Should We Really “Go Back To Normal” Unsafe Sex?

Image via Durex Condoms

Durex is committed to LGBT-inclusion. And honestly, we love to see it.

Durex condoms recently aired a new ad for British television viewers. The ad, titled “Let’s Not Go Back To Normal,” encourages condom use and challenges the growing normalcy around unsafe sex.

“For too long, normal just wasn’t good enough,” a voice says as the beginning of the ad. “Normal was making rubbish excuses for not wearing a condom. Normal was shaming women for even carrying one. Normal was one million needless STIs. Every. Single. Day.”

As the narration continues, several individuals and couples, of varying genders and sexual identities, are seen in intimate moments and positions.

“So, this is a call to arms, legs, bums and private parts,” the ad adds. “Let’s not go back to normal. The world has never been so ready for change. So, let’s all change it for the better. For each other.”

The commercial then concludes with, “So, when it’s time to get back out on the streets and jump back in the sheets, let’s not go back to normal. Let’s have better, safer sex. For everyone. Forever.”

“Everyone is talking about going back to normal,” said Ben Wilson, Global Category Director, Sexual Wellbeing, at Durex parent company Reckitt Benckiser Group, in a statement. “But nobody is questioning whether we should. Truth is, ‘normal’ is rooted in a lot of outdated conventions and when it comes to sex, we can do better.”

When it comes to jumping back into sex, the Durex ad may already be too late. Several surveys have found that people, and specifically gay men, have already had sex while in lockdown. Back in June, a survey found that three out of ten Americans left their homes during lockdown to have sex. Earlier that month, a study of UK citizens found that 24 percent of gay men had casual sex while on lockdown.

In addition, Durex Condoms is correct in saying that “going back to normal” means going back to rising unsafe sex rates and sexually transmitted infections. This is especially true for U.S. citizens. As Harvard Medical School wrote in December of 2019, STIs were on the rise in the United States and reports reached an all-time high in 2018. Part of their hypothesis for why STIs were increasing is the fact that fewer people are using barriers like condoms and dental dams during sex. They also factored in the effect of budget cuts to local and state STI programs. This led to fewer screening locations and resources for information. Knowing all of this, Durex Condoms was wise to use “not going back to normal” as the angle for their commercial.

Though when it comes to LGBTQ representation, this isn’t the first time that the company has done it. In fact, it’s not even the first time in the past few months. In June, Durex included Polish YouTubers Jakub and Dawid Mycek-Kwiecinski in a national ad campaign. That ad had a simple storyline of several couples in the midst of intimacy. The inclusion of a gay couple, however, was meaningful and purposeful. It seems Durex is down for supporting better health and LGTBQ representation.

Source: Harvard Medical School,

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