Dear Di

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Human contact while buying condoms? No thanks

Dear Di,

Maybe it’s just me, but I can not take a box of condoms up to a cashier. Maybe it’s the residual catholic school shame? Whatever the reason, it’s now become a problem as the drugstore closest to my new place doesn’t have a self check out option. It’s definitely an irrational fear, but the thought of even the briefest awkward interaction will keep me from buying condoms. Help!


Horny and Ashamed

Dear HA,

The self-checkout is a godsend to many of us; you are certainly not alone in feeling uncomfortable while buying protection. It can be hard to overcome our fears, even if we can acknowledge their irrationality.

As I see it you have three options;

  1. Send your partner to the store — ideally your sexual partner(s) should see the buying of protection as a shared responsibility. Ask them to pick up a box on their way over.
  2. Order condoms online — Ottawa Public Health will send you condoms in the mail for free through the “sex it smart” initiative. You can receive condoms, dental dams, lube and more, straight to your door. Practicing safe sex has never been easier!
  3. Create a mundane fear-factor knockoff — film yourself conquering your fears. Your production value will likely be a significant downgrade from the original fear factor, but with any luck, there should be far less vomiting. I can assure you that it will not phase any seasoned employees by buying condoms.

As a sex-positive columnist, I’m inclined to recommend you face your fears, but the reality is that it’s never been easier to buy condoms without ever interacting with another human. Luckily self-checkout technology has yet to develop the sentience to judge us (as far as we know.)

Condoms are not an embarrassing thing to buy. They are a responsible purchase for anyone who is sexually active. I can’t recommend strongly enough that you keep them on hand.