“Programmes which better reflect the reasons people have sex – including for pleasure – see better health outcomes”. This is the message from the BBC’s latest article ‘Good sex can be safer sex’.
In the article it is suggested that promoting the use of condoms is primarily about safer sex and the message of pleasurable sex is still not fully addressed. Whilst we broadly agree, we feel the article could have delved further into this idea of barrier devices facilitating access to pleasure– and not just focus on condoms. Let’s not forget that there are other barrier devices out there which do not get adequate promotion especially in the West.
When it comes to sex, that feeling of being in control intensifies other emotions like desire and excitement. It’s also much easier to let go and enjoy yourself when you know you are safe. For many women, safe sex practiced by the use of condoms means that their safety isn’t always entirely in their own hands.
Way back in the 1990s, the world saw the Femidom – the first female condom. Despite usage being almost non existent in the UK, overseas it’s a very different story. In countries such as Sri Lanka, Senegal and Zimbabwe. In those countries the Femidom is marketed as a sex toy to great effect and has given rise to increased sales. The Femidom also provides women with a sense of empowerment and control over how they have sex, which other methods of barrier contraception do not.
Back in the Western World, conversations, marketing campaigns and products built around sex are becoming less of a taboo. The pleasure and mental wellbeing through regular sex or masturbation can be beneficial to a person’s heath and emotional state of mind and this is finally being publicly recognised. This recognition will hopefully lead to reforms in sex education, especially in schools. If young people grow up to feel confident and knowledgeable about the paradigms between good sex and safe sex, that’s surely going to be a positive step forward.
And in the case of the Femidom, it seems evident that there’s actually much we can learn from the attitudes in the developing world towards promoting the use of safe sex products for both males and females as fun sex as well.