D.C. has been giving away free condoms to encourage safe sex. They chose the slightly cheaper Durex brand for the freebies. But a new survey finds that D.C. teens are demanding larger, more durable Trojan Magnums instead, claiming that the Durex are too small. Because, you know, teenage boys are very likely to reliably report the size of their Captain Howdy on an official city survey.
The whole condom controversy is a handy study in the problems with (in this case, literal) one-size-fits-all government-provided goods:
"If people get what they don't want, they are just going to trash them," said T. Squalls, 30, who attends the University of the District of Columbia….
Health officials and consumer advocates say that in terms of preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, there's no difference between Trojans and the less-expensive Durex condoms that the city is offering….
"We thought making condoms available was a good thing, but we never asked the kids what they wanted," said D.C. Council member David A. Catania (I-At Large), chairman of the health committee.
Solution: Grease the squeaky wheel (sorry) and then—to ration the good and prevent the most egregious fraud—construct some hoops for distributors to jump through:
D.C. officials have decided to stock up on Trojan condoms, including the company's super-size Magnum variety, and they have begun to authorize teachers or counselors, preferably male, to distribute condoms to students if the teachers complete a 30-minute online training course called "WrapMC"—for Master of Condoms.
To wrap up (sorry again), here's your government-sponsored condom quote of the day:
"The gold package certainly has a little bit of the bling quality," said Michael Kharfen, a spokesman for the city's HIV/AIDS administration.