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24 October 2007 @ 01:43 pm
 
I have just returned from a dark and dangerous expedition. I have, for the first time in over five years, bought condoms. I didn't really set out with such a mission in mind, but I was in Boots buying first aid type stuff for my travels, walked past the family planning section and stopped and thought, hang on, I suppose I might get lucky...

Stop laughing, it's not totally inconceivable!

So anyway, I discovered that it's impossible to buy normal condoms these days. By which I mean, condoms that aren't ribbed, lubed, flavoured, flimsy or industrially reinforced. There are no bog standard vanilla condoms on the market. All I want is something that's going to allow me to get some action without getting gonorrhea - is that too much to ask? Apparently so. A brief summary of what's available:

  • Ribbed "Enhanced for her pleasure". The last (and only) time I used one of these, it was like having sex with a cheese grater.

  • Flavoured Nothing wrong with it per se, but they look ridiculous. The last time I used flavoured condoms, I couldn't stop laughing because my partner's bright red strawberry-flavoured penis reminded me of Satan in the South Park movie. Highly amusing, but not really conducive to great sex.

  • Performance enhancing Really, really scary, these ones. Like normal condoms, but with this stuff on the inside that actually numbs the penis and delays ejaculation. Yikes! I suppose it might help chronic premature ejaculators, but frankly, I'd rather anyone I slept with enjoyed it as much as I did.

  • Heavy duty Reinforced for really rough anal sex. Since I'm NOT going to be taking it up the arse, this extra reinforcement is unnecessary and likely to detract from my partner's pleasure.

  • Featherweight I'm a bit suspicious of these. The idea is, they're as thin as possible for the most natural feel. But surely they break more easily?

    I went for the featherweight ones in the end (12 pack, baby! I'm feeling optimistic), reasoning that they can't be that flimsy or they wouldn't meet safety standards, and since I have a contraceptive implant, a split condom isn't the end of the world.

    What's interesting is that when the cashier ran the condoms through the till, they just came up as "Chemist goods". How twee and unnecessary. But then, I suppose that might make it easier for teenagers to buy them and not have to worry about their parents seeing the receipt. Likewise people having affairs not wanting their partners to find out about the 24-pack of extra-large, extra-reinforced, deviant S&M ones they'd just bought.

    The condoms I have just bought expire in July 2011. Surely I will get laid before then. SURELY.
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    myid8myego on October 24th, 2007 01:39 pm (UTC)
    I dunno what it's like where you live, but chemists like Brooks and CVS over here all seem to have the "stuff that goes in vaginas" aisle. Tampons, douches, yeast infection treatments, and condoms. Very weird.
    Samaraobnoxious_muso on October 24th, 2007 02:55 pm (UTC)
    Douches? You can still buy those??? I've never seen one over here. It's common knowledge that they're unhealthy and unnecessary, but come to think of it, they are also unavailable.

    Here you get a "family planning" section, with condoms and anything related to either trying to get pregnant or trying not to get pregnant. Anything sex-related in any capacity goes in this aisle too, and along with KY Jelly and stuff, I observed that they are also selling cock rings!
    stewtheking on October 24th, 2007 05:01 pm (UTC)
    They sell cock rings in Sainsbury's now as well. On the aisle with condoms, lube, and various other stuff. This paraphenalia is laid out on the end of an aisle, right next to the bakery, and I have more than once saw an old lady glance over, then do a double take and wander away muttering.
    Samara: Mary Cherryobnoxious_muso on October 24th, 2007 07:12 pm (UTC)
    Oh come off it. If they were that pious and disapproving, they wouldn't even know what it was!

    Having said that, cock rings do look like instruments of medieval torture.
    stewtheking on October 24th, 2007 07:23 pm (UTC)
    IF I remember rightly, they do say "sexual stimulator" on the side. That's probably more than enough to induce tutting.
    Samaraobnoxious_muso on October 26th, 2007 11:45 am (UTC)
    Funny story: the editor of Opera Now magazine went to the press launch of a new opera company a couple of years ago. They had a "lucky dip" there, you know, one of those things where you stick your hand in and pick out a packet of sweets or pencils or something. Except that this lucky dip contained sex toys. He returned to the office with a cock ring.
    (Deleted comment)
    Samara: gonna dieobnoxious_muso on October 25th, 2007 08:48 am (UTC)
    Oh great, that's really encouraging! :P
    Michelleillusive_shelle on October 25th, 2007 09:34 am (UTC)
    Don't listen to him, I'm sure that you'll have plenty of opportunities in the near future.
    Hannah: penguincymruangel on October 25th, 2007 02:12 pm (UTC)
    I quite agree.
    Besides, if the worst comes to the worst and you don't manage to use ALL of them ;), you can always inflate them into impromptu balloons - 14yr old boy style!
    Michelleillusive_shelle on October 25th, 2007 09:29 pm (UTC)
    Or here's a useful survival tip: always carry condoms with you. In an emergency situation, the average condom can hold upto four litres of water - that's 2 days worth of water!
    Hannah: penguincymruangel on October 26th, 2007 11:31 am (UTC)
    Although presumably best not to have flavoured ones unless you like your water strwberry flavoured...
    Samaraobnoxious_muso on October 26th, 2007 11:43 am (UTC)
    I shouldn't think spermicide tastes great either...
    Michelleillusive_shelle on October 26th, 2007 12:04 pm (UTC)
    This didn't occur to me to comment at the time. However, as I was in a country where oral sex is included under "unnatural acts of a sexual nature", perhaps it's a good thing that I didn't speak up!
    Samaraobnoxious_muso on October 26th, 2007 11:43 am (UTC)
    Fab idea!
    Jessica Kornbergjaquelinehyde on October 27th, 2007 10:10 pm (UTC)
    they do that here. all the tampons and condoms and douches and whatnot are in the aisle of shame.

    and douches are available all over the place here, even with all the hippies and people with half a brain who know that they are stupid.