make sure she really means "yes"...
February 25, 2002 10:11 AM   Subscribe

make sure she really means "yes"... consent condoms are an interesting twist on using condoms in a causal sex environment. the man hands a package to his partner containing a condom and a card which takes her fingerprints and lets her tear off the date for which the condom is to be used. one's to wonder if all casual sex will be conducted like this in the future.
posted by boogah (33 comments total)

Wow. This product is to be based on a pretty cynical view of date rape accusations.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 10:27 AM on February 25, 2002

Why doesn't it take *both* partner's fingerprints? Why is the woman the only one leaving her fingerprints and time/date? Is this product solely meant to "protect" men by law? It's almost like this product automatically assumes she's the prey, and the guy is the predator.

And in their never-ending quest to protect everyone from rape (or just men from rape accusations, I can't tell), did it ever occur to the company that a violent person intent on committing rape could force a victim to go through all the procedures at gun- or knife-point? It seems quite likely an enterprising criminal could use this to defend themselves against a crime they've committed.

What's next? A condom that come with a set of legal consent forms and a notary public stored in a bag?
posted by mathowie at 10:38 AM on February 25, 2002

Not to sound insensitive, but who would be in the mood still after doing all of this? I say it's easier to just avoid going home with random people.
posted by lnicole at 10:39 AM on February 25, 2002

What's to stop a rapist from forcing the girl's fingers onto the card? Or, to stop a girl from saying "he forced me to open it?" I don't really see the point of this.
posted by witchstone at 10:40 AM on February 25, 2002

The "Extra Large" model includes a prenuptual agreement.

The "Excita" comes with raised print.
posted by groundhog at 10:54 AM on February 25, 2002

*passionate kissing, mumbled words of encouragement, clothes being ripped off at an alarming rate*

"Wait, hold on... here, open this please."

"Why me? Why can't you open it? Oh, alright."

*packet is opened*

"Hey, what's with this weird material? Are you kinky or something? Let's just get it on."

"C'mon, just open it. Yeah, give that to me... uh-huh... now tear today's date."

"Jeez! Hold on, lemme find my watch... where'd you throw it? What is today? Wait, it's after midnight, do you mean the real date, or today's date in spirit?"

"Look, just tear the date, ok?! C'mon, do you want to have sex or not?"

"Well, if it's going to be this much trouble, maybe I don't!"

"Fine. Goodbye!"

*door slams*
posted by starvingartist at 10:55 AM on February 25, 2002

Yeah, the whole thing is flawed. It seems like an easy way for people to get out of rape charges to me. The page itself acknowledges this:

"This pragmatic product removes doubt, unless it is forcibly used, in which case we would encourage that the full penalty of the law should be paid for a most despicable crime."

Sorry, but if the use of this product as a defense is legal, it is yet another way to cast doubt on a woman's word in court.
posted by xyzzy at 10:56 AM on February 25, 2002

Were I a woman I think I'd find this product so incredibly insulting that I'd just leave. The entire premise (see number 5, which seems to be the only thing that sets it apart from a standard condom) seems to be that the woman is going to cry date rape wolf.

Why not include a breathalizer that proves she wasn't under the influence? A blood test that shows she didn;t have roofies courding through her system? An array of psych tests to show that she isn't under duress? And, just in case, a grey-clad lawyer lurking in the corner with a DV camera? That way you really have her hemmed in.
posted by emptyage at 11:07 AM on February 25, 2002

I want to add that I'm so incredibly glad that I'm married and never have to deal with modern dating...
posted by emptyage at 11:08 AM on February 25, 2002

Ugh. This makes me sick.

Not only is the product ridiculous, but it's being marketed in a really sleazy way. It's like they're saying, "If you're a guy and you're not a rapist, or you're a girl and you don't want to be raped, then you simply must buy our product."

starvingartist's scene above is very close to what went through my mind as I was looking at the site.
posted by bingo at 11:13 AM on February 25, 2002

Wasn't there a Woody Allen movie where before having sex, all the participants had their lawyers hammer out the particulars?

My client requires at least 10 minutes of foreplay. OK, well my client is willing to do Oral, so can we lower that FP requirement to say 2 mintues? Five? Deal, now about this call the next day...
posted by willnot at 11:15 AM on February 25, 2002

I usually get a date fairly drunk before sex andthis would make things complicated, like asking her to drive to a motel.
Might help prostitutes do more business though.
posted by Postroad at 11:48 AM on February 25, 2002

just like shinkwrap licenses in software . . . you open the package and you consent to being, well, you know . . .
posted by donovan at 11:49 AM on February 25, 2002 [1 favorite]

There is nothing here. It is all marketing.

And not very good at that. The issue about forcing fingerprints is notable enough.. and I'm sure there are more ways than just pure force to get the fingerprints unwillingly.

Aside from that, if you wanted fingerprints, you can get them on the foil of a regular condom without any special work.

The only real assurance would be to videotape every single sexual encounter and safe store them. No tape, no sex. Hmm. but then that wouldn't work because without a tape, you would automatically be guilty of rape just from a false claim of sex.

All this shows me is the virtual impossibility to prevent rape from happening, and people's focus on protecting themselves from accusation as opposed to preventing rape from happing in the first place.
posted by rich at 11:53 AM on February 25, 2002

"entire premise ... seems to be that the woman is going to cry date rape wolf"

Has that ever happened? Some people think so.

Do guys fear the total destruction of their personal & professional lives based on a false accusation? Yes

Can you understand why some guys might be worried about it? I can.

Do I think this will do anything to alleviate any of this? Not in the least.
posted by Irontom at 11:53 AM on February 25, 2002

I can certainly understand why some guys might be worried about false date rape charges, just like I can see why some women might be worried about date rape.

But it seems to me that this particular product isn't going to really do aything to alleviate either situation.
posted by emptyage at 12:21 PM on February 25, 2002

One of the things that I find frustrating about this is that Web sites are filled with pundits arguing about how women should take steps to avoid being raped but proposing that men take obvious steps to avoid sexual situations that might be a problem (such as not having sex with drunk people you just met) all of a sudden cries of unfairness are raised.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 12:57 PM on February 25, 2002

Of course men should protect themselves from questionable sex situations. A court case, even if vindicated, can ruin a man's life. I am just as angry at women who falsely accuse as I am at men who rape.
posted by xyzzy at 1:10 PM on February 25, 2002

cf. the drink coaster that detects date-rape drugs.
posted by xowie at 1:42 PM on February 25, 2002

"Condoms are for sailors."
posted by uftheory at 2:09 PM on February 25, 2002

"I keep detailed notes and information about the hundreds of men I've slept with organized by date here in my Trapper-Keeper."

Ever get the feeling that 90% of all sex acts really shouldn't occur? Like, those people should not be doing that, because they are dumbasses? I'm all for sex and everything, but like anything else it is lesser in and of itself than most people think.
posted by Settle at 2:31 PM on February 25, 2002

I guess my opinion is informed by the fact that so far I haven't seen a single "false accusation" case that did not involve gross stupidity on the part of the man involved. That's not to say that there are not malicious "false accusations" but most of the "false accusation" cases seem to be along the lines of, "I met this chick, and I think it was consensual but I don't know because we were both so smashed at the time..."
posted by KirkJobSluder at 2:57 PM on February 25, 2002

I agree with Bingo...for something that's being touted as 'rape protection' it sure is being marketed as a sleazy product. This product markets itself either to an audience who already assumes that women will cry 'date rape' after sex (exploiting a stupid, frat-bot stereotype) or it markets itself on the premise that men are innate rapists (an absurd notion on every front) and thus it serves to protect them from some invariable force in modern society, in much the same way that say, a tampon, a pregnancy test, or a regular condom would protect someone from the invariable forces of modern society. Either way it's ridiculous and an insult to men and women everywhere.

This will never illiminate rape - only trivialise it by supposing that something as serious as rape could be thwarted by a throw-away piece of rubber stating when an act of consent took place. Even worse, what an insult and a travesty for a rape victim who's fingerprints would wind up on the package....not only will he/she have to deal with the pain of thier attack, but the courts will also turn their backs on them...leaving a person victimized twice. Fuck that.
posted by tiger yang at 3:39 PM on February 25, 2002

Shut up and press your thumb against the wrapper, bitch
posted by Settle at 3:52 PM on February 25, 2002

While you all seem to have a handle on the problem with this product, none have offered a reasonable alternative. I suggest videotaping all your sexual encounters. Not foolproof however.
posted by pekar wood at 5:14 PM on February 25, 2002

Why do I get the feeling this is what started marriage in the first place? The real reason to insist on a "covenant" between potential sex partners and the church was to certify that both parties wanted to have sex with each other without any legal or ethical issues further down the line. It has backfired, but it was probably the first attempt to resolve this whole problem.

I mean hell if you're gonna go through this much trouble to have sex, just freakin' get married.
posted by ZachsMind at 8:03 PM on February 25, 2002

Xyzzy, you may be "just as angry at women who make false charges as you are at men who rape," but I would point out that a false accusation is a Class II misdemeanor, while rape is a felony.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:14 PM on February 25, 2002

Videotaping sexual encounters? All right if it's consensual, I guess, but otherwise, I think of that scene from "Flatliners" It's just wrong to film people you have sex with without their knowing.

Very few women falsely report rape cases. Far fewer than in any other area of the law. Far fewer than the actual cases of rape that go unreported and unrecorded. This company is trying to profit from a misconception, and at the same time is perpetrating it. Pretty low stuff.

Those posters who pointed out that this method doesn't protect anybody from anything are right on the money. In the same way, I'm not particularly looking forward to the day that auto banks are controlled by the retina or fingerprint of the person using the teller machine.

BTW is this site a joke? I have to ask.
posted by lucien at 10:05 PM on February 25, 2002

Y'know, if a guy handed me one of these things, not only would I leave, but I'd worry about the next person he picks up. It just seems to me that somebody that prepared for the possibility of a rape charge is either completely incompetent with other human beings or already planning to commit a crime and pre-emptively covering his ass. It'd be like sticking around for a second date with somebody who casually mentions they have a violent temper and a possessive streak- not somebody with whom I want to be alone or naked.
posted by headspace at 10:11 PM on February 25, 2002

headspace - that is quite a comparison ... it seems as though many people in this thread are quick to jump to such conclusions. Both this product and the reactions to it are indicative of serious problems in the current state of sexual politics.

Have you ever known anyone who was falsely accused of date rape, or have you ever thought seriously about how it must feel for a person to have to live with the burden of such an accusation? Even if he's vindicated in court, there are ALWAYS going to be people who are convinced that he's guilty. For many people, the mere accusation is evidence enough. These "feminists" (both male and female) naively believe that no woman would ever exploit the horror of rape for personal gain, revenge, or to save face. While false accusations are overwhelmingly the exception to the rule, it only takes one to permanently brand a man as an animal.

Just as the vast majority of women are not so evil as to falsely accuse a man of date rape, the vast majority of men who fear such accusations are not "potential rapists" just because they want to protect themselves from the disasterous consequences of running into the exception. At the very worst, most users of this product are guilty of a severe lack of tact.

The monsters out there who would drug a woman or force themselves on an unwilling partner have made sex complex and frightening for women, but they've also fucked it up for men as well. we have to live down their actions, walk on eggshells because the danger has made everyone (justifiably) hypersensitive to boundaries and consent. when two human beings are alone in a room, both parties are putting a great amount of trust in the other. just because men can't know the horrors of rape from a woman's perspective does not mean that we are untouched by the realities of rape in the world. everyone loses.

this might not be the right way for men to protect themselves, but don't fault them for wanting such protection. god knows we don't fault you for wanting to stay safe.
posted by hipstertrash at 3:27 AM on February 26, 2002 [1 favorite]

everyone loses

I couldn't agree more with your post, hipstertrash.

That said, I have basically sworn off sex because I couldn't be bothered doing it any more with people I didn't know and couldn't trust. People that I did know let me down badly to the point where I could no longer work out what was consensual sex and at what stage I was just "asking for it". Okay, that sounds overly dramatic and I don't know how to describe it here without going into details. But let's just say that I still wouldn't go near anyone who had one of these condoms - because it would just highlight the lack of trust in and knowledge of each other.

I don't suggest for a moment that others give up sex because of a lack of trust (hell, sex without commitment can be pretty damned enjoyable, from what I remember), but that's why I've opted out and also why I would run a mile if I found myself with a guy who thought they were a good idea.
posted by different at 3:57 AM on February 26, 2002

At least the majority seem to agree that a condom is a good idea. I remember when this wasn't the case and whipping out a condom evoked the same responses I'm seeing here to this product.

"You want to use a what? You sayin I got a diseese? You sayin you got one?

was kidding abt vidcams btw, but what strange times we live in.

posted by pekar wood at 6:17 AM on February 26, 2002

No, hipstertrash, I haven't known anyone who was falsely accused of rape, but I do know lots of people, including myself, who have been raped (and to clarify, mine wasn't a date rape situation.) That didn't preclude me from later having casual sex, but it made me a lot more cautious about the strangers from whom I'd take candy, if you will.

I don't think all men are potential rapists, and I don't think all women are sterling innocents who'd never accuse someone falsely, but what you got up there was my opinion and how I'd react in that situation. Somebody whips out a prenuptial agreement, as far as I'm concerned, they're planning for a divorce. Somebody whips out a consent condom, they're planning on being an insensitive lover or worse.

There are plenty of people to boff in this world, I'd rather have sex with somebody who's adult enough to look me in the eye and ask me if this is what I want rather than someone who's resorting to novelty condoms to do it for them. Do you like me, yes or no, circle one went out with 7th grade. If you're not grown enough to talk about having sex, you don't have any business having sex- at least not with me.
posted by headspace at 8:30 AM on February 26, 2002

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