I work in marketing. So I would like to take a moment to write about what I feel may be the worst marketed sex product ever. I am speaking about FC2, aka the female condom. You could consider this a review but really it is a criticism of the terrible marketing job that has been done on this product. I am probably wading into the great swinger condom war, but the fact that this is not the condom of choice for swingers who use them is baffling and due to the hack marketing job that’s been done.
In marketing there is an idea of the 4P’s that are critical to a product’s success: product, price, place, and promotion. Product describes the general overview of the item being marketed. Price is self explanatory. Place is where something is available. Promotion is how its benefits are communicated.
Product: FC2 is the second iteration of an internal condom. They have eliminated the annoying crackly sound that made it seem like fucking a grocery store shopping bag. It is made of nitrile and has two circular rings at each end. It is pretty easy to insert and is like inserting a tampon: awkward the first time but not really a big deal after the first few times. It can dry you out, so you definitely need to use lube both inside and outside of it. The good thing is since it isn’t latex you can use water or silicone based lubes. It can be used inside the vagina or for anal sex. The latter makes the name female condom terrible since it can be used by males for anal sex as well.
Price: FC2 costs more than standard condoms. On Amazon, depending on the order quantity it costs $1.12-1.45 each. This is in comparison to male condoms which are closer to $0.40.
Place: FC2 are almost impossible to find. I have never seen one in a store. I checked online and supposedly Walgreens sells them but the ones near me do not. Even sex stores nearby like Hustler and Adam and Eve do not carry them. For me to get some to try out, I had to go online to order them.
Promotion: I have never ever seen any promotion on FC2. I think the only reason I am even aware of it is sex ed information that discussed various birth control methods. However the groups that do promote this focus on some really stupid product features. The focus on the fact that it can be inserted in advance and not ruin the mood. They focus on the fact that the female is in control.
To me the first is pretty stupid as it takes about 5 seconds to put on a male condom. If a guy gets soft in that amount of time, maybe it’s not meant to happen. The second is even more stupid. If the female demands a condom there is no clear benefit to using the FC2 when all that is required is to demand the male “Sack it or go home and Whack it” and use a standard condom. If they don’t and force sex there is a name for that. It’s called rape.
So let’s discuss the real benefits to swingers.
1. So why would you use a product that costs three times as much, is unusual, and actually requires insertion in the female? It’s far easier to go with the status quo. Men, the reason is clear. The number one reason to use FC2 is that it feels much more like nothing on. This is as reported to me by those with whom I’ve used one. Why this would not be the condom of choice for anyone who doesn’t like condom but wants to feel safer is baffling. All I can guess is that they haven’t tried them.
Why haven’t they tried them? Because they are marketed to women. But if most women are like me then they don’t get any actual benefit to using a female condom versus a standard male condom since the feeling difference between condomed penis, FC2, and bareback is negligible.
The benefit accrues to the men but the cost goes to the woman. This is why FC2 is the worst marketed product in sex history. It shouldn’t be called Female. It should be called the “Internal condom.” It shouldn’t be marketed to women. It should be marketed to men. How much would sales go up if the marketing slogan was “As Good As Bareback, But Safer”? I’d think that would be worth the extra eighty cents a use. Why don’t men in the lifestyle start bringing them to parties and requesting their use?
2. If you are a male with a tendency to get soft when you put on a condom or due to the reduced feeling, then FC2 may enhance your ability to stay hard. This is a necessity in swinging. This will enhance sex not just for you but for the females in your life. You may need to do a bit of a sales job to get them to try it for the first time but I think that will work better than trying for bareback for those who are against it. And also far better than subpar performance.
3. If you are allergic to latex, then you should definitely try FC2. Using a latex allergy as a reason to require bareback is disingenuous at best when there are alternative materials available. If you are a swinger you should be considerate of those with latex allergies and have a few non latex condoms in your bag of supplies.
4. In my experience swingers have a tendency to have marathon sex. If you are a male that is multi orgasmic you don’t need to change the condom each time you cum and get soft. This is also true if you are a guy that pauses during play to be able to last longer before finally having the one orgasm for the night. In standard play that means using up several condoms. For FC2 you just pause and then restart. Not having to use multiple standard condoms means that the cost differential is eliminated and may in fact make the FC2 cheaper.