Durex Just Threatened Us With Eggplant-Flavored Condoms

Kind of.

Sep 8 2016, 4:07pm

Eggplants! Image: Dominick/ Flickr

If you haven't noticed, that eggplant emoji isn't usually used to talk about vegetables. It's a popular sexting symbol because, well, inserting an eggplant into a sentence or a string of emojis looks a lot less naughty than the real thing. Plus, the emoji key board hasn't ventured into human anatomy.

Eggplant emoji. Image: Wikimedia

In fact, the eggplant emoji is so popular in sexting that Durex, the popular condom company, announced it would be coming out with eggplant (or aubergine) flavored condoms. However (luckily) that was just a marketing hoax. The fictitious eggplant condoms are part of Durex's new campaign to get people talking about safe sex.

"Emojis of this sort 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, including HIV and AIDS," Durex said in a statement last year.

Emojis have become increasingly vital to the way young people talk about sex. Research (commissioned by Durex) suggests that 80 percent of 18-25 year olds find it easier to express themselves via emojis, and 84 percent said they feel more comfortable using emojis to talk about sex. Over 50 percent said they regularly use emojis to talk about sex. What's more alarming is that one third of 18-25 year olds said they didn't care about safe sex and almost half thought that HIV would never affect them or their friends.

In light of this research, Durex started a campaign asking for the condom emoji. They even posted a survey on Twitter asking, "Would you like a new #condomemoji?" People have the option to check yes or no.

And whether the eggplant condom hoax gets people to practice safe sex, it's at least getting them to talk about condoms. That's probably better than most of our sex-ed classes.