Wednesday, 1 February 1995
It had come to this: Femidom — the female condom.
"Let's try it," I ventured.
"Sure," my partner said.
But she made me pay for it at the cashier.
Which meant I had to also buy a toothbrush and a box of band-aids just so the whole world wouldn't assume I was at the pharmacy specifically to shop for prophylactics.
The three-pack came with an instruction leaflet which caused my partner to make faces.
"It's so complicated," she whined.
I suggested that it was no more complicated than inserting a diaphragm or a sponge — both of which she had never used before. (And neither had I, for that matter, but I had heard.)
"It's like a tampon," I tried again.
"No, it's not. You're not a woman. How would you know?"
Well, excuse me.
She came out of the bathroom walking like she had something up her — you know.
"My God, it's so huge."
She was referring to the Femidom. "It feels funny."
"You'll get used to it," I reassured her, hopefully but unconvincingly. Who was I trying to kid? I have been using the male condom for years and I never got used to it.
I didn't see my first condom until I became a medic in the navy during national service, distributing the little Pandora's boxes to the seamen to contain their semen. Thousands of "love gloves" were rationed to ships going to Thailand, Taiwan and other exotic playgrounds.
My curiosity was piqued such that I tried one on during a session of onanism just to find out what it felt like.
I couldn't imagine how anyone could still be interested in coitus after the trauma of simply putting a rubber on. And despite claims of "ultra-sensitivity" on the packaging, all I was sensitive to was latex — very. very tight latex.
It wasn't until my first serious girlfriend when I started actually wearing a prophylactic during intercourse. Even then, it was more a contraceptive measure than anything else; my fear of knocking her up was greater than my fear of some dehumanizing STD.
It still hurt.
But condomed sex wasn't all that enjoyable for her either. So we soon became devotees of the rhythm method. Nevertheless, a Durex came in handy on occasions we lost our rhythm.
Removing and disposing a used condom is a rather unappetizing affair as well. It's the kind of thing that could turn you off sex for life.
Or at least the next 10 minutes
That's why I was so thrilled to read about the female condom. Finally, science came up with something useful. Now the shoe would be on the other foot. Or in some other part of the anatomy.
But I was sceptical. Femidom seemed nothing more than a glorified diaphragm. The female condom rubric is apt because that's what it looks like — a female version of the rubber but with rings on both ends, so making a balloon out of it would be tricky.
Those semi-rigid rings do tend to get in the way.
My partner was complaining about those very rings. "I can feel the smaller ring stretching me on the inside and I'm afraid the outer ring might fall in."
"Do you want to take it out?" I asked.
"No, it's OK. Let's try it."
Famous last words.
"Stop! Stop!" she cried. "It's killing me! I have to take it out!"
She hurried to the bathroom.
I could guess what she was going through. All I felt was latex - very, very loose latex.
She came out of the bathroom looking utterly relieved, and held up the crumply, slimy, guilty object for me to see - the kind of sight that could turn you off sex for the rest of your life.
Or at least the next 10 minutes.
"It's OK," I said. "We'll try it again another time."
Sure, she said.
I still have two unused female condoms if anybody wants them.
- Published in Man Life & Style, February 1995
UPDATE: Whatever happened to the Femidom?
TRENDING POSTS OF THE WEEK
I think I killed my father. Since today is Father's Day, I figure this is a good time to mention this. About 16 years ago, my father w...
Two years ago, when celebrity radio deejay Glenn Ong revealed that he was dating fellow MediaCorp deejay Jean Danker after splitting fro...
In the 1995 book Revenge Of The Sarong Party Girl , sequel to The Official Guide To The Sarong Party Girl, I was listed as No 4 among “Loc...
When I learnt that Vernetta Lopez ’s autobiography Memoirs Of A DJ: Life In Progress was published last week, I rushed to the nearest major...
It’s like 1996 all over again. Only instead of the Macarena , we’re dancing Gangnam Style . Instead of watching the White House get bl...
Lately, I've been noticing the recurring use of an unfamiliar word on social media. Aisey. Posted by SMRT Ltd (Feedback) on Wedne...
I first met Darryl David at Gurmit Singh's wedding dinner in 1995. David's date was a woman named Lynette Pang , who was a stag...
I suppose you’ve heard the big Joanne Peh news by now. I, too, was caught by surprise like everyone else although in retrospect, I should’...
Dear producers of Code Of Law , My condolences on your new Channel 5 drama series. As a former TV producer for Channel 5 myself, I sympath...
Last month, my wife posed for pictures with a topless male model at the entrance of Abercrombie & Fitch on Orchard Road. Because he pu...