Monday, August 17, 2009

100,000 Swedish Condoms in the Town, 100,000 Swedish Condoms…

Swedes like sex. And condoms. It’s a good combination then really. Much better than unwanted babies. Or syphilis. Sweden actually sent me a condom when I turned 24. And right now there is a campaign giving out free condoms in Stockholm. Each one has an individual number. A tracking number if you will. I first overheard someone talking about this campaign a couple of weekends ago. At the Pride Parade of all places.

The campaign can be found at not because they are confused and think we are still in 2008 but because Stockholmers like to refer to themselves as 08ers (in a bastardized English translation) because of the telephone code being 08 for Stockholm. It’s cute really.

Despite what I might think to be a kind of lame URL address, I quite like the campaign idea. “Vart tar 100 000 kondomer vägen i sommar?” Each person is asked to go onto the website and register their condom’s story. And there are a lot of stories. I don’t have the patience, or desire, to read through thousands of Swedish sex stories. In Swedish. Some people do. But I did glance through a few. And found a favorite. In 20 words the author (author makes it sound so much more legitimate) was able to give a whole lot of information without actually saying anything. And I loved it. So, if you’re feeling Swedish make sure to read about Kondom nummer 97079.

It doesn’t seem like there are any rules about the actual use of the condom. For example, maybe you want to make a water condom and throw it at your roommate. Or perhaps you’d like to make condom animals. I’m pretty good at making snakes. Maybe you need a bag to take your lunch cucumber to work. All reasonable uses of a numbered condom.

If you want a numbered condom you need to hustle. They are being given out at Eriksdalsbadet on the 28th and 29th. Then you only have a couple of days to use it and write your story. Stories stop being accepted on the 31st of August.

Welcome to Sweden. Where there are only 16 360 (and counting down) numbered condoms left.

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  1. Maybe i'm just reading too much into it but i say it proves how smart these folks are, think about what would most other countries do to get their people use jimmy hat, i'm not sure about states( i just guess it's more ads they put on tube not for the purpose of having a healthy society but for rather to make money tell me if i'm wrong,( no pun intended) ) i know what government does in Iran though. they put bunch of useless banners of meaningless slogans everywhere which is just eye annoying on the benefits of using a rubber or invite some doctor to schools to tell students about its advantages which honestly i can't see it's working much, here though you say they mail you at 24(i say it's a bit late lol) and at this campaign they give you a gratis numbered one and even wanna hear your story ! wow
    it just tells kids put it on .it's good for ya ;)
    i guess i'll be their at 29th to collect mine hehe

  2. Wow, the casual language of those entries is really easy to read! And it's motivating content. They should totally use this site in SFI classes.

  3. Really? Use it to take your cucumber to work????

  4. LOL... Now there is something you will not see in the US!

    My niece is in middle school and had to learn to put a condom on a banana in health class last year. In case they ever want to bring their bananas to school in a bag, I suppose. So maybe it is for taking your banana, and not your cucumber, to work.

  5. Too freakn' funny. And I agree, 24? These days, try 14! But hey, it's the thought that counts. Wish I could read Swedish, though I may hit up Google Translate for a laugh. And what did you do with your condom-in-the-mail? Was it take-your-cucumber-to-work-day?

  6. This is awesome! I wish they would do this here in Spain. Those condoms would not go to waste and the stories would be hilarious!

  7. that must have been a freaky high security office that costs you a kung fu condom to take your cucumber in

  8. Okay, perhaps I'm just slow, but why did they put tracking numbers on the condoms? I get handing them out for free. But what are they tracking?

  9. Lets just say that a condom at 24 is the last one you get, not the first. Its mailed together with a notice saying "you are now too old to come to the youth clinic where youngsters tests for stds. Swedes are given condoms a number of times before 24...

  10. i got condom #87000whatever at the pride parade. woot!

  11. I just posted a link to this blog on my Facebook. It's so good! I wish the American governent would wise up about sex and sex ed... Everyone has sex, no one can stop pre-marital sex.. Especially not with endless lectures and threats about the "dangers". "Abstinence-only" education doesn't work. Maybe one day the US government will wake up and get the conservative/religious stick out of our ass... Then maybe we can be well-equipped and informed about sex and protection and the (teen and unplanned) pregnancy rate will go down...

  12. @laura
    coz they want you to take it into the field and later post them how you did it (gee),and don't forget it's only the rubber number no name or anything so you're anonymous in the whole time and i say probably later on, they pick up the best post and the lucky winner would win his condom for life time hehe

  13. Please, please take your cucumber to work that way and tell us all about it.

    What's really funny is that you're on a deadline for using it...pressure. ;)

  14. @Michael: Thanks! Yes, I AM slow. But, I get it now. It's like a Swedish version of Where's George, only with condoms. Kinda makes me wish I could read Swedish.

  15. "08a" is more inclusive than "Stockholmare". Plenty of "08or" don't live in Stockholm proper. That's part of why the term is used.
    People from the countryside (outside of 08) tend be sloppier with how they use "Stockholmare".

  16. @laura
    i can't read swedish either. it's no big deal though.
    i ran the google translator and it worked great, you should try it

  17. Well I don't know if I would take my cucumber to work in it. All those chemicals and krap would be on the cucumber. Not so tasty. But if the campaign is to encourage condom use, I love it. I have heard since moving here that condoms are not commonplace for um, casual meetings like they are at home. Not so smart...

  18. Hairy,
    I just love your blog! I have no idea how I found it but I'm glad I did. I enjoy your use of the word "glorious" immensely! Plus it is way cool having a window into the Swedish world. I find it interesting how our cultures seem polar least in the social sense. Being from the deep south and female we expect doors to be opened for us at all times and all of us wave at and chat with complete strangers. Still, I find the Swedish practice of not talking just for talking's sake meaningful. This post was especially hilarious with your "take a cucumber to work day" line. So thanks for entertaining this mother of two from Georgia!


    A Fan

  19. @Mama: I'm also a mother of two from Georgia! Just wanted to wave,say "Hey neighbor!" and reinforce the American/Southern stereotype. Show the Swedes how its done.

  20. @Michael – Im all for it. The condom at 24 was more of a warning that I could no longer go to the youth centers an get condoms since I was no longer considered a youth.

    @Eva – I never thought about that, but you’re right, plus it would make for a hell of an introduction to Swedish culture.

    @mamma – yeah, I mean DesignTorget sells banana protectors.

    P.S. I think we should make a rule that you can’t comment on my blog when I write about condoms.

    @An American Girl – I didn’t know that putting a condom on a banana actually happened. I thought that was some sort of hollywood movie myth.

    @SwedishJenn – Yeah… lets go with take my cucumber to work day…

    @Xoán-Wahn – It is a pretty funny idea. Maybe you should import it to Spain.

    @Michael – Its important to always tap into your inner ninja when doing things. Even bringing a cucumber to work.

    @Laura – Well not really tracking, but just numbers so they could let people tell the story of that particular condom.

    @Lejon – well said.

    @Sapphire – Go condom #87000whatever!

    @Courtney – Agreed. Although, Sweden has a pretty solid abortion rate suggesting that there may be a few unwanted pregnancies.

    @Michael – well said.

    @E – the pressure is on. But I actually don’t have one of the numbered condoms. Yet.

    The cucumber... we’ll see.

    @Laura – Where’s George is pretty awesome.

    @018 – you’re right. Technically. But in a more colloquial level, it’s a fair usage of the term.

    @Michael – Google translate does do good work. Some languages are better than others. It struggles with Finnish in case you were wondering.

    @Typhoid – Seriously.

    @m8surf – yeah, Sweden usually has a rash of stds right after the vacation periods when everyone comes home sans condom.

    @mama – Well thanks! glorious is a pretty good word. And I suggest everyone use it at least once a day. It’s almost like the apple keeping the doctor away. But better.

    The cultural differences are really different. In Sweden, holding a door for the wrong woman can be seen as an insult. Sadly, I actually heard from a guy who had taken some verbal abuse from a girl for holding the door for her.

    Glad you were entertained!

    @Laura – oooh I like it! The blog brings people closer together!

  21. good tip! tack
    in svenska though it worked well, i mean all the posts were undestandable and seemed fluent

  22. OMG I found myself using the word glorious today. I really don't think I used to use it. Worse, I didn't even realize it had seeped into my vocab until the person with whom I was speaking gave me a smirk and asked, "Glorious?" You're in my head, you evil bastard. ;)

  23. @Laura

    Back at ya neighbor!!! :)

  24. @ Hairy

    What a glorious idea! Maybe it will keep the doctor away. :)

  25. @Hairy- Learning to put a condom on a banana is really a thing. Maybe they got the idea from a movie.

    My sister was shocked. My brother-in-law was outraged (because of course his baby girl is never having sex, EVER). My niece thought it was funny. What makes it even better is that they live in a small, very conservative town in the South (yes, in the US).

  26. @Michael – it usually does good work.

    @E – muah ha ha ha!

    @mama – one can only hope…

    @An American Girl – that is pretty hilarious. Practice makes perfect as they say.

  27. I got my first condom from my University Health Care department. It was a weird moment for me. Now, I have using them every now and then. Trojan seems to be my first choice during buying process. Although there are other best condoms in market, it totally depends upon your skin sensitivity. Right?