Durex launches a safe sex emoji...

One of the condom emojis by Durex. Immage supplied.
One of the condom emojis by Durex. Immage supplied.

Global leading sexual wellbeing brand, Durex launched an international campaign calling for the creation of the world’s first official safe sex emoji, ahead of World AIDS Day on 1 December 2015.

Research conducted by Durex* reveals emojis play a vital role in young people’s conversation around sex with 80% of 16-25 year olds finding it easier to express themselves using emojis and over half of respondents regularly using emojis when discussing safe sex.

84% of 16-25 year olds said they feel more comfortable talking about sex using emojis.

More worrying is the rise in apathy towards engaging in safer sexual practices with over a third claiming not to care about safe sex.

Further research showed nearly half think that HIV will never affect them or their friends**.

In light of this, Durex has launched a worldwide campaign to call for an official safe sex emoji to be created by the company behind emojis (Unicode). 

Such an emoji will enable young people to overcome embarrassment around the discussion of safe sex, encourage conversation and raise awareness of the importance of using condoms in protecting against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV and AIDS

Durex is calling for people to use and share the hashtag #CondomEmoji in support of safe sex.

Read: Condom ring tone a hit in India

Durex hopes 1 million users will let their voices be heard over November so the support can be captured as part of the official submission to Unicode on World AIDS Day, 1 December 2015.

“Many young people have gained their sexual knowledge through their own sexual activity and searching the internet,” explains McCormack. “While participants generally felt able to discuss safe sex within their romantic relationships, there was more uncertainty with new or potential partners.

80% welcomed the idea of the emoji to make the discussion of safe sex easier and more fun.” According to Dr. Mark McCormack, Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Co-Director, Centre for Sex, Gender and Sexualities at Durham University***

Read: SA has a condom crisis? No.

Alarming Trend In Attitudes Towards Safer Sex

  •        Over 56% of respondents claimed not to worry about safe sex with 53% feeling there was less interest in the subject these days and, more startlingly, over a third claiming not to care*.
  •        Further research from Durex and MTV** found that 78% of 16-24 year olds across Europe were sexually active but only 62% were using condoms and 4 in 10 had had sex with more than one person without a condom.  In fact, whilst 86% felt that we all have a responsibility to tackle HIV and AIDS, it seems they don’t feel they are the ones at risk with a quarter of respondents believing that it was only a problem that mainly affected people in Africa.

The four emoji condoms

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