Whether you are a man or woman, you have stood in line to buy a pack of condoms and have felt embarrassed, be it from having to ask the cashier for the product or having the person behind you, hear your request.

In the spirit of the longstanding battle women have fought for gender diversity, equality and liberation – women are reminded that they have the right to make their own choices, even in the practice of safe sex.

The Durex Global Sex Survey, released in 2017 revealed that 68% of adults in South Africa and 27% of single non-virgins are sexually active. The survey revealed that men are more likely to take responsibility for purchasing condoms, and only a quarter of women bought condoms.

According to Tania Goncalves-Da Conceicao, Durex Brand Manager, there needs to be a proactive drive for women to know that it is okay to enjoy safe and protected sex, which, also leads to greater feeling of intimacy and heightened pleasure.

“Up to six in 10 people take risks by having unprotected sex, 47% have had sex without using protection against STIs, 18% because they didn’t have contraception at the time and 39% because it was in the heat of the moment,” says Goncalves-Da Conceicao.

This sense of shame and embarrassment for women often leads to having unprotected sex when they would rather not, according to the survey.

“The time has come for women to take control of the sex lives and feel liberated to carry condoms, ask for what they want in bed and protect against unwanted pregnancies and STIs.

It is imperative that as women fought for equality, it is their equal right to purchase condoms and ask a man to protect himself too,” adds Tania Goncalves-Da Conceicao, Durex Brand Manager.

According to the survey, a fifth of sexually active adults worry about STIs and unwanted pregnancy when having sex while 21% worry about STIs and 28% worry about unwanted pregnancy. One in ten adults who have lost their virginity suffered from an STI and a fifth of non-virgins have experienced an unwanted pregnancy.

“These statistics are alarming and men and women alike should take more precaution during sex. Like men, women should feel empowered to walk into a store and purchase condoms.

Take your life back, command the respect you deserve and if it doesn’t make you happy, don’t do it. Empower yourself in and out of the bedroom, it is your right. Live your best life by having the sex you want, the way you want,” concludes Goncalves-Da Conceicao.