July 2012

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How does the condom ration shape up ?  36 condoms per person at AIDS 2012; 15 condoms per Athlete at the Olympics




Okay it was the break-dancing with a female condom that gets a special mention. I mean we know lots about pleasure and female condoms over here, but we had never ever seen that. We caught the Washington female condom promotion team at the AIDS conference ‘global village’, and that is just what they were doing. Break-dancing with a female condom.  He was so fast I could not film him. You will just have to imagine it  (like those pre you tube days, remember ?)

So that’s what we want at the next worlds AIDS conference. Gold medals  for the plenary speakers to say sex and even better good safe sex. It’s not much to ask. Medals for biomedical researchers ( you know who you are) to admit they may have had sex once at least. A sexy condom demo that’s gets televised in the opening ceremony ( umm sorry we got carried away…)

In fact 850,000  Condoms were distributed at AIDS 2012 and 150,000 the Olympics. That means 36 per each participant at AIDS 2012 and a mere 15 per Olympian. So we will stop our quibbling over here at Pleasure Towers about condoms and celebrate. The brilliant woman in the Condomise zone must have done at least 20,000 demonstrations over the week did well to distribute so many.

Anyhow back on it and who deserves a pleasure award for talking dirty at aids 2012. Those female condom ladies (and gents) are

Willing Victims at our female condom and pleasure session

putting a ring on it, rolling their hips just so and vagina , well lit up our day. We love the Chicago female condom ‘ put a ring on it‘ campaign and we did a sexual pleasure and female condom workshop with them and others in the women’s networking zone.  Lets just say our sexy female condom demonstration, got um refined..

'sweeter on the penis'

The Universal Access to Female Condoms programme was attempting to break the world record for the longest  paper dolls chain with pledges for female condoms . There was lots of pleasure there on those dolls. See left and below.

Also Dante deserves a special mention for saying in the female condom press conference  ” female condoms are pleasurable and fun for bottoms” because they can be used for anal sex too..

Couple of other gold medals and loud cheers go to Kevin Mayer  in the brilliant Lancet medical journal session on men who have sex with men and HIV with his  ‘Sex is For pleasure’  statement. Sadly it still needs to be said. But great that an esteemed journal made the space to do that.

We think that’s about it for now, we still have to update you on our fabulous workshop and all the sudden sexy condom demo experts we have in the HIV prevention world.

Any other nominations out there for people and pleasure placements we missed ?  We had our pleasure net up but can’t catch it all.

Let us know who you think deserves a pleasure medal for service at AIDS  2012.


female condoms give me orgasms

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Sex has been eradicated from the conference, it’s almost as if it’s an airborne disease”

Okay so when we said that to WAMU radio we were feeling kinda blue and bio-medicalised out. They interviewed us after our satellite session to launch “Everything you ever wanted to know about pleasurable safer sex but were afraid to ask” . Also Facebook closed us out for three days for putting up one of our postcards : so we got a slap on the wrist for that ( free postcard for whoever guesses which one it was ) . Next time we will shut down. I’ll be careful but sign up for our mailing list he and for blog alerts here…

But after initial dismay at the lack of any discussions of condoms, safer sex or just good old fashioned sex in the first couple of days we started to cheer up because of the growing band of pleasure promoters  at aids conferences. We ain’t the single issue solo loonies anymore.


It kicked off with The Pleasure Project Hosted satellite at 7am Tuesday morning ….and people came ! Unbelievable and amazing. We didn’t go easy

on our audience with a sexy safe condom demo (7:05 am ) and then launched the evidence review “everything you ever wanted….”  by posing questions particularly suited to that time of the morning such as ” is sex rational?” ” what is sexual pleasure?” and ” do positive attitudes to sex correspond to positive attitudes to safer sex ? “. Read it for the quick and dirty and more considered answers.

Next up Dr Scott Shelton blew our minds talking about the evidence she has analyzed and how it shows that making your sex education programmes and materials a turn on means people have more safer sex. So not only is it appealing but it works. We knew that but it we needed to see those randomised control trials prove it. See question 15 in the review for more on her research.

Next up was DKT International who last year sold 650 million condoms in 18 countries and  kinda know a thing or two about good safe sex. Chris Purdy and Daniel Marun spoke about how they do this globally  We especially….. Like the moped ad…. You’ll see…..  What we mean about dotted….. Hello Fiesta Ribbed. All those presentations are here with the session description.

Ttitsi Masvaware  from the University of Columbia in New York has been focusing her research on  young southern African women and asking them why they have sex. And hello. They are not just saying that they are forced or raped or trafficked. Despite what most of the development literature tells you. They schedule it in. They want pleasure. As she said ” she told me that she had him....” read her talk Masvawure TB Pleasure Project Satellite IAS 2012 copy and see question 2 for more on her brilliant research that shows young women can be  ‘active lust seekers”.

And lastly but not least and the best titled talk at the conference by Professor Gary Dowsett and socked  it to us with the ‘choreography of sex’, the improvisation in sex, the messiness of sex, the skills of sex , the joy of it and all of it they we don’t usually hear at AIDS conferences…read it here Dowsett presentation

The questions afterwards were great with some  criticism of the images used to sexy up safer sex (more on that later because it deserves it own blog)

But what has been phenomenal is the number of other sessions at this conference on pleasure. We are normally the pleasure cultists, not any more.
The American health care foundation had a “making safer sex sexy” satilite where we heard on their campaign to get condoms into porn . We loved the presentation by from NYC condoms and their health department.  “ NYC will be awash with condoms and it’s river will run with lube” on how to saturate your city with condoms (and an app to find them whenever you need em!) and the chair thrilled us with her description of how she put her knowledge of cherry stem rolling in mouth to special use these days with a condom.

Other pleasure awards go to the IPPF youth group for their pleasure session on Thursday and keeping the pleasure flag flying with happy healthy ‘n’ hot. Some great questions and conversations “ how can you learn to flirt ? ” let’s remind ourselves that 48 % of new infections are in young people under 25 currently and we need to talk about safer sex and sexual skills for young people ALOT MORE . And another gripe there are just not enough of them at conferences presenting, sharing experiences and keeping the rest of us a bit more real. IPPF thrilled us with another condom controversy session on Sunday (with us and DKT) interjecting on erotic condoms which was standing room only. Go IPPF . You rock.

And another session I attended in the global village had interesting ways to start the pleasure conversation in the transgender community in Thailand. What I loved was that they did a pretend telephone call, as if a client was calling in and showed how they bring pleasurable safer sex into the conversation and talk anatomy and other sexy bits. How many chairs of sessions are brave enough to do that and lovely to see practical and tactical sex education at play.

So that’s a pleasure round up for now and it tales us up to Thursday at AIDS 2012 (there is more my active pleasure seekers)  and I have not even got to female condoms, the unsung hero of sexual health and some more pleasure awards he at aids 2012 .

You’ll just have to enjoy the delayed gratification…

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Ohh we are getting very excited about our session tomorrow morning at the AIDS conference here in Washington.

Mainly because we are just a little frustrated that safer sex seems to have slipped off the agenda even more than usual.

Although Hilary Clinton was still stating the path to an AIDS free generation is combination prevention – condoms, counseling and testing. There is also a large demonstration outside the conference against male circumcision – reminding us of another prevention method recently also found to be effective against HIV (the demonstrators think its mutilation) .

However most of the excitement at the conference is on the recent NIH research that showed if HIV infected people took HIV treatment early their sexual partners  were almost completely protected from infection. It’s great news and a real boost to get people onto treatment. But we do hope that this does not reduce the already limited attention in the sexual health world on being creative when it comes to condom use. The HIV industry is a world with attention deficient disorder rapidly racing onto the next magic bullet – or ‘cure’

In fact whilst sitting in the opening ceremony yesterday I was trying to count how many times  the word condom was used. I maybe wrong (and please correct me if I missed one) but I counted four times. That was in a two hour opening Session at the worlds largest AIDS conference. Franky I felt a little depressed. And answers on a postcard for how many time sexuality or pleasure were mentioned .

However despite condoms slipping off the agenda we are getting psyched about all the brilliant speakers we have at our pleasure and  breakfast session tomorrow.

We will  hear from brilliant researchers who have identified the link between more sexy sex education and having more safer sex, such as Dr Lori Sheldon from the US or  how promoting pleasure sold more condoms in Brazil  . Daniel Marun from DKT International will tell us more about the  empirical evidence show receptiveness to safer sex messages have improved when pleasure and desire are incorporated into marketing efforts.

Dr T. Masvawure from Zimbabwe will talk about her research that looks beyond the stereotypes of African women and the reasons they have sex, pleasure of course being one.

And lastly Professor Dowsett will deliver the rather fabulously titled talk “Pleasure, Passion, Pulchritude, Sex, and Technology: HIV prevention is about to get even messier”

And I think he right.

So lets look at these wonderful condom ballgowns in the meantime.




to know about pleasurable safer sex but were afraid to ask..

Is the topic that The Pleasure Project is tackling at AIDS 2012 in Washington conference next week. We have trawled the literature (just for you) to answer 20 question about pleasure, sex and health and it’s here all here..  Everything you ever wanted to know about pleasurable safer sex but were afraid to ask .

We are launching it at the  global AIDS conference in the USA next week (and in India later). It collects together global eviodence to answer tricky questions such as ‘ How long does it take to learn safer sex skills?’

If you are at AIDS 2012 come and hear some of the experts in sexuality and eroticising safer sex speak about the evidence at our Pleasureat 2012 Satilite or learn how to improve your sexy safer skills at our workshop. We are organizing event with DKT International, one of the world’s largest condom social marketing organisations and pleasure promoters .We are grateful to the Institure of Development Studies at University of Sussex who funded the evidence review.


We will also launch it in Delhi on the 28th July with the YP Foundation.

Here are more details of what we are up to next week in our poster TPP AIDS_Poster_v2.with support. pdf..and the link to our  facebook event page.

See you there … keep thinking of the tricky questions..





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