The Humpday Gazette

Posts Tagged ‘protection’

Sex and Money: Are Luxury Condoms Worth It?

In March 2011 on April 4, 2011 at 4:03 am

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]

Contraceptives and Protection: Intrauterine Device (IUD)

In Uncategorized on February 2, 2011 at 3:38 am

An intrauterine device (IUD) is a form of birth control in which a T-shaped, plastic device is placed by a doctor or health professional in the uterus of a woman. While over 99% effective at preventing pregnancies, IUDs do not protect against STIs, so always use a condom if the STI status of your partner is unknown. There are two IUDs available in the US: ParaGard releases copper ions and is effective for up to 12 years, while Mirena releases small amounts of hormones and is effective for five years. IUDs work by affecting the movement of sperm, thereby preventing the joining of sperm and eggs, while also changing the lining of the uterus and making it more difficult for fertilize eggs to implant themselves. The hormones in Mirena further work to prevent pregnancy by ensuring that the woman does not ovulate (or release eggs) and building a mucus barrier at the woman’s cervix which reduces the likelihood sperm will actually enter the uterus. The ParaGard IUD can also be used as a form of emergency contraception, similar to the “morning after” pill, and is most effective if placed in the uterus within five days of unprotected intercourse. IUDs should not be used if you have a pelvic infection, cancer in the reproductive organs or breasts (for Mirena, the hormone IUD), or Wilson’s disease, a condition where the body cannot rid itself of copper (for ParaGard). While the initial cost of an IUD is more than that of other forms of birth control, the long term efficacy of these devices make them one of the least expensive birth control options in the long run. IUDs must be checked regularly by a health care provider to ensure that they have not slipped out of the uterus (thus rendering them an ineffective form of birth control) or, in rare situations, developed an infection after the IUD was inserted.

 

For more information on IUDs, visit http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-topics/birth-control/iud-4245.htm or ask a Sexpert! Both ParaGard and Mirena are available at Dick’s House, so if you are seriously interested, you can make an appointment to see if an IUD might be a good choice for you.