GPS condoms, unwed Australian moms and lesbian bonobos

Saturday Mishmash: Three stories to read before brunch

By Michael May

This Saturday’s Mishmash is all about things related to sex. They might not make for table talk, but they certainly sparked our interest.

We want your suggestions for stories for future Saturday discussions. Send those (or thoughts on what we should call the Saturday segment) here.

Connected condoms

A different kind of souvenir. (Reuters/Stefan Wermuth)

Safe sex just went viral. No, not an oxymoron. Planned Parenthood has started distributing condoms with Quick Response codes on their packages (QR codes are similar to bar codes but read by smart phones), and a corresponding website to collect the data.

So, after a post-coital cigarette (note: not really safe), one can romantically scan the condom rapper with your smartphone and provide a review of your condom-consumer experience. Thanks to the wonders of GPS, your liaison is now geographically pinpointed on a map of the world, along with a brief description.

Thanks to this informative app, I now know that a couple in Niger used a condom. Here’s more (than you really need to know):

“A 20 something girl and a guy whose relationship is just for fun and have already talked about safer sex and STDs used a condom in a secret spot to prevent an unplanned pregnancy. It was fair- a work in progress.”

Thanks Planned Parenthood! Here’s more from Canada’s The Globe and Mail.

Australia’s shame over unwed mothers

Along similar, but much more serious, lines, the Australian government has been investigating a troubling practice of forced adoptions that occurred in the country between 1951-1975. Around 150,000 babies were taken, mostly from unwed mothers, and given up for adoption. A senate committee collected stories from these mothers for a report, and has recommended the government officially apologize for the practice.

The stories collected in the report are heart-wrenching. Here’s one from a woman who didn’t give her name:

“I’d lie in bed every night with my arms wrapped around my baby inside of me knowing that I would never hold him after birth. I’d feel his feet and hands through my own stomach as he moved around, knowing that I wasn’t ever going to feel them after he was born. I’d talk to him and tell him that I would find him again one day and that I and his father loved him and always would. I’d pray to God every night for him to send [someone] to get me out of there and show me a way to keep my baby, but no one did. I’d think of running away, but where would I run to, who would I run to. It was clear to me that no one in my family was going to help me.”

Here’s more excerpts from the Australian news site Crikey.

Bonobo alpha lesbians

You must read this story if you plan to move up in the primate social strata before dinner.

Researchers studying bonobos, a kind of chimpanzee, in a sanctuary in the Democratic Republic of Congo have found that female bonobos have sex with more dominant females as a way to impress their friends and boost their social status.

Social climber. (Reuters/Katrina Manson)

I guess the bonobos would have a thing or two to say to those who claim homosexuality isn’t “natural.”

Anyhow, the researchers, from Emory University in Atlanta, have been studying vocalizations among bonobos, who have a female-dominated society. They found that low-ranking females make a particular call when having sex with a higher-ranking female as a way to move up in the world.

More from the BBC here.

Don’t forget to send us your ideas at the link below.

Straight to the Source