The Freedom Condom
Introducing the new Philadelphia prophylactic
What: The Philly brand is only the wrapper. Inside the initial run of 200,000 is a LifeStyle Ultra Thin Lubricated condom; an Okamoto condom will eventually replace it.
How many: At least one million are planned. The city will continue giving out major-brand labeled condoms.
Where they are: The new condoms will be distributed at more than 100 locations around the city; an estimated 20,000 were stocked at 20 sites Thursday night. They may also be ordered, with mail delivery at no charge, at www.takecontrolphilly.org, which also has a locator map.
Who pays: The condoms are free. A federal prevention grant is paying for them.
How it was chosen
Why a contest: Copying a successful effort by New York City, Philadelphia decided to hold a condom art contest to find a design that would be unique to the city and also spark renewed interest in condoms.
Who decided: A panel of judges - designers, educators, prevention workers - chose five finalists from among 107 entries that were submitted online.
The vote: A total of 3,169 ballots were cast online. Michael Bodenberger's Freedom Condom won easily with 43 percent of the vote. The other finalists were city residents Ted Czyzewski (Use This Condom), Robert Dieters (Use Your Head! - Condoms Work!), Carissa Katz (Do Me First), and Cristian Morales (Rubber Duck).
Meet the designer
Michael Bodenberger: Self-taught, 23, lives in Northern Liberties; works in IT but wants to go into marketing.
His vision: "I wanted to create a simple message that would resonate through our community, and would have some historical merit as well."
"I thought this was a great opportunity to help out the community as well as build upon my marketing credentials."
Does he practice safe sex? "All the time," he says, even though he has been with his girlfriend since 2005.
- Don Sapatkin