Monday, July 06, 2015

Book Rant: Just Having a Condom is Not Enough

Guys, I want to tell you the fact that there are less of these rants from me these days is not because I read less or have gone soft.  It is in fact because overall I see less of these things.  Authors, editors, copyeditors, and all the other people who work on making a book both good and accurate have really done a great job.  But...

I read a scene where the do we/don't we/please God let us have a condom scramble occurred.  And one of the partners, after checking wallet and overnight kit then ran out to the car and came back with two condoms.  The other partner, did not say, gee, in your car?  Did you know that condoms work best when kept at room temperature? Otherwise even inside the packaging, the latex or polyurethane can degrade. 

Then, because, no, the discussion of the condom went on, condom purchaser said these had been in the glove compartment for a year.  And that they were "probably" still good even if a lot of the lettering on the packaging had worn off. 

So, yeah.  Condoms expire, not in a year, but that assumes that those condoms were brand spanking new when purchased.  And totally putting to the side for the moment that they had been in the glove compartment an entire year (which yes, I get was intended to prove said partner wasn't a player, which yay, but a non-player who mistreats the condoms is an interesting trade-off.) If the person who brought the condoms jokes that they might not be good, take that package out of their hands and check for yourself. If the lettering and/or expiration date has worn off the package, assume it is not longer good.  (Seriously, we keep expired condoms for demonstrations in our classroom and I have never seen the lettering wear off. Not saying it won't happen.  But I haven't seen it happen to the condoms kept in a cupboard in a temperature controlled classroom.)

I'm not saying you can't have sex without a condom.  Or even spin the wheel with a possibly degraded condom.  But in general, people who do not take the care of the condoms seriously should not be in charge of the condoms.  And if you are going to spin the wheel, you and your partner should do so after a discussion about the risks you are taking.  (Ideally you have had discussions about that even before, since no method(s) are 100 percent effective.)