The Problem With ‘Ribbed For Her Pleasure’

If you’ve ever had the immense pleasure of reading any of my reviews, you’ll know something about me: I don’t get ribbed and nubbed condoms. I just don’t get them.

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They don’t do anything to enhance my pleasure. In fact, they make me think that there’s something wrong with the penis that the condom is on. Something we should have a long, honest discussion about.

So, at the risk of pulling a Jerry Seinfeld, what’s the deal with textured condoms? Or any of the ones with ribs and nubs? There is no scientific evidence out there that says that women can feel or even enjoy condoms with ribs and nubs. In fact, it all seems to be something of a marketing ploy. I’m sure you’ve heard the slogan, “Ribbed for her pleasure.”

This is an old marketing campaign. And we get where the marketing executives were coming from– back in the day, condoms were a man thing. In heterosexual, cisgendered relationships, men were in charge, for lack of a better term, of purchasing their own condoms, keeping them handy, and making sure they used them with their partners.

So where did women factor into this? Well, if you were looking at a line of condoms on the shelf and you wanted to ensure that yours stood out amongst all the hyper-masculine rubbers, why not offer them something they didn’t even know they needed?

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I mean, look at this label.

 

“Hey, these condoms will score me some big brownie points when I show her that I care about her pleasure too!” But there’s a few inherent problems with this idea. First of all, it makes people think that women will only enjoy condoms if they are textured. Many women actually find textured condoms to be irritating. The bumps can increase friction, too, which may require some to use extra lube, like any of those from Durex Play Assorted Temptations.

If they think that that’s just the way condoms are, they won’t be having safe sex. Calling them Her Pleasure draws away from the fact that condoms can be used by any kind of couple– or threesome or foursome or moresome– of any combination of gender and sex. Even if there’s no penis in sight, they can still be cut to be used as a dental dam. We talked about the problems with marketing condoms to a single gender in our article on the wonderful Mine Condoms.

While this may seem like an utterly silly idea, you would be surprised the effect that representation has on marketing. Any woman who’s ever gone in to their local pharmacy to buy condoms themselves can tell you how awkward it is to buy a product that doesn’t feel like it’s meant for them. And finally, it says that safe sex isn’t inherently pleasurable to women. That it needs something gimmicky to be enjoyable. That’s not the case.

You can read more about why this hurts women and queer people at our sister blog, Spicy Gear, in their article Five Myths and Facts About Virginity.

So don’t feel pressured into picking out something that the company tells you they’re going to love. Visit our size chart and make sure you’re picking out a condom that fits you or your partner well. Your partner will get more pleasure out of knowing that they’re safe and protected than some tiny latex bumps.

We aren’t saying that ribs and nubs on condoms are bad. Don’t get us wrong. We’re just worried about the marketing that goes into selling them. This, of course, is just the view of one woman.

In fact, I know that my fellow writer, Kara, swears by Lifestyles’ Fun Bumps. So, give us your opinion! Do you feel/love/hate ribs and nubs on your condoms? How do you feel about this, “Ribbed for her pleasure,” marketing? Let us know on Tumblr, Facebook, or Twitter and we’ll publish your rebuttal!

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