If so, do you carry a condom in your handbag these days?
Because not so long ago, academic research on the subject said you probably didn’t — Korean women were just too scared of being slut-shamed for it, leading to popular attitudes that contraception was overwhelmingly — or even exclusively — men’s responsibility. Further contributing to that stigma, bans on contraceptive commercials weren’t lifted until as recently as 2006, although (bland) public campaigns promoting condom use had been made two years earlier for the sake of HIV/AIDS prevention.
Since then though, surveys show that attitudes among young Koreans are changing, and there’s been some alarmist articles about how much casual sex they’re having these days. Also, I often see commercials for the pill on television (especially MNet, a music channel) and in women’s magazines. But for condoms? I haven’t seen any personally, beyond minimalist ones in newspapers and magazines.
So, I was very happy to learn from a reader that he just saw two Durex ones on television, both of which encourage women to be very prepared:
And the men too:
What’s more, they’re both based on Sticky Tape below, Iggy Cerda-Salas’s winning entry for Durex at the MOFILM London 2012 Awards, which only had a male version. Add that these are the only videos on Durex Korea’s Youtube account, and that its Facebook pages were also only set up recently, then it appears that they were specifically created for the Korean and/or Northeast Asian market.
Or in other words, Durex Korea at least now feels that there’s a definite market for their product among Korean women, and that they’ll no longer be so embarrassed if they’re caught with them.
Here’s hoping sales go well!
But have any readers seen any previous Korean commercials or ads by other condom manufacturers? Did women feature in those too?
(Related: See Korean Sexuality: Still Awaiting a Revolution? for more on the curious parallels between Korean women’s *previous* attitudes to contraception and those of their UK counterparts in the 1950s.)
(Update: Durex Korea has just confirmed that these are Korea’s first condom commercials)
(Update, June 2014: Unfortunately, these commercials proved to be just a one-off, with no real attempt to engage with female consumers and challenge double-standards. Sigh.)