This was a gag birthday gift from my friend Tasha. She spent several months in Africa earlier this year, and I’m betting she bought these in the Nakumatt grocery store in Kigali. When I was in Rwanda last summer, I had a good laugh at the condom packages in the checkout line displays at the Nakumatt every time I stopped in there. Bleach blond girls with 80’s style shredded acid-wash short shorts, pictures that look like the covers of Harlequin romance novels from the ’90s. And typos galore, which just add to the giggle factor.
In this particular exemplar, we have a pack of 3 strawberry flavoured, coloured, ribbed willy wraps. Check out that couple laughing in the sunset. Mazungu tourists planning on capping off their stay at Lake Kivu with a strawberry-scented roll in the sand? “Comme j’adore les fraises, mon amour.” Love it.
(This brings to mind a funny story about raiding somebody else’s fruit-scented condom stash, but y’all don’t need to know the details. Safe play was had. Strawberry scent during sex is kinda disturbing. End of story.)
But giggles aside, I wonder what birth control is going to look like in the future, even though my fertile days will be long behind me in 2040 (I will not be doing in vitro when I’m getting the seniors’ discount at the Value Village, I can ASSURE you). In current usage, we have a whole array of ways to prevent the making of babies (the Pill, IUDs, injectables like Depo-Provera, spermicides, sponges), but not too many effective ways of preventing the spread of STIs other than the trusty ol’ love glove, as far as I am aware. (Please enlighten me if I am mistaken.)
And in the future? Will spray-on condoms ever take off? Will spermicides (like the current Nonoxynol-9) be modified to also become effective protection against STIs? Will we have some kind of Star Trekish scanner device that zaps viruses in their tracks? Or will we still be unrolling strawberry-flavoured diving suits?