On Condoms

Recently I’ve been reading a lot of comments about Hanako’s sex scene in Katawa Shoujo. Apart from the somewhat unrealistic sex, the one thing that has caused a bit of a stir is Hisao carrying around a condom.

A lot of people have asked “where did the condom come from?” or similar questions. To be honest, of all of the comments/criticisms that have come from Katawa Shoujo, this is the one that surprises me the most.

I received my first “official” (as in, school-based) lesson in sex education when I was in year 9. I won’t go into the details (this was a good 15 years ago) but suffice to say it basically said “Use a Condom or you will have an AIDS baby.” Of course, ew all knew better, but we all took the opportunity to take some of the free condoms.

Okay, so maybe my school was a little more liberal than others, and sure, most of the condoms ended up as balloons, but the point is we had access to condoms ever since. Our year advisor had a bowl of them in his office, and so did the health office.If we didn’t want to use those then there were vending machines in the Senior toilets, or you could just go to the service station across the road and use the vending machine in the toilets there.

 

From that time onwards I pretty much always carried a condom in my wallet. Sure, most of them hit the expiry date, but it was good to have one around. And why not? You never know when you’re going to need one, and more than a few times I managed to “get lucky” because I had handy access to protection. And yes, this included my “first time.”

 

I know that most of you reading this blog are probably guys, but it’s probably not such a bad idea for girls to be carrying a rubber either. In fact, I would think that the girl, usually the more sober and sensible of those early couplings, would probably have a better chance of remembering the condom…

Having sex is good fun. Even having a baby is great fun, but I’m glad I didn’t have one straight away. I’m not going to turn this into a lecture on Safe Sex, but really, if you “accidentally” get someone pregnant then you are an idiot. Not to mention the numerous health problems that come from having AIDS.

 

So yeah, I don’t find it unbelievable that Hisao was magically able to produce a condom in Katawa Shoujo. What I find more unbelievable is that people of the age to read such material think that finding a condom is a magical feat…

 

If you haven’t already, go and find a rubber and stick it in your wallet/purse today. There are a million ways you can find one without anyone else knowing. I know that I used vending machines for a long time because I was too embarrassed to buy them from a person. There’s even online ordering services (like http://www.condoms.com.au ) that will post them to you discreetly.

 

I hope that clears up Hisao’s magical condom.

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17 thoughts on “On Condoms

  1. I didn’t even mind it at all, I was glad that for once he was having “safe sex”.

    I for one am one of the guys that always brings one with him at all times in his wallet, because just like you said, you’ll never know when the time will come. I’ve been doing this ever since 7th grade really, so I just thought it was normal for a guy like Hisao to bring a condom with him just in case.

  2. Don’t know exactly which is the problem. Here, in Spain, it’s something normal, like a tradition, carrying a condom in the wallet.

  3. I didn’t even bat an eyelid, in fact it’s nice to see some responsibility in fiction instead of senseless fantasy for a change. I read one review of KS that actually criticised it for such mundane details, but I think it helped with emersion, we all have to stop what we’re doing and roll on a condom at some point in our lives, as much as it might kill the mood.

  4. I buy mine in bulk from the local supermarket. I’m fine with it, however i do always feel the need to pick an appropriate cashier (i.e not the nice little old lady at the far end) and similarly i always feel compelled to buy something else at the same time, like teabags, even if i don’t need any. Strange, but then again I am British.

    1. Oh, I know what you mean. It’s the same with men’s underwear. Really don’t like checking out with it, lol! self-registers have done wonders for this.

  5. Sadly something like this is not at all so common here, and especially wasn’t at the time I still went to school. So I guess that explains a big part of my own surprise in this case. It certainly makes sense after your explanation, though, so thank you for this post.

  6. Thank you so much for writing this, Crud. I’ve been making this argument on the subreddit for awhile now, but I got tired of responding to everyone. Now I can just direct them to your blog 🙂

    1. Well, he’s currently working on the last part of Final Finale which I’m guessing is going to lead to the events of Runner’s Afternoon, so just think of Final Finale as a prequel to it for now.

      1. Itreally isninteresting looking at different people’s perpsective….

        However it looks like Final Finale will run to at least 5 parts. I don’t think that it will explicitly link to Runner’s Afternoon, but I can see where you would get that idea.

        Also I write prose when I have the time, and blog posts when I don’t.

      2. Oh I thought I read it was only going to be a 3 parter, my bad then. As for the story, again, don’t take my word for it, I’m just guessing.

  7. While contraception use may be a good idea and fairly common here in highly conservative right wing sections of the USA people where regularly sent to detention or even suspended for having condoms on their person in Jr High and High School. There was certainly no sex ed other then during health when they said abstinence was the ONLY way and buying condoms at a store in High School was likely to get the store to call your parents if they shopped there. Coming from such an area I was a surprised to see a High School kid pull one out at first but thought better of it after a moment seeing as its what anyone I knew at the age would have done regardless of the stigmas.

  8. Well, from an East Coast USA perspective, the question wasn’t so much “Where did it come from?” as “Why didn’t we see it before?”

    As others have said, handing them out in school isn’t SOP everywhere. Perhaps some drama and/or humor could have been had by seeing Hisao obtain it, no? (Here come the fanfics!)

    Anyway, good job and keep the stories coming if you can Crud!

  9. Well… uhm… Although I praised your route, I did criticize the condom thing
    I think it depends on the person, you know
    Back in the day, I had sex education classes, and free access to condoms, but never carried any of them
    After giving it some thought, I realized that any opportunity that required me to have a condom in my wallet wasn’t worthy enough to be my first experience (the “It has to be special” thing), I mean, I didn’t want to throw it a away at a party or something with a random girl. Also, I knew that condoms can be damaged because of the friction if you carry one in your wallet for too long, so carrying and replacing one on a regular basis for no particular reason sounded weird TO ME
    However, I did do it when I started dating my girlfriend, when the relationship was in a level that sex looked like something imminent, and it indeed came in handy to have one
    So, if you take in mind that Hisao is a virgin, it may look weird that he pulled out one
    It looks even weirder if you don’t think of him like the kind of guy that doesn’t care about his first experience. There was no sign of Hanako loving him yet, so why would he be expecting to have sex?
    It’s subjective…

    1. The one thing that I would like to rebutt here is that you seem to see “spontaneous” and “special” in different columns.
      I mean, that’s the whole experience that you’re trying to capture with the word “serendipity” – something that is unplanned, spontaneous, and with a positive result.

      It’s also worth noting that condoms are by far the most popular method of birth control in Japan.

      Still, in my mind there are many, many reasons why a single young man would carry a condom. I’m more surprised at the number of people who jsut can’t seem to comprehend it at all…

      1. I do not think that something can’t be spontaneous and special at the same time at all, but I do see “CASUAL” and “special” in different columns.
        I did carry one when I had someone to hold dear so I could seize the opportunity when it finally came, and in the end it was indeed special and spontaneous. Before that I just thought that the only purpose of carrying one was to have casual sex, which didn’t seem special at all to me
        I’m not saying that it is insane or completely incomprehensible for a single young man to carry a condom; it’s just that I wouldn’t if I was on Hisao’s place, so I couldn’t help but feeling weird with the scene
        It’s not like you broken the laws of physics, but rather created a scene which is capable of breaking (or not) the player’s immersion for a bit, depending on his principles
        Still, this is much of a fuzz for a little thing (without even considering that the amount of unrealness and awkward moments on other visual novels is huge). I quickly forgot it afterwards while playing

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