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I did not ask for a CANDY....

I am going to speak about what needed to be voiced earlier. Where the hell are we leading to in today’s world of excessive commercialisation, including even the essential Condom?

As you walk into a drugstore or a supermarket, it is quite a sight how condom companies are trying to grab the attention span of the already distracted customer of today. There are performance enhancement condoms (dotted, ripped, extra time enduring) ones and then there are the most recent additions- candy flavoured ones.

Available in Fruit flavours like Chocolate, Vanilla, Raspberry, Strawberry, Orange and Vegetables like Aubergine and Broccoli, drugstore and supermarket racks are overloaded with these products. Their confusing marketing and repulsive adverts to attract the younger crowd with more disposable income, has made a complete mess out of the system. It is disgusting to find the lengths these companies would go to sell their mediocre product to an even mediocre audience.

The Flip Side? Lack of Quality and of Awareness. Gone are the days when condoms were sold with a social message aimed towards community service. It has reduced to a mere pleasure enhancing pill in its fully-blown form. The social responsibility a piece of condom holds is virtually forgotten and their manufacturers tend to market them as mere props with candy and vegetable flavours to enhance sales.

I will try and be as factual as possible when I say this. A condom was invented to prevent pregnancy and later found use in prevention of sexually transmitted diseases like HIV. Back in those days, quality checks were in place to make sure the manufactured products adhere to strict parameters of durability and sustainability. Companies were solely focused on the purpose they were manufactured for. In other words, the possibility of the condom rapturing due to pressurized impact were reduced. They were made to go through pressure tests to attain so. There was still no guarantee that they won’t snap eventually, but at least their primary focus was on durability. Nowadays, their focus has shifted to making them edible and treating them with candy flavours. Research has shown this decrease the durability of the latex owing to inclusion of flavouring agents. We are essentially not buying a condom that gives us the assurance that they won’t snap but definitely tastes awesome. Think about it again. Is that what you really want?

When a condom does not function the way it should be, you can get knocked up with a baby or something even more troublesome- a lifelong taboo with venereal diseases. I recently met a guy who has been living with HIV for almost 5 years because many a time the condom snapped and he had no idea why? He agreed to go for the Orange flavour every time he went to the drugstore. Every day babies are dumped in trashcans or aborted as a result of this risky business. Nobody talks about it! Because they like its flavour when in their mouth. Let me remind you. A condom is not meant to taste like chocolate-it is made of latex and supposed to taste like one. Because you want to taste Jell-O when you blow on it does not mean that you expose yourself to diseases or even a baby later. Try and think about your responsibility here. The whole idea of sex is not just fun and frolic; Along with it comes social responsibility and stigma too. So the next time you walk by the fancy condom aisle with all attractive flavours, make sure you check and think if you really want that or a simple plain condom which will do the job justice ?

I cannot force corporates to change their sales strategies. But I can appeal them to concentrate on manufacturing the good old condom without added flavours with the right and justified amounts of latex required for durability. I urge them to supply plain condoms in good stock as well to their suppliers and distributors so that people can decide to be safe or sorry. More often than not, stores do not have the Regular in stock because companies have not provided them with stocks of the same and push for flavoured ones to upsell. Think about your social responsibility before you buy one next time. Be clear in your head-Do you want a Condom or a Candy? Because the former is not meant to be eaten only.

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