When I was first coming of age, the AIDS crisis was big news, so I was inundated with information about STD prevention and safe sex. In fact, sex ed and safe sex were so closely tied together that I thought the "condom talk" was practically a form of foreplay. When I got to college, it was even worse: there were condoms in my "welcome to school" box, condoms in the candy machine in my residence hall's lobby, and a big bucket of free condoms at the student health center. I quickly became a sort of condom MacGuyver. I learned to make condom water balloons, condom-based slingshots, condom bouquets, and condom-sickles. I even learned how to use them for their intended purpose.
Recently, however, U.S. News and World Report noted that condom usage has drastically dropped among women. According to the Guttmacher Institute, a nonprofit reproductive health organization, "only 30% of women with multiple partners have used condoms in the last month, and only 20% reported 'always' using them over the past year." The reasons for not using condoms include discomfort with discussions about safe sex, trust issues, and shame about sex. Planned Parenthood is attempting to combat this problem with the release of "proper attire" condoms, which are aimed at female consumers.
Of course, my favorite solution is to find a way to make safe sex more economically viable. Luckily, Trojan is offering free condoms.
Bruce Watson is a freelance writer, blogger, and all-around cheapskate.
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