May 15, 2008
What’s In Your Condom Aisle?

If you spend as much time in condom aisles as we do (for research purposes!), you’ve doubtless noticed a few changes over the years. The range of condoms has multiplied, condom packaging has gotten cuter — and let’s not even talk about the personal lubricant factor.

Of course, not all condom aisles are created equal — and different stores display their prophylactics in different ways (when they display them at all!). We want to see what’s in your condom aisle. Send us pictures and a brief description (or submit them as a post) and we’ll feature them right here!

Just to get the ball rolling:

Drug Store: Duane Reade, 2nd Street and Avenue B, New York City

What Else Is In This Aisle: Tampons, pads, yeast infection medication, pregnancy tests (because condoms are for ladies?). Also, inexplicably, baby products. Perhaps this is meant to serve as a reminder as to why condoms are so important.

When did lube start coming in bead form?

Kama Sutra products will forever remind me of my short stint as a Condomania employee.

KY has seriously diversified their product line.

I believe Encare is a spermicide. Given that spermicide is not a super effective method of birth control, I can’t fathom why this would be the method women trust. Who are these women?

Note the “vibrating condom” section. To anyone who likes these: just invest in a vibrating cock ring and pair it with a condom. Nothing that vibrates should be one time use only.

Is it just me, or does this look like a box of food coloring?

The female arousal section. Also: Duane Reade, your choice for discreet sex toy purchases.

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  • Karen Rayne says :

    In our condom aisles here in Austin we have your full range of crotch-related product needs. Yep, our Crotch Aisles generally include everything from those things you mentioned (tampons, pads, yeast infection medication, pregnancy tests), PLUS diapers and diaper-related needs for the young *and* the old.

    I often wonder about the folks who decide how to group products in these stores:

    “So, let’s see, we don’t want the male shoppers to have to see the tampons and pads, so we should put them with things that only women buy.”

    “Yeah, like diapers! And other baby things!”

    “Okay, good, we’ve got tampons, pads, and babies together. Now we do have a ton of things things, but it’ll only cover about 3/4 of the aisle. What else should we add in?”

    “Well, diapers and tampons and pads are all things that relate to…you know…down there. Maybe we should put other things for…you know…down there in the same aisle.”

    “Urg…fine, just put all the things I wouldn’t want to be caught dead buying in that aisle and hope other people actually do want to buy them. Now let’s move on to more healthy, supportive aisles like the frozen dinners or beer aisles!”

  • Lux Alptraum says :


    It’s better than the places that keep their condoms under lock and key. I’ve been told it’s to safeguard them from theft, but in my mind, it just acts as a major deterrent to anyone who’s at all shy about purchasing condoms.

  • Xorn Smith says :

    Here in the wilds of Jersey…most of the chain drug stores (CVS and Rite Aid) seem to have the condoms at the end of the aisle nearest the pharmacy section or even on the end-cap facing the pharmacy. I kind of feel like they’re positioned so someone can quickly grab-and-go to another part of the store, almost like they were trying to make it easy to pick them up and move on. Unfortunately, I always feel like the pharmacist people and the four or five customers waiting for prescriptions are watching over them so the location is an impediment to anxiety-free condom buying, or at least to taking your time in making your selection. I have to say, though, none of the chain drug stores we have here has nearly as good a condom selection as the one displayed above.

    Here’s another fun fact for condom shopping in suburban NJ: the 24-hour Pathmark locks up the condoms at night in the pharmacy section. So after about 9:00 pm, you can’t buy condoms. (Hey, who’d want then then anyway, right?)

    On the other hand, the KY and Astroglide is over with the yeast infection creams and pregnancy tests, in the same aisle as the band aids and cold medicine, in the regular part of the store. So you can buy lube after hours. So you can have butt sex after 9:00 pm, you just have to do it without a condom, which is…well, not recommended.

  • Desiree says :

    Didn’t see my brand. Although they’re pricey, I absolutely love the Pleasure Plus condoms.

  • Phyllis Nefler says :

    Lotta price markdowns! Are New Yorkers not having enough sex?

  • Lux Alptraum says :


    I love the Pleasure Plus packaging. I used to use the case to carry tampons (after it was empty, duh).

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Lux Alptraum
Monica Shores