L. Condoms are made from natural ingredients and were designed to be a counter to the hyper-masculinity of most condom branding.

The company has a one-to-one model that sends a contraceptive to Africa every time you buy one here.

The company is about to get a lot more exposure.

Previously, the condom was just featured in boutiques and fancy hotels.

L. will be shipping a lot more condoms in the coming months. Soon, CVS’s 785 stores in California will start stocking the product

2013-06-26

A More Friendly Condom Brand, Designed For Women

Ever notice how the names of condom brands like Magnum, Trojan, and Armor exude aggressiveness? L. Condom has rolled out a new, friendlier condom designed to emphasize natural ingredients and a less militarized attitude toward sex.

To Talia Frenkel, the condom aisle is a battlefield. The brands—Magnum, Trojan, Armor—default to an aggressive maleness (a "sex-is-war kind of thing") that’s out of touch with modern sexuality. "Why do I feel I’m entering an artillery unit?" she asks. "There’s nothing sleek or sexy or sophisticated about them. It’s fire and ice. And, what girl wants fire and ice in her?"

Frenkel’s response to the man-centric prophylactic market is the L. Condom—a more "female-friendly" condom featuring less fleshy imagery, an emphasis on love-making, and more natural components. The latex, sourced in Malaysia, is tapped from a tree. The lubricant won’t leave you, or your partner, itchy and smelling of chemicals.

"It’s about looking at the ingredients and deciding what women would want in their bodies," Frenkel says.

L. Condoms is about more than sensation. The company has a one-to-one model that sends a contraceptive to Africa every time you buy one here. By improving the availability of condoms in countries that often run short, Frenkel says we can help cut the rate of HIV infections, and unwanted pregnancies. Nine out of 10 countries with high rates of sexually transmitted disease have regular "stock out" problems, studies show.

Frenkel, who has a background as a photojournalist, recently returned from trip to Swaziland, where she met up with a group that distributes L.Condoms packaged with special artwork. The company also works with a group in Uganda.

L. will be shipping a lot more condoms in the coming months. Soon, CVS’s 785 stores in California will start stocking the product, which comes in several varieties. Up until now, Frenkel relied on hotels, upscale stores, and subscription deals with college dormitories.

"We’ve been in trendy boutiques and hotels. Now it’s major distribution and it’s exciting to be able to have that kind of exposure," she says. "For me, it’s about being able to give people the opportunity to make a difference."

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2 Comments

  • Lacey Cukier

    ,  I can't speak about every African country, but industry was banned
    during the colonial period in Tanzania so that Tanzanians would spend
    money on Tanzanian-grown, but British-made products. The Germans and
    British exploited both the land and the people and then withdrew in the
    early 1960s without any sort of startup support. The economy, resources,
    and the people were left completely drained. Tanzania lacked
    infrastructure, college educated professionals, and money. When Julius
    Nyere became president, he advocated for a socialist,
    agriculturally-based economy. Due to Cold War tensions, the US and most
    of Europe did not want to associate with the socialist government. Also,
    Nyere ordered 80% of the population to be forcibly removed and live on
    communes to help out with the economy. People lacked appropriate farming
    tools and good land. Most of them were also unhappy with this mandate
    and took to subsistence farming instead. Since the 80s, Tanzania has
    been trying to come back from that. Rubber isn't the problem.
    Colonization is and will be now for a while. (However, significant
    increases in GDP far exceed the rest of the world. Maybe it won't be too
    too long!)
    Also, Apartheid ripped South Africa apart in ways I can't
    even begin to describe without writing another 80 pages. It's
    heartbreaking and inspiring at the same time.

  • Samwenliang

    is it really because they don't have access to the rubber or is it because they don't want to use it? I've always been baffled by this.