Over the years, I feel like you and I have developed a special relationship. I’ve been accompanied through some of my most memorable moments by your brightly-wrapped protective devices. And let’s face it, Trojan: You’re the only one I’d ever let get between me and my man during an intimate moment. Yes, you and I have come a long way together. And despite the fact that ‘ribbed for her pleasure’ is a terrible phrase, I’ve always appreciated the fact that my pleasure is being considered in the development of your product.
So you must be able to imagine my delight, Trojan, when I discovered your new Elexa line. It’s high time someone endeavored to make condoms a bit more female-friendly, and the smartly packaged Elexa line is clearly marketed towards hip, sexually-liberated women who are comfortable in their own skins. The line features three types of female-friendly condoms, and they’re also comparably priced to your traditional fare. I appreciate the fact that you, Trojan, haven’t fallen into the popular consumer trap whereby it’s assumed that women will pay more than men for everything from haircuts to deodorant to shoes.
However, it’s the boldness of the rest of your Elexa line that truly impressed me. One Elexa box contains heated intimacy gel, and another features condoms paired with a vibrating ring. I am so proud of you, Trojan, for pairing the things that tingle and vibrate with the things that protect us from nasty diseases and unwanted babies. Your approach to reconciling safety and pleasure is a truly modern one, and your attempt to market racier products with a tried-and-true sexual staple is heartening. The Elexa line challenges the age-old assumption that the guy should buy the condoms and the chick should buy the pills, and also encourages women to chase pleasure as stridently as they chase safety. Girls who are too shy to visit a sexual health store might be introduced to the wonders of clitoral vibration or heated tingle gel through Elexa.
So props to you for breaking the gender barrier in your own little way. Props to you for presenting sex toys as a healthy parts of foreplay. In fact, I was totally ready to give Elexa all-around props… until I spied the little green box at the end of the row that contained three Elexa condoms and six freshening wipes.
Freshening wipes, Trojan? FRESHENING WIPES?
I’ll be honest with you. I’m a bit offended. I thought Elexa was all about embracing female sexuality. Do you really want today’s sexually-liberated woman running around thinking that she needs to be ‘freshened’? Because that’s what you’re implying. And that, Trojan, is unfortunate. A vagina should look, smell and taste like a vagina, not a potpourri canister. There is nothing ‘fresh’ about scenting our sexual organs.
Don’t get me wrong. I understand that feminine hygiene has its place and that freshness is subjective. If I’ve just finished teaching four dance classes, I’m less likely to feel ‘fresh’ than I would if I’d just, say, stepped out of the bath. But the only ‘freshening’ that the average female needs in this instance is the soap-and-water kind. It bothers me that your freshening cloths only exist in a line marketed towards chicks. It’s as though you’re saying “Have fun, ladies… enjoy the vibrating ring and intimacy gel, but don’t forget to sanitize your inherently unclean vaginas after you’re finished.” Whither the ball wipes, Trojan? Those suckers are every bit as likely to get sweaty as the lady-bits.
It just seems so UNLIKE you. On your website, you explain the uses of the cloths: “It’s great to go with the moment, but sometimes it’s unexpected, and opportunities to freshen up are limited.” This makes sense to me, Trojan, but I’m still bothered by the fact that the ‘freshening’ is presumed to be an exclusively female need. I read on: “Also, keeping them in the night table drawer for you or your partner provides a comfortable way to clean up without getting up.” Okay, that also makes sense. You’re basically positing the freshening wipe as come rag. But why are pre-and post-coital ‘freshness’ exclusively the woman’s concern? Why don’t you sell an (oversized) manly ‘Freshening Cloth’ with your Magnums?
I thought we’d come further than this, Trojan, but I do appreciate that your heart is in the right place. I know there are women who are concerned about their own ‘freshness’, and I have no doubt that they’ll buy your product. And perhaps it will, as you hopefully suggest on the back on your box, “increase their sexual confidence”. But it seems to me our attentions would be better focused on assuring them that there’s nothing to be ‘unconfident’ about. In your attempt to encourage women to be safe with their vaginas and also to pursue pleasure, you’ve done something revolutionary, Trojan. But by buying in to the throwback fear of ‘smelly’ vaginas, you’ve also given women one more (ridiculous) reason to doubt the cock-worthiness of their own cunts. Two steps forward, I suppose, and one step back.
I really do applaud what you’re trying to do. And I’m totally going to be all over that vibrating cock ring, once I find someone to share it with. But you’ve gotta rethink your relationship with vaginas. My “freshening” philosophy is quite simple. Women (and men) should be expected to keep up on basic hygiene and keep their sexual organs free from infection and disease. But beyond that, our partners should be thrilled for the chance to engage the healthy set of genitalia that we’re offering them.
It’s like this, Trojan: I have a vagina. It has its own taste, texture and smell. If you don’t like it, don’t fuck it. But don’t expect me to Lysol it out for you.
I still believe you and I have a lot of good times left to come. But if I have my way, none of them will involve ‘freshening’ with anything other than a good, hot shower.