Sex is commonly accepted to be something where money is not an issue: let’s be real, it far predates the modern economic system. However, in modern times, more and more, sex is becoming a costly subject. You have to deal with the cost of contraception, sex toys, lube – and that’s not even talking about money spent on dating. While you expect some of these to be pricey (some sex toys look like they belong in an art museum), condoms, the lowliest of the contraceptives that you can often snag for free, aren’t exactly what I think of when imagining “luxury” sex items. However, companies such as the Original Condom Co. and Sir Richard’s, have decided a niche market exists. Sir Richard’s $13 12 pack tries to appeal to the type of people who pay extra to shop at Whole Foods and buy Tom’s shoes- not only are the condoms vegan and in a snazzy wrapper, they also send a condom to a developing country fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS. The Original Condom Co., founded in Condom, France, seems to be looking more for aristocrats with money to burn, selling 6 condoms in a box that looks suspiciously like it should be holding an engagement ring, for $20. They also give a portion of every purchase to fighting HIV/AIDS and attempt to produce condoms in a more eco-friendly way.
Neither condom has been proved to enhance sex in ways a cheaper condom wouldn’t. Instead, both websites work on selling the product from an ideological and aesthetic angle, with the Original Condom Co.’s motto being “Safe Sex with elegance, chic and eco-aware.” Is this a case of good hearted people who want to help minimize the spread of HIV/AIDS, and realize condom-buyers feel the same? Or money grubbers whose pretentious condoms are not only silly, but also risk turning sex into a classist affair? You guys can decide for yourselves, but as someone whose dates usually end up being grabbing dinner wherever I have a coupon, I think we know what I’m going to chose. [Info and pictures from the companies’ websites and Salon.com]