First time buying contraception

First time when I shopped for birth control!

By Josephine Dias Monday, September 21, 2015 - 12:46
Sex for the first time can be quite nerve-wracking, but so can your first time buying condoms. We gathered a few experiences from young Indians about getting contraception for the first time…

These days, it is slightly easier to buy condoms because you can do it online. But we have all been through the trauma (if you’re a woman, it mostly is) of buying contraceptives. We asked a few young Indians to share their first-time experiences…

‘Shocked salesperson!'

It was a hilarious moment. I went with my girlfriend and we’d decided beforehand that she would do the talking. I wanted to see just how the person would react. We walked into a big pharmacy-cum-supermarket and started browsing. Soon enough, a salesperson came up and asked if we needed help.

My girlfriend said we wanted condoms and mentioned all the specifics, including the fact that I was well built and so would need a big size. The saleswoman was stunned. She looked at me in shock, probably hoping I would say something.

I looked embarrassed and turned away. She didn’t know what to do until another salesperson came and took over. Since then, whenever I go out to buy contraceptives or condoms, that woman’s face comes to my mind.

Manish Kamra* (35), entrepreneur, Mumbai.

‘I threatened to create a scene’

As a woman, it still irritates me that you get those looks whenever you’re out to buy birth control. The first time I bought mine, I asked the guy behind the counter for all the birth control options he could offer. There was a pause, some whispering and I was asked for a prescription.

I knew what kind of contraception I wanted. I had got the details from my doctor. But when I said I didn’t have a prescription, there was more whispering. I asked what the problem was. I was told I couldn’t get what I wanted without a prescription.

By then I was furious. I told them they better give me what I wanted or I would create a scene right there. I think they got scared because they actually acted quick and handed me everything, including the lubricant I had asked for. Before leaving, the guy muttered something along the lines of ‘aaj kal ke ladkiyan (Girls, these days)!’

Anahita Parmar* (26), fashion blogger, Mumbai.

‘A brief moment with the cashier’

My first time wasn’t that big a deal. I just picked up a box from my local supermarket. While checking out, the cashier gave a slightly awkward look – he raised his eyebrow when he saw my ‘family pack’ of condoms and looked at me for a brief moment before preparing my bill.

Mani Subbalakshmi* (22), writer, Mumbai.

‘I got a lesson on lubricants’

I was very nervous the first time I went to buy contraceptives. I had my doctor’s prescription and friends had told me to buy a lubricant. I went to a pharmacy far away from where I live. I showed the prescription and to my surprise the guy didn’t bat an eyelid.

He went and got me the pills and before I could speak, he asked me if I wanted a lubricant. He further advised, “Madam, lubricant is always good for both of you”.

He showed me the different options available. To this day, if I am in the vicinity, I try and go to that pharmacy to buy stuff because I’m always told what’s new and what’s ‘popular’!

-Jonita Pinto* (22), student, Pune.

*All names have been changed on request.

What was your experience buying your contraceptives for the first time? Write to us via comments or on Facebook.

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