We Rate the 5 New York City Condom Contest Finalists


The Department of Health has announced the finalists in that NYC Condom wrapper design competition they initiated in December. And we’re all allowed to vote for the winner! Competition closes February 28.

Here’s what we think of the nominees:

B. Pro: Computers, get it? It’s modern, which may get the kids excited about sex again, presumably the point of the whole thing. Oldsters will like the reference to “turn on,” a disused 60s expression meaning “stoke.” Also has the advantage of simplicity. And it’s totemic, but unlike traditional totems, indicates the desired absence of a family or clan.

Con: We had to dig hard for all those attributes; ballers in a hurry will just wonder if it isn’t a screen-wipe or something.


A-. Pro: Ahh, this takes us back to the days of the Manhole, anonymous sex in trucks, and all the other things that made New York great. Indicates both urbanism and strength, implies user is cool and condom unlikely to break even when it takes a pounding.

Con: What right have today’s fornicators to such unearned street cred? We were there back in the day, man.


B+. Pro: Well, it’s certainly sophisticated, eh wot? And kind of clever: a topper for a jimmy hat! The delicacy of the illo offers a pleasing contrast with the rough monkey sex it presages.

Con: Historically illiterate users may imagine the condom is a hundred years old and decline to use it.


B. Pro: This is, compared to all the rest of the competition, information-rich. And ha ha, a subway train going into a tunnel! It was good enough for Hitch, why not for us? Also it’s black, the official color of New York City and illicit sex.

Con: Maybe some users will take the train symbology the wrong way, and imagine a rickety, noisy unit entering a filthy, dangerous hole. (Admittedly, this will only spur the ardor of others.)


B-. Pro: A nice middlebrow alternative: lots of pretty colors, suggestive of Tiffany (class) and of fireworks (sex). Looks like something fun that you’d be eager to open, like candy. (Presumably there’ll be a warning about this on the other side.)

Con: Maybe it’s just us, but we think the PROTECT NYC legend cuts both ways: It recalls DEFEND BROOKLYN, which is modish, but also the mission of the DOH, which is to prevent venereal disease transmission, the very last thing we want to be thinking about as we attempt to maintain sufficient tumescence to get the damn thing on.


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