Copy Editor/Contributing Writer
In the middle of Wal-Mart stands the self-care section. Next to the pregnancy tests and below the “Family Planning” sign sits a plethora of condoms. And lubes! Me, being the awkward human being I am, became extremely uncomfortable while my friend compared a multitude of brands, sizes, and textures of condoms. I began pacing because I was nervous and urged her to hurry up. Not wanting to rush her decision, she dismissed me.
She searched for another several minutes, taking her sweet time. Her decision was finally made, not a minute too soon. Excited, I began to move away. Suddenly, I feel a pull at my back; she wanted to look at lubes.
We exited the store, after way too long for my liking and comfort level, and then I began thinking. I asked myself, “Why am I so embarrassed to be seen in an aisle of a store that shelves a product designed for protection?” Condoms not only protect a female from an unplanned pregnancy, but can help prevent the spread of STIs. The condom was created with nothing but good intentions in mind, though my super religious friends might disagree.
I soon realized how ridiculous I was acting in the store. I should not be ashamed that my friend wanted to be in control of her own body, nor should I ever be afraid to take control of my own. Sex is great; it is even better when there is a mutual understanding of the outcome and when proper precautions are taken to ensure that mutual outcome. Condoms can help ease the mind and make for a more enjoyable experience. They are also the only form of birth control that also works to inhibit the transmission of Sexually Transmitted Infections.
When I was standing in that aisle, I was afraid of being judged, judged for purchasing an item that holds a sole purpose, and I wasn’t even the one looking to buy them! I came to the conclusion that if a stranger wanted to judge me or my friend for taking control of our bodies and our pleasure, then that person isn’t someone I want to know, anyway And it was Wal-Mart, which means that there were other people who deserved far more judgment than we should have received just for being in the condom aisle.
Look, as much fun as sex is, it’s equally as awkward to talk about for some people, especially people like me. It’s important, though, to talk about it and be comfortable with it because it’s a basic part of human nature, as lame as that sounds. It’s important to be able to be comfortable enough to talk with your partner about what you like, what you want, and how you plan on protecting yourselves.