How to buy condoms with confidence

(Or at least fake confidence)

We dream of a world where no one feels embarrassed when buying condoms—or anything else for that matter—at the drugstore or grocery store, but for anyone who’s not quite there yet, it’s okay. We’ve got some tips to make the whole thing less intimidating.

1. Do a little research beforehand

Checking out all the options in the condom section can be really fun. But if it’s your first time buying them and you feel nervous, doing a little research on what kind you might want can make the whole in-person process a little easier.

2. Remember that the checkout person just wants to go home

They truly, truly don’t care what you’re buying. Today alone they’ve most likely sold candy bars alongside hemorrhoid cream, diapers and lube, diarrhea medicine, more beef jerky than you’d care to think about, and probably 25 boxes of condoms.

3. Think of yourself as a rebel

Go ahead and scandalize the old lady behind you in line who’s buying slippers and hairspray! She’s probably jealous. Imagine you’re a teenager (or if you are one, more power to you), and you’re going to sneak out of the house tonight. You don’t care what those boring adults think! You don’t need anyone’s approval—in fact, you’d prefer not to have it!

4. Teach your brain that it’s okay

If you’re feeling awkward, that’s fine! That’s no problem. Because guess what? You can do it anyway. Show the embarrassed part of your brain that you may be able to hear it, but you’re not listening to it. Faking it til you make it actually does work sometimes.

5. Keep your eyes on the prize

Look at you, having hot sex and protecting yourself while you’re at it! Prevention queen!

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