Ever since Genshin Impact’s developers legally sanctioned the commercial production of fan merchandise, I’ve been seeing all sorts of unusual Genshin products pop up on the internet. I thought I’d seen it all after the Zhongli titty mousepad. I had not. I nearly burst a gut laughing when a friend linked me to these Zhongli condoms, unofficially designed and produced by the fan artist Jiji. What a concept.
According to the interior packaging, the latex condom is made without harmful chemicals, doesn’t contain spermicide, and is fragrance-free. It includes a visual diagram on how to use a condom. The package also reminds users to check the expiration date, and that they shouldn’t be using scissors or teeth. These condoms aren’t up for sale yet, but they will be.
Zhongli is a half-dragon, half-qilin god who’s known as a powerful shield supporter in the Genshin meta. Normally, he protects the entire party with a jade shield that absorbs massive amounts of damage. He’s so busted that I don’t even bother to dodge attacks anymore. He’s the perfect character to feature on something that protects people from sexually transmitted diseases.
You know what? These condoms are a great idea. If plastering a famous gacha character’s face onto a package is what it takes for people to remember to use a condom, then I’m all for it. Safe sex is important. And though the creator said that the condoms were expensive to produce, you know what costs more money? An unplanned pregnancy.
The community’s responses have ranged from humor to admiration to scorn. Some of the jokes include: “Shields you from massive responsibility” and “*me and my wife about to have sex* hold on babe I’ve got to get my zhongdom.” The vast majority of quote retweets stated that Genshin players don’t have sex. Even if the generalization were true, it might not matter. Some asexual commenters said that they wanted to buy the condoms for their Genshin collection. But not all of the reactions have been positive. A lot of quote retweets prefaced the photos of the non-explicit condom packaging with content warnings, as if just the existence of condoms themselves is somehow offensive. Jiji is a Finnish artist, and he was surprised at some of the ignorance surrounding condoms in the reactions to his tweets.
While a lot of fans may be planning to buy them for decorative purposes, I’m really hoping that these Zhongdoms get some actual use. Safe sex is important, y’all.