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Harare, ZW
Monday, October 22, 2018

Do women still find it embarrassing to carry around condoms?

And do men think differently of women who do?

Durex recently released results from their 2017 global sex survey and the findings are perhaps unsurprisingly concerning.

Sadly, we still live in a society in which women are often shamed for being sexually empowered, and the survey results indicate that our attitudes to safe sex aren’t shifting quickly enough.

And here in South Africa, of the 16 000 women polled in our She Says survey last year, more than 50% revealed they’re unhappy with their sex lives.

That’s right.

Here’s what else was revealed.

The results also show that body positivity, race and sex have a direct correlation.

But returning to the topic of safe sex and why women don’t yet feel empowered enough to buy and carry around condoms, we ran a poll on our Twitter profile to find out a bit more and were pleasantly surprised.

62% said yes. Power to us women!

Durex’s sex survey however, shed a different and significant light onto the practice of safe sex around the world. Over 33 000 adults from 42 countries participated and 505 of these were from South Africa.

When asked whether they carry around condoms or feel a sense of embarrassment for doing so, this is what women had to say:

I used to purchase my own condoms and I don’t feel embarrassed about it – everyone has sex. I bought them mostly out of a fear of STIs. My mum taught me that it’s a lot safer to carry my own condoms in case the guy didn’t have any and in a lot of cases, the guy didn’t have, and I did.

Lisa*, always has her own condoms.

I used to be embarrassed back when I was 18 years old but about four years later I got over that fear. I use them for one-night-stands or people I’m not really dating but bapse [have casual sex with]. I believe women should carry our own condoms because sometimes men intentionally don’t buy condoms hoping to have raw sex.

Although not embarrassed by it, Thuli*, on the other hand, says she doesn’t buy or carry around condoms and is selective about when it should be used.

I don’t use condoms unless I’m cheating. If it is a factor during sex, it’s because of my fear of HIV and STIs. I’m not afraid of falling pregnant.

Devena* also purchases condoms and says she never fails to use it since she fell pregnant. Like some of the women above, she doesn’t fully trust men when it comes to safe sex.

When I slept with multiple partners I always made sure to have condoms on me because I always thought he might not have and things might go somewhere I didn’t agree to. Can’t always trust these men.

*Names have been changed. – W24

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