One company trying to make it less awkward for women to carry condoms around has figured out a way to help sororities raise money.
Lovability Condoms announced this week they were launching a new initiative called the "Lovability Lady" Brand Advocate Program. Women can apply to become brand advocates, then purchase Lovability Condoms at wholesale prices and sell them to make money for their sorority. The women would keep all the profits for their Greek house.
Lovability is a condom company founded by Tiffany Gaines, a New York University graduate and current School of Visual Arts grad student, along with her mother, Pam. They sell FDA approved male condoms packaged in small tins, designed to mimic the appearance of a cosmetic product.
"We feel Lovability's mission of empowering women to take responsibility for their sexual health coincides greatly with many sororities' missions," Tiffany Gaines said in an email. The program would also be open to other non-profit organizations.
Gaines told Forbes in December her goal with Lovability is to "de-stigmatize the purchase of condoms for women" and sell them in places they may feel more comfortable. She wants condoms to be viewed as "a positive symbol of women's self protection and therefore self-love."
"For years, condoms have been marketed as a masculine product," Gaines said. "Because of this, they're often associated with macho-sexuality, promiscuity, and conquest. Although these connotations have helped many men feel more confident buying and carrying condoms, this messaging has had the opposite effect on women. The masculine stereotypes associated with condoms have caused many women to feel uncomfortable purchasing, carrying, and providing them when needed."
Gaines explained in a TEDx talk the idea for her company actually came from a humiliating experience having to purchase tampons at a convenience store in front of a group of men. The tampons were located high on a shelf behind the register, next to the condoms, and the clerk had to retrieve an "orange-picking" claw to get them, she explained.
In the TEDx talk, Gaines also laid out some ideas about how to buy condoms without being embarrassed, tips such as buying cheese or birthday cards with the rubbers or going to a sex shop because the male contraceptives will be "the tamest thing in there." But ultimately argued taking care of their health shouldn't be something women need be ashamed of.