Who would have thought, in this day and age, that our national conversation on sex -- and for that matter, women's reproductive rights -- could be so stunted that it's enough to make 2012 feel downright feudal? Need proof? How about the recent U.S. congressional hearing on birth control whose panel included absolutely no women.
Call me a feminist -- no really, I prefer you do -- but when the opposition gives a thumbs down to health insurance covering contraceptives for women and a thumbs up to Viagra being covered, forgive me if I say that kind of logic sounds a little...cockeyed.
So here's a story to remind us all that, yes indeed, it is actually the 21st Century: Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest (PPGNW) recently distributed 55,000 condoms with QR codes that track, through their website, WhereDidYouWearIt.com, when and where people have had sex.
"Condoms are an essential tool in preventing unintended pregnancy and stopping the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV,” PPGNW New Media Coordinator, Nathan Engebretson, said in a press release. “We hope the site promotes discussions within relationships about condoms and helps to remove perceived stigmas that some people may have about condom use. "Where Did You Wear It" attempts to create some fun around making responsible decisions."
Distributed around community colleges and universities, the condom's bar code can be scanned by smart phones that connect users to the website and allows them to upload their location, along with general details and anonymous reviews of their sexual experience. Users can rate their rolls in the hay on a scale from "things can only improve from here" to "ah-maz-ing -- rainbows exploded and mountains trembled."
PPGNW compares the application to Foursquare and Facebook places, saying their site allows people to anonymously "check-in" their safe sexual activity.
"Planned Parenthood wants users to be part of the solution and to be smart, sexy and responsible -- not just during National Condom Week -- but every week," added Engebretson.