Condoms are a man’s responsibility, right?
Well, Aussie entrepreneur Bec Park doesn’t think so. She and her business partners Samantha Eades and Bec Villanti are out to change up the way we think about condoms with their female-friendly condom brand Jonny.
“It’s not [just a guy’ responsibility]. It shouldn’t be. It’s a 50/50 relationship. You’ve both got to be in it for it to happen. And it’s as much the girl’s responsibility as it is the guys,” Bec tells Mamamia.
The three Melbourne women wanted to create a product that it was vegan-friendly and free from chemicals many other condom brands contain – but also empowered women to take care of their bodies and take condom buying into their own hands.
"Our own research confirmed that there's this age-old stigma and awkwardness around condoms. There's an awkwardness about buying them, there's an awkwardness about asking your partner to put one on.
"And I think it really stems from people just not being open and talking about healthy, sex-positive topics."
One old stigma she'd love to see completely gone is that a teen or young woman carrying a condom somehow makes her "slutty" - when in fact she's being smart and putting her own wellbeing first.
But it's no wonder there's a reluctance to think condoms are for women when you look at the advertising out there, says Bec.
"Traditional marketers have been quite degrading to women in the way they've marketed condoms - and it's just not okay."
A classic example - the image of a woman with cut lips promoting extra large condoms that featured on a brand's social media a few years ago. Or another label's Instagram post asking, "If women are so good at multitasking how come they can't have a headache and sex at the same time?"
"The thing that really motivated us to create Jonny was the impact it could have on social change," Bec says.
"If you could influence one per cent of young women to feel completely and utterly comfortable about buying, carrying and using condoms then the impact you could have on generations would be amazing."
That's why Bec and her partners want to make Jonny available where women shop - and not just segregated to the toiletries aisle of the supermarket. They have plans to make their condoms available at shoe and clothing shops, cosmetics stores and even hairdressers. (But right now Jonny condoms are available online.)
And to those who point out women often already have the Pill, an IUD or implant to worry about and shouldn't be forced to share another responsibility, Bec encourages a slightly different perspective.
"It's your body and you take care of your body. It should be as natural as lipsticks and hair ties in your makeup bag. It's just one of those other things that we have - and should be proud to have."