All men eventually experience that first time in the condom aisle. Be it in the local drug store or the 7-11 down the street, we’ve all had that “emergency” purchase. It’s a very uncomfortable situation, worse than being the schmuck at the register when the teenage girl asks over the intercom for a price check on jock itch cream.
I graduated high school in 1989, and condoms weren’t advertised on TV or in magazines. They were still an underground item, condoms weren’t semi-normal purchases as it is nowadays. And they definitely weren’t given out by school guidance counselors or church groups.
Here’s how Hollywood portrays it in the movies: A scared young boy, his face dotted with acne, trembles and looks around shiftily as he purchases a pack of condoms under the disapproving eyes of an elderly cashier. It’s a dirty, embarrassing act by a horny young man up to no good.
For once, Hollywood has it right.
This is exactly what it feels like. I was thirty before I purchased my first condoms in an Exxon “under emergency duress” and I still felt like that kid in the movies.
I spent fifteen minutes deciding which ones to get. There were so many choices! Ribbed or smooth. Dry or lubed. Spermicidal or not. Natural or black or red or green or blue. Red, green or blue? WTF?
It sounds good to write but I actually spent the fifteen minutes NOT going up to the register with the first pack of Trojans I laid my eyes on. I didn’t care about texture or color or anything but actually buying them. At thirty years of age, and arguably a grown man, I was embarrassed to buy a pack of condoms.
All guys are all like that their first time and don’t let one ever tell you it didn’t phase him. It did. The first time we walk down the dreaded condom aisle, we feel like we’re thirteen and committing the unspeakable. Period.
P.S. I know what you’re thinking … “Thirty? You were thirty?” One word: Adam & Eve assorted 100-packs delivered to your door in plain brown wrapping. I’m such a man-whore. I should have bought stock in them.