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Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Glow in the dark???

Here's an article that I just came across on Yahoo, and it brought about an interesting train of thought (and I realize that the word "interesting" has several connotations...not to mention the fact that it's a very 'relative' term). It talks about how Japan is making an effort, of sorts, to promote the use of condoms.

The point in question is that of Japan being one of the most advanced societies in the world, and yet being the most traditional. Sex, apparently, is not an easily talked about subject, and so the influence of pornography on teenage minds leads them to believe what they see. A sort of "The dude in the video isn't wearing a condom, so why should I" kind of thinking, if you will. And there is a certain amount of realization that goes along with understanding the full import of the issue...because there is one...or more than one!

From personal experience, and having gone to a school where we did have a sex-ed class, the first one in the 5th grade (and there was a cartoon rendition of it too...hahaha...not to mention that sex-ed in high school involved trying to put condoms on baseball bats and bowling pins, for practice...long live co-ed schools!!!), I realized that there existed some problem(s), but not being faced with it in anyway it was more an academic point...like notes on some page in your book that you'll never look at. When it came time to actually use a condom, for the 'real deal' if you will, well, that's when the fun started. Oh yes...fun indeed. Now, I must say that I am prone to experiment with areas of my life where I don't imagine other people would care to experiment (although there are kinkier people out there), but for a sort of academic understanding, so to speak. The main argument against the use of condoms during intercourse is that of reduced sensation...and therefore reduced pleasure. Is this true? So, I decided to find out. Personally, kind of. But not so much so to be used as an argument against the use of condoms. There is more to the condom than meets the eye...and God forbid that should happen more often than it has to!!! It's a 'sheath' no doubt, but it is also a human expression/realization/remedy of sorts. It has to do with things like facilitating recreational sex without fear of impregnation, the consequences of which are many. It's a feature of the human civilization (one/some of them anyway) to try and cope with a situation in which a fertilized human egg outside of/in the bounds of wedlock has to do with one more person on this planet. People everywhere. Who needs one more, especially unexpectedly? That seems to be a very social response...and by that, I mean keeping the rules of society in mind. As opposed to animals, we tend to find a way to deal with problems so that we can rest easy and be able to sleep at night.

There was once a program on NatGeo about how species, in an attempt to survive, will do away with their own. The urge to pass on one's genes forced them to do it. One of the examples was that of lions. The King of Beasts operates in a matriarchal framework. It is the female lions which remain on their hunting grounds, while different males come and go. So, they showed how the females with cubs, about a month old, were watching anxiously as the 'alpha' male who'd been the overlord and protector of the group was battling with younger males who were trying to usurp him. Having been usurped, the 'big kahuna' split the scene. The incoming males, then proceeded to, and rather methodically I might add, kill the cubs. No emotion there...just a swift bite to the neck of the infant severing the spine...full of life and vivacity one instant, limp and lifeless the next. Why did they do this? Because, apparently, it would send the female lions into 'heat' again, and this would allow the new males to mate with them and have progeny of their own. These new infants, sired by these usurpers, would be protected...unless and until they were to be overthrown themselves. People are incapable of this...well, maybe not all people, but it seems to me that for the most part, the human collective would not be able to deal with something like this...not in today's world anyway. So, we come back to the condom, not necessarily as a means to survival, but as a means to understanding that the problems of over-population and AIDS are greater today than they were when people first started talking about them.

These issues, AIDS and a seemingly out of control population growth path, are some of the things that condoms seek to address. But it's up against one of the toughest obstacles out there...the human mind. Perceptions, especially those that are set in stone, are walls impervious and impermeable to anything. And how have they tried to address this, or to work around it? Well, the article details such 'new kinds' of condoms as the super-thins, extra-thicks...and the glow-in-the-dark varieties. Well, innovation knows no bounds I guess, so we'll have to see what they can come up with next. And what of the condom? Well, as long as it takes two people to have sex, and unless we evolve into asexually reproducing organisms, the condom will continue to be around....unless someone figures out a way to make it into a sort of 'nicotine patch' type thing.
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