As part of my mission to educate and empower I thought it might be a good idea to cover something not too many reviewers have, condoms. Now I know a lot of you are probably wondering why I’d choose to cover such a product, especially since there seemingly isn’t too much to write about; they’re made of latex, polyurethane/polyisoprene or lambskin, go over a penis and help prevent unplanned pregnancies and STD transmissions. Big whoop!
Truth is, with all of the ‘new and improved’ options on the market I thought there might be a way I could incorporate the different varieties into a series of reviews that helps bring an awareness about safer sex practices, the benefits of making informed decisions and learning to be proud of using prophylactics rather than ashamed or embarrassed.
To help me make my point, and potentially offer a way to make using condoms a bit more sexy and fashionable, the generous folks at the up and coming “ooo” boutique provided me with an entire box of goodies to review and showcase for you. From flavors to textures, sheer to pleasure enhanced, I literally have EVERYTHING they’ve created so far.
On that note, because such a big part of what makes these condoms so fantastic is the ‘designer’ packaging I thought I’d dedicate one full post to it, with the next post being dedicated to the actual condoms. If you’re only interested in the condoms I suggest you jump ahead to part 2 (again with the following the RSS Feed so you know when it comes out).
*Since I’m a believer in paying it forward I’m going to return the favor the folks at the company showed me and share. If you’d like the chance to get your hands on some of these bad ass goodies I’ll be holding an “ooo” giveaway in the coming month. If you want to participate I suggest you subscribe to my RSS feed so you’ll be one of the first to know.
*All “ooo” boutique condoms are FDA approved, individually tested, and exceed all international standards for quality and reliability. – as taken from the website
When it came to designing a line of condoms that were as creative as they were effective, the creators of “ooo” boutique nailed it! Especially if effective means you’ll want to carry them, be more comfortable keeping them around the house, and therefore better prepared to engage in safer sex practices.
Whether it’s the unique boxes or the simple and sleek colorings used, the outer packaging has a lot going for it. It’s sophisticated. It’s artistic. It’s professional. It’s exciting. It’s discreet. It screams sexy. It’s everything many of the other mainstream condom manufacturers aren’t… and puts them to shame in the process. While the shape of the outer foil may give them away (they’re a traditional square foil with a perforated edge) the single wrappers aren’t brightly colored and don’t attract much attention; just a simple silver cover with the “ooo” lettering on each side.
As for the outer designs there are currently 6 main collections, with Tryst, Passion Pack and Art of Lust having 3 different variations on the theme. Alternatively, the Kung Fu Sutra, Take Me and Try Me boxed gift sets feature separate individually designed foil wrappers created to entice exploration of the environment and your physical prowess (images of different locations and positions being the theme). Regardless of the ones you choose, all of the “ooo” collections are pretty fantastic and worth the slightly higher price tag they command.
Tryst ~ 6 pack ($7.99), Singles ($1.59)
The Tryst line of condoms includes alluring cubes in a luxurious slick matte black tone and an almost neon shade of red, purple or yellow. The front of the boxes feature the theme name (savor me, feel me or rock me) along with a poetic prose written in a shiny black ink only visible when the cube’s tilted to expose the lettering. Located on the bottom front is a cutout corresponding with the theme; top half of a heart for “feel me”, top of a crown for “rock me” (We Will Rock You by Queen being the assumed inspiration) and a top half of lips for “savor me” (flavored condoms, go figure). The back offers basic instructions, cautions and company info, while the top and bottom have an embossed “ooo” logo, website url and ‘important information” regarding the pros of practicing safe sex. The lid easily slides upwards and off to allow access to the condoms while also acting as a discreet little storage container. It’s simple. It’s clever. And I like it. A lot.
Passion ~ 6 pack ($7.99), Singles ($1.59)
The Passion collection of condoms features a smooth and clean white tall sachet style package that’s simple, discreet and fairly unique, especially when compared to the traditional rectangle boxes used by many major manufacturers.
The neon colors within the collection are the same as Tryst, with a softer pastel purple being the only real difference. Rather than the half crown, lips and heart found on the previous cubes, Passion features a colored heart placed front and center as well as on the back where the flip tab is located. Unfortunately there’s no poetic prose included with this collection, instead you’ll find a sentence coinciding with the theme written in metallic silver. Like Tryst there are basic instructions, cautions and company info provided on the back, as well as a pamphlet located inside.
Both Tryst and Passion offer the option of discreet single condoms, packaged in the corresponding color schemes as the larger versions. Considering one of the major problems that comes with carrying a single foil wrapped prophylactic is the fact that it could get worn, punctured or torn, the inclusion of a thick quality cover is a pretty decent idea.
Kung Fu Sutra – 8 pack ($15.99)
When it comes to concepts I just don’t get, the Kung Fu Sutra themed condoms is one of them. Sure the packaging is stylish, unique, exceptionally artistic and very well deigned, but it’s just not very practical or realistic. If they were doing it for a laugh, okay fine, but otherwise – not so much. (If you can find me a link to a prOn or website where the positions are found, hook a sister up! That’s just something I need to see!!)
As for the packaging, the eight single wrapped condoms come in a tawny colored rectangular box that features Asian theme you’d expect to find on most Kama Sutra or Shunga products. The red, black and beige shades lend themselves well to this concept, as does the inclusion of Japanese characters and sexually explicit images of ninjas in various sexual positions (yes, I did just say ‘ninjas in various sexual positions’. I win.). Quite surprisingly the box containing the condoms is sturdy, thick, with a bit of weight to it, rather than being a cheap and flimsy box that falls apart quickly. To put it lightly, I’m very impressed.
From the get go the major theme of this collection is rather apparent; each individually wrapped condom features an image of an
exceptionally challenging position meant to inspire users to ‘face-off in a game of power and pleasure” (as quoted on the website). The graphics are artistic and very well designed, interesting and often induce a case of serious curiosity as to whether or not the positions could be pulled off… even if they are a tad far fetched and too complicated for the average person to even dream of completing (I see a lot of frustrating sex being had thanks to these bad boys). The lid is easily removed providing access the condoms, while the box could be reused at a later date to safely store refills or small lube samples/batteries.
*the only thing I didn’t really like about this was the lack of images of males on males, all of it is hetero in nature.
Art Of Lust ~ 6 Pack ($7.99), Singles ($1.59)
When it comes to condom packaging that’s fresh, sophisticated and highly impressive, the sleek match box style containers are where it’s at. Not only are the 3 different boxes easy to store, taking up less room than the traditional packaging larger condom boxes offer, they’re also well made and do a fantastic job of allowing the condoms to be easily accessed yet still well protected (no cheap cardboard here, the box is sturdy and designed to hold up).
Like the other two versions Art of Lust comes in a totally different design, being a sliding box with a ribbon pull rather than a sachet or cube style. The colors, while vivid, are quite muted emphasizing skin tones and golden metallic shades rather than the pastel or bright neon pigments found with the others. The front features the male, female or both images, while the back has a simple sentence coinciding with the theme written in black followed by some info on the pros of practicing safe sex. Sure the lines are a little cheesy, but they’re not that bad.
As for the designs, I don’t know that I’d use the word ‘lust’ to describe them. Intense? Maybe. Interesting? Very. Attractive? Definitely. Artistic? Highly. Having said that they are something a person would likely ask about should they see them, they can’t not, they’re that eye catching. Regarding the faces, I don’t know what they were going for but the female image slightly resembles an 80’s era Annie Lennox, with the male looking a tad like a shaved version of Sasha Baren Cohen mixed with Freddie Mercury. Quite a bit of cock rock if you ask me! (someone seriously needs to create a female equivalent to that term. Just sayin.)
According to the website the collection is limited edition, with each box designed by an ‘up and coming artist’. Unfortunately the site lacks a reference to who the artists are, making it hard for me to give credit where it’s due (Hey OOO Boutique, if you’re reading this I’d love a link please and thanks!).
Take Me ~ 12 Pack ($19.99), Singles ($1.59)
If you’ve ever needed a little push to do something fun, like let’s say have sex an elevator, take a roll in the hay, play secretary/boss at the office, or do it in the kitchen, the fun and frisky condoms offered in the Take Me collection may just be what you’re looking for.
Not sure how to broach the topic of ‘public’ play? Try slipping one into your partners pocket, purse, gym bag or wallet. Without much effort, other than a text message to let them know where it’s hiding, they should catch the drift.
Each single condom comes packaged with an image of a potentially playful, erotic or risky location on the front. Fortunately there’s quite a bit to choose from, in addition to the options listed above there’s also: The Beach, woods, one mile high, the drive-in, a tent, parents room, the back seat and the pool.
As for the packaging it’s fairly simple: each condom sits within a large rectangular sleek matte grey box with a clear plastic cover that encloses the 12 condoms, showing them off very well. The back features an image of all the condoms within the collection as some are hidden by the ‘take me’ logo found on the front. As with the other versions the back also contains info on safer sex practices and company info.
With the refreshingly different product packaging used by “ooo” boutique being a far cry from what one might expect, it’s not surprising they’re being toted as ‘designer’ condoms. Having said that, if you’ve refrained for fear someone may find them or simply because you value discretion, “ooo” boutique is a brand you might want to consider. The boxes are small enough to fit almost anywhere, they’re sophisticated in feel, don’t have a well known brand name sprawled across the front and most importantly, are condoms you’d want to pull out with pride (just so you could show them off).
While some basics similarities may remain, “ooo” boutique has raised the bar and helped to push the prophylactic industry into a whole other level. Let’s hope that companies like this thrive and grow, creating a fashionable awareness about safer sex practices and supporting the cause for generations to come.