Dear Gay Guru:
Is it just me, or is buying condoms really embarrassing? I know safe sex is important, so how do I buy the lovin’ supplies I need, without feeling so awkward all the time?
Embarrassed in Ellington
Dear Sweet Embarassed ,
Buying sex supplies is almost never as easy as it should be. I’ve hunted many a CVS Store for the three foot by two foot section of condoms and lube. Then, when I finally do stumble upon it, there is always a sweet looking little old lady just hovering nearby. I just know she’s watching my every move with great detail…because sweet little old ladies are usually nosy old ladies. Then, after suffering through that and hurriedly making my selection, I have to face the clerk who methodically scans my items while maintaining an uncomfortable eye contact. It’s cruel really and it’s happened more times than I can count.
I think this is why God smiled on the shy types and created self-check out isles in the grocery store! That at least rules out confronting the clerk for the purchase. If you shop late enough you can also evade the ever-present little old ladies. Because, little old ladies don’t like to drive at night, of course.
I was just noticing the other day that Stop and Shop has quite the selection of condoms and lube. In fact, I noticed they even had dental dams on the shelf…but with a whole isle of plastic wrap, that does seem kind of like overkill. Nonetheless, if you’re lucky enough to live near a Stop and Shop with those handy little guns, you can scan your condoms (or dental dams) and toss them into your reusable bag along with your milk and cookies.
For you darling Embarrassed, I might also try some immersion therapy, if or when you feel up to it. Condoms are going to be a part of your life for a long time, and when you need them, you need them. So, you may as well start to get comfortable with buying them in less than ideal situations.
I suggest you take a little trip to one of the Nutmeg State’s Very Intimate Pleasure’s (“VIP”) stores. It’s not your average seedy sex shop. Think of it more as The Gap of all things sinful. It’s everything that will send you straight to hell….in a clean and nicely displayed environment. Plus, with the varied selection of sex-toys, porn, leather, etc., condoms will be the most g-rated of purchases…you’ll have absolutely nothing to feel self-concious about.
After a few adventures to the VIP you should notice your comfort level will grow. Then when you start to think nothing of shopping at the VIP or similar establishment, branch out to a CVS or Walgreen’s in a neighboring town. Once you’ve conquered that, you’ll be on the road to snapping up condoms at the corner store in no time, and without a care.
Embarrassed, you should know embarrassment is born from shame. Buying the supplies you need for a happy, safe, and healthy sex life is NOTHING to be ashamed of!
The Gay Guru wishes you and yours safe and happy gift wrapping this holiday season!
Love and Lube,