How to Purchase Condoms with Ease

Buying condoms can be an intimidating process. However, it’s essential to remember that it’s often scarier in your mind than it is in reality. Need some guidance? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered with this comprehensive condom buying manual.

The Best Time to Buy

When is the ideal time to purchase condoms? It’s best to buy them well in advance of your actual need. By doing so, you give yourself a buffer in case the store closes unexpectedly early or if you start feeling nervous at the last minute. To avoid running into someone you know, consider visiting the pharmacy early in the morning, before school, or later at night on your way home when fewer people are likely to be running errands.

Age Verification

Will you need to provide identification when buying condoms? The answer is no. Unlike tobacco products or pornography, there’s no legal age restriction for purchasing condoms. Don’t be surprised if the cashier doesn’t ask for your ID. If they do inquire, remember that you are not obligated to answer. Politely inform them that age verification is not required for condom purchases. If you encounter any difficulties, consider visiting a different pharmacy or store at a later time.

Behind-the-Counter Condoms

In some stores, condoms may be kept behind the counter. To avoid any potential embarrassment, it’s advisable to plan ahead by knowing the brand and type of condom you prefer. This preparation prevents awkward exchanges like the following:
You: “Can I have a pack of condoms?”
Cashier: “Which brand?”
You: “Trojan.”
Cashier: “Her pleasure? Ultra ribbed? Magnum? Extended Pleasure? And is it a 3-pack or an econo-size?”
You: “Ummmm……..”

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Overcoming Embarrassment

Feeling self-conscious while purchasing condoms is entirely natural. However, it’s worth noting that the cashier probably doesn’t care. They are likely preoccupied with their own concerns and won’t pay much attention to your purchase. Remember, they’ve likely sold hundreds of boxes before. If you’re still apprehensive, consider going to a store with self-checkout to avoid any potential discomfort.

Running into Someone You Know

Though unlikely, there’s always a small chance of running into someone you know while buying condoms. If you believe this is a real possibility, consider heading to a different town for your purchase. Alternatively, you could hide the condoms beneath a large bag of candy in your shopping basket. This way, if you do encounter someone you know, they won’t see what you’re buying, and you can wait until they leave to proceed with your checkout. Another option is to conveniently buy condoms online, provided you have a credit card.

Choosing the Right Condom

The market offers a vast array of condom types. While everyone has their preferences, the differences between them are often minimal. If you’re unsure which type to buy, consider checking online reviews for guidance. Keep in mind that some condoms come with different lubricants that may produce varied sensations. If you’re not up for an adventurous experience, it’s best to stick to condoms with more conventional names. Additionally, consider the material of the condom. Latex is a common choice, but some individuals may have latex allergies and need to opt for other materials like nitrile.

If you’re on a tight budget, you can explore CondomFinder.org. This platform allows you to enter your zip code and find nearby locations that offer free condoms.

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Good luck on your condom-buying journey! Congratulations on taking the initiative to protect yourself and your partner. Remember, when you’re free from the worry of unplanned pregnancies or STIs, sex can be an even more enjoyable experience.

To learn more, check out How to Buy Condoms: Part 1!

Originally published on stayteen.org on June 30, 2015.

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