Are You Native Enough to Pack a Beaded Condom on Valentine’s Day?

Image source: Beaded condom; image source:

There are lots of things in this world that scream out for beadwork—but condoms don’t usually come to mind.

We try to keep sewing needles in a separate bin from things that shouldn’t be pierced.

But that’s why a tweet from activist ErinMarie Konsmo piqued our interest:

ErinMarie -TANKuPINE @Erinmarie_k I can’t even portray how excited I am to bead condoms in the shape of beavers this weekend in prep for Beaver Lake. #amisk #sakahikan

That’s right, beaded condoms. It’s something Konsmo does in her work with the Native Youth Sexual Health Network (NYSHN) to get Indigenous youth talking about safe sex, and the creations themselves are strange and beautiful. According to the organization’s website, there are four benefits to the activity of beading condoms:

  1. It prompts discussion and dialogue
  2. Culture surrounds us and also helps to keep us safe
  3. It helps to de-shame and de-stigmatize the usage of condoms
  4. It helps deepen the meanings and conversations we have when we do sex education and outreach

And for those of you not clear on what a “beaded condom” would look like (no, you don’t bead the whole thing, that would be silly) below are a few examples from Konsmo’s Twitter feed and the NYSHN website. And while we’re obviously amused by this concept, you can’t deny that they make you think about contraception and safe sex in an Indigenous context—why, you’re thinking about it right now, aren’t you? Mission accomplished.

Beaded condom; image source:

Beaded condom; image source:

Beaded condom; image source:

Beaded condom; image source: