Feministy Shit

Lack of Feministy Shit due to new job completely devouring my free time… I would complain, but I’m actually in love with what I do. I will be trying to bulk out Feministy Shit more now I’m settling in.
Have a great day!
Fia x

Part 9: #SafeSexLeggings

I’m part of an discussions community online (what can I say, I’m a sharkie), which I was casually scrolling through on a Sunday morning when a rather bright picture caught my eye… It was of multicoloured condoms. On fabric. The fabric was made into leggings.

So, facts first:

  • These leggings are made by a company called Poprageous. Poprageous print graphics and images onto shiny nylon material in the form of leggings, dresses, swimming costumes, etc.
  • Poprageous have some rather controversial pieces in the collections they release. This article will be treating the ‘condom leggings’ as an individual discussion.
  • Yeah, condom leggings.

So I had a look at Poprageous’ instagram where the photo had been taken from. People had some colourful opinions on the leggings. From an aesthetic point of view they were marmite, I guess, loved or hated. Then another side to the story emerged. Some people were disgusted by the leggings, not because of the colours (which, to be honest, are a little on the bright side for me), but instead because of the condoms.

#safesexleggings

People were of the impression that leggings with condoms on them are somewhat disgusting or, more specifically that they are inappropriate – particularly in environments where children are around. My take on the leggings? THEY ARE AWESOME. Why are they awesome? Let me explain…

1) Normalising.

“What’s that on your leggings?… Is that… Condoms?!”
“Yup.”
“Fair enough.”

Condoms should not be a taboo! For many people sex is a part of everyday life and, by extension, so are condoms. Condoms prevent the transmission of bodily fluids preventing unwanted pregnancies and the transmission of STIs. By making conversations about safe sex and the use of condoms normal we make the act of using condoms normal in itself.

Perhaps, if I were a mother, I’d question wearing these leggings to pick up my kids from school but more for the fear of being judged by other parents as opposed to offending children. At the end of the day, would a child understand what these were? Probably not. They’d probably think they were sweetie wrappers… And when they grow up that would make a rather hilarious anecdote at their wedding.

2) Raising awareness.

“Look at their leggings! They’ve got condoms printed on them!”
“I like that, safe sex is so important – pretty good way of getting a message around.”

And that’s just it. It is a great way of getting the message around. The leggings are colourful, bright, fun (and a little silly) making discussions of safe sex approachable. As opposed to approaching the use of condoms in an intimidating, Mean Girls kind of way (‘You WILL get pregnant and die.’), these leggings are a great icebreaker.

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So there you have it. Sure the leggings are a little kooky, but condom leggings are cool quite simply because condoms themselves are cool. Condoms allow us to have protected sex and sex is great, yes, but protected sex is even better. If you’re still in a dilemma about the leggings, and have mixed feelings about their appropriacy then I have a simple question to put to you: consider which has a more positive influence on society – avoiding conversations about sex, or promoting safer sex?

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Like a Virgin

When coming up with ideas to contribute something to this amazing blog, I struggled to settle on a subject; I considered writing how wholeheartedly I support the passing of the law allowing gay marriage or about whether children, born with ambiguous genitalia, should be labelled as one gender when growing up. After much deliberation I decided that I needed to get something very personal off my chest; so here I admit that at the ripe age of 21, I have not had sexual intercourse…and to be perfectly honest, I am quite alright with that. I can hear the cries now of ‘what a prude’ and ‘oh but you’re missing out on something so amazing’ – which I am well aware of, I may be inexperienced but I’m not a moron. Of course, there are many days when I wish that wasn’t the case and I’m not quite ready to own up to the world (hence the anonymous writer’s signature) but recently I had a change of heart and realised that actually I’m relatively happy with it.

This change of heart came to light when I met up with a friend of almost ten years and we were discussing our love lives during our teenage years; she expressed embarrassment at some of her relationships but ultimately didn’t regret anything she had done. I feel the exact same way; I’ve never had a long-term relationship and of the short-lived boyfriends I have had, they were not worth my time, tears or virginity and for that very reason I am glad I chose not to sleep with them. And for those interested, not one of those relationships ended due to me ‘not putting out’, in fact none of them were related to our sexual relationship on any level.

Some people may argue that sex is a meaningless act, why not just choose a random guy in a nightclub, get it over and done with rather than live with the shame of being completely inexperienced? To that I would say no. I have nothing against one night stands and will not rule that out of my future life but for my first time, I’m not about to give some mildly-attractive (if I’m lucky), drunk person in a nightclub that privilege. I have heard the horror stories from friends of their first times; one even went as far to describe hers as ‘looking like someone had been murdered in a horror film’. If that is to be the case, I don’t particularly want to share that experience with someone I barely know, let alone trust – I make enough of a fool of myself on night out without having that to add to the shame the morning after.

Now I am completely aware of what I am missing out on; I have an open relationship with my closest girl friends and I have heard how amazing sex can be, but why should I not be allowed to wait to share it with someone I truly love and trust?

I am being slightly hypocritical preaching how I fully support my decision, yet refusing to share it with even some of my close friends but I am not willing to have people judge me for decisions that I have, or haven’t, made because they deem it to be prudish or, the teenage-favourite word, ‘frigid’. Hopefully one day, every person will be able to proudly and freely admit their past, and current, sexual status without worry of judging or malicious comments; because why should society be allowed to judge a person on their choices in life? So for now I get on with it and I will eventually (or hopefully!) find someone to passionately sing ‘Touch-A, Touch-A, Touch Me’ at, knowing I am doing the right thing in my mind.

Anonymous