In the news recently:
“Betel-nut condom wins taste tests
NEW DELHI, India (Reuters) — An Indian firm has launched a paan-flavored condom designed to evoke the pungent taste of the betel nut and tobacco concoction chewed and then spat out by millions of South Asians, newspapers have reported.
Hindustan Latex is targeting the new condom range at prostitutes, who are among the most vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS, the Hindustan Times reported Tuesday.
The company ran taste tests with sex workers, including prototypes with chocolate, banana and strawberry flavors, but the paan flavor came out tops.
“The community loved it as most of the sex workers chew paan,” Sanjeev Gaikwad was quoted as saying at the launch in Mumbai. Gaikwad is a director at Family Health International, a public health organisations that helped develop the condom.
Paan is a mildly intoxicating preparation wrapped in a leaf, usually
containing tobacco, betel nut and flavorings, and is hugely popular across South Asia. It is chewed to a mouth-staining red pulp before being spat out.
The condoms will at first be made available only to prostitutes, but will we launched to the general public in a few months, the newspaper said.”
I’ve looked and can’t find the original article, but either way, this is the funniest story I’ve read from the region over the whole year. It’s certainly a very different approach to HIV development programmes, the polar opposite to all these pro-abstinance campaigns which are absolutely useless.
However, given how vigourously people chew paan over here, it might be great for the prostitutes but I’m not sure I’d be keen on covering my penis with something that makes people want to bite down. It’s the equivalent of smearing yourself in barbeque sauce and then waving your cock above a bear pit.
But if this really does take off, then how long before it becomes a commercial success in other countries? Not paan-flavoured, obviously, but if you could produce condoms to suit the local palate then you could be on to an instant money-maker. And now my lack of success every time I visit Poland can be simply put down to my lack of Durex smelling of boiled cabbage.
Thinking back to my teenage years in London, where nights on the pull were mainly spent standing in the back of pubs on my own, I’m not sure the boiled cabbage offer would have worked in the first place. Tragically, fashion-wise I was just too ahead of the times and it still annoys me that my unique look has since been copied and made popular by Harry Potter. But for all those misunderstood young men out there desperate for action, help could be hand. What do all young girls across the world love to suck when they go out, constantly, sometimes ten or more times a night? Exactly. Marlboro-Light flavoured condoms.
Someone please put me in touch with Phillip Morris. I think I might have just made the world a better place.