Friday, 23 February 2007

Are you ready for so much pleasure? French condom advertisement.

The Lancet has been running a series called Sexual and Reproductive Health over several months. In the issue 2 December there was an article “Promoting protection and pleasure: amplifying the effectiveness of barriers against sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy”, unfortunately subscription only.

It’s generally accepted that the increased use of condoms is a essential as HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections spread. Rather than stressing the negative aspects of lack of use, health campaigners are changing tack and promoting pleasure in using of male and female condoms - alongside safer sex messages – hoping that this will lead to an increase in use. The perception of a decrease in sexual pleasure was found, in a 14 country study, to be the main barrier against use.

The authors say

Since pursuit of pleasure is one of the main reasons that people have sex, this factor must be addressed when motivating people to use condoms and participate in safer sexual behaviour. Although enjoyment - and even sex itself - has been noticeably absent from much of the dialogue surroundingSTI and the spread of HIV, increasing evidence shows the importance ofcondom promotion that includes a combination of pleasure-based and safer sex messages.

There was a press release from the Pleasure Project to publicise the report. It seems that the efforts are largely aimed at the developing world but not exclusively. More about the Pleasure Project here .

In France there has been a television ad to promote exactly this subject. I can’t imagine it being shown in the UK: even in France it was considered unsuitable to be shown before, I think, 10:30 pm. Not for the faint-hearted and definitely NSFW, but I thought it was very, very good. For the most part you don't need to understand French.

Update: the Manix site no longer shows the ad, but it is on YouTube - Pub Manix. The part where the couple are going down the escalator still makes me collapse with laughter.

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