Sex - the digital way

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Stockholm - Ever wonder what it would be like to sleep with a mean film director, a socialite or the guy who does voiceovers in movie trailers, or perhaps with one of your Facebook friends?

As part of a new safe-sex initiative, the Swedish Institute for Communicable Disease Control (SMI) on Tuesday launched an app called Provligget, or Test Nooky, allowing you to do just that.

“The focus is on condom use... We're trying to get this issue on the agenda,” explained Karin Raagsjoe, who came up with the idea for the app for SMI.

The app allows users to “test sex” with a range of fantasy characters, ranging from a personal trainer, to an unfaithful woman, to a handyman, all portrayed by more or less famous Swedish actors.

Once users make their choice, they are asked if they want to use a condom, and then to record their own moaning and groaning, which is then mixed with the sexually elated voice of their character of choice.

The whole time, messages pop up to ask things like: “Did you know that people who suggest using a condom are seen as confident and considerate?” and “Did you know Swedes are among the worst in the world at using a condom?”

If none of the 11 characters tickle your fancy, you can also choose to send a request to one of your Facebook friends asking if they are up for a test fling.

“The two of you can then mix your voices together,” Raagsjoe told AFP, insisting the app was a fun way to raise awareness and get people to visit the www.knulldeluxe.se website, which provides condom-use tips and information on where to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases.

“Swedes are bad at using condoms,” she said, pointing out that studies showed that as few as 40 percent of Swedes used protection.

According to SMI, gonorrhoea infections in Sweden increased 13 percent last year compared to 2010, while chlamydia infections were also on the rise and the number of new HIV infections remains stubbornly high, with 465 cases last year.

Raagsjoe said the new app was aimed at making young people think and talk about their sex habits.

“It is really hard to reach this group with the message of condom use,” she said, pointing out that young people often don't grasp the dire consequences of risking sex without a condom.

“And people are also a bit shy. In the north we are known for being open about sex, but it is still hard to bring up the issue of using a condom,” she said, stressing that “it is very intimate, and it can be hard if you don't make it a habit... sort of like wearing a bike helmet”. - Sapa-AFP


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