LOS ANGELES—As some in the adult community are aware, even though the LA County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) has way-too-high figures for the rates of sexually transmitted diseases in porn, fact is, there still are a lot of STDs out there, lurking in bars, bathhouses, massage parlors, etc. That's why the county gives big bucks to local health care providers to purchase and distribute free condoms.
But like so many people, companies and events in the modern world, LACDPH has decided it needs to brand the hundreds of thousands of condoms it gives away each year... so they're having a contest, dubbed "L.A.'s Next Sex Symbol," to design an official LA condom wrapper that will include the tag line, "Show Me Your Package."
According to a press release from County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky's office, "An estimated 2,000 new HIV infections occur annually in L.A. County"—thanks to comprehensive testing, of course, none in the adult performer community—and "Last year, the department reported more than 47,500 new cases of chlamydia, more than 9,500 new cases of gonorrhea and nearly 1,800 new cases of syphilis."
So the county is looking for a design for a condom package—in fact, 10 different designs—under rules that will be posted on the contest website, and while entrants cannot trademark or copyright their designs, or (sadly) use sexually explicit imagery, all 10 chosen designs will be used on condom packages. Also, according to the press release, "The winner and nine runners-up will receive prizes and gift cards, plus bragging rights to a package design that will be distributed countywide and featured in future condom promotions."
"We want to circulate more than one design so people can collect them all," said Project Manager True Ann Beck, adding that the initial plan is "to start with a million and one condoms."
A similar contest held in 2010 in New York garnered nearly 600 entries, and New Yorkers cast more than 15,000 online ballots to choose their favorites.
The LA contest will run from May 21 to June 17, and is open only to adults—which, fortunately, is the only age range acceptable to the adult industry—so all you box cover designers, web page designers, illustrators, photographers and other creative types, why not give this a shot? If for no other reason than to say to LA County, "You may be trying to force us to use condoms that will kill our industry... but at least you'll look good doing it!"