Ok, as a man, this is a subject I only know a limited amount about. But what I do know is, it’s a damn shame that our culture has glorified the purchase of condoms by men and made women feel ashamed of doing the same thing.
Men are assumed to have gotten lucky if they find themselves out to purchase condoms, women are looked down upon as “easy” or even “slutty” for purchasing the only device available that ensures they can have sex safely without the risk of getting STDs.
As the founder of a new condom company, Sustain, the challenge of changing the stigma attached to women and condoms, rivals the importance of actually selling this critically important product.
A few months ago I came across a powerfully important story written by Sarah Jayne on the “Changing Condom Culture.” She tells the story of what she found when she asked the women at a party, “Who’s got a condom?”
The answer – no one.
How do we change this dangerous paradigm? We need both education and role models. Lena Dunham, star and creator of Girls, the HBO series, does a wonderful job extolling the virtues of using condoms. But she can’t do it alone. There are a host of amazing organizations from Bedsider http://bedsider.org/ to Planned Parenthood committed to spreading the message – but with 25% of female first year college students acquiring some type of STD, we clearly are not doing enough.