Female condoms: get feisty this Valentines
‘Is your life important to you? Then using condoms is a no-brainer,’ says Maya Gokul, who has been a female condom trainer in South Africa since the early 1990s.
‘Female condoms are life-saving! Especially for young people. No stress, no mess! No agony about pregnancy or HIV. Nothing! You are stress-free!’
‘I train all kinds of people. Communities, health workers, the big bosses. I make it fun for all of them. They come in so serious; but when they leave, they have changed. Because I have the ability to change their mind-set.’
Making the right choice
‘People say knowledge is power. But knowledge is not power if it’s not used. So having information on female condoms in your brain is not enough. It needs to be followed up with motivation; which is your heart. And finally, there has to be a reaction. Either you want to protect yourself or you don’t. The choice, at the end of the day, is yours.
‘And that choice is based on what value you put on your life. Is your life important to you? Is your health important to you? If you say it’s important, then what are you doing to protect yourself from HIV and pregnancy? If you are doing nothing, then there is a contradiction.’
Sex is supposed to be fun
‘You are supposed to enjoy sex! Sex should be pleasurable.’
With a female condom, there is immense pleasure. And protection. All-in-one!
‘Some people tell me that female condoms are ugly. I always ask them: ‘Look at an STI, look at the consequences of an unwanted pregnancy. And now tell me, is this condom ugly? Make a choice. What is it that you want?’
‘And most people will of course say, ‘In that case, we choose the condom.”‘
I’m a female condom believer
‘With my trainings, I’m hoping to convert more people to female condom believers. I tell people: I give you my knowledge, my attitude, my skillset. You take it! You embrace it! And you pass it on. To your partner. To your children. To your family, your friends, your neighbours, your community and your colleagues. You spread the message.’
‘That’s what I do. And I will never give up.’
Have you experienced the pleasure of female condoms? Tell us your story on Facebook or in the comments below, or leave any questions you may have on the forum.