What Is the Condom Challenge and Why Are There Videos?

PHOTO: A young woman participates in the condom challenge

You know what's great? Dancing. Chimichangas. Floating on your back in a pool on a cloudless summer evening, when the sky turns from blue to pink and gold and burnt orange. Puppies wearing sweaters. Cold beer. A full season of your favorite TV show. Notably absent from this list? How about snorting a condom.

The "condom challenge" could suggest a number of potentially fun and intriguing feats, but, alas, it means nothing more than snorting a clean condom up one's nose and pulling it out through one's mouth, then posting a video on YouTube for all the world to see.

But while the trend has gained a lot of online traction this month, it's actually been around for years. [A Note on the Obvious: The videos I'm linking to are of young people snorting condoms through their noses. If this is something you do not want to see, do not click on them.] This video, for example, was uploaded in June of 2007. The trend is also not exclusive to the U.S. by any means. Here are two girls from the U.K. participating in the challenge.

One of the videos enjoying the most attention right now was uploaded by YouTube user "Savannah Strong" on April 8. Her video is special because she is a pretty female, which the internet tends to like, and she snorts the prophylactic to Taylor Swift's "22."

Sample lyrics:

"We're happy free confused and lonely at the same time / It's miserable and magical oh yeah / Tonight's the night when we forget about the deadlines, it's time uh uh / I don't know about you but im feeling 22."

In the video, the young woman unwraps the condom, marveling at its ability to stretch. Then, cautiously she sticks the end of the condom into her nose, her eyes fixed on some far-off point. "This feels so weird," she says. She takes a tentative sniff, then another, the latex sliding up with surprising ease. At first, she's concerned. "Maybe I shouldn't be doi--" But the moment is fleeting. The camera looks on, an unblinking eye, as she relaxes and snorts the filmy latex sleeve up her nasal cavity. It tastes of plastic, of spermicide. It tastes like page views. But then -- whoa. The thing slides down, into her mouth. She says she feels a brief tinge of fear, a cold sweat forming at the base of her neck, threatening to curl the hair she'd meticulously ironed before setting up her laptop camera. But the mind is a beautiful thing, capable of more than we can ever hope. It "blanks at the glare," and with sightless eyes and muted tongue, she snorts, harder, and then... And then it's done. She's done it.

So, anyway.

Like the cinnamon challenge and the knife game before it, the condom challenge is best left to no one. Or perhaps seasoned carnival performers. Of course, if you want to get in on the trend and , you know, risk death in the process, you can always film a reaction video.

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