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Cardboard ‘anti sex beds’ are making their kill joy return to the 2024 Paris Olympics

Cardboard ‘anti sex beds’ are making their kill joy return to the 2024 Paris Olympics

Olympic logo for Paris 2024 surrounded by square flags with representations of Olympic events on them next to a sign that says "SEX" being torn in half down the middle by two sets of hands.

Listen, if there’s any demographic of people one would describe as ‘up for a challenge,’ I’d have to say it’s Olympians.

We’re just under two months away from the start of the 2024 Olympic Games, and Paris has decided to prepare for it by…installing 16,000 “anti sex” cardboard beds. So much for the City of Love, right? Between the anti sex beds and no champagne in the Olympic village, I’m not even certain why the games are being held in Paris at all!

Debuting in the Olympic Village at the 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo, these cardboard beds were rolled out as an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional bedding. Some may argue that the 2020 Olympic village was ahead of its time, or a trendsetter, with new chic homeware brands following suit. However, athletes immediately started speculating about ulterior motives.

Paul Chelimo, a US track and field runner, tweeted that the beds were “aimed at avoiding intimacy among athletes.” He also added that the bed’s design was meant to discourage “situations beyond sports,” which immediately went on my list of favorite euphemisms for sex.

Thankfully Irish gymnast Rhys McClenaghan jumped in like a true scholar of life to test for himself just how much activity the beds could take. I’ve certainly put together furniture that withstood less, but that might say more about the craftsman than the craftsmanship. With this very official, scientific testing of the beds out of the way, and weight limit of 200 kilograms (about 440 pounds), it seems that these ‘anti sex beds’ might not be very effective at their arguably intended purpose.The good news is that Olympic Village director Laurent Michaud announced in an interview with Sky News that the Olympics is lifting its intimacy ban at this year’s games. Michaud said that there will be 300,000 condoms distributed for the games’ 14,250 athletes- double what was provided in Tokyo. The distribution of condoms for the Olympic games has been tradition since the 1988 Seoul Olympics to spread awareness of and protection against HIV/AIDS.

Hopefully the beds are as well constructed as they were in 2002, but with enough condoms for nearly two per athlete per day, it seems smart that the Olympic Village has 1,750 extra just in case of, you know, situations beyond sports.

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Rowan Ashley Smith