Condoms present the ultimate catch-22: we all want them in order to remain STD-free, but buying them, carrying them, and presenting them will feel dirty. Tiffany Gaines, 24, is out to change that. She’s in the process of raising cash to expand the inventory of her new line of condoms, Lovability condoms. They’re condoms specifically designed for female comfort, and not simply in bed. “Lovability condoms were impressed by my realization that I didn’t feel comfortable effort condoms, and I didn’t even feel comfortable carrying them, and I didn’t feel comfortable producing them at the moment,” Gaines says. “For years, condoms are marketed as a masculine, dominant, hyper-sexual product.”
And that’s a problem, since male condoms are close to 82 effective at preventing pregnancy with average use, and (along with female condoms) they’re the only contraceptive that additionally prevents STDs. State and municipal health authorities are so sure that condoms are good for public health that they even distribute them for free in some places (like NYC and Philadelphia). however, only 19 of single ladies say they regularly use condoms each time. Gaines found that most ladies she spoke to hated the experience of buying condoms, felt ashamed to carry them, and were anxious about using them, even supposing 6.2 million ladies rely on male condoms to prevent pregnancy.
And it’s no wonder because the condom experience is completely creepy. First, you have to search out the condoms in the store next to the pregnancy tests and the yeast-infection treatments (not sexy), and in some stores you have to slide open the noisy plastic theft guards (which make you feel like a criminal), then you have to attend in line to buy them so everyone sees what you’re buying (and gives you side-eye).
Carrying condoms is equally embarrassing– simply look how Reese Witherspoon’s character in Wild was judged when fellow hikers found her stash. And after all that, Gaines says that several ladies worry that tearing open the slippery packages will cause condoms to rip, or that condoms get put on inside-out in the heat of the moment.
Lovability isn’t the only condom company that’s pushing to appeal to female customers. Sustain makes eco-friendly condoms marketed to ladies with tasteful cardboard packaging embellished with shells or bamboo. L Condoms additionally has female-focused branding, plus they give a condom to Africa for every condom sold (and provide one-hour delivery in some places). however Lovability condoms are unique in that they don’t look like condoms: they come in a cute very little tin that looks more like lip balm or mints than anything else. “You’re first drawn to it in the store due to the way it looks,” Gaines said. “It’s absolutely discrete. it looks like a cosmetic product.”
The tins are designed so ladies can carry them in their purses without being embarrassed if they’re found, which means spontaneous encounters don’t have to be unprotected ones. the design also eliminates the anxiety that the condom may rip when the package is opened; Lovability condoms come in a special buttercup packaging, so there’s no confusion about which side of the condom is the top. “In a regular foil wrapper, you have no plan, you’re simply tearing it and hoping for the best,” Gaines says. “It was extremely important for United States to not only produce a condom that was additional accessible and more lovely, but also additional functional in the bedroom.” (And every individual condom package comes with a motivational quote inside.)
Lovability is a very young startup: the two-person company began with less than $10,000 in funding, and even though she’s the president of the company, Gaines spends hours assembling the tins herself. however the condoms were so standard that they sold out in NYC lingerie stores, which is why Gaines and Claire Courtney, Lovability’s reaching director, are raising cash to create more. They’ve got their eye on big shops like Sephora, Anthropologie, and urban outfitters, however also need to sell condoms in different places ladies feel comfortable, like salons, gyms, or spas. Basically, they only need to sell their condoms where no different condoms are sold. Or, as Gaines puts it, “Why shouldn’t you discover your favorite condom brand while enjoying a spa day with the girls?