Thursday, August 25, 2005
Femidom: Sex Aid of Choice
An informative write-up by Suicide Girls (dont judge the book by its cover or name as in this case). It talks about the growing popularity of Femidom, the female condom in developing countries.

Here it is..

Remember the femidom, the female condom? The ill fated means of contraception that died a slow death almost as soon as it was introduced, becoming the butt of many jokes:

"Fun with a windsock" is how 30-year-old marketing executive Louise Sandler recalls her first and only Femidom experience, in 1993, at university. "They were being given out in the student union. My boyfriend was up for it because it meant he wouldn't have to wear a condom. But once was enough; first off, I couldn't get it in. The instructions said, 'Squeeze inner ring together and slide to cover cervix.' I mean, what sort of woman has the capacity to slide her entire hand inside herself - and in front of her boyfriend?"

However, outside of the West the femidom was unheard of until recently when health workers introduced it as a female controlled form of contraception. It is now seen as an exciting extra: a sex toy - and is readily advertised as such:

By the late 90s, the product was in the hands of an American firm, the Female Health Company (FHC), and business was so bleak that they were on the verge of throwing in the towel. Then Mary Ann Leeper, the firm's president, took the first of two phonecalls that would change everything. "It was a woman called Anna, from Harlem, New York," recalls Leeper. "She said: 'I just called to thank you for doing this. If I asked the man I live with to wear a male condom, he'd beat me up and throw me out. Me and my sisters, we use this and we thank you greatly.' "

The second call came several months later, from a woman called Daisy at the Ministry of Health in Zimbabwe. "She told me that, on her desk, she had a petition signed by 30,000 women wanting us to bring the female condom to Zimbabwe," says Leeper. Sniggering at the Femidom, it seemed, was a privilege only for those lucky enough to have a choice about whether or not to sleep with a man who wouldn't wear protection. FHC subsequently struck a deal with the World Heath Organisation to sell the female condom at a discount to education programmes in more than 80 developing countries, mainly those hit hardest by Aids.

Its reception was unprecedented. "It's very hard to reverse negative preconceptions," says Anne Philpott, who worked for FHC, introducing the female condom into sexual health programmes for three years until last February. "But in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where I was working with female sex workers, their clients hadn't heard of a female condom before. So there were no preconceptions, and rather than saying, 'This is a condom, this is going to protect you,' [the women] marketed it as a sex toy, allowing the client to insert it - a real thrill, because seeing a vagina up close, or touching one, is a huge taboo in Sri Lanka."

The design held a further unexpected thrill, as the plastic ring inside rubs against the tip of the penis during intercourse, intensifying the man's orgasm. Subsequently, the prostitutes started charging more for sex with a female condom. Suddenly, FHC had tapped into a whole new approach to marketing.

In Senegal, the condoms are sold with noisy "bine bine" beads; an erotic accessory that women wear around their hips. The rustle of the polyurethane during sex is now associated with the clicking of the beads - and so, a turn-on. Senegalese women have also cleverly suggested that the large size of the condom reflects that of their partner's penis.

In Zimbabwe, where 930,000 of the 1,600,000 adults infected with HIV are women, a new word - kaytec-yenza - has entered the vernacular to describe the "tickle" created by the inner ring rubbing against the penis. Women too are gaining extra pleasure from the condom. "In India," says Philpott, "women told me they had become so excited inserting the condom that they didn't want to have sex. I couldn't work it out - were they doing it wrong, hurting themselves? Then I realised they'd been having orgasms just from putting the condom in. Probably because they'd never touched themselves before."

In the developing world, the Female Health Company's strategy is to raise the quantity of female condoms sold from 10m to around 200m - staggering when you consider that 6-9bn male condoms were bought and distributed last year in the developing world.

That's one great success story! I hope the FHC gets the funding it needs to supply those extra femidoms.

(Written by: SomeOneUK)
posted at 8/25/2005 03:28:00 PM | comments (7) | permalink

7 comments:

  1. Ah, you gotta love men... as long as you convince them "Oh, honey, it's because you're SO big!" they're amenable to anything....

    But seriously, that's a great story!
     — Blogger Olinda, at 8/25/2005 09:15:00 PM 

  2. nice story.

    Must say u read some funky site....suicide girls :) what a site !!

    anyways...the female condom does solve a lot of problems, but sadly the solution is more physical...no pun intended. What is needed is a change in ideology.

    Men need to understand the implications of unsafe sex.

    Here is a pic of what it really looks like. I reserve comment.
     — Anonymous arZan, at 8/26/2005 02:58:00 AM 

  3. Gee, Arzan, in that photo it looks better than other pics I've seen.

    Actually, it looks like a vaguely Art Deco vase...
     — Blogger Olinda, at 8/26/2005 09:24:00 AM 

  4. Saks, what was that site about ??? Was shocked to find that the firewall blocked it out.
     — Blogger Jayan, at 8/26/2005 10:17:00 AM 

  5. Olinda - You are cant be more right..somehow SIZE does matter to them. As for the Femidom pic...well it does look like a designer vase.

    Arzan - You are correct..the ideology needs to be changed..BUT thats really not happening especially in our country. Its sad the even today AIDS pateients have to commit suicide cause of the ill treatmeant they receive from the Society.

    Jayan - the site is fine...worked well on my PC. Anywaz its a girly site..so it is not of much use for ya.
     — Blogger Sakshi, at 8/26/2005 11:05:00 AM 

  6. ps...Arzan...i donot read suicide girls..its just i stumbled upon the site on google...and the article is quite informative.
     — Blogger Sakshi, at 8/27/2005 12:03:00 PM 

  7. arzan, take a look at href="http://www.femidom.pl">femidom and see what the femidom looks like, the picuter you give us is of an other female condom, but it is not the femidom.
     — Anonymous Anonymous, at 10/14/2007 09:53:00 PM 

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