The first time I ever purchased a pack of condoms, I had a hard time doing so; no thanks to the stigmatisation associated with the product. I had gone to a distant neighbourhood where I was sure no one would recognise me. Interestingly, I went in the night, and had even worn a pair of sunglasses just to conceal my face. And as I pulled the pack of raincoat off the shelf and quickly took it to the cashier along with a few other products, I panicked while watching the woman scan the items. I feared she would frown beseechingly at me or even offer some preachment about how fornication was a grave sin before the Lord. But despite that she looked like the churchey type of person, she simply smiled knowingly at me in an apparent effort to calm my nerves.
“Better to be safe than sorry, yeah?” the woman said as she kept smiling knowingly at me. She then proceeded to offer a few advice, saying that there was nothing to be ashamed of about condoms. She then suggested that I should buy one more pack just so that I wouldn’t have to return soon for another one. I declined her offer. It wasn’t as if I was planning to do the thing everyday of my life.
But enough of the story now as we discuss the important question at hand- why do men feel so ashamed when trying to buy some condoms? This is a question every sexually active man has asked [themselves] at some point. And hardly does this question ever get answered. But we need to answer it, and now is the right time. To be frank, I personally think the answer to the above question has a lot to do with the same shame and taboo associated with sex itself. Walking into a supermarket or a pharmacy store to buy a pack of condoms in Lagos is more or less like broadcasting to the entire world that you are about to have sex. This can be worse if you have to make the purchase in the same neighbourhood you live, considering that you could be easily recognised by the person selling it to you. A friend of mine once recounted how the person who sold a pack of condoms to him reported the purchase to his mother. Can you imagine nonsense?
It is the shame that is associated with the purchase of condoms that often push people into having raw [unprotected] sex. I mean, condoms are already known to limit the pleasure as against doing the do skin to skin. That,coupled with the stress of purchasing the rubber can cause some people to forget about it and go about sex the natural way. Unfortunately, this exposes people to risks.
Now here is to make my preachment loud and clear- condoms are great and there is nothing to ashamed about buying them. The stigmatization has to stop already. And when next you have to buy some condoms, please wear a T-shirt that reads “I love sex”… That should pass the message across to everyone as to why you are buying the raincoats…