We spoke with 7 Nigerian men about the first time they ever got condoms.


Here’s what they had to say:

1. Ted

I was 18 the first time I had to buy a condom. The person I was sleeping with was older and more experienced than I was, so I told her to buy it on her way to my apartment because I didn’t want to buy it myself. Sure enough, she forgot, and she wasn’t going to do anything without a condom, so she told me to get it from the pharmacy on my street. The pharmacy on my street doubled as a provisions store and the people there knew me, so I took a bike to a store that was about three streets away where nobody knew me. It was weird because the condoms were on the counter, so after going through the shop and picking unnecessary things like bottles of water and sweets, I brought them to the cashier. As he was totaling the items, I quickly grabbed one random condom and threw it on the pile. I didn’t check the brand or flavour or size or any of the other things all my friends had talked about, and that I knew I wanted to check. The cashier didn’t even look at me. He just added it to the rest of my stuff and told me the price. But those few minutes in the shop felt like hours. And buying condoms didn’t get easier until after a long time.

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2. Alan

The first time I got a condom, I acted like it was something I did all the time. The first shop I went to didn’t have the one my guy recommended to me so I left and kept going to shops until I found a shop that did.

But the first shop I went to was near my guy’s house, and that’s where I’d brought the babe to. So the people in the shop had seen that I brought a babe to a house near their shop, and I came to look for condoms. That part was very awkward for me.

3. Bolly

My first time buying a condom, I spent about 30 minutes walking around the shop until everyone had gone out, asked to buy it in a low voice, collected it without a nylon bag, and left without collecting my change. I was too embarrassed to even ask my friends for the price before going to buy it. I was 22. I’m 29 now. It hasn’t gotten easier over time, so I’ve resulted to buying in bulk to reduce the frequency of buying, or convincing the lady to buy when coming over.

4. Jay

I didn’t feel any awkwardness because the salesperson there was so mature, they didn’t make it look like a big deal. They were professional, so I just behaved like a pro even though I was a newbie. I was even close to asking them what condom brand was the best.

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5. P

I went in the pharmacy and ordered for two packs of condoms like I was ordering a Pepsi. No awkwardness at all. And I made it obvious so that people wouldn’t suspect it was my first time.

6. A.B.

For me, it was very casual. I wasn’t out to look at anybody’s expressions. I was out shopping after my cart was full, I picked the condom from the cashier’s table and put it in my cart. I tried not to make it look like a bog deal and that’s how I survived that.

Durex condoms editorial stock photo. Image of condoms - 37420398

7. El-Jay

Before I got my first pack of condoms, I gave myself a pep talk, saying it was a normal thing that people did, and that I didn’t have to make it a big deal. It wasn’t the first time I was going to having sex, but the first time I was going be with someone that was big on protection.

When I got into the store, I got so scared I walked right past the condoms and decided to get air fresheners and a bottle of vodka instead. I didn’t even need all that stuff. As the cashier was about to put my stuff in a bag, I picked a condom, threw it in the stack and looked away. She didn’t even act like I’d just done anything. God, I was so scared.

*The names of the people in this article have been changed for anonymity.


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