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Durex wants us to talk about sex

SOME of the offerings from Durex.

AS WE close out Valentine’s Week (it was last Tuesday), Durex reminds us all to have safe sex.

On Feb. 16, condom brand Durex invited guests to Poblacion’s Dr. Wine for the “What’s Your Pleasure?” Valentine Quiz Night, which led guests to answer questions based on sex. Many of the questions came from a regional study by Durex that surveyed 300 Filipinos, which led to insights such as 64% of Filipinas seeking more satisfaction in bed, or that 76% of women desire to have more foreplay.

“We want to normalize the conversations about sex and pleasure. This is why we do these things,” said Camille Taguba, Brand Manager of Durex Philippines. “We have a lot of products to enhance your pleasure, to let you explore your pleasure with your partner — or with yourself.”

Ms. Taguba also discussed their new campaign, #ComeTogether, which used the data from their regional survey about unequal sexual pleasure between the sexes. “We feel like everyone is entitled to pleasure,” she said.

This isn’t the first educational activity for Durex: it apparently has a rolling caravan that gives sex education talks at universities and communities (such as BPO offices). “We’re working with agencies who do have partnerships with the Department of Health (DoH) to drive (sex) education in universities,” Ms. Taguba said. “(We’re) driving condoms as an everyday essential.”

“In these types of events, in the key moments like Valentine’s Day, we want to equip them to be ready for sexual education,” she said. These “key moments” (which according to her, reflect spikes in sales) include Women’s Month (March) and Pride Month (June). “Sex occasions and condom usage during this period (Valentine’s Day) are very high,” she said.

Ms. Taguba said that in the ASEAN region, the Philippines has the lowest penetration rate for condom usage. This could be reflected in the increased rate of new HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) infections in the Philippines. In A Briefer on the Philippine HIV Estimates 2020 by the DoH Epidemiology Bureau (DoH-EB), it counts that there had been a 237% increase in annual new HIV infections from 2010 to 2020, giving the Philippines the fastest growing HIV epidemic in the Asia-Pacific region. “If the rapid increase in new infections is sustained, the estimated number of people living with HIV will triple by 2030 and reach over 330,000,” the briefer warns.

Ms. Taguba explores maintaining a balance when it comes to being a brand — and a brand involved in a public health issue. “It’s about the brand’s purpose as well, of unleashing your true sexual self,” she said. Ms. Taguba explains the importance of brands like theirs jumping on to topics like sex. “With the Philippines specifically, it’s very taboo. It’s like a sin to talk about it,” she said in a mixture of English and Filipino. “But we want to let people know that it’s normal for you to experience these things, to want pleasure in your life.”

“But you need to be protected.”

Durex products are available in all leading stores nationwide and on Lazada and Shopee. — Joseph L. Garcia

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