An Argentinian sex toy company called Tulipán is planning to launch a consent condom later this year, which needs four hands to unpack. According to a report in The Indian Express, to unpack the condom, all four corners of the condom packaging are required to be pressed simultaneously. The idea behind this product is to promote an environment of consent and equal participation in decision-making. In light of the global #MeToo movement, the conversation around sex has now finally shifted to female agency and consent. But can such a complex issue be solved with a mere condom which needs four hands, any four hands to open?

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • An Argentinian sex toy company has created a condom which needs four hands to unpack.
  • The idea is to create an environment of consent and equal participation in decision making.
  • But can a complex issue like consent be merely solved by a condom which needs two sets of hands to open?
  • Will a person aiming to violate a women’s consent opt to use this product?

Can a complex issue such consent be solved with a mere condom which needs four hands, any four hands to open?

Consent condom is not a bad idea, it does promote equal participation of both the partners in decision making. One can see it is as a final act of consenting to sex, without having to spell it out. Also, protection during sexual intercourse is as much a woman’s responsibility as that of a man. But there are varying opinions here too. Men often think of condoms as inconvenient, and thus urge women to use contraceptive pills. On the other hand, when the couple does consent to using condoms as a measure of protection, the responsibility of everything in between buying it and disposing of majorly falls on men. Consent condoms give female partners an opportunity to participate.

However, to say that it encourages the environment of consent seems like stretching it a bit too far. Do we seriously expect that people with a tendency to violate women’s consent will buy this product? And what if the woman is under influence? Can’t the predator goad her into opening the pack? Also, a box of this product contains four condoms. Thus is it possible for someone to forgo taking consent the second, third or fourth time? Then there is the issue of stealthing- the act of removing a condom during intercourse without the consent or knowledge of your partner, which this product does nothing to solve.

Do we seriously expect that people with a tendency to violate women’s consent will buy this product?

Consent is as simple as yes and no, but it still has many complicating aspects. Can we solve it by merely putting a condom on shelves which needs four hands to open? No. It will need more effort than this. Encouraging discussion on consent, male entitlement, stereotyping and female objectification would be a start. Men shouldn’t have to opt for consensual sex just because the packet of condom won’t open without their partner’s help and unprotected sex would put them at risk of sexually transmitted diseases.

At the end of the day, despite its heart being in the right place, this product is nothing but a precautionary measure. The actual solution is to internalise the concept of consent. To condition men to respect women’s agency. To encourage women to voice a no loudly and not be afraid of the consequences. Also, to make the world a safer place, so that no woman has to live in fear of violation of her dignity, because no one cares to stand up for her rights.

I’ll give consent condoms some points for at least thinking outside the box and trying to be a part of the conversation. Without any conversation, we will never be able to solve this issue. And if a box of condoms can keep the conversation open, then so be it.

Picture Credit : Indian Express/ Tulipan

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Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own

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