The Connotation of Carrying
Imagine yourself on a date. You’re having a great time and your date goes to pull something out of their bag, and out fall some condoms. There you both are, staring at the condoms. What’s your move? What would you think? Would you say anything?
We recently saw a very similar question on OkCupid. The suggested answers were less than amusing. Ahem, where’s the “give the person a high five for being responsible” option?
Think about it. An accident prone person may keep bandages in multiple drawers around the house, just in case. An athlete may keep a protein bar in their gym bag, just in case. A woman who experiences menstruation may carry a few tampons or panty liners in her oversized bag of wonders, just in case. These are just a few of those things you'd rather have and not need than need and not have. But, when it comes to condoms, we are often made to feel ashamed for our choice to carry them.
Carrying condoms does NOT mean you are looking for or expecting sex.
Whether it's a first, third, twelfth or fiftieth date, bringing a condom along doesn't necessarily mean anyone expects to get lucky.
There have even been cases in which condoms were used as evidence of intent to arrest people under suspicion of sex work, and advocates have worked for years to help stop this practice. The truth is: Carrying condoms is not a crime, and we should encourage—rather than criminalize and stigmatize—safer sex and healthy sexuality.
Carrying condoms does NOT imply consent, either. On that note, the only thing that implies consent is the word “yes.” We reiterate, only yes means yes. (We will be talking about consent more in future blog posts.)
Carrying condoms does NOT dictate who you are as a person.
It’s about time we stop making assumptions about who people are by what they have on hand. Being prepared does not make a person a “slut” or a “player.” Let’s ignore the negative and positive association of those terms for a second and just say: maybe we shouldn’t go around shaming people for being sexual beings.
Carrying condoms simply means that you are prepared should an opportunity that requires one arise. Nothing more.
Preparedness is a quality often deemed commendable. A hiring manager is likely to hire a candidate who is described as such. Plenty of people would recruit a teammate who shows skill in anticipating a play. Even the scouts tout the line “always be prepared.” Why, then, if preparedness is such an admirable quality in a potential hire or teammate, is this not the case in a potential sexual partner?
Seriously, we are asking. We want to hear your ideas for putting an end to stigmas and taboos regarding the connotation of carrying. Tweet your ideas to @ONEcondoms_MY or use #ONEsexpositive and let us know your thoughts.
And if you notice someone with condoms, don’t shame them for being awesome.