Mon amour est prafumé!

This was a gag birthday gift from my friend Tasha. She spent several months in Africa earlier this year, and I’m betting she bought these in the Nakumatt grocery store in Kigali. When I was in Rwanda last summer, I had a good laugh at the condom packages in the checkout line displays at the Nakumatt every time I stopped in there. Bleach blond girls with 80’s style shredded acid-wash short shorts, pictures that look like the covers of Harlequin romance novels from the ’90s. And typos galore, which just add to the giggle factor.

In this particular exemplar, we have a pack of 3 strawberry flavoured, coloured, ribbed willy wraps. Check out that couple laughing in the sunset. Mazungu tourists planning on capping off their stay at Lake Kivu with a strawberry-scented roll in the sand? “Comme j’adore les fraises, mon amour.” Love it.

(This brings to mind a funny story about raiding somebody else’s fruit-scented condom stash, but y’all don’t need to know the details. Safe play was had. Strawberry scent during sex is kinda disturbing. End of story.)

But giggles aside, I wonder what birth control is going to look like in the future, even though my fertile days will be long behind me in 2040 (I will not be doing in vitro when I’m getting the seniors’ discount at the Value Village, I can ASSURE you). In current usage, we have a whole array of ways to prevent the making of babies (the Pill, IUDs, injectables like Depo-Provera, spermicides, sponges), but not too many effective ways of preventing the spread of STIs other than the trusty ol’ love glove, as far as I am aware. (Please enlighten me if I am mistaken.)

And in the future? Will spray-on condoms ever take off? Will spermicides (like the current Nonoxynol-9) be modified to also become effective protection against STIs? Will we have some kind of Star Trekish scanner device that zaps viruses in their tracks? Or will we still be unrolling strawberry-flavoured diving suits?



  1. Manu

    Well, I can’t tell you about the future, but I can tell you about the present. In Canada’s iphone appstore, the second top app in the “lifestyle” category is a sex position app. No jokes. Either settled in a relationship or getting a quick fix from a “friend,” can you imagine whipping out an iPhone for support? I don’t know how much confidence that would instill in the partner, but I suspect none.

    And then came the “My Girl’s Day” app. No, this app is not meant to be used for that once a year on that special day when your girl blows the candles and you eat the cake, if you remembered to get her a (descent) gift. And this is not just another “period tracker.” (Lord knows we are getting stupider if such a term can be used in a public realm.) This app helps men keep track of their ladies’ menstrual cycle so that they know (and stay at the bar) when the hormones start doing their thing. It’s incredible how much effort has been put towards avoidance, eh!

    So, what could be the future of contraception? In the short term I foresee smart apps. The apps will be sensitive to context (i.e. company and location) and you’d pull scores of useful data from various online resources. The app could work like this:
    – Context: you traveling east on the B-Line from UBC and your calendar is open for the evening;
    – Alert: “If you’re in the mood you can call XY, he just posted on FB that he’s up for chilling tonight.”
    – Context: You call XY and setup a plan. You decide to get off the B-Line at Heather Str.
    – Alert: “There is a London Drugs across the street, pick up some condoms.”
    – Context: You’re at XY’s place and the devices picks up certain sounds.
    – Alert (Fire Alarm): “Think! Think! Think!”

  2. missteabiscuit

    *sigh* The world of apps is bizarre.

    I’m intrigued by your smart app idea. (Not for me of course, having a husband and all). Seems like we’re almost there between FB Places and Foursquare, all that’s needed is add a “who’s available for nookie” layer and we’re good to go. If I were a single girl, I think I’d be a little creeped out if interested individuals kept “randomly” showing up when I was out and about though. (Assuming there would be interested individuals of course!) I like the condom reminder though… one less excuse for not having them at the required moment!

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