I know the importance of carrying condoms because as the Girl Scout motto says: Always be prepared. But I also know I hate buying them in the store because I feel like everyone is labeling me as this promiscuous person. Even worse is when I have to throw a couple in my purse and hope they don't pop out when I least expect them, or get holes in them from the tweezers, pens, or whatever else I have floating around the bottom of my bag. Fortunately Lovability Condoms has a solution.
The company, which was started by Tiffany Gaines while she was in grad school, is dedicated to providing women with condoms that they won't mind carrying around. Lovability is trying to de-stigmatize the notion that women carrying condoms is bad or inappropriate.
Gaines thought of the idea when she was in a bodega one night and noticed that condoms were kept on a high shelf behind the register. The store owner would have to knock them down with an orange picking claw, which made the whole process pretty embarrassing and conspicuous. So Gaines decided to develop condoms that would be more discreet, easier to buy, and more enjoyable to carry.
"I'm trying to rewrite the relationship of women and condoms to become a symbol of strength and positivity and self-love, rather than a symbol of hyper-sexuality and promiscuity," Gaines tells Bustle. "We want to bring condoms into this new category of a feminine wellness accessory."
Lovability does just that. The condoms come packaged in a stylish gold tin that is both protective and pretty. Gaines even had them emblazoned with inspirational quotes on the inside that say things like, "Live every day as a celebration of the beauty in yourself, and in the world."
I don't know about you, but seeing that right before I have sex with someone is pretty uplifting. In addition to creating packaging with women in mind, Gaines is dedicated to changing the purchase experience to keep more women safe.
"There's still something about that clinical environment of drug store that makes buying condoms feel a little bit uncomfortable," Gaines says. "That's one of the reasons we're so adamant about breaking through that current culture and bringing condoms into places like beauty supply stores and lingerie boutiques. I want you to be able to go to Sephora and buy your lipstick and nail polish and your condoms."
Gaines and her team are dedicated to creating a product that women won't be ashamed to carry, and can maybe even feel proud to have because they're taking charge of their own sexuality. But Gaines also wanted Lovability condoms to be made of the best materials. The latex used is vegan, farmed using fair labor, and is chemical- and additive-free.
Lovability is currently crowd-funding to launch its product to a wider selection of stores and boutiques as it continues to destigmatize the idea of women carrying contraceptives. And that's a message I can totally get behind while I'm also getting it on.
Images: Lovability (2)