Everything You Have Ever Wanted to Know About Safe Sex: Safe Sex & Pleasure:
Waking up at 5AM for this panel was NO BIGGIE! Right from the start I woke up during this panel, and knew that I was going to have a better day with panels today, I felt it in my bones!
The panel was put together by the Pleasure Project (www.thepleasureproject.org) along with DKT International (a condom corporation) representatives, academics and intellectuals.
Chris Purdy (DKT International) had a slideshow of fun condom ads. He stated how the corporation is using pleasure to sell condoms. They are moving away from fear based messaging and promoting safety as FUN!
Daniel Marun (DKT Brazil) gave some background information on the corporation. (www.dkt.com.br)
- Prudence (the DKT condom brand) started in 1991
- The female condom came out in 1997.
- Colored and Scented (2000)
- New Female (2005)
- Lubes (2006)
- Toys (2007)
- Redesign and Brand relaunch (2008)
- Performance Condoms (2008)
- Color & Taste (2010)
- Polyurethane and Latex Female Condoms (2012)
There has to be a change to make people TRUST condoms, possibly introduce condoms into foreplay. Another crucial point is marketing ORAL SEX as SAFE and SEXY. (see first ad)
Bonus info: DKT was first to put a condom ad on television in Brazil, but it is only allowed to air after 11PM.
DKT was also going to place billboards around DC featuring their "sexy" condom ads, but ran into some controversy with a local church.
Lori A. J. Scott Sheldon (USA): Erotisicing Safe Sex Study
15-24 year olds are the largest age group for HIV transmission. Sheldon promoted targeting risk groups, and one major group that rarely comes up in studies is African American Men who have Sex with Men (MSM)
The question of the study was, "Condoms + Pleasure = Safer Sex?"
The first amount of data collected was based on the question "Why aren't condoms used?"
The responses included: Less sexual pleasure, loss of intimacy, association with disease.
Eroticization included: visuals, instructions, and activities (roleplay)
In conclusion, the study did show that eroticization of condoms and pleasure did increase safer sex practices!
For the future there needs to be more studies with at-risk populations and more details on the amount and type of eroticization described within the studies.
Well there you go! Some research that shows making condoms "cool" increases usage! Let's keep up the good work!
Tsitsi Masvawure (Zimbabwe): South African Girls & Sex Narratives
Masvawure discussed the two narratives that surround young, unmarried, African women. There is either abstinence (if you are a young, unmarried, female you shouldn't be having sex), then there is men forcing sex upon young women.
Literature portrays females as uninterested in sex. There needs to be promotion of women saying "yes" to sex without force, a new narrative.
Through Masvawure's discussions with young women she found that those who are having sex are trying to take and keep control over their sexual experiences.
"We need to let women make their own sexual choices; When, Where, How."
Well said! This is progress and we need to keep up with pushing for women in control of their own sexual and reproductive health.
The panel ended with a personal message from Gary Dowsett (Australia). A quote from him that I enjoyed was, "The Choreography of Sex: Sex is a messy busy." He went on to fill in the message stating how in order to make safe sex work there needs to be ideas that think out of the box and also of the natural body function of people during sex.
Make sense, can't argue there.
Overall, a colorful and intriguing panel! You can't go wrong with making Safe Sex "Sexy" (while there was some debate with the question and answers on what "sexy" actually is, I feel that is more a social change we need to make). I did walk away from the panel thinking, "Hey, I like DKT's message, maybe I should work for a condom company." But... that is just me still trying to figure out my life.
I'll leave you with this fun ad. Stay Safe Everyone!