55,000 BARCODED CONDOMS were released by Planned Parenthood in Western Washington this February as a part of National Condom Week. Not to be excluded from the latest barcode check-in trend, the organization jumped on the trendy bandwagon to encourage young people to be proud to suit up and to remove the stigma that condoms make sex less sexy.
When snapped with a smartphone camera, these barcodes direct users to a website called Wheredidyouwearit.com where they can provide an approximate location (no addresses revealed), gender, age, and the details of their hookup.
Couples can share everything about their hook up including the status of their relationship (which ranges from “All about love” to “What relationship?”), why they decided to use a condom this time, and even if the mission was successful (which ranges from “rainbows exploded and mountains trembled” to “things can only improve from here.”)
A Brazilian website called the Condom Tester Program provides a similar outlet for couples to pin the locations of their hookups and even share their favorite sex positions with the world. In 2011, the website hosted a contest for a year of free condoms that sparked the registration of 10,000 users and 3,000 stories.
Planned Parenthood is proud to announce that young people have been checking in from Seattle to Brazil since the first batch of coded condoms was released, and people are logging on to the website to share even without one of the special condoms. The vast majority of check-ins are made by 20-something couples, but 30- and 40-somethings are checking in too.
In reality, there are surely many more people having safe and unsafe sex than there are people logging on to these websites. But it seems that a project to encourage safe sex is also providing an intriguing glimpse into the sexual openness of societies and the range and scope of social media from country to country.
For instance, there’s only one person sharing their safe sex in my hometown out here in suburbia, with about 100x the action going down in the college town of Boulder. Similarly, it looks like pretty much every Israeli in Israel has shared their latest safe sex encounter, while only one couple in Baghdad and Riyadh are bragging about their sexy times.
And if you’re not brazen enough to share your travel sexcapades with the world, now you can “check in” to the edge of the sink in the hostel bathroom or the dark corner of a 16-man dorm to share your romp anonymously. Such feats of strength and agility should be shared with the world.