Among the emergence of several fads throughout 2015, the most bizarre fad that has hit the YouTube sphere has got to be social media’s newest trend: The Condom Challenge. Not to be mistaken for the ever popular Ice Bucket Challenge, the infamous social media phenomenon that set out to raise money for ALS, The Condom Challenge holds a much weirder and less philanthropic premise.
If you thought being doused in freezing cold water was a tricky stunt, YouTubers have been uploading videos of stunts which involve dropping a condom filled with water on an unlucky individual. What’s even stranger is that this is not even the first condom-related stunt that has ever gone viral. In 2013, a similar trend involving condoms rose in popularity which involved snorting a condom through the nose and pulling it out of the mouth.
The trend seems to have begun in Japan with a viral video called “Japanese Condom Head Challenge” in November and caught on quite rapidly among social media users. The video, with over 245,000 views on YouTube, shows a man dropping a water-filled condom on another man. The stunt has since then been recreated virally by teens through all sorts of social media platforms, even eliciting the now famous hashtag #condomchallenge.
So why are people dropping condoms filled with water on their heads?
The video itself usually involves the participant sitting in a tub or outside, dressed in the proper attire for getting wet, while another person holds a condom filled with water above their head. If done correctly, the water-filled condom balloon should wrap itself around the person’s face once it is dropped rather than immediately popping and soaking that person, resembling a big fishbowl. Once the condom is removed from the person’s head, it usually will break and thereupon soak the person attempting the challenge. However, not everyone’s stunt goes exactly as planned. Many of the attempts that went viral show the condom breaking upon contact with their heads.
Despite the popularity of this widely received viral trend, The Condom Challenge has sparked some safety concerns. Many people have argued concern over the safety of the stunt, claiming that this large condom balloon could potentially suffocate the person if they are not careful. With the heavy, water-filled latex covering the person’s mouth and nose, it seems as though there is potential risk for suffocation here. Also, the idea of having a water-filled condom stuck to your face seems to be a bit uncomfortable and can have some potentially dangerous outcomes. Despite the present choking hazards and drowning concerns, teens continue to record themselves attempting the challenge.
In a strange way, this trend is supposed to raise awareness for condom use and safe sex. So despite the possibly hazardous outcomes of the stunt, at least young people might actually gain an understanding of the importance of using a condom.