Beautiful Safe Sex Campaign

Wed, 01/20/2010 - 10:28
Submitted by Betty and Carlin

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Wed, 01/20/2010 - 14:28
Seriousblack (not verified)

As an uncut man I find it sad that even on a penis planet (in the picture) the cocks with the turtlenecks are still relegated to the background (lower right in picture). Even the darker coloured cocks are some what distant too, funny that...

Just an interesting observation from a minority;)

I know what Seriousblack means...

Joelface's picture
Thu, 01/21/2010 - 06:32

It is certainly interesting that in this "nature scape" there must be a lot of busy genital cutters present to make sure every one of these creatures has one of its most sensitive parts removed.

I do think it is these types of representations that 'normalize' the circumcised penis in the minds of those who observe them. It all combines to create a dominant ideology where a foreskin is seen as 'extra' and an oddity.


Nevertheless, this type of thing is SO widespread that it is almost not worth bringing up in an individual post. I certainly do think this picture has value... it is also contributing to an image of condoms as 'cool'... while also just really being clever and fun to look at. its certainly part of a great campaign!


I would love if artists and companies and sex educators would spend a bit more time helping people understand that the intact penis is healthy, and natural, and normal... and that circumcision violates an infant's right to his own healthy body.

... for now, I'll be glad that at least we're making sure people understand that safe sex is INCREDIBLY important.


24 - M - Critical Relativist and Feminist (Equalist) - Canada

The intact penis is my fave

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 09:36
Carlin Ross

The intact penis is my fave ;)

"I see my body as an instrument, rather than an ornament." - Alanis Morissette

Doctors need to get a clue as well..

ChrisOnline's picture
Thu, 01/21/2010 - 11:21

The general American ignorance around foreskin is such a shame on us.  I have to include myself in that group. 

When he was 5, I rushed my son to the emergency room because he was having pain urinating. The ER doc said that his foreskin was tight, and cut it.  Not off, but still, he mutilated it. Traumatic experience.

Reflecting on that night, and based on info I gained using D&R as a starting point, I know now that there were other ways we could have handled it without the use of a doctor’s knife.

I'm confronted with the need to approach my son at some point (he's 14) with the facts and asking him if he wants it fixed, if that's even possible.

Like Carlin, I'm a lover of foreskin. The more crevices to explore the better:) But aside from that, my son’s experience shows how serious the issue can become.


But overall, that add is wonderful, and I hope effective. I'm a sucker for a pretty picture. Wouldn’t it be great if the octopus had multi-colored tentacles, and the penis anemone was more prominent?


Thank you! <3 So IMPORTANT to talk about!

Joelface's picture
Fri, 01/22/2010 - 01:53

Well, I apologize for hijacking this comments section away from what TRULY IS an awesome campaign by AIDES.

But I will say, I totally appreciate both comments, by ChrisOnline and Carlin. I can tell that you are both amazing women, and that your brand of Feminism is not relegated to just women (which is what inspires ME as a man to give you back the same respect, and gives me PRIDE to call myself a feminist.)

With so many boys being circumcised EACH DAY in our own local communities, and throughout the country and even the world.. I just wish we could stand up even taller than we are, and make our voices even louder to make sure people GET that the foreskin is a valuable body part... and that it belongs to that individual born with it.. and NOT to his parents.. and not to his parent's preacher... or to his culture. To HIM alone.. Just as we all own our own healthy bodies.

Lets not forget to stand up for this cause! We can play such a critical role in ensuring that boys are able to grow up into men who get to HAVE an intact penis.

That goal is worth violating the social taboos that make it awkward to talk about and easy to put off.


24 - M - Critical Relativist and Feminist (Equalist) - Canada

Well, as an artist myself, I

Fri, 01/22/2010 - 14:11
Anonymous (not verified)

Well, as an artist myself, I think people are over-reacting about the fact that the dicks appear to be circumcised. You'll notice that women aren't over-reacting about the fact that her inner labia aren't flapping around like a manta ray, nor about the fact that she is perfectly-proportioned or fortunate enough not to have cellulite.

As for foreskins- my boyfriend is cut and in terms of hygiene (it NEVER smells, even in the morning after a night of sex) and how it feels in my mouth during oral (DELICIOUS), I do prefer it. Don't hate me!

As a mother, it really isn't my business to consider my son's future girlfriend's preference, so would not choose to have in circumcised. In the UK, it is not performed routinely anymore, so most men under 40 are intact.


Can we not just enjoy the artwork? And take on board the message?

I like to think of this site as a really good cocktail party...

ChrisOnline's picture
Fri, 01/22/2010 - 16:54

If your discussing a great piece of art in a particular circle of party goers, and someone's train of thought steers the conversation in a different direction, have fun with it. Don't walk away.

What a great party.

Can't We Appreciate It AND Question It?

Joelface's picture
Fri, 01/22/2010 - 22:56

@anonymous (artist)

As ChrisOnline just mentioned, I really just sort of expanded upon what the previous comment had noted.

I agree with you that its beautiful artwork that has a GREAT message. I believe I've said that a few times in my posts by now, but I just want to reiterate that. I hope that we all understood and appreciated it.

I don't think anyone would hate you for your preference, so long as you don't use it as a way to try to justify doing it to a child. I view your opinion as about the same as a man expressing his preference for a woman with fake boobs and labiaplasty done.. I don't entirely "respect" the view, but I believe you have the right to it.

I do wonder if you understand the perspective of those of us who do bring up the issue of normalization.. especially when we live in a culture where circumcision of infants IS very common.. and the rates are largely so high because it seems 'so normal'.

If this campaign were in Africa, and it depicted genitally cut vulvas all over the screen.. wouldn't we be sad that it was furthering the normalization of that practice? I would take issue with it, for sure.


24 - M - Critical Relativist and Feminist (Equalist) - Canada

I agree. This isn't an issue

Sat, 01/23/2010 - 14:08
Christina Cicchelli (not verified)

I agree. This isn't an issue about circumsized versus uncircumsized. This is about protection. Quite frankly, I really dont see any difference between cut and uncut and it has never affected the sex i share with the lover whom said cock belongs to.

My only concern is that I imagine myself to be the young woman in the picture. Why am I the one whose being protected? Shouldn't the condoms be around the penises? Why isn't there dental dam on the tongues? How can I wrap my legs around a sexual sea tentacle if I'm, well, immobilized? I don't understand the message. Sure, its a fantastical landscape. But, it seems our subject is just that... exploring... not actually interacting. Which is sad.

The artwork is beautiful but this is kind of a disappointment for me.

"Illusion is the first of all pleasures" - Oscar Wilde

The ad does not target the sexually sophisticated…

ChrisOnline's picture
Sun, 01/24/2010 - 17:50

However, I bet it would really grab the attention of a teen age girl. Imaging herself as the swimmer, she would have a positive, cool, associate with protected sex. So, yeah, he missed the opportunity to promote dental dams, but overall, it would be hard to argue that the ad misses.

The artist, James Jean, says:

 “These ads were designed to raise awareness among the young people of France who are having copious sex without protection…….the focus was on "mainstream" sex in general.”

BTW there is a companion ad with a boy in a condom exploring an “outer space” full of boob and pussy planets.

Interesting that the art was for a French campaign.  Not sure why the English copy, but French men are not generally circumcised (< 25%??), so I wonder if the color and style of penises was the artists prerogative. The artist explains on his site that the folks that hired him to illustrate their ad were very involved/insistent with the kinds of sea life included.


Thank you Christina for

Tue, 01/26/2010 - 07:47
Anonymous (not verified)

Thank you Christina for understanding my initial point.

Joelface, I think you have taken what I have said out of context and have made assumptions that are comletely incorrect. Thank you for 'respecting' my view, however:

1) My preference for my boyfriend's cut-cock does not in anyway mean that I condone circumcision for all. Quite the opposite- I already stated that I wouldn't choose to have the procedure carried out on my son, unless medically speaking it was necessary.

2) I am absolutely horrified that little girls are still being mutilated in the name of tradition. Again, with respect- I hardly think that male circumcision compares to complete clitoral and labia removal as well as sewing the vaginal opening shut. I can only assume that if you personally have been circumcised that it was done in a sterile environment and hopefully with some anaesthesia. Culturally speaking, this differs greatly to the conditions under which these terrified little girls had to suffer their ordeal.

I have asked my boyfriend his opinion on the issue. He does not mourn the little piece of skin as it was removed for medical reasons. Nor did the procedure alter his ability to enjoy wanking, oral or fucking. He just loves that I love his cock... but with or without the foreskin, I would anyway.

Definately not walking away from the circle, adding my contribution to the cocktail party. Betty and Carlin are fabulous hostesses!

Well. It IS an issue, actually.

Joelface's picture
Wed, 01/27/2010 - 02:14


I don't see why this can't be about more than one thing. Again, I'm sure if the other picture depicted genitally cut female organs that both Betty and Carlin would have something to say about it.

I don't think you can just say "this isn't about that".. well.. too bad for you. you don't get to decide what its about.

As for the depiction featuring a woman inside of the condom, rather than the condom being on the sea creatures.. I think the point is that we need to take responsibility for ourselves. This image was aimed at women, while the other one that featured a man also featured the man being protected, rather than the female body parts.

The focus is on being responsible for yourself.. which I think is a worthy cause.

Nevertheless, I get what you're saying.. and I think thats a valid criticism with the piece.


24 - M - Critical Relativist and Feminist (Equalist) - Canada

A Normalization I Don't Agree With.

Joelface's picture
Wed, 01/27/2010 - 02:36


I did understand your first point, that you said you wouldn't choose it for your child. I am glad to hear that you feel that way. My point was that as long as you do feel that way, it doesn't make much sense to hate you for your preference (as you did say 'don't hate me!' in your original post).

Regarding your second point, I notice that you only speak of the absolute most horrific forms of female genital cutting. I should note that there are comparable forms of male genital cutting as well, though...

I think to only speak out about the worst forms of FGC do a great disservice to those women who have a less severe form of genital cutting forced onto them.

Does the sterile environment and anaesthesia make cutting up the genitals of a woman better? no. Some who practice FGC do have it performed in a sterile environment. Should we legalize it in North America under those conditions? no. Because though the the pain and dirty tools are really bad, they aren't at the core of what makes FGC wrong.

The women who have been genitally cut, even in the most extreme forms do not mourn the loss of the "little piece of skin" of their clitoris. They are usually the most enthusiastic about their right to cut up the genitals of their daughters and grand-daughters.

Why is this, do you think? Is it wrong to stand up against FGC if those who have been victimized by the practice are the ones who are most in favor of it?

The procedure absolutely alters the way a man CAN enjoy pleasure. It alters the number and type of nerve endings, and removes the mobile functionality of the foreskin from the penis. If he was circumcised as a young child.. how would he know what he had lost?

My point isn't for your boyfriend to mourn his lost foreskin, or for you to prefer a penis that is different from his. Absolutely not.

However, circumcision of males is actually more severe than some forms of FGC, and just because more extreme forms exist do NOT in any way justify the lesser forms. They all violate rights.. and their similarities are undeniable.

So I don't your criticism of my comparison to FGC holds..

Nevertheless, my only point is ultimate that over-representations of circumcised penises in our culture as well as media that bashes the intact penis at nearly every opportunity combine to create a social normality regarding circumcision.. a normalization that I don't agree with. This is really all I've been trying to say all along.


24 - M - Critical Relativist and Feminist (Equalist) - Canada