It’s okay to ask what is wrong with the world today. It’s fine. It won’t make you seem old. Because now we have people who collect used condoms. In fact, one young lady is displaying them on her bedroom wall, along with pictures of the, um, “contributors.”

This is a thing that is happening in the world.

Live and let live, I always say, but I also always say “What in God’s name are you doing?” because that is sometimes an appropriate response to the way people live. Putting aside any moral objections to used condom collection (of which I imagine there are many), this is 100 percent unsanitary. What’s next, collecting used tampons? Or toilet paper?

Heck, that might even be a thing. I refuse to Google to find out.

The young lady, Tonje, or “Condom Tonje” as her friends call her, is Scandinavian. If my name began with a T, I’d encourage people to call me Taco Tonje, or even Tambourine Tonje, even though people who bring tambourines everywhere are traditionally whackadoo hippies – a fact utterly proven by some anthropological observations I made just now.

But this gal is known by one and all as Condom Tonje. Not because she’s the cool nursing student in the dorms who hands them out to everyone, not because she’s the coat check person at the brothel making sure everybody works clean – because she collects used condoms.

Oh, and her dad has asked his friends to help her out with her collection. Not to have sex with his daughter, mind you, which would be even more creepy. But he asks people he knows if they would please save their condoms after coitus SO HE CAN GIVE THEM TO HIS KID. For her collection.

Can you imagine that conversation? “Hey, Bjorn! [one assumes all Scandinavian men are called Bjorn] Did you and the missus have a good weekend? A little of the ol’ making whoopie? Ah, that’s great, you old rascal. Say, did you happen to keep your jimmy hat after that encounter? Really? That’s great! Could you possibly bring it to work tomorrow for me? My daughter has this whole collection going.…”

Tonje reports that she enjoys the smell of condoms, which is why she has nearly 2000 of them now. They don’t even have to be from her own partners. She pays people to send them to her – more if they include a pic.

How does that one work? “Hey, Bjorn Two. Whatcha doing?”

“Oh, I’m printing out a selfie from my Facebook.”

“Printing? A pic? Who does that?”

“Well, there’s this 27-year-old girl who collects used condoms. She pays extra if you include a pic. So I’m sending her a used raincoat along with my mug. Oughta net me about $52.”

“Wow, sounds legit!”

NO. Just no, gentlemen I imagine in my mind.

donotwant

 

You may yell at me, “These people aren’t hurting anyone. Mind your own business,” and you would not be wrong to do so. Note that I have not done a tour of Scandinavian nations to organize an intervention.

Instead, I am asking what is happening in the Western world that used condom collection is not only a thing, but it’s a thing strangers assist, and a thing a woman’s father abets. Used condoms can carry diseases like hepatitis C even after being exposed to air. One assumes the young lady uses latex gloves to handle her prized packages, since she likes the smell, but as of now I have no way to verify that. Most people are largely ignorant of disease vectors.

If this were your friend or daughter, would you start saving up your compromised condoms for her, or would you sit and have a long listen for why this is her new obsession? Heck, I had a long talk with my little sister when I learned she was a Third Eye Blind fan. How does something like used condom collection get a pass?

It turns out there is a whole community built around the condom fetish, as addressed in the 2009 journal of Sexually Transmitted Infections. There is a thriving online network of “condom swappers.” It might be healthier to swap fetishes. Maybe women’s shoes? An insatiable sexual attraction to eating salads? Finding a stable and fulfilling monogamous relationship characterized by emotional intimacy and trust?

The last one is, admittedly, kinda hard. Yet billions of people do it. So while used condom fetishists may not be hurting others, if they’re the kind that ingest or otherwise insert the contents, they are putting partners at risk. Those partners may have just wanted a monogamous relationship characterized by emotional intimacy and trust.

How can you trust someone who is willfully exposing themselves to the contents of a used condom? Hepatitis C is no less damaging coming from this type of exposure than from cheating.

Just be aware this is yet another thing you have to think about if you have a new partner. It’s unlikely people share this predilection on their Tinder profiles.