A company that sells novelty condoms has come under fire for inadvertently promoting rape.
Say It With A Condom was criticised on Twitter for producing a condom displaying a photo of a doughnut, alongside the words “go further without consent”.
For anyone unclear, the condom was actually designed to promote consent, using “doughnut” as a pun for “do not”, but people online quickly pointed out how its message could be easily misconstrued.
The company has since removed the product from sale.
The condom was initially created for the company’s ‘Consent Condoms’ section, which aims to “start a conversation about how to ask for consent before engaging in any sexual activity”.
Posting a photo of the product on Twitter, Gabriel Morton said: “The people who signed off on this design aren’t qualified to do anything more complex than stare out a window.”
More than 1,000 people liked the tweet, with some commenting to call the product a “rape condom”.
In response to the criticism, Say It With A Condom removed the product page from its website.
Speaking to Cosmopolitan, founder Benjamin Sherman explained why the company reacted to the backlash as it did.
“We said, ‘wow, you know what, you’re right. This really can be misinterpreted’,” he said.
As well as selling a range of “funny” and “holiday” condoms, the company has sections on its website for the themes of consent, feminism and Pride.
Sherman said the company regularly works with university campuses and charities when creating product designs, but this time the flaw in their product slipped through the net.
He added that the company now plans to utilise its large social media following by asking the public “what are you thoughts on this?” when designing new products to “try to make more user-generated content”.
“While our design was made with the best intention, it wasn’t received that way,” he added.
“But by way of the design, we’re continuing the conversation about how important it is to ask for consent before engaging in any sexual activity.”
HuffPost has contacted Say It With A Condom for additional comment and is awaiting response.