A pair of self-described French aristocrats have launched a high-end condom company that aims to offer customers protection -- as well as an air of prestige.
The minds behind The Original Condom Co. say there is a demand for classier prophylactics in the same way there is a demand for luxury brands like Rolls Royce, Cartier and Dior.
"There [is] always a need for quality, good taste and beautiful objects," said vice president Count Gil de Bizemont, who co-founded the company with His Royal Highness the Prince Charles Emmanuel de Bourbon Parme after passing through the town of Condom, France.
"It is sexy to care about yourself and to want to pamper and provide yourself with the very best."
For de Bizemont, that means choosing neatly packaged prophylactics that come in a little black box instead of an ordinary foil wrapper.
"Would you be proud to have a traditional condom on your table when your mom visits you? With a nude woman on the box or something that says lubed or ribbed all over it?" he asked.
According to de Bizemont, many people judge a rubber by its cover.
"The luxurious presentation of our product removes any negative stigma associated with a woman who cares enough about herself to be sure to carry along an Original Condom box in her purse, or for a male to leave it on the nightstand without perceptions shifting about expectations, as they definitely should not nowadays," he explained.
De Bizemont says his company's condoms are far more upscale than the competition -- and it shows in the price tag.
The Original Condom comes in suede-lined black boxes purportedly "inspired by the world of jewelery," which contain three prophylactics for $13.50, or six for $20. Customers can buy refills for $2 apiece.
The company says it shares part of its earnings with nonprofits that fight HIV and AIDS, and shows its commitment to an eco-friendly business model by helping develop new forests and manufacturing its condoms on a rubber-tree plantation in an attempt to reduce carbon emissions by eliminating excess transport of raw materials.
The fancy condoms are already on sale online. In January, they'll be offered at some "higher-end retailers" and hotels, according to de Bizemont.
It appears there's nothing stopping the condom brand from growing -- if, in fact, sex does sell.
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