DON'T BE SILLY -
PROTECT YOUR WILLY!
By Skye Huntington
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February is National Condom Month and according to the Center for Disease Control, over 19 million new cases of sexually transmitted infections occur in just the U.S. each year. Maybe that’s why the Olympics handed out thousands upon thousands of condoms. When London’s Mayor Boris Johnson told reporters that he wanted the Olympics to “inspire a generation, not create a generation,” many of the athletes geared up for fun. In Italy, much has been made of Federica Pellegrini, who won a gold medal in the 200-meter freestyle at the Beijing 2008 games, and her boyfriend Filippo Magnini, who said they would avoid sex before Pellegrini’s London races. Pellegrini, who is 23, and once appeared painted in gold and naked on the cover of Vogue, replied: “Abstinence?! Are you mad?!”
During the 2012 Olympics in London, a record 150,000 free condoms were passed out, reports the Daily Mail. That’s 15 for each of the 10,500 Olympians. In Seoul 1988, 8,500 condoms were given out, and in Barcelona 1992, it jumped to 50,000. During the 2000 Sydney Olympics, more than 70,000 condoms were gone in a week’s time and they had to order 20,000 more. A book written by a former British competitor, “The Secret Olympics”, tells about the partying and sex that occurs by the athletes in the Olympic Village. Hope Solo, the soccer star who has won the gold metal twice, said: “There’s a lot of sex going on, and it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so you want to build memories, whether it’s sexual, partying, or on the field. The Olympic Village becomes one big sex-fest, as the athletes are all huddled together for two weeks. I’ve seen people having sex right out in the open – on the grass, between buildings, people getting down and dirty.”
Durex paid $1.6 billion for the rights to be the supplier of condoms for the London Olympics, and provided 150,000 free condoms. Sponsorship deals are promoted at the Games, and organizers keep a tight control to keep non-sponsors from intruding on free publicity. But alas, a bucket of unofficial condoms made its way into the athletes’ village without official consent. Caroline Buchanan, the Australian BMX cyclist tweeted a photograph of the bucket and the sign: “Kangaroos Condoms, for the gland downunder,” with a picture of a boxing kangaroo. “Ha-ha, the rumors are true. Olympic Village is a hot bed of activity,” she tweeted. Most people thought the prank was played by the Australian team, but the world’s top-selling brand of condoms got the advertisement they were looking for when more than 10,000 Olympic athletes were capping their willies with the Durex brand during the bed-hopping sex-fest.
Does sex before sport diminish the physical strength, power and endurance of an athlete? The ancient Greeks believed sex should be avoided before sports, as abstinence enhances performance. For years, coaches have preached to their athletes the practice of abstaining from sex for a night
or even weeks before a big event. According to reports, Muhammad Ali went without sex for six weeks before a big fight. Experts say that “no sex before sport” is a myth and several studies have tried to prove their point. Ian Shrier, a professor at McGill University in Canada, says: “Those who claim it decreases performance usually say it is because it decreases focus, but having sex has not been found to reduce physical strength, power or endurance.” The effect of sex would depend on how often, for how long, and in what way. “If it’s ‘up all night swinging from the rafters’ type sex we’re talking about, then obviously the athlete is not going to be getting enough sleep or rest, and their mind isn’t on the job. So that might well be more the issue than a short period of sex,” says Professor Milton.
Every year, more than 5 billion condoms are sold worldwide. The United States ranks sixth in purchases, while the Chinese are the heaviest users, followed by the British. Europeans favor textures, while menthol and peppermint are favored by the Brazilians. There are so many different colors, textures, flavors, shapes and sizes of condoms, that finding the right one for you or your partner can become a fun challenge. Mint, strawberry, grape, banana, chocolate, blueberry and vanilla are a few flavors to choose from. Mmm, mmmm, good!
Condoms have been around longer than you would have thought. An illustration from around 1,000 BC shows Egyptians wearing linen condom-like sheaths. Painted on the wall of a cave in France are illustrations of a man using a condom during sexual intercourse. The oldest condoms found date back to 1640 and were discovered in the foundations of Dudley Castle in England. They were made of animal gut and were probably used to avoid sexually transmitted infections. Intestines and bladders of animals were used in the beginning and then the Dutch started making them from fine leather in the late 15th century. In 1843, rubber condoms started being mass-produced, and by 1924, the condom was the most common method of birth control. The 1930’s brought about the widespread use of latex condoms. Government training films urged soldiers: “Don’t forget—put it on before you put it in,” during World War II. When the 1950’s rolled around, 42% of Americans used condoms for birth control and STD prevention. Then the sexual revolution of the 1960’s hit and condom use declined dramatically as more and more youths practiced free love and the invention of the pill became available. The 1970’s and ‘80’s brought about soaring rates of STD’s, and HIV (the virus that causes AIDS) was identified. The Surgeon General said that besides abstinence, the most effective way to protect against HIV was to use a latex condom each and every time you have sex. With the correct and constant use of condoms, the transmission of HIV/AIDS is reduced by about 85%, as opposed to not using a condom. The 1990’s again brought condoms to the forefront, but this time with colors, ribbing, studs, flavors, glow-in-the-dark, and large condoms, as well as the first polyurethane condom.
Students from the University of California-Berkeley originally started National Condom Week, and it has grown to the extent that February, (widely considered “the month of love”) has become National Condom Month. It began as a way to educate young adults about serious risks involved with unprotected sex, including AIDS. Humor is used to help provide education, and slogans throughout the years have included: “Don’t be silly, protect your willy”; (the title of which I borrowed for this article), “When in doubt, shroud your spout”; and “It will be sweeter if you wrap your peter”.
In 2005, around 10.4 billion condoms were used worldwide. That’s roughly 29 million used a day! It is estimated that by 2015, 18 billion condoms will be needed. LifeStyles Condoms estimates that 87 condoms are used each second in the U.S. on Valentine’s Day, which is known as National Condom Day. Trojan brand condoms are the #1 brand in America, and seem to have the best selection available for different tastes and likes. Durex Performax condoms are one of the world’s best sellers, as they contain a special lubricant inside.
This November, Los Angeles County voters approved a measure that now requires adult film performers to wear condoms while filming sex scenes. The AIDS Healthcare Foundation believes this will protect the performers, as well as the public, from sexually transmitting infections. Chadwick Brooks, the co-founder of Millennial League, an organization dedicated to promoting HIV/AIDS awareness, had this to say about the bill being approved: “I don’t think the government has the right to control our bodies. My body, my choice. But guess what? All jobs have rules and responsibilities. Firemen must wear uniforms that help protect them from fumes. Nurses wear gloves and sometimes masks. Businesses don’t allow smoking indoors, and porn stars in Los Angeles County, for now, have to start wearing condoms. You can’t liken health regulations to the fight for equality. Why shouldn’t the adult film industry be subject to health requirements?” But statistics show that adult performers are the most tested work force in the nation. Since 2004, there have been no documented cases of HIV transmission on an adult entertainment set, and that’s due to required testing at least every 28 days.
Steven Hirsch, founder and co-chairman of leading adult studio Vivid Entertainment, says Los Angeles voters were duped to pass Measure B. “First of all, it’s not just condoms that are now mandatory on adult sets. Actors may now be required to wear a virtual hazmat suit: goggles, gloves, lab coats, dental dams and facial protective gear. Movie sets will look more like a hospital ER. This is sex, not surgery!” Hirsch continued, “And they misled voters when they argued that the cost of inspections would be paid for by permit fees charged to the studios before shooting a sex scene, because adult films simply won’t be shot in Los Angeles County anymore. Virtually every major adult studio is actively planning their out-of-town shooting strategy.”
A group of adult industry leaders announced their intent to file a lawsuit soon against Los Angeles County over Measure B. Industry attorneys Paul Cambria of Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria; H. Louis Sirkin of Santen Hughes; and Bob Corn-Revere of Davis Wright Tremaine will represent the industry in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. The freedom in question is whether the County has jurisdiction to regulate adult production on performer health and safety, as these issues would typically fall under CalOSHA and thus State Regulation. Additionally, the attorneys plan to challenge the law on constitutional grounds.
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Diane Duke, CEO for the Free Speech Coalition (the national trade organization of the adult entertainment industry and one of the main coordinators of the litigation) explains: “This law will waste taxpayer dollars and compromise the effective performer health protocols already in place. We are making a broad appeal for donations: to consumers, to protect the content they enjoy; to performers, to protect their right to perform without the absurd regulation that will require them to wear a virtual hazmat suit; to producers and directors who face jail time for any noncompliance of this ill-conceived law; and finally to anyone who opposes government overreach and government waste. AHF has threatened to replicate this effort nationwide—we have to stop them in their tracks.” Donations
Custom condoms have never been more exciting. Create your own design or even customize condoms with your business logo at GraphicArmor.com
(100% of which will go to the ligitation) can be sent to: FSC-Measure B Litigation, P.O. Box 10480, Canoga Park, CA 91309 or online at: www.FreeSpeechCoalition.com/donate.
STD’s affect people of all ages, backgrounds, and from all walks of life. The young people who are between the ages of 15-24 make up half of the 19 million new cases each year. These young people have five times the reported rate of chlamydia, four times the rate of gonorrhea, and three times the rate of syphilis as the total population. One in four new sexually transmitted infections occur in teenagers, and by age 25, it is estimated that 1 in 2 sexually active people will get an STD. 50% of all HIV infections are now occurring among people under the age of 25, and 63% of those infections are among women. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that more than 1.1 million people in the United States are living with HIV infection, and at least 200,000 don’t know it. Most people infected have no symptoms and go undetected until they get tested. Although condoms are not 100% effective against STD’s, correct condom use greatly reduces the risk.
Excuses abound for not wanting to wear a condom. A frequent excuse is they won’t fit. Condoms can stretch to over 3 feet—no excuse there about it not fitting. They can also hold about 12 liters of water or 3 bags of potatoes before bursting. Yes, there might be a little less sensation and they might feel somewhat uncomfortable, but herpes is even less comfortable. Condoms can reduce male sensitivity, but this can also have a positive effect, since it leads to increased duration of the sexual act. Using a water-based lubricant on the inside and outside of the condom allows the condom to move more freely around the penis and therefore feels more natural. Lack of good lubrication is the #1 reason for condom failure. The Trojan Charged Condom has intensified lubricant, plus a deep ribbed design for maximum stimulation, and the Trojan Ecstasy fits tight at the base, but flares throughout the body of the condom. There are also variety packs available from LifeStyles, like the new Pleasure Collection that offers an assortment to choose from.
Now, more than ever, our need to rely on condoms continues to increase, with some of the most common STI’s (chlamydia and gonorrhea) becoming resistant to almost every medical weapon used on them. After sulfonamides lost the fight in the 1940s; penicillins and tetracyclines becoming resistant in the ‘70s and ‘80s; and fluoroquinolones proving to be ineffective by 2007, the last hopeful treatment has been a class of antibiotics known as cephalosporins, and now even that drug has shown resistance in North America in sizable numbers. The first resistance to the oral cephalosporin antibiotic “cefixime” appeared in Japan years ago, only to spread to Europe and now North America, with no proven alternative treatment available currently. Researchers in Toronto found that about one in 15 infections fail to respond to this last form of treatment. Robert Kirkaldy, of the Division of STD Prevention at the CDC notes, that “the antibiotic pipeline is running dry.”
The CDC’s (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) most recent recommendations advise to no longer prescribe a single antibiotic treatment, rather an injection of ceftriaxone, along with a week-long course of oral azithromycin or doxycycline. Other recommendations include all patients to seek risk reduction counseling and follow-up tests performed three months after treatment. Kirkaldy warns, “Patients with persistent or recurrent symptoms shortly after treatment should be retested for gonorrhea by culture.”