My safe-for-work review of Durex’s not so safe-for-work card game
You can play the card game with friends and new dates!
Never in my singlehood would I have thought about reviewing anything by Durex, let alone a card game aimed at couples.
Still, there is an irony one can appreciate when doing not-safe-for-work – at work.
Durex’s A-Z of Pleasure card game for two is aimed at providing young couples with tools to communicate their “sexual needs”, trumping “fear and awkwardness” through “open and honest conversations”.
Despite the name, I took no pleasure in having to smuggle the explicit card game all the way from my office and back to my arguably conservative household. It is not everyday that you see someone on the MRT carrying a box with the words “Durex” and “Pleasure” slapped on it.
The game consists of a playmat and a total of 52 cards split into two decks: “Action” and “Learn”. Depending on how you choose to play, you may need to act on or answer the prompts and questions written on the cards.
Players are encouraged to be creative in how they choose to interpret the cards and wish to step out of their comfort zones. So, I pushed the boundaries as far as I could to see if it can be played in a slightly safer-for-work version and contending head-on with the game’s explicit nature.
Part of Durex’s #ComeTogether campaign, the game also seeks to get young adults “talking about sex and pleasure without the shame”.
There is some good news for the singles out there: you do not need to have a partner to play this card game. It is possible to play this game with friends, and even with new dates.
“Let’s Go Deeper” is a bonus game meant for two friends or new dates. Using only the Learn cards, it is aimed at getting players to know each other and for them to “take their relationship to the next level”.
I put this to the test by playing a couple of sessions with friends and colleagues. We attempted to answer certain questions in a safe-for-work way and there were, to our surprise, cards that allowed for that.
Some saw us expressing our gratitude to each other, sharing first impressions and even saying nice things about ourselves in the form of self-love.
Then came the cards that explicitly ask about your preferred position or kinks which caused some awkward glances that thankfully, broke into manic laughter.
For those new to the dating scene, this might help break that awkward silence between you and your date. Depending on your friend or date’s openness and comfort level, this game can serve as a potential icebreaker too.
Throughout the session, we would outright skip certain explicit cards but would honestly answer them if we all felt comfortable.
Did our friendships ascend to another level? Did we know each other a little better than before the game? It definitely made my friends and I see each other in a slightly different but non-judgemental light.
The cards would showcase a variety of prompts, like naming the first thing that got us interested in our partners or to reveal a hidden side we do not really show other people. We eventually found ourselves sharing personal stories that ranged from funny love meet-cutes to past relationships and regrets.
To the ones in slightly more intimate relationships, the bonus game “It Takes Two” would suit you better. While it uses Action cards that may turn up the heat in a session, there is a more wholesome and affectionate side to this.
Some Action cards simply prompt a hug or the act of enjoying each other’s presence in silence.
To play, players will take one Action card each and read it aloud to each other. At the count of three, both players will flip both cards in the air.
Should both cards land on the same side, players are to combine and perform both actions. If both cards land facing different sides, players are to perform their own card to their partner or yourself.
While the game remains explicit in nature, players ultimately have the discretion on how they choose to interpret the cards. In this, the game can serve as an opportunity to have an open, safe and honest conversations on not just sex, but also relationships, boundaries and love.
It need not necessarily have to be a sensual and suggestive experience, and can potentially offer different perspectives of the preferences of different people in your circles.
Not everything has to be about sex – even with a Durex product.
For those wondering on how to get their hands on Durex’s A-Z of Pleasure, the card game can be purchased at Durex’s year-end wrap party to be held on Dec 16.
The card game can also be downloaded for free at Durex’s campaign website.