a bit earlier, around the turn of the 20th century (late 1900's) with the help of feminists at the time. [Frown]

Their beef was usually valid, mind: the issue was that they wanted to try and get methods developed which did not rely on male partners, since so often women wound up with male partners refusing to cooperate with contraception. (Less valid when it was about seeing condoms as giving males the ability to have sex outside of marriage.) But it's still a bummer, no matter how you slice it.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Ecofem
Activist
Member # 13388

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Aww, that's really unfortunate. It sounds like the more recent legal issue with crack cocaine versus powder cocaine where there were perhaps good intentions but unexpectedly horrible results that stuck around. [Frown]

To mention condoms again, any new developments or news about the female condom? (I googled it and found this link about using them for anal sex, interesting!)

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