The latest “condom challenge” which promotes the importance of safe sex has turned viral, as more and more people take part in this potentially dangerous pledge of allegiance.
This new activity follows a string of other Internet crazes, verging from the most pointless and bizarre (planking, owling and the human flag), to the most serious and purpose-oriented (the ice bucket challenge, meant to raise awareness of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis).
It appears that this latest online fad, which debuted in Japan on November 16, also has an important mission: it champions safe sex behavior, by bringing condoms into the spotlight.
The challenge requires at least two people to film themselves while taking part in a stunt involving a condom filled with water.
Given that condoms are extremely stretchy, large amounts of liquid can be poured inside. One of the participants takes the heavy bag high above the other individual’s head, dropping it from there. On impact, the condom seals against the recipient’s face, as water begins to pour, drenching the willing victim.
The initial video, which was posted on Twitter, triggered more than 9,000 retweets and almost 10,000 likes. It didn’t take long for imitators to emerge, indulging in this fun and seemingly harmless stunt.
For instance, a short movie shared on Vine turned out to be even more popular than the original footage, having been looped almost 3,600,000 times.
Similarly, an “official Twitter account” was created especially for those wishing to share their condom challenge with the world, and numerous posts of this kind have also sprung up on Facebook and Instagram.
However, social media users wishing to join their ranks must stand advised however that the popular, apparently innocent game can actually be quite hazardous.
Having one’s face covered by an airtight seal, like the one provided by the falling condom, could even be fatal, because of the high risk of asphyxiation.
The danger increases since the stuck balloon is also filled with water: as the airways open up, the liquid can enter the individual’s lungs, resulting in pulmonary edema or drowning.
While this new Internet craze seems to have been inspired partly by the icebucket challenge, at least that stunt was less life-threatening, and it also succeeded in raising funds for the ALS Association.
In contrast, this new condom challenge seems less practical in its intentions, no matter how honorable they might be.
Supposedly, the actual purpose is to promote safe sex, by suggesting that no man is too well-endowed to wear a condom, given that the barrier device can easily engulf a human head, even providing extra room without breaking.
Unfortunately however, the focus is placed solely on poking fun at those who are showered by the water-filled balloon, instead of sparking debate about risky sexual behavior.
On the other hand, there were even more dubious condom stunts several years ago. For example, back in 2013, another fad initiated by teenagers involved snorting a latex condom through the nasal cavity, so that it could be coughed out of the mouth.
This obviously posed a significant choking hazard for the participants, but it didn’t make the challenge any less popular.
Image Source: Larazon