Female condoms have long been a source of derision in the western world, likened by one particularly eloquent journalist to a jellyfish, a windsock, a fire hose, a colostomy bag, a pair of gumboots a plastic bag and a bizarre cross between a test tube and a rubber glove. I think that when we see one we could all conjure up a million different adjectives to describe, what to me looks like a poncho designed for a leprechaun. My weird uncle, who coincidentally had a strange and unnatural fascination for collecting pigs with oversized phallus, reminded me to never judge a pig by its snout. I would have normally expected such sage advice to come from my friendly neighborhood librarian, but Uncle Steve was full of those drowned out clichés mentioned a million times before. In this case however, there is some truth to his words. The female condom – as opposed to its more gender neutral cousin, garners a lot of unfair criticism, if their existence is even acknowledged. I recently asked a number of friends about their opinions on female condoms. One thought that the tube was open at both ends and couldn’t fathom the mechanics of it; one didn’t know it existed and another thought my question was most inappropriate. That’ll teach me for asking my mother about contraception.
Despite the bad press surrounding Female Condoms, they are actually pretty great. And here’s why:
1. Power Play
The use of a female condom is heavily reliant on the female. While this is not such an issue in monogamous one partner relationships, a female condom allows added security for a woman, especially when dating men who may not wish to use a male condom.
2. No Detours
For those times you want or need to be spontaneous, the female condom is ready when you are. Say goodbye to those awkward moments fumbling for the condom, watching his once proud and turgid member deflate as you stumble opening the package with lubricated hands. Female condoms are not only an instrument of safety but also one of convenience. Female condoms will also quickly become far easier to apply thanks to innovations like this.
3. Climax Highway
Female condoms, when used with lubricant have been reported to be far more pleasurable than a male condom. Why haven’t men the world over donned party hats set up a disco ball and started high fiving each other yet?
4. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
Naysayers of female condoms often complain about the less than attractive appearance of a female condom when ready for use. However, this criticism is more psychological as anything else. Male condoms aren’t sexy. Sliding a lubricated piece of latex down a penis isn’t exactly the hottest thing in the world. Female condoms can be fun and different and open up the bedroom for a plethora of sexual experimentation. Female condoms are more than a device for safe sex, they can be an integral part of it.
5. No Hassle
For those who are allergic to latex can rest easy as Female Condoms are made out of Synthetic Nitrile the same material which is used to make medical gloves. This has the added bonus of being completely silent during use, one of the main complaints of the poorly launched and marketed FC1.
All of that said, there are some criticisms of Female Condoms that are perfectly legitimate. There is no silver bullet to contraception, it’s important that we all keep an open mind to different methods. Female Condoms can and will play an important role in the minimizing the spread of STI’s.
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