It's a good night. It's a reeeally good night. So good, in fact, you feel like shouting to the world "I just had sex!" or


Foursquare for Fucking: Planned Parenthood Gets Socially Savvy With Sex Check-Ins and QR Condoms

It's a good night. It's a reeeally good night. So good, in fact, you feel like shouting to the world "I just had sex!" or dancing in public to Hall and Oates. Now here comes a new opportunity for you to share your celebration with the world (and rate your partner while you're at it), all in the name of safe sex.

Planned Parenthood is feeling flush after a knock-down, drag-out fight with the Komen Foundation and a $3 million dollar three-day fundraising spree. Right around the Komen crisis, Planned Parenthood's went live as part of a safe-sex campaign to remove the stigma of using a condom. At the same time, it distributed 60,000 free condoms in the Pacific Northwest with smart-phone-friendly QR codes printed right on the latex.

For the uninitiated, Quick Response (QR) Codes are the visual version of a web link, the latest step in merging the digital world with the real. As with any new technology, many people just don't get how they work. Well, here it is in a nutshell: Smartphones can take a picture of that funny box of black squares and a website will open up. (The one pictured left will take you to our mobile app.) That's all they do, really--save you from having to type in a web address.

For Planned Parenthood, the scannable bar-code condoms are part outreach, part the rate-your-experience card you might get after paying your check at a diner. The mobile-friendly site these super-social condoms leads to offers users the opportunity to share details about the sexual experience they presumably just had.

Rating your sex, these are the options available:

*Things can only improve from here

*Fair - A work in progress

*Pretty Good - I got no complaints

*Great - Can't wait for round 2

*Ah-maz-ing - Rainbows exploded and mountains trembled

Planned Parenthood's social-media coordinator here in the PNW is Seattleite Nathan Engebretson. He says that just two weeks into the campaign, condom QR codes have been scanned 500 times.

The website has had over 45k unique visitors with 20k just in the past day (meaning most people are just rubbernecking, rather than scanning their rubbers). And in those same two weeks, people have "checked in" 4,000 times in over 75 countries, meaning there have been 4,000 happy nights (at least if you believe people on the Internet, which you shouldn't).


Ninety percent of visitors to the website are only checking out a map showing where people are having sex. Engebretson anticipated my next question and brought up Planned Parenthood's attention to user privacy. Check-in addresses entered are only used to place a spot (marking a happy night) randomly within 3-4 blocks. All user data is anonymous from the outside.

"People should balance their sharing with their desire for privacy. It's intentionally designed for people to share to the world, but nobody really needs to know where you live. The map itself is not about bragging where you had sex. They can see people similar to them, in relationships similar to them, seeing that, contrary to popular belief, using a condom doesn't make the experience less desirable."

Above all, the sex check-in site is for emphasizing safe sex. Why else would they constantly give out tens of thousands of condoms and encourage people to share just how much they've talked about with their partner? But if you want to see which parts of Cap Hill are "hopping" or really need to get it out that you moved somebody's mountain, then check-away.

Now how about some Hall and Oates to celebrate:

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