I actually meant to write this the other day when I bought emergency condoms for my fourth date with Someone New but what with everything else going on, I didn’t quite get around to it. It’s still bugging me though so I feel the need to talk about it…
Why is buying condoms in your late twenties so difficult?
I thought I had some in my room and five minutes AFTER I was due to leave the house to catch the bus for my date, I realised I didn’t know where they were. I had a quick rummage in some drawers and cupboards that I believed I would reasonably keep them and then I realised, I’m pretty sure I gave the box I had to Bestie. FUCK.
I’d already accepted I was going to be late at this point so took a leisurely stroll into town on my way to the station and run into one of the little stores – a bottle of water, some Kleenex, gum and a two-pack of condoms. Someone was clearly in for a good night.
I had so many dilemmas at this point.
Firstly, a box of 12 condoms seemed a bit over-eager. Who has sex 12 times in one night? Especially the first night? Who takes 12 condoms?
Secondly, where would I keep the box? I’d need to take them out of the box, find somewhere to dispose of the box, keep two rubbers spare and easily accessible in the handbag somewhere, and hide the other ten so I didn’t look like a complete, raging nymphomaniac.
Thirdly, what about a two-pack? I’m sure these used to be a three-pack. Didn’t they used to be a three-pack? Three was a great number – three times in one night is a good effort. Two doesn’t seem enough. It also seems cheap. What if he has already picked some up though? Maybe I’ll go with the lady-like two-pack and leave it at that.
What kind of condoms do I buy? Classic? Ribbed? Extra-long? Extra-small? Medium? Ones with nobbles on? Flavoured ones? Which brand is best? Gosh, condom politics! Clearly I’ll need to go with a standard ‘medium’ fit, right? Too big or too small and we’ve got an embarrassing situation on our hands. Do I need lube? Shall I buy lube? What about a vibrating cock ring? It’s right there…? Too much? Yeah, probably too much.
Fuck, I can’t just buy condoms. That’s too obvious. What else do I need? What else can I buy? I don’t have a pack of Kleenex in my bag so I’ll buy one of those, just in case. I can’t be the girl that doesn’t have Kleenex in her bag – I’m too emotional these days.
I get halfway around the store and I realise I just bought condoms and tissues. Christ if that doesn’t have “I’M GOING TO HAVE SEX TONIGHT” written all over it, I don’t know what does. I add a bottle of water and a packet of chewing gum. Fuck, I couldn’t have made this look any worse at all, could I? I give up.
I get to the counter, it’s late thankfully and there’s no one else in the store. I can’t remember the last time I bought condoms. The guy has always made it very clear he has them. I’m an get-an-STI-test-and-get-into-a-serious-relationship-kinda-girl. Or get-them-free-from-the-GUM-clinic kinda girl. I always seem to ‘accumulate’ condoms too. I don’t really know where they come from. I must secretly steal them from guys when I’m drunk / asleep.
The guy at the counter is creepy, really creepy. He has multicoloured pink, purple, blue and green long hair, and he’s looking at me really creepily. He’s hitting on me! I’m pretty sure he’s hitting on me! This can’t be happening to me! He said the creepiest of things too – “I really like your jacket, where did you get it from?” before mumbling on about some heavy-metal rock brand I’ve never, ever heard of because I grew out of the memo phase when I was 16 years old. Smiling creepily and putting the condoms through the scanner and into the carrier bag, he then proceeded to ask me what I was going to be doing with my evening. Seriously? I just bought a pack of two condoms, some Kleenex, a pack of chewing gum and sparkling water, what do you really think I’m up to tonight? Cleaning my kitchen? Fucking idiot.
Throughout that entire traumatic experience, I just kept thinking to myself “I’d better get laid tonight, I’d better get laid tonight” and then when I got there, Someone New had bought a 12-pack of rubbers and various sachets of tingling / numbing / heating up lubricant too! All that hard work, all that drama for nothing! He had supplied the condoms. Still, better to be safe than sorry I guess. And let’s face it, we were both more than disappointed with the fact we both forgot condoms on our third date. I would have stabbed him if that happened again. I was facing the prospect of four weeks without sex – we were having sex that night even if we needed to use cling film*. End of conversation.
*Disclaimer: I’m not stupid enough to use clingfilm.
The problem here is WHY was it so embarrassing buying condoms? Was it the situation that made me feel uncomfortable – the weird, creepy guy behind the counter, the last minute panic buying of rubbers? Would I have felt as uncomfortable if I had gone to Boots and picked a box of 12 up with my regular toiletries? Would it have made a difference if I had been served by a female? Surely, aside from a bar toilet, there has got to be an easier, less painful way of buying them?
Because clearly it is not something that has gotten easier with age…
Is there a next-day emergency delivery service of condoms I don’t know about? If there isn’t, could someone please invent this. Many thanks!