Jonny is a new condom brand on the block—designed by women, for women—which is going to change the way we buy and think about love gloves.

For many young women the thought of buying condoms is met with fear and embarrassment, because there is a long-running, multi-generational stigma surrounding the topic.

The truth is most adults, if not all adults have sex at some point or another and being protected against STIs should be comfortable and easy for any gender. There should not be any judgment, and yet many of us think people are constantly judging us, just because we have sex…

For young women in particular it can be a little scary to go and buy them. The moment we leave our house there is a chance we might run into someone we know. Whether you’re at the pharmacy or the grocery store, there is always a chance you could run into your best friend’s Mum while you’re picking out the most suitable condom. The fear of judgement is always there.

After talking to a few of my girlfriends, we unpacked some ideas of our own. We think that girls can be seen as a bit promiscuous or slutty for having bought condoms, or for carrying them. Many of us have been told it is the guy’s responsibility to buy condoms—but we all know there are situations where there are none on hand when needed.

We talked about our own experiences, and the anxiety we felt when having to buy them. The first few times, you think everyone is judging you.

A friend elaborated to me:

“It feels like for guys buying them it is fine. But for a girl to buy them, she is seen as a slut. It is crazy people preach protection and as well as liberation in terms of sexuality and with who/how many etcetera; yet a girl cannot go out and buy them herself, not to mention if a girl was to stock up on them for some reason. Maybe she’s going away for months to another country where she isn’t sure about buying them, just like if one was to buy loads of tampons for a trip. It’s not the same and it should be.”

We feel there is a real conflict in society.

We also discussed the assumption that men have an expectation that women take care of the contraception in the form of the pill or the other female contraceptive methods which prevent pregnancy. There is an ‘it doesn’t matter syndrome’ – If you don’t get pregnant, then it is all good. Though as we all know, this does not prevent the other baddies: STIs.

Image: Jonny

One of the Co-Founders of Jonny, Bec Park, has shown some insight about where the stigma has come from.

“The condom industry is really over sexualised and is somewhat degrading in its messaging towards women.”

She also mentioned that many men also don’t feel comfortable about the over-sexualised nature of the condom industry.

Other Co-Founders of Jonny felt the same—Bec told me the moment the three ladies decided to embark on this journey “was a goose-bump moment” for them all. They wanted to change the way people marketed condoms to women, and they conducted focus groups which confirmed their thoughts and highlighted that most women felt the same stigma.

“It is about the social messaging aimed at breaking down the barrier, the stigma around purchasing condoms, carrying them, then using them and wanting them to be used without any shame attached to that.

“In focus groups women openly shared they would rather go to the doctors and get and STI test, than to demand using condoms.

“It is the right time to promote equality and respect,” she says.

The Melbourne based brand was launched in January this year, they are sold online and have plans to expand into more spaces where women shop – such as boutique clothing stores – as well as environmentally friendly stores. They do not want to distribute in places where this stigma still exists.

The brand promotes environmentally friendly practices, with their be-good-to-mother-nature attitude. The condoms all come with biodegradable bags for disposal after use, and yes – the love gloves are biodegradable as well.

For now, their products are sold online on their website.

The creators of Jonny don’t want their products to be predictable, they want to stay a bit fun and a little bit cheeky.

In the next year they hope to add some other things to their portfolio which you would not expect from a condom brand—so keep an eye out ladies.