Cue the Condom Story

May 24, 2016

450,000 condoms to be distributed to athletes in Rio… Three times more than London… Media can’t resist requisite Olympic Village sex report…

Those Olympians with their ripped bodies and their pent up desires… Someone give those kids some latex and let them have some safe fun.

It’s become a Summer Games rite of passage. A short time before every Olympics and here comes the story about the titanic amount of romping Olympians must do in the Village, and those caring condommakers that supply hundreds of thousands of prophylactics to make sure the fun is all wrapped up safely.

There’s the Zika virus to worry about this time, kids, so don’t mess around. Up your game and dive under the sheets three times more than ever before, but just make sure you’re careful.

Is anyone buying this?

Sure you are. This is vicarious existence at its best. Sports and sex and illicit fun, and euphemism without the R-rating. Who can resist?

Some stats this time around: In the Rio Olympic Village 350,000 condoms will be there for men; 100,000 female condoms (for the first time); 175,000 packets of lubricant… All for 10,500 total athletes and staff. The ratio: About 43 safe sex acts per participant. In 13 days. Ah, to be so lucky…

Before you start panting about the post competition orgy that’s implied by these buckets of latex, this program note: It’s mostly bullshit. Sure, there’s plenty of hooking up going on in every Village, but not even Ryan Lochte is going to need 43 Trojans to get through Rio after he’s done racing. And it seems he’s got the longest line for the proverbial Village roller coaster…

Yet, like all the other brands that clamor for a rub off the sheen of Olympic glory, condom makers know a PR opportunity when they see one. It costs about 2 or 3 cents to make a condom. They generally sell for a little over a buck. At 3 cents a pop, 450,000 condoms comes out to around $13,500 in total product. For safe sex wrapping that retails for a bit less than half a million dollars.

Those are some healthy margins. What does it matter if condom makers supply a couple hundred thousand more at the next Games? The price of these things is negligible; the coverage for covering a Village with condoms, priceless.

The fact is the pervading emotion in every Olympic Village after the competition is not so much passion but depression. These are ripped, pent up athletes, sure, but they are also young men and women experiencing a soul sucking sense of loss.

What do you do after you’ve just experienced your life’s goal?

You don’t smile much, I can tell you that. Well, you do, but it’s more the tears-of-a-clown kind of smiling. You woo it up, you screw around, and you pretend you’re not racked with existential angst. You drink – and smoke – whatever’s in arm’s reach, and oftentimes the “fun” will end up in bed with a fellow traveler… and maybe one of you will remember to grab a handful of those charity condoms on offer.

But 43 each? For every last athlete and coach and trainer with a Village pass? That’s a fine tale tawdry tale, but it’s no one’s reality.

Not even Lochte’s.