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 now 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 train for my date, I realised I didn’t know where they were. I had a quick rummage in some drawers and cupboards where I believed I’d reasonably keep them and I realised, I’m pretty sure I gave the box I had to Bestie.
Already accepting I was going to be late at this point, I took a leisurely stroll into town on my way to the station and run into one of the little stores to grab 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 problems at this stage however.
Firstly, a box of 12 condoms seemed a bit over-eager. Who has sex 12 times in one night? Especially the first night? Who carries 12 condoms?
Secondly, where would I keep the box? I’d need to take them out the box, find somewhere to dispose of said 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 I always buy condoms in three’s? 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’s already picked some condoms up though? Maybe I’ll go with the lady-like two-pack and leave it at that.
Fuck. Now what kind of condoms do I buy? Classic? Ribbed? Extra-long? Extra-small? Medium? Ones with nobbles on? Flavoured ones? Which brand is best? What about a colour? Glow in the dark? What the fuck? Those are a thing now?
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. But do I need lube? Shall I buy lube? What about a vibrating cock ring? It’s right there next to the condoms and lube…? Too much? Yep, that’s 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 those just in case. I can’t be the girl who doesn’t have Kleenex in her bag – I’m too emotional these days. I cry at anything and everything.
I get halfway around the store and I realise I’ve just picked up condoms and tissues. Blimey. 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, there’s no one else in the store. I can’t remember the last time I bought condoms. The guy I’m dating normally makes it very clear he will provide them. Usually in a jokey ‘test-the-waters’ kinda way. I’m a get-an-STI-test-and-get-into-a-serious-relationship-kinda-girl. Or get-condoms-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.
The guy at the counter waiting to serve me 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.
“I really like your jacket, where did you get it from?” And then he starts mumbling on about some heavy-metal rock brand I’ve never, ever heard of because I grew out of that emo stage when I was 16 years old. Smiling creepily, 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, chewing gum and sparkling water, what do you really think I’m up to tonight? Cleaning my kitchen? Fucking idiot. Eye roll.
Throughout the 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 and all that drama for nothing! He’d supplied the condoms. Still, better to be safe than sorry I guess. And let’s face it, we were both more than disappointed when we both forgot condoms on our third date. I’d have stabbed him if we found ourselves in that frustrating position again. I was facing the prospect of four weeks without sex after this… 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.
But WHY was it so embarrassing buying condoms? Was it the situation that made me feel uncomfortable? The weird, creepy guy behind the counter and the last-minute panic-buying of rubbers? Would it have made a difference if I had been served by a female? Or just a less creepy sales assistant with better people skills? Surely, aside from a bar toilet, there’s got to be an easier, less painful way of buying them?
Because clearly it’s not something that’s 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!