Sex for Less

Unless you are very religious, I bet there is one thing that you and I have in common. We both like sex.

And why wouldn’t we – sex makes our brain release endorphins which make us feel incredible.

But sex is not without risk. Sexually transmitted diseases and infections can be spread. And there is also the very real possibility of creating a little pooing, crying machine. However, there are many ways to overcome these problmes; the pill, the morning after pill and even abstinence can be used.

This blog, however, will focus on just one form of contraception; male condoms. 

Condoms are great. They are 98% effective at preventing pregnancy and because they prevent the exchange of bodily fluids they help to protect against many STIs, including HIV (NHS, 2012). Additionally, condoms are easy to use and can be purchased in a myriad of places.


Even though condoms are clearly a wonderful invention there appears to be a number of barriers which stop people from purchasing them, and more worryingly, using them. In 2012, market research organisation, Mintel, discovered that 4% of men don’t use condoms because they don’t like the feel of them or the hassle of putting them on. Mintel’s research also found that 2% of males did not use condoms because of their religious beliefs. For these people it is clear that condoms aren’t for them and very little can be done to make them change their mind.

However, Mintel also discovered that a large number of people were not buying condoms due to two other reasons; price and embarrassment.

Mintel’s study showed that 45% of under 25’s (which includes students) thought condoms were overpriced. In Superdrug in Bangor at the moment a packet of 12 Durex Pleasuremax condoms costs £9.99. If you round that up to £10 then that’s 83p a condom. That is pretty costly especially if you bear in mind that the NHS give them out for free at sexual health clinics and most GP surgeries.

But most people don’t go to these places to get condoms for the other reason highlighted by Mintel – embarrassment. Mintel’s research showed that 3 out of 10 males found it embarrassing to buy condoms in a supermarket. This research supports earlier work by Dahl, Gorn and Weinberg (1998, 1999) who found that the embarrassment of purchasing condoms is one of the main obstacles to practising safe sex.

Is there a solution?

Yes, and it’s very simple – buy condoms online.

Freedoms is an online shop (and a NHS backed initiative) which specialise in selling cheap condoms and lube. On the website at the moment you can buy a bag of 72 Durex Pleasuremax condoms for £9.99 with free delivery. Just to clarify that’s the exact same price as Superdrug for 60 more condoms. If you again round that up to £10 then it works out as 14p a condom. That’s a lot more reasonable right? Alright it’s not free, but you have to bear in mind that neither is producing or shipping condoms.

As if the diminished cost isn’t a big enough motivator, shopping online removes all the embarrassment from purchasing condoms. The internet is the perfect place to purchase discreet purchases such as Viagra, sex toys, porn or condoms because there is nobody physically there judging you.

OK guys, so now you know – go and enjoy yourselves!

(Thank me later!)


About Think Outside The Cliché

I write blogs that try to encourage people to think differently about their purchasing behaviour. I also write blogs that attempt to show companies that there are often other unconventional ways to conduct business. Whether you are a consumer or a business person there will be definitely be something interesting in my blogs for you. I hope you enjoy them and please remember I always, always appreciate constructive feedback.

6 responses to “Sex for Less”

  1. theconsumerbeat says :

    Online shopping may be really convenient to the consumer but I think there are quite a few negatives associated with it which may lean the customer away from purchasing online what they could buy locally. What about the independent pharmacy that is losing business because people are buying their birth control in bulk? Fair enough, with condoms it is slightly different as it saves on the embarrassment factor.

    its not only the ability to help the local businesses that may deter the consumer from online shopping. Amazon has recently had a terrible reputation because even though their warehouses are in the UK, they drive all of their sales through Luxemburg! Serious case of tax avoidance. Unethical, perhaps, but not illegal. Apparently, Amazon only paid tax on 2.5% of its annual profits Meanwhile, the average British customer is currently stocking up their Amazon wish list, just in time for the silly season, and the local electrical store had had to sell their last laptop.

  2. weiliwang90 says :

    Wow, this is the best blog I have seen in the few weeks! Which is creative, interesting and attractive (I love the ad you provided)! Also, as I can see that, on the other side this blog lead how the online shopping influence not just sex needs customer shopping behaviour by embarrassment of buying condoms in the local shops.

    I think this is an effective approach to persuade people who feel embarrassing buy condoms in local store or pick up the free condoms sexual health clinics and most GP surgeries. Online shopping has became the most convenient and functional way to get what you want which cannot easily buy in the local store, or privately personal goods from the world.

    However, there is another group that you have mentioned in your blog is that people who cannot afford the price of condoms and also embarrassed pick up free condoms sexual health clinics and most GP surgeries. In which aspect, I think the communities or government could establish an organization specially for poor people who needs condoms, and delivery a certain amount of condoms to them for free every month.

    • thinkoutsidethecliche says :

      Thank you ever so much for your kind words. I’m glad you enjoyed the blog.

      I think the point you raised regarding helping the people who can’t afford condoms is very important. The NHS does provide free condoms at sexual health clinics, doctor’s surgeries and even Boots (if you ever have to visit the in-store pharmacist). However, this system doesn’t help the people who are too embarrassed to ask another human being for condoms. Therefore I agree with you that there should be an NHS backed organisation that specialises in mailing free condoms to people who can’t afford to buy them. The only question is – how on earth would you regulate this?

  3. brandforlife says :

    While I agree with your logic, I can only presume that one reason more people don’t buy their condoms online is perhaps because people are not accustomed to buying their birth control online and do not have the same trust for a website as they would a pharmacy or a GP. Another possibility is that they know how much condoms cost in a shop so assume, because of the extremely reduced price, that these branded products are counterfeit. Or that the price indicates the quality. And quality isn’t something you want to risk when it comes to birth control! Or maybe people just don’t want to jinx themselves by buying 72 condoms…

  4. elpebc says :

    I think all human like sex because sex is instinct in human but religious people make psychological barrier between themselves and sex without marriage. I agree with you there are few percentage from men make sex without condoms and few percentage from women do sex without any precautions like pills because they are shame. However, some of them use normal sexual inhibitions. They use this sort of inhibitions for two reasons shyness, pleasure, or both.

  5. consumercolumn says :

    Cool innovative blog was a good read. I for one am not overly bothered about purchasing condoms in a shop, i like to think that most others are as well which tends to be true. However i do understand some people are shy and do hate the thought of buying condoms because they dont want to be judged. I like others have never thought of buying condoms online, in all true honesty the thought has never crossed my mind. I cannot deny the sheer savings made from purchasing condoms online however i find it dubious that they are so cheap. Like stated above people may believe that these condoms maybe counterfeit due to the extreme reduction in price. Most people at the end of the day are educated enough to know that they should use condoms and in my honest opinion I think that people who have a problem with buying condoms in a shop usually find the courage to make the purchase when they need to.

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