The shame associated with purchasing condoms

The Shame of Condoms

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The first time I ever purchased a pack of condoms, I had to literarily travel to get it. And when I say travel, I mean it. I made sure to go to a different and distant neighbourhood where no one would recognize me. And what’s more…I went in the night, a pair of glasses across my face just perfectly enough to conceal my face. And as I pulled the pack of raincoat off the shelf, I quickly took along a few other products and went to the cashier. I couldn’t stop trembling with fear as I approached the woman, even as my palms felt wet with cold sweat. But then my worry subsided after the elderly cashier woman spotted my most prominent purchase and gave me a knowing, friendly smile instead of a beseeching frown.

“Better to be safe than sorry, right?” the woman said as she kept smiling knowing at me. She then proceeded to offer a few advice, saying that there was nothing to be ashamed of  condoms. Perhaps I should purchase another pack just so I wouldn’t have to come back soon afterwards for me, she said. But I declined her suggestion. It wasn’t as if I was planning to fuck everyday of my life, I reasoned. I was only buying the pack of condoms because I had had a few occasions where the romantic sparks might as well have resulted into some more magical stuff but unfortunately had to be interrupted just because I didn’t have the almighty raincoat readily available. Perhaps I might never even get to use the pack I was buying that night until the contents expire. So why did I need to buy two packs that could as well never be used? 

Anyway, moving to the important question at hand- why do men have to be so ashamed of buying condoms? This is a question many have asked themselves but never got around answering. So let us answer it right about now. I personally think that the answer to the above question is because has a lot to do with the same shame and taboo associated with sex itself. Walking into a supermarket or a pharmacy and purchasing a pack of condoms is more like broadcasting to the entire world that you are going to have sex. It can be worse still if you make the purchase in the same neighbourhood where you live and can be easily recognised by the person who sold it to you. A friend of mine once recounted how the person who sold a pack of condoms to him reported the purchase to his mother. Can you imagine nonsense?

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Let it be known that it is the stigmatization and shame experienced while trying to purchase some condoms that often push people into resorting to raw [hardcore] sexual experiences. I mean, first of all, condoms are known to limit the pleasure as against doing the do skin to skin. So this, coupled with the fact that purchasing the rubber can be so damn stressful can cause most people to just forget about it and go about sex the more natural way. Unfortunately, there are several risks posed by the natural way of sex which can easily be avoided if so many didn’t have to made to feel ashamed for purchasing some condoms.

So here is to make my preachment loud and clear- condoms are great and there is nothing to ashamed about buying them. The stigmatization has to stop already. And when next you have to buy some condoms, please wear a T-shirt that reads “I love sex”… That should pass the message across to everyone as to why you are buying the raincoats

-Emmanuel Abara Benson

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