Creative Condom Wrappers Bring a Pop Culture Twist to Sexual Assault Awareness

The prophylactics make sure we all know that when it comes to consent, there aren't any 'blurred lines.'
Apr 19, 2014· 1 MIN READ
Culture and education editor Liz Dwyer has written about race, parenting, and social justice for several national publications. She was previously education editor at Good.

Last year it seemed impossible to escape Robin Thicke cooing “You know you want it” over and over again. Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” was everywhere—even Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel got caught on camera shaking his bum to the megahit. But as Force: Upsetting Rape Culture codirector Rebecca Nagle writes, “We need to see pop culture examples of healthy sexuality and respecting boundaries as much as ‘blurred lines.’ ”

That’s why Force, a collective of creative, feminist-positive activists working to make getting clear permission before sex the norm, has teamed up with custom prophylactic packager Say It With a Condom. Through their line of Consent Condoms they’re out to bring a trendy spin to upending rape culture.

Rape culture relies on the belief that women somehow ask to be sexually assaulted. Ladies say no, but they’re just being, as Thicke sang, “a good girl” who's too shy to admit she wants sex. Sexual assault prevention activists want to promote the truth: If a woman doesn’t explicitly give her consent, nothing else she says, does, or wears is a green light for contact.

The condoms come wrapped in packaging printed with messages like “My dress does not mean yes” and “Consent is hot, assault is not.” Force hopes that just as using condoms to prevent STIs is seen as normal—ahem, given youth rates of HIV infection, folks might want to get even more in the habit of wrapping it up—pausing to explicitly ask if your partner consents to sexual contact can also become standard.

Need another reason to buy the novelty prophylactics? Say It With a Condom plans to donate 25 percent of all profits to Force to help it with its work and provide “a public healing space for survivors of rape and abuse.”