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The Pleasure Dome

The condom ads around my school are mocking me.

Does this sound a little paranoid to you? ‘Cause it does to me… and yet, it’s true.

Bear with me.

When I was younger, condoms – seeing the packages, being in the same aisle as them, purchasing them – used to embarrass me, even when I was having sex. Of course, I did my best to hide the fact that I was having sex from my friends, but that’s another matter.

I used to get that giggly, titillating feeling from condoms, and so even when I found their advertisements clever or funny, I avoided them. Or I mocked them from a safe distance, just like my friends at the time.

Now that I’m older, and (theoretically) wiser, they no longer have this giggle, embarrassing effect on me.

Now, condoms don’t represent the unknown, or the forbidden or the unthinkable (unthinkable, at least to the 13-year old girl I was back then, buying condoms as a gag from the dollar store after our grade 8 grad); now, condoms scream sex.

Full, glorious, sweaty, panting, screaming, gasping, clenching, Technicolour, “Oh my God, I think I’m going to die this is so good” sex.

I no longer feel embarrassed buying condoms; instead, I choose them the same way I might choose a movie or book from a list of titles of which I’ve never heard.

“Let’s see, do I want action, comedy, sci-fi…?”

Condoms present a world of choices – there are ribbed, studded, lubricated, spermicided, unlubricated, thin, think, “with pleasure pockets”… Why is selecting a condom embarrassing? This is bloody fun! It’s Disneylad for the sexually active!

I look at the finishing of one box of condoms as the opportunity to try something new. Just polished off a box of “Intense sensations” by Shiek? Why not try their “Ribbed for her pleasure” or “super-thin” next? The wall of condoms is a smorgasbord of delight, offering up untold pleasures, all yours to behold.

Personally, I’ve only tried out about three, maybe four different brands. Surprisingly enough, the condoms that are sold at the sex shops aren’t too bad, but it’s also been a few years since I’ve used them; my memory may be tainted.

I’m fairly opposed to Trojans; I find them too thick to be able to feel anything, even with their ‘thin’ brands, but I know some people who swear by them.

It’s a bit of a challenge getting a variety of different brands of condoms from a drugstore. They generally carry the major brand names, although now certain issues (such as allergies) have come to light that are leading drugstores to expand their lines. It is now possible to buy Avanti’s lambskin condoms, for people with latex allergies, and you can buy lubricants like Wet or Astroglide, in addition to K-Y Jelly. Unfortunately, this tends to vary by drugstore, but what shopping trip could be more fun than the great lube hunt through the wilds that are your local drugstores?

As well as more choices in men’s condoms, you can also find women’s condoms on the drugstore shelves, usually right in the same section. I have to confess, I’ve only ever tried three forms of birth control – the birth control pill, condoms, and the prayer method, whereby you have sex without any form of protection and then pray you don’t wind up pregnant. It’s pretty nerve-wracking, and in a way, stupid, and I definitely don’t recommend it to anyone.

Now, I mentioned at the beginning, that the ads were mocking me. How can something so ‘innocent’ as a condom ad mock you, you ask? Easy. The condom ads hint at pleasure, they promise carnal delights, and they tease the senses with the idea of passion. So what? Well, none of that is being directed my way; instead, I’m discovering the ‘joys’ of celibacy. That, however, is an article for another week.

For various reasons, the same way I’ve been trying to avoid the condom ads at school, I’ve been staying away from the condom aisles in the drugstore, although the hopeful part of me has been keeping up my birth control prescription. I don’t really need the mental images that the condoms evoke, of their moist, grinding, pulse-pounding, teeth-clenching, straining, throbbing…

Excuse me, I have to go now.

posted by Jen on 6:13 PM


Apparently a how-to guide for sex with me. In reality, me just talking about my thoughts and experiences in love, sex and relationships.

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