Embarrassed about buying condoms

Originally Published: March 21, 1997 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: July 30, 2013
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Dear Alice,

I am a shy person, and I feel embarrassed to buy condoms over-the-counter. Are there other ways of obtaining them? Thanks for answering!

Sincerely,
Mr. Condom

Dear Mr. Condom,

It's fantastic that you're a fan of condoms, and you're not the only one who feels a tad sheepish seeking them out. If you're a Columbia student, the first step is to take a look at the safer sex map. You'll see a number of locations around Columbia that have safer sex supplies on hand. More specifically, you can get free condoms (and lube) on campus at Medical Services on the 4th floor of John Jay Hall, Alice! Health Promotion on the 7th floor of Lerner Hall, or through your resident advisor (RA). If these options still make you blush, maybe you can ask a friend to grab a few for your sake, and share the love.

If you go to a store for your stash, one strategy might be to pick out some other items first, so condoms aren't the sole focus of attention. If you'd rather avoid any face time altogether, you've got a handful of options: you can place orders by mail, on the phone, or online. Many magazines have ads with catalogues and order forms to buy condoms. Some sexuality specialty shops, which you can probably find in a local phone book or through a quick search on the 'net, will let you to place an order over the phone. Another option is to check-out at an online store. Search for "buy condoms online," and you'll find a plethora of possibilities.

Many of these businesses not only promise plain packaging, they have run-of-the-mill company names, too. That way, someone reading your credit card bill will have no idea you're buying condoms — in case you're concerned. Also, you can save yourself some embarrassment (and some dough) if you buy in bulk. Just keep an eye on those expiration dates.

Many people feel embarrassed about being public about sexual things. But, you might think about it this way: sex is natural and healthy, and you can take pride in the fact that you're being safe, responsible, and respectful of your partner by buying condoms. Latex = Love!

Alice

August 6, 2013

534179
I use a place called mycondomguy.com I don't know why anyone bothers going to the store for those anymore. And this place is super cheap, buy a couple packs and get the free shipping.
I use a place called mycondomguy.com I don't know why anyone bothers going to the store for those anymore. And this place is super cheap, buy a couple packs and get the free shipping.

May 25, 2012

511622
Hey there, I can imagine why you might feel embarrased about buying condoms. I used to feel the same way until one day the thought hit me "Hey, I'm having fun tonight and so's my partner!" I often...
Hey there, I can imagine why you might feel embarrased about buying condoms. I used to feel the same way until one day the thought hit me "Hey, I'm having fun tonight and so's my partner!" I often get a fun little *wink*wink at the drugstore counter, as if to say "wooo! you go, girl" I switched to an on-line condom retailer and everything Alice says is correct. The reputable companies always ship in plain brown packaging, and the prices are generally much cheaper than drugstores. I'm bisexual, and online retailers were the only places I could find dental dams.

July 1, 2008

21270

To the reader:

I get my condoms at grocery stores that have self-serve automated checkouts. I think the store owners have caught onto why these checkouts are popular and often locate the...

To the reader:

I get my condoms at grocery stores that have self-serve automated checkouts. I think the store owners have caught onto why these checkouts are popular and often locate the "Family Planning" section just steps away. Aside from that, visit the websites of major condom manufacturers. Often they will have some sort of promotion where you can receive free samples for filling out a survey.

January 31, 2007

21174
Mr. Condom,

Also note that stores across the nation have self-checkout counters where you swipe your own products. I usually take advantage of these when buying sensitive things.

—...

Mr. Condom,

Also note that stores across the nation have self-checkout counters where you swipe your own products. I usually take advantage of these when buying sensitive things.

— helper

September 1, 2000

20355

Dear Alice,

I wanted to respond to the question concerning discreet condom purchasing. There are currently several Internet drugstores available through which...

Dear Alice,

I wanted to respond to the question concerning discreet condom purchasing. There are currently several Internet drugstores available through which such purchases can be made. They usually don't have as many types of condoms as a regular, real-world drugstore might carry, but have enough different kinds and brands. Online ordering is a great way to discretely purchase condoms, pregnancy tests, foot deodorant powder, or any other product one might feel uneasy purchasing in the presence of others.

January 29, 1999

20320

Hi Alice,

To follow up on the guy who asked how to buy condoms discreetly, a tiny story:

Here in the Student Union (opposite College), condoms are significantly cheaper than...

Hi Alice,

To follow up on the guy who asked how to buy condoms discreetly, a tiny story:

Here in the Student Union (opposite College), condoms are significantly cheaper than elsewhere (stlg 1 instead of stlg 2 per three pack). There I go, pick up a package (yes, very first package in my life, to make it worse) and queue up at the till, face beet-red, thinking at any time, someone might recognize me. Then I notice: the girl in front has a package as well... flash of enlightenment: other people have sex too!

Hope this helps.