D.C.’s Condom Revolution


I’m reading NBC4, where I learned that the District Department of Health has created a special website called “Rubber Revolution” to encourage safe sex. Available in seven languages, the site prominently offers free condoms and displays condom trivia, too. That’s how I newly know that an average condom can hold four quarts of liquid.

In a city with a 3.2 percent HIV rate — higher than that of West Africa — any effort to promote safe sex is worthwhile. The “Rubber Revolution” website offers useful information on obtaining and using condoms, and on practicing safe sex in general…

By far the weirdest thing on the site is the “What Kind of Condom Are You?” quiz, which like all those loathed but pervasive Facebook quizzes, uses a few superficial questions to lead to an ostensibly whimsical result. Do you like cheeseburgers and fries? You might be a latex condom. Reality TV fans could be flavored condoms. If you like being in charge at work, you’re a magnum.

Despite this misfire, the site has its uses. Free condoms can be obtained from the city through a discreet web form — “mailed in a plain envelope” — or, if you’re less shy, you can just “call 311 and tell the customer service representative that you want to order free condoms.”

NBC’s P.J. Orvetti reports that even if you “are” a flavored or latex condom because of your quiz result, the Department will send you free Magnum-sized prophylactics, which was the only aspect of the program which gave me pause. Poorly-fitting condoms don’t stay on, and that would defeat the noble purpose of a site which is trying to protect D.C. residents from sexually-transmitted diseases.

  • Tres

    Condoms that are uncomfortably small don’t get worn. Imagine wearing a bra that’s a cup size too small. The freshmen (from the link) are are sexual novices. What’s needed is education — if we can teach kids that condoms are important, we can spend another breath telling them that fit is as crucial in preventing condom failure. On one end of the spectrum, slippage; on the other, breakage.