RAPEX: the anti-rape condom for women

South Africa, named the ‘rape capital of the world’, has one of the highest incidences of rape — and studies show that nearly half of those raped are adolescents, so a medical technician named Sonette Ehlers developed a product that immediately gathered national attention there.

Ehlers had never forgotten a rape victim telling her forlornly,

If only I had teeth down there.

Some time afterwards at the hospital where Ehlers worked, a man came in. in excruciating pain because his penis was stuck in his pants zipper.

Ehlers merged those images and ended up inventing an anti-rape device that goes by the name Rapex.

The device is basically a female condom with teeth lining the inside (resembling a tube with barbs) that works just like the protective spikes in a parking garage … You can go in, but whatever you do, don’t back out. The teeth are angled so they allow penetration, but bite like a shark as the penis is removed, supposedly causing so much pain that it will give the woman a chance to escape.

The woman inserts it like a tampon, with an applicator, and any man who tries to rape her impales himself on the barbs.

Further, according to Ms. Ehlers, the device will need to be surgically removed at a hospital, which will lead to the capture of the rapist.

When critics complained that it was a medieval punishment, Ehlers replied tersely,

A medieval device for a medieval deed!

(This was in the book ‘Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide’ by the husband-wife team of Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn published by Knopf in September 2009.)

***So, tell me… what is your opinion of the RAPEX?***

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42 thoughts on “RAPEX: the anti-rape condom for women

    • Why put ideas like this out there? Also, I doubt a man in heat looking for his prey is going to stop and investigate the woman’s vagina before he rapes her.

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      • I was raped in my home by an exboyfriend. The sheriff told me that since I was not murdered, beaten near death, or kidnapped that all that happened was that I had unnatural consensual sex. The rape exam and doctors reports were ignored. I am disabled. I said no to sex. I wish that I had access to Rapex. By the way, my rapist is a 27 count felon on 20yrs probation and they didn’t even violate his probation. He advertises frequently for sex on Craigslist

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      • He is kinda right though. During birth that area expands due to hormones being released which work as muscle relaxants. Women who are not about to give birth don’t have those.

        Especially for women with strong pelvic muscles, it might be painful or at least cause some discomfort. There’s a reason why menstrual cups come in so many different sizes. Every woman is different. There is no “one size fits all”. 😉

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  1. A knife is also an interessting invention – you can slice a bread and also kill someone. Every good invention can be misused. Think about that!

    To ocelotpixie – I doubt if a flirtatious women in the bar would use Rapex…. And by the way – if men knew that a woman potentialy might have such thing in her vagina – it might be a good preventive mechanism against a rape itself.

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    • True, most good inventions can indeed be misused, and your point about the knife is hard to argue with. Knowing that Rapex is a thing could indeed discourage potential rapists. However, I also know that sex and relationships breed a lot of vengeful behavior and, since posting that comment, I actually encountered a woman who said she’d use it to get back at someone who had cheated on her. Also, though it would indeed be unlikely for a flirtatious woman in a bar to be wearing such a device, unexpected things *do* happen. Often.

      Ultimately, I think this device is a very double-edged sword that could both prevent rape and increase the already high number of innocents who land in jail. A polarizing topic, to be sure.

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    • Knives are usually banned in public areas as well, and flirtatious women can wear it in case some douche tries anything against her will, and she may remove it when she finds someone to have consensual sex with. As for the preventive mechanism… well, that’s the point, isn’t it?

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  2. It should be illegal, sure raping is not right, but he doesn’t need his dick off or bleeding. Ehlers is a dumb bitch who does not not what shes talking about. If that does come out I hope the bitch that put it in her vagina gets shot and in alot of cases ladies get drunk and wanna have sex or tease guys in skirts so some of them that do that do deserve to get raped so this device is not acceptable and an ex girlfriend using as revenge.

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    • Before you go off on your women hating tirade anymore, maybe you should read the details! You are condoning rape and blaming it on the victim, which makes you an ignorant idiot! RapeX does NOT cause any skin breakage! And for hoping the victim gets shot, on top of being raped? What kind of sick woman hating pervert are you? Also, why would a man want to wear a skirt? NO ONE deserves to be raped ~ well, except for women haters like you! Go get ’em boys. This one needs a hard lesson!

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    • Then why dont you get raped and and then tell me thats not right also my wife wears skirts alot of the time so because she is wearing them she is teasing men to rape her like you are not even a boy and dont have penis and dont know whats its like to get Bonner and i can control my self so they should be able to like fuck you. You dumb bitch like you dont even know what it is like to be raped i am man and i dont know as well but if i was raped i would want to kill my self like i hope you get raped maybe that will change your option on this.

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    • ok so im guessing you have not got any daughters, but i am telling you now that rape causes scars on the inside that will never heal. “sure raping is not right” would you be saying that if someone had the audacity to rape you? and a woman wearing a short skirt is no reason to be raped ffs do not be so narrow minded. there is no reason acceptable for rape.if a woman gets drunk and wants to have sex she is willing and it is not rape but just because she is drunk and cant control herself or even stand is no reason to take advantage im guessing you have had sex with a woman so intoxicated she didn’t know what she was doing?

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      • First off I will tell you that I DO have daughters, two actually, and if this had been available when they were teenagers, then I would have provided it for them. Secondly, I myself have experienced being raped by someone known to me, and I wasn’t even drunk, but asleep and woken up to being tied up by this person. So, I do know all about the indignities preformed on a woman who doesn’t ask “for it”. As for getting drunk, NO is still NO, whether or not you’re drunk, and if you are so incapacitated that you aren’t aware of what is happening to you, then for myself I would take that as a NO as well. RAPE in an of itself is not a sexual act, but one of violence against women, performed by men. In most cases the men that perform these atrocious acts are misogynists, and do not think of women/females as even worthy of being human, but think of them more as animals and beneath them. In this thinking process, these men feel that any heinous act preformed on women is justifiable. I’m not saying that all men think this way, but mostly those that do not respect women in any fashion.

        Thank you for your comment tho, and for taking the time to visit.

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        • you don’t need to give consent while you’re drunk. It’s an automatic rape charge regardless of whether you said yes or not. However a man in the same position doesn’t get access to the same liberties.

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    • OKay a rapist should not get a bit blod on his dick.. but a woman that has done nothing wrong may get hurt down there and bleed there and els where?? .. witch is what can happen under a rape.. and maybe loose faight in men and lose interest in sex. and have nightmara till she dies?? i was raped when i was 14.. it still hurts! (im 25) .. a bleading dick will heal!! and diservse too blead,,… what u say sounds like u would like to rape! a normal guy that wouldent do it, wouldent have a problem with this!

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        • I am 61 and was raped by a 48yr old felon on 20yrs probation. The Sheriff says even with the rape kit unnatural consensual sex. Wish I had had something like this. The damage is done and he is still free

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    • Are you kidding me! You won’t be saying that when if it happens to you. My rapist was my boyfriend and I specifically said you are not getting any sex!

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      • Any rapist should face the consequences for raping, violating someone’s body, the physical,mental, and emotional damage that they choose to do. In my opinion, why should the rapist be spared while the victim is put through such torture. People who can not let the punishment equal the crime are often the potential criminal or already criminal. If you aren’t planning on raping someone, then why would you be so concerned and considerate for a rapist?

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  3. I have read this before, and as i do support this device, there are some negative factors that come with it. The rapex could be turned inside out by a rapist, if rapist is aware of the device, and used to harm the victim. What if the device causes bleeding from the rapist, which could have a contagious disease, giving it to the victim. I know if the rape occurs the victim would still get infected, but could it protect its wearer from such contamination. Also what about misuse of the rapex, women intentionally wanting to hurt men, men get raped just as much as women, and a spiteful woman could intentionally harm a man for the sake of it, or even revenge. These are just my inquiries on this device.

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      • No, Tamara is right. While I support this device and actually can think of a few instances in which it would make me feel safer (as a solo female at Burning Man or Afrikaburn, for example), it could easily be turned around on men. Please don’t say that pointing this fact out is stupid.

        For instance: A man is in a bad relationship and cheats on his girlfriend. His (now ex) girlfriend is heartbroken and her attractive friend knows of this device, decides to wear it and seduces the cheating ex-boyfriend at a club. Before he knows it, he leaves the club with his ex-girlfriends vengeful friend, penetrates her in her car and she runs for it while he’s left in pain and shock. She then calls the police and claims he tried to rape her, pointing to RAPEX at the “proof” of it all. The man is now suffering terrible physical injuries AND is faced with a sexual assault charge that will haunt him for the rest of his life. Though the man in this hypothetical situation cheated on his girlfriend, he did *not* deserve everything that transpired.

        Incidents like the above are fully capable of happening. Don’t deny it, lest you become part of the problem,

        Now, in favor of the device… I’m sure we can all think of situations in which a woman wearing RAPEX and forcing the rapist to go to a hospital to remove the evidence of his crime is perfect justice. Even if he evades the law, he has paid a price for his terrible actions.

        I wish we could guarantee that this device would never be misused, but hurt lovers and sadistic people are unscrupulous. This thing *does* pose a threat to innocent men and it should be distributed CAREFULLY.

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      • No, Tamara is right. While I support this device and actually can think of a few instances in which it would make me feel safer (as a solo female at Burning Man or Afrikaburn, for example), it could easily be turned around on men. Please don’t say that pointing this fact out is stupid.

        For instance: A man is in a bad relationship and cheats on his girlfriend. His (now ex) girlfriend is heartbroken and her attractive friend knows of this device, decides to wear it and seduces the cheating ex-boyfriend at a club. Before he knows it, he leaves the club with his ex-girlfriends vengeful friend, penetrates her in her car and she runs for it while he’s left in pain and shock. She then calls the police and claims he tried to rape her, pointing to RAPEX at the “proof” of it all. The man is now suffering terrible physical injuries AND is faced with a sexual assault charge that will haunt him for the rest of his life. Though the man in this hypothetical situation cheated on his girlfriend, he did *not* deserve everything that transpired.

        Incidents like the above are fully capable of happening. Don’t deny it, lest you become part of the problem,

        Now, in favor of the device… I’m sure we can all think of situations in which a woman wearing RAPEX and forcing the rapist to go to a hospital to remove the evidence of his crime is perfect justice. Even if he evades the law, he has paid a price for his terrible actions.

        I wish we could guarantee that this device would never be misused, but hurt lovers and sadistic people are unscrupulous. This thing *does* pose a threat to innocent men and it should be distributed CAREFULLY.

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        • Another hypothetical situation to consider: A man is at a bar, looking for a woman to rape. He finds a pretty, flirtatious woman who sits down to chat with him. He buys her a drink, slips her a date rape drug, and takes her to a back alley. His plan is to leave her there after he’s done. When he penetrates her and pulls back to find that she had used RAPEX, he doubles over in pain. However, the woman has been drugged and cannot escape. As the man grasps what happened, he becomes furious. Now, he sees his life flash in front of him, forever labeled a rapist. Possibly anticipating losing his wife and children, fearing years in prison. He grabs a knife from his pocket and, in his fear-driven fury, begins stabbing her repeatedly. This rape has now become murder.

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          • I’m sure a lot of women wish the jerk had the nerve to off them. He’s nothing but a piece of trash anyway. At least this way, the case will make it to court with proof.

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