Condom acquisition has many philosophies. One school of thought dictates that they be purchased as stealthily as possible, an unnoticed purchase in a sea of consumption. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there is the so-called “heraldic method,” in which the acquirer loudly broadcasts that he or she is “BUYING CONDOMS!” Either way, if you wish to have safe sexual intercourse, you’ll probably have to get condoms at some point. This week the Street is here to help you figure out which local spots are most suited to your condom-purchasing strategies.
The small red sign designating Aisle 9a — the site of “Family Planning” products — in no way, shape or form prepares the casual condom shopper for the veritable contraceptive cornucopia that lies in wait, a rainbow smorgasbord of sexual protection. You can get your condoms lubricated or non-lubricated, latex or allergen-free, geared to his or her ecstatic pleasure. You can even buy “America’s #1 Skin Condom,” the venerable Naturalamb, hewn just for you from the intestine of a lamb, most likely by Bear Grylls himself. All of the options are situated conveniently next to all manner of sex toys and stimulants for your one-stop shopping convenience.
CVS’s layout is also helpful. You can go up to the cashier if you wish to announce your healthy sexual appetite, or you can hide your purchase behind this week’s National Enquirer and smuggle it through the self-checkout station. You’ll pay more at CVS for your protection, but like the feudal lords of yore purchasing their armor, you get what you’re paying for: control over the serfs that are STIs.
Trying to liven up life in the junior slums? The U-Store is your spot. Located conveniently on a side-aisle hanger under the “Stomach Relief/Cold + Flu” sign, the U-Store has a solid selection of condom types, though they are really pushing a variety called “Ecstasy,” of which they have far and away the most, although there is one generic-brand variety pack. However, there is the increased awkwardness (or fun) of buying your condoms in front of that kid in your economics lecture who is getting another box of pencils, knowing he’s probably thinking, “Condoms? That guy? Please.”
Just walk past your RCA’s door, and you’ll see a non-descript envelope hanging on their corkboard. What could be in this mysterious manila envelope? Condoms galore. They’re super-cheap condoms, but they’re free, they’re bountiful and they keep those sexual health problems at bay. So next time you need protection, either hit the condom drive-by, snagging a handful as you cruise nonchalantly by your favorite RCA’s room, or pretend not to know where the condoms are and kick your RCA’s door demanding your latex “sheath” (it’s an industry term) like King Arthur’s virulent heir. Either way, you’ll be safe.
The least reliable of all the possible condom purveyors are your friends. Although this is the most flexible method, it depends on your friends. Only rely on this method for extreme emergencies, or if your friend happens to be a SHA peer advisor. If you’re at the point where you’re desperately asking friends for condoms, however, you probably shouldn’t be engaging in any sexual activities. So just go to bed.
McCosh Health Center
By virtue of being a Princeton Student you have a 10 condom a day allowance at McCosh. Thanks, tuition! Unfortunately you have to get your condoms before McCosh closes at 4:45 p.m. Who needs to get 10 condoms before they even eat dinner? Go to class, asshole! So I can’t even tell you much about getting condoms at McCosh, because I never made my morning condom run. What this campus really needs is a condom delivery-service that will bring me my condoms at the crack of dawn in a pail or something. Student Agencies, I’m looking at you.
The LGBT Center
There it sits: the glass bowl brimming with glittery, shrink-wrapped packages of berry-flavored goodness. Am I talking about the bowl of candy my barber puts out for kids who have been good as he was lopping off their locks, or the free condom bowl at the LGBT Center? It’s ambiguous because the LGBT Center gives away flavored condoms. For free. If the LGBT Center weren’t so far away from everything except the LGBT Center, it would be a serious condom destination. As it is, although the informational pamphlets next to the condom bowl are nice, the LGBT Center is just too inconvenient. But if you’re looking for some variety in your condom life, it’s definitely a place to check out.
Right next to where the late night sandwich line forms, Wawa has a little display where one may purchase energy boosters, Advil and condoms by the threes, an alluring combination. But fight the siren song of the Trojans. There is no reason you should be buying condoms at the Wa unless a) you live in or are on the way to Forbes and it is past 2 a.m. or b) you really, really, really like those late night sandwiches. Otherwise, class up a bit and go to a legitimate condom retailer.