China’s Big Condom Painting

Joe Veix

A safe-sex exhibition in China has taken to offbeat methods to promote the use of condoms.

I posted two weeks ago about the increase in abortions and the poor sex education in China. Since then, Xinhuanet has reported on an offbeat method to spread the word about safe sex: a large painting made of condoms, showcased at a sex education exhibition in Beijing.

The painting depicts the scenery of steep peaks viewed from the banks of the Li River in Guilin, China, and is made up of a mosaic of 60,000 condoms painted various colors. The painting is about 59 feet long and 11 feet wide. Tao Ran, manager of the Guilin Latex Factory, had this to say about the mural (no pun intended, presumably):

"We want to arouse interest, to show the public that sex can be beautiful and healthy, not a taboo not openly talked about in China before"

The exhibition  – called the Fifth Reproduction Health Technology and Products Exhibition – also includes "free condoms, sex toys, and pamphlets on safe pregnancy," and a penis ashtray. Another pamphlet explains humorous uses for condoms, including using it as an emergency water container. Artists have also used the painted condoms to make gowns.

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A large part of sex education is removing the shame from sex, and to make it a more comfortable subject to talk about. It would seem that a humorous angle – if followed by a serious discussion – is an effective method.

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