Ideally, we are all aware that sex with a condom is considered safer sex. They decrease the likelihood of unwanted pregnancy and the chances of contracting sexually transmitted infections — two things that we want to avoid. But, how much thought are we actually giving to the condoms being used? We are guessing zero thought when the time comes to use them and minimal thought when perusing options at the store or hauling home a big ass paper lunch sack of them from Planned Parenthood (seriously, they supply the most optimistic number of condoms you have ever seen).
The problem with this lack of thought is that you can’t trust that companies are looking out for you. The FDA doesn’t require condom manufacturers to disclose their ingredients. Yikes. The lack of regulation means most brands contain carcinogenic chemicals called nitrosamines — which are released from condoms when they come in contact with bodily fluid. Seriously, a 2014 independent study by Reproductive Health Technologies Project (RHTP) revealed only two major brands were free of detectable nitrosamines across their entire product line.
One of those lines was Sustain — a company committed to being safer for vaginas and the planet. And we like that, because we’re big fans of both.
Sustain produces vagina-friendly products like tampons, condoms, and lube without parabens, animal by-products, synthetic fragrances, or harmful chemicals. But, let’s get real, no one is looking to put those on their dicks either, so they can be considered genital-friendly on a general level.
“We add a chemical blocker to the manufacturing process,” explains Meika Hollender, Co-Founder and Co-CEO at Sustain, “to prevent the nitrosamines from forming in the latex. We also don’t add things like spermicide, fragrances or dyes, or other things that can irritate a woman’s body.”
It feels a little weird to focus on vaginas so heavily in a discussion about condoms because that isn’t the traditional model that advertisers and companies have used. We’re used to people with penises being the target audience, because they are the ones wearing them. But, Hollander discovered 40 percent of condoms are purchased by people with vaginas, so it’s time for the model to change, and it’s great to see Sustain doing that. Frankly, we hope that the other sixty percent of purchasers are equally concerned with the safety of the products they use.
Watch the video and learn about Sustain from its co-founders. Plus, get some valuable condom information while your brain is prepared to process it. Because next time you are getting sexy, it won’t be foremost in your mind.