Sep 16, 2008, 05:50AM

Lube Snafu

An erotically themed visit to Walgreen’s is more shameful than anyone with a sex life deserves.

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Photo by ninjapoodles.

It’s 11 p.m. Do you know where your lube is?

My boyfriend and I are making out and it’s starting to get hot and heavy. I mean we’re like really going at it. He reaches for a condom but then...uh-oh.

“We’re out of lube,” he announces reluctantly.

Because I’m super horny and want avoid an ass of fire, I go: “That’s okay. Let’s just go to Walgreen’s and pick some up.” That’s right. Walgreen’s. There are no sex shops in New Haven because, obviously, nobody has sex at Yale. So there we are, smack in the middle of foreplay, putting clothes back on and going to Walgreen’s for a bottle of lube.

I don’t know if you know this, but the “I’m About to Have Hot Sex” section at Walgreen’s is actually more evangelically called “Family Planning.” Awkward. This, I believe, is their strategy straight out of the Sarah Palin playbook to discourage premarital sex. I’m not sure if I should be picking out lube or a boarding school for what is apparently my planned but still unborn child.

KY? Wet? Astroglide? Hmm. We make a selection and head towards the cashier to pay. Except that there are 100 billion people waiting on line versus a single cashier who seems to enjoy taking her time rolling people’s purchases across that scanner. Because I am unbelievably impatient, I brilliantly opt for the Cosmetics cashier, which always has fewer people waiting.

Uh-oh number two. The line is shorter, as I expected, but the cashier is my favorite old black lady with super big hair and even bigger glasses. She’s like my BFF every time I go to Walgreen’s. I always go to her line to buy, like, chapstick or whatever and she gives me discounts. But if I buy lube from her it’s going be like I’m saying: “Hi old black lady! Not only am I about to have gay sex immediately, but here this is the boy that’s going to do it.”


But I tell you the worst part of the whole debacle is that the old black lady reminds me of my grandmother. So now I really can’t buy the ass gel from her. “Oh my God we cannot buy the lube from her.” I say to Daniel’s laughter. Me: “I mean...maybe we can even it out if we throw in something domestic like, um, fabric softener.”

Am I completely alone here when I say that buying lube/condoms/vaginal creme/adult diapers/anti-fungal spray/foot odor power, etc. can be embarrassing? Like what if you’re a hot guy who’s super duper endowed and need to buy, I don’t know, Ultra Magnum condoms AND jock itch creme? Do you really want folks to know that?

It’s like: “Hi, I have a huge cock, and right now it really itches.”

I mean, it’s not like I’ve never had to buy lube before. You gotta keep your goodie drawer stocked like you do your refrigerator. Imagine going for that much desired bowl of Apple Jacks and—uh-oh—no milk!

But what sucks ultra hard is that I don’t think there are any goodie marts within walking distance of Yale. So I typically rely on those little shops that dot 8th Ave. or Christopher St. in New York. Much more anonymity. Besides, at least there they know what you want before you walk through the door. No shame in yo’ game.

What was so embarrassing to me about Walgreensgate was not just the grandma presence, but that I felt a Sarah Palin judgment placed on my sex life via the title “Family Planning.” This is obvi not the place for gay men and dykons. Clearly, it’s where Biff and Buffy go when—and only when—they realize they’re ready to start a family.

I wish I wasn’t so embarrassed about buying lube. Sex is sex, right? Many of you may in fact be having sex any minute now. I think the embarrassment I attach to it, though, was built into me during my teenage years. One time I came home to my grandmother who had found—and watched—this 70s gay porn tape I borrowed from a friend. Of course, she angrily asked me if I was a gay. I swore up and down that I wasn’t, and masterfully lied that I needed the tape for a “class project.” If only that “class project” were the boys’ locker room. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that if it weren’t for her anger at my watching gay porn or my being on the precipice of permanent gaydom, I probably wouldn’t be so nervous about buying lube at Walgreen’s from a lady who reminds me of her.

Parents should talk to their teens openly about sex. Talk to them about gay sex and straight sex since you might not know—and they might not either—if they are a homo or heterosexualist.     No more of this “Family Planning/Abstinence/Forced Babies” malarkey. No matter what Sarah Palin says, people are going to have sex, and there is no sense in making them feel guilty about it. You know, by forcing a young girl keep an unscheduled baby. Educating folks about sex is way better than punishing them for being curious.

I would love to see the day when I could confidently buy lube from the old black ladies or whomever, and instead of being chastised or judged, they simply looked me in the eye and said, in a deep, raspy voice...


Or at least the day when Walgreen’s invests in a self-check out.

  • "Of course, she angrily asked me if I was a gay." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_RKi72nY2Q Also, why didn't you just steal it?

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  • Ha ha -- my wife and I are 20 years older than you and we still get embarrassed buying lube and magnum condoms at Walgreens. Enjoyed your article! H & J p.s. Amazon has the best prices on lube - try the pjur original body glide.

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  • If the stereotype is correct, and many are, I doubt Biff and Buffy would be going to a Walgreen's "Family Planning" section. Hell, if B&B want to have kids, why do they need anything at all. As usual, Madison had me in stitches, and yes, even buying condoms was very awkward for me a few years ago.

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  • Certain countries in Europe have the sex stuff in the front of the store and people aren't ashamed to buy it. I think this is better. Everyone uses protection. You lived in France, is this not the case? I know it is in Holland and northern Europe...

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  • Another hilarious and provocative column from Madison Moore. You have found your journalistic niche, my friend. Keep it up. What did the grandma-esque checkout lady end up saying when you bought the lube?

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  • I steal condoms and lube from Walreens quite frequently. I recommend it.

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  • Aren't you getting a little old for the five-finger discount at a Walgreen's?

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  • Aren't you a little bit of a griping kill-joy, Sourpuss? Just a thought.

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  • I've worked at a Walgreen's and it's the employees who bear the brunt of shop-lifting.

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  • How exactly?

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  • Here's how. Even though Walgreen's has a video monitoring system, it's not like anyone pays attention to it. And when inventory was taken and small items like lipstick, blush, condoms, tampons, what have you, were missing, the boss just assumed that employees were doing the stealing. It sucked.

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