*** This is a guest piece from our mate Tom, who doesn’t give a shit about buying condoms – and nor should you. All thoughts and views expressed here are his own (but they have our full support), so read on to hear his thoughts on what we have named, ‘The Condom Complex”***
Shit You Should Care About… The Condom Complex
As you may well know, three Auckland teens; Isaac Mercer, Jamie Martin and Harry Copeland, are starting a condom delivery service in order to combat the embarrassment involved with purchasing those little latex socks.
On the surface this seems a wonderful idea, and in many ways it is. It encourages the youth to purchase an essential item in the practice of safe sex and staving off unwanted baby bumps – awesome. Though the way it’s being marketed highlights another issue; self-consciousness among the youth.
Being sexually active shouldn’t be anything to be ashamed of and doing it safely even less so. As reported in the ‘Stuff’ article about this new condom delivery service, in 2012, only 45.5% of sexually active secondary school students used a condom. This means that by purchasing condoms, you’re part of a minority of people who give enough of a shit about both themselves and their sexual partners to make this small compromise. That’s something to be proud of.
And even though it may not be praised by the “bros,” being satisfied in ones self is an important lesson for all the youth to learn and carry through to adulthood.
When buying condoms, many feel the clerk they inevitably have to face is judging them, though this isn’t likely to be the case. The range of strange requests, stories and conditions shared with a pharmacy assistant, let alone a doctor or nurse, would make them some of the least likely to be judgemental. They’re there to provide a service to the public and will always encourage you to use a condom. Regardless, on the off chance that you are being judged, who gives a shit? What someone may think of you is very rarely worth considering in any circumstance. As for supermarkets, the attendant likely doesn’t think twice about what they’re flinging by the scanners and the majority of supermarkets have self-checkouts now anyway.
“There are lots of reasons that people don’t use condoms, but there still seems to be much shame, embarrassment and judgement when people try to get condoms from shops and health providers,” said University of Auckland School of Nursing associate professor Terryann Clark.
That leaves your fellow shoppers. The chances of them even noticing what you’re buying are slim to none. People are too concerned about their own shopping and what they might be having for dinner that night to take note, and those that do notice, probably don’t care. Think about it, how often do you notice someone buying condoms? And if you do, do you care?
The service these guys are providing is wonderful for those who struggle with anxiety or are unable to purchase condoms for themselves for whatever reason, but nothing alleviates anxiety like confrontation. Their service is potentially enabling young people to hang onto unnecessary fears of scrutiny and carry those fears through to adulthood.
If the difference between looking out for yourself and making a poor decision is what people may think of you, remember these two things: you are your own number one, and those who may judge you for that aren’t worth considering.