The condom of the future? Planned Parenthood offers high-tech rubber with QR code

Planned Parenthood's new social media effort encourages users to show where they had sex

Here’s a social media experiment that we didn’t see coming. Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest has begun distributing 55,000 condoms to college students with QR codes, allowing students to anonymously “check in” and boast about where they’ve practiced safe sex. A Web site dubbed WhereDidYouWearIt.com chronicles all of the action, so you can see that folks are particularly frisky in Ballard or Bellevue or Bellingham.

“Did you just use a condom to protect yourself against unintended pregnancy, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections? You go, tiger! Sex that (is) safe, should be shared,” declares the Web site.

The interactive map also includes comments from users. For example:

A 20 something guy and a girl whose relationship is just for fun and have already talked about safer sex and STDs used a condom in the bedroom to prevent an unplanned pregnancy. It was ah-maz-ing – rainbows exploded and mountains trembled.

And:

A 30 something guy and a guy whose relationship is non-existent and have not yet talked about safer sex and STDs used a condom at a party because their partner told them to. It was fair- a work in progress.

What’s the point of this unusual social media effort?

“We hope the site promotes discussions within relationships about condoms and helps to remove perceived stigmas that some people may have about condom use.  Where Did You Wear It attempts to create some fun around making responsible decisions,” said Nathan Engebretson, new media coordinator at Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest.

The effort was introduced as part of National Condom Week, with check-ins now recorded in 48 of 50 states and on six continents.

OK, we want to know: Which states are the hold outs?

UPDATE: We’re told that all 50 states are now represented (the holdouts were Maine and Vermont). There have been 955 check-ins worldwide, and the map has now received 9739 visits.

Here’s the map of the Seattle area where folks are having sex (or at least sharing it publicly).

  • http://twitter.com/GoSnapHop SnapHop

    What a fun use of QR codes to prompt discussion about an important topic!

  • Jim Dhaem

    This was done in Stockholm last year, with great results! See the  video:

    http://www.qrcartist.com/2011/qr-code-condoms/

  • Anonymous

    WOW.. No…just No.  I don’t want to know where people are having sex.  That’s the kind of thing that stays between those two people.  Just….No. 

    • M_G

      Well no one told you that you had to look at the results or see where people are having sex. 

    • http://twitter.com/jclaussftw Jason Gerard Clauss

       Amen. I officially just ran out of faith in society.

  • Brian Powell

     In Sweden,
    between 1995 and 2001, teen abortion rates grew 32% during a period of
    low-cost condoms, oral contraceptives and over-the-counter emergency
    contraception. Similarly, National Review recently reported that “out of 23 studies on the effects of increased access to ECs, not one study could show a reduction in unintended pregnancies or abortions.”

    A recent ten-year study in Spain was reported to have found the same thing:

    [C]ontraception use increased by about 60%, the abortion
    rate doubled. In other words, even with an increase in contraception
    use, there weren’t fewer unwanted pregnancies, there were more.  http://www.lifenews.com/2012/02/27/planned-parenthood-sells-condoms-with-gps-showing-sex-location/

  • http://twitter.com/jclaussftw Jason Gerard Clauss

    Worst idea ever. *facepalm*

  • Glainne

    What’s next? Slapping a QR code on our “Personal Pocket Potty” so anyone and ALL will know where and when we took a dump?

  • Doggiekittymouse

    If these get posted to Facebook as part of Facebook Places, their check ins will be in direct violation of Facebook Places rules and will be subsequently deleted.

  • Babygrltina32

    I think this is a GREAT idea! If nothing else, people will use the protection to be a part of the study and if these condoms work as well as they say, then HOPEFULLY a lot of people will use proection ALL of the time!

  • Orin

    This is a perfect example of the idea that just because you CAN do something, it doesn’t mean you SHOULD. : P

  • http://feedingthegeek.tumblr.com/ feedingthegeek

    Next innovation: bar codes on the condom itself. Not only identifies the location of usage, but the number of digits in the scanned bar code tells you something about the wearer. “Excuse me one second while I take a photo of my iBone with my iPhone.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1441903609 Yvette Outhey

    WOW!  What a waste of money!

  • Mark

    I’ve got enough problems in my pants, I don’t need the government in there too.