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In the era of the Me Too Movement, we’re finally having some long-needed nuanced discussions about consent in sexual situations. While it’s making for some progressive and enlightening conversations in a lot of places, some people (and companies) are still missing the mark. Like Argentine sex paraphernalia company Tulipán who this week released a “consent condom” that requires four hands (presumably two from each person engaging in the sex act) to open the packaging.

 

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En el sexo vale todo solo si se respeta una regla: el consentimiento de ambos para hacerlo. #PlacerConsentido

A post shared by Tulipán Argentina (@tulipan_argentina) on

The idea is that since the box requires two sets of hands, it will initiate a conversation about consent beforehand and ensure that both parties want the intimacy to progress. The marketing for the product includes phrases like “This Pack is as simple to open as it is to understand that if you don’t say yes, it’s No” and “Only If there is consent, is there pleasure. If He doesn’t tell you YES, it’s NO.”

They’re using the right messaging on the surface, but there are so many ways for this to go wrong, starting with throwing out the condom altogether. Adding an extra barrier between the people having sex and the condom just makes it more likely they’ll ditch the condom, thereby making the situation (whether consensual or non-consensual) more dangerous.

Women online were quick to point this out.

The message of the campaign itself is also being called out for its reductive and rather sinister undertone. As pointed out by Independent writer Holly Baxter, the fact that the condom seems to require consent from both parties to be opened, it’s an insurance policy that one party (usually the woman) can’t claim they were sexually assaulted. That’s a dangerous idea that both implies giving consent once at the beginning of sex is all that’s required and that opening this condom proves there was consent.

Sorry, but opening a box together doesn’t equal consent. Consent also needs to be given throughout a sexual experience. It needs to be enthusiastic and ongoing — it’s so much more than the act of opening a condom.

If anything, this new product — which could just be for PR purposes anyway — has created an opportunity to have this conversation. And we need to keep having these nuanced discussions about consent (just preferably not while simultaneously making it more difficult to have safe sex).