These "Consent Condoms" Take Two People to Open the Package
Created by Argentinian sex toy company Tulipán, these condoms encourage you and your partner to talk openly about consent.
Consent might not be the sexiest of subjects, but when open dialogue isn't encouraged, establishing it between you and your partner can easily fall by the wayside–especially when things are heating up. That's why Argentinian sex toy company Tulipán has created "consent condoms," which require two people to open the package. (Related: "Stealthing" Is Most Definitely Sexual Assault and It's Time the Law Recognized It As Such)
Confused? Don't be-it's actually a pretty simple concept once you see it.
Here's how it works: The condom is tucked inside a small, square box, and you have to press all four corners of the packaging (there are buttons on each side that indicate where to press) at the same time in order to open it.
"This pack is as simple to open as it is to understand that if it does not say yes, it is no," reads the translated text accompanying the video ads. "Consent is the most important thing in sex." (Related: 3 Ways to Protect Yourself from Sexual Assault)
Tulipán may primarily produce sex toys, but the company believes that pleasure and consent go hand-in-hand. "Tulipán has always spoken of safe pleasure, but for this campaign we understood that we had to talk about the most important thing in every sexual relationship: pleasure is possible only if you both give your consent first," a spokesperson for BBDO Argentina, the ad agency that created the design, said in a statement to Adweek. (Related: How to Get More Pleasure Out of Common Sex Positions)
The "consent condom" isn't for sale yet in Argentina; for now, Tulipán is spreading the word on social media and handing out free samples at bars in Buenos Aires, according to The New York Post.
If the idea of a "consent condom" sounds a bit awkward, well, that's the point. Talking about consent is kind of awkward sometimes, especially if you don't want to hurt or reject your partner, says Sherrie Campbell, Ph.D., a licensed counselor, psychologist, and marriage and family therapist.
Consent often gets "lost" in that fear of rejection, she explains. "We'd rather please than stand up for what we really want in the effort not to hurt someone else; meanwhile, we are hurting ourselves," she tells Shape.
Approximately one in five women and one in 71 men will be sexually assaulted at some point in their lives, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. What's more, about half of female victims are assaulted by an intimate partner. A "consent condom" isn't going to change these statistics, but it does represent a step in the right direction. We're talking more about consent these days than ever before, including what those conversations with a sexual partner actually look like. When all is said and done, an open line of communication is the best way to get through any complicated issue. (Related: Sexual Assault Impacts Both Mental and Physical Health, According to a New Study)
"Talking about sex needs to be patient, kind, and understanding, trusting that if our partner deeply loves us, he/she will respect our needs for boundaries," says Dr. Campbell. "No one should want to have sex with someone knowing they are uncomfortable or not ready."