Durex Thinks It’s Cute To Leave Her Wondering Whether Or Not You Used Protection

Here’s a list of good surprises: Candy. Flowers. Finding money on the ground. Realizing you finally have enough points on your credit card to get a free flight to Miami. When a friend you didn’t know was in town shows up to your birthday party.

Here’s a list of bad surprises: H.I.V. Herpes. A fetus. The possibility you’ve just been sexually assaulted. Do you see where I’m going with this?

An ad Durex condoms is currently running in India shows a woman smiling coyly alongside the copy “hmm…did he? didn’t he?” Below her, it reads: “Experience the new durex superthin ultima. Our thinnest condom. So thin, you can leave her pleasantly puzzled–did he really use one? Or didn’t he?” [tagbox tag="badvertising"]

I don’t know about you, but I don’t generally find it “pleasant” to have to “puzzle” over whether or not I’ve just been exposed to potential impregnation and whatever STDs the person I’ve slept with might have. It’s a form of assault to sneakily have unsafe sex with someone who has not consented to it; just ask the alleged victim of Julian Assange. I’m glad that Durex’s condoms are so thin, but this is a terrible way to get that point across, and I can’t imagine it’s going to make people want to buy Durex condoms. Next time, try it with a little more “consent is sexy” and a little less rape culture.

(Via Runnin’ Scared)

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    • skylover

      Herpes is one of the most misunderstood std’s out there. The simple truth is that 90% of the adult population has it but doesn’t realize it. If you ever get a fever blister you have herpes. The only difference between mouth herpes and the other kind is simply where it’s located. It’s the same virus, resting at the back of your brain untill something triggers it and you get an outbreak. There is no difference in oral herpes and the other kind, just the location, and there is no cure for herpes, though drugs such as Valtrax can stop an ourbreak once you get one. Odds are these wrestlers already had the virus and why the big to do here is beyond me. You may know more about herpes on the dating and support site POZloving. Good luck to you all!

      • Jamie Peck

        Far be it from me to respond to a spammer, but this is not true at all. Herpes 2 is much worse, gives you nasty outbreaks (not just cold sores) and hangs out mainly in your junk.

    • suz

      actually, there is a good reason why we distinguish between two different types of herpes, type 1 and type 2. not only is the latter usually confined to the nether regions, it is also infinitely more annoying, causing more frequent and more severe outbreaks. the type that most people have resting more or less dormant inside their bodies is type 1. if you happen to be unlucky enough to contract type 1 on your genitals, there’s a good chance that the outbreak will be a one-off. but trust me, you do NOT want to contract type 2, ever.

      having said that, the above ad is truly atrocious.

    • Hmmmm

      Love your little ref to WikiLeaks. You getting paid to spread the lies? Maybe pick a point of reference that is a bit less controversial.

    • Hollie T

      Most women must be really stupid. I can’t believe a woman can’ distinguish between a naked penis and a condom covered one inside them, and not be able to tell if he cam inside her or not. I must be special , because to me, the difference is night and day. Also, She should have an angry face instead of a stupid smile if he didn’t use a condom.

      • Hollie T


    • Bob

      That’s because you’re a skank who doesn’t know: “whatever STDs the person I’ve slept with might have.”

      So, different target audience, I guess…

    • Melissa

      This ad is obviously not condoning unprotected sex. It’s an advertisement for condoms.

    • An actual RN


      Nope. HSV1 and HSV2 are virtually identical, except for the location of the latent virus. And far be it for me to burst your bubble, but ‘just cold sores’ are exactly what show up with HSV2, except again, for where they present. It’s nice and all that we can have this little euphemism for mouth herpes, but the medical facts do not support your stigma/socially acceptable duality.

      Furthermore, the research suggests that those with with HSV1 are more likely to spread the diseases to others, as the shedding period occurs much longer than HSV2. HSV2, for that matter, rarely spreads to other parts of the body, unlike HSV1. Granted, those who have HSV2 are actually more asymptomatic than those with HSV1, which is why that it is possible to spread herpes your entire life without actually showing any symptoms, thus allowing the delicious irony of allowing one to be a judgmental prick about it to others, while being infected himself. I wonder, for instance, how many jokes have been told about some skank spreading herpes, when in fact the teller of the joke was infected years ago by his first girlfriend.

      And of course, the statistics bear out that virtually everyone is infected with herpes by the time they reach their 50′s, and that 1-5 have HSV2 before they reach their 30′s.

      What’s that you say, you’ve been tested and don’t have herpes? Sorry friend, but before your first outbreak, the test for HSV1 or HSV2 anti-bodies is hardly reliable. With this virus, you don’t know until you present. That’s why virtually everyone gets it, despite reasonable cautions.

      But again, don’t let the facts get in the way of your misplaced self-righteous attitude.

    • dan

      So clearly the author of this article is a swanky who goes home with strangers from the bar around the corner, she is putting herself in someone else’s shoes who may not have the same lack of self esteem as the girl in the ad. I know my girlfriend would like to pose that question after sex, seeing how she would rather I didnt wear one so she could be pregnant. Different strokes for different folks.

      And how can you say it’s sexual assault? What if HE expected her to be protected? Fyi there are plenty of ways for women to protect themselves. If your the type of whore who bangs any guy any time, as the author is implying she does, maybe it should be YOU that is bringing the protection.

    • devymetal

      Nobody seems to get the cultural subtext here. Women in India who are portrayed as sexually active in the media are universally assumed to be married. So the assumption that maybe some random dude from a bar or even her boyfriend left her guessing (and that she would find this charming!) is totally wrong.

      The model in the ad looks delighted because she is an idealized young woman being portrayed in an idealized print ad about young sex, which, in India, means she is in a traditional marriage and very interested in becoming pregnant. The vast majority of young women in India are married and trying to have a child, or want to marry and have children, unlike here in the U.S. where there is more cultural ambiguity about traditional family life.

      The ad’s message is, “Hmm, could I be pregnant? Oh, I hope so, and how delightful and spontaneous this is!”

      Whether or not essentially allowing one’s husband to be the whimsical gatekeeper for procreation is a controversial and separate issue.

      However, superimposing norms based on American hook-up culture onto an Indian ad about sex is ridiculous- in India the only socially acceptable way to portray a young woman who is delighted about having had sex (even in an ad for condoms) is within the cultural assumption that she is definitely having married sex where procreation is a joyful possibility.

      • Roberto

        Exactly! You can’t judge an ad from a western prospective if it wasn’t produced in that particular market

    • Nandini Arora

      Hi Devymental,
      not all young married women are DYING to have children…more than 3/4ths of them have their decisions taken by husbands and in laws…yes and i am counting emotional blackmail and a cultural necessity in ‘decisions taken by others (society)’ so there is no idealisied happy woman just dying to get pregnant that i know of at least.
      even if she were…considering that children mainly alter a woman’s physical social sexual emotional life waayyyyy more tahn any one else’s in the family…i am sure she would like to be prepared and not ‘pleasently’ surprised…
      the idealised women that u speak of, do exist….but they are mostly too shy and sexually repressed (largely) to be the target audience of this coy ad….and too shy (largely) to ask their husbands to use one…and (largely again) too indifferent or scared about sexual expoeriences….so the section of women you talk of, is NOT the target group…and the ad makers know that too…
      hence the ad IS directed at the independant , modern type women who are privileged to consider sex for pleaseure as opposed to a duty towards husbands….
      now those women would not LIKE to be surprised at all if they have been tricked into a situation where the man has been dumb and insensitive enough to ejaculate inside…so the ad is also ineffective…not only offensive…
      and couples trying to concieve…happily, frustratedly, patiently, impatiently, excitedly whatever scenario ypu would like to imagine…hopefully think it is a joint decision and effort so if one partner, thinks it is jokey, funny to trick the other partner via this condom….trust me…that partner needs COUNSELLING not a thin condom…
      and reverse this ad…there is this husband who is ‘dying’ to have a baby and this woman is smiling coyly coz she is using ‘pill’s and the poor bugger won’t know that he is wasting his seed…that ad…my dear, will never see the light of the day…sigh…i wonder why…what do you think…
      stupid ads are universally stupid…no cultural subtexts are required


      Durex works really well with my pet rabbit. Feels just right. Not too thick but not too thin. WIN

    • lani

      It’s amazing how you all manage to attack an author who made a point of highlighting the fact that durex is a sexist company that specifically degrades women in almist every advertisement. Just look at their recent Twitter fiasco, and as for the Wikileaks reference, the author obviously said ‘alleged’ victim, hence she made a neutral reference point.

    • lani

      By the way, what was that about a rabbit, you oddball?