In India, buying condoms, even in the 21st century, is not something that you can do without getting embarrassed or being judged. For this very reason both men & women hesitate in visiting the chemist or pharmacies when they need the sexual contraceptive.
But guess things are soon going to change, courtesy the Moods Planet condom store, a first of its kind in India. It is set on one of Panaji’s busiest streets, buffered by a motorcycle repair shop on one side and a jeweler on the other.
The Moods Planet store is India’s first condom showroom. The first two Moods Planet store one in Trivandrum, opened in 2009, and another one added in 2014 in Kochi, operate as a standalone condom shop.
But if you think who would walk in such a store as ‘sex’ is still a taboo topic in India, then you are mistaken. Individuals from every age group including college girls and boys, housewives and people above 50 visit there.
And they come not only for buying condoms but for solving their queries related to sex as well.
“Condoms are available at all pharmacies and supermarkets, but the locals feel more comfortable walking in here. They can browse through the products at leisure, ask us questions, compare products — all without judgment or embarrassment,” said store owner Nitesh Kerkar.
Even groups of “housewives” come to the shop together and ask for detailed questions related to sex. The staff is well trained to answer questions about sex, sexually transmitted disease and reproductive health.
Other popular products of the store include lubricants, mood enhancers like perfumed candles, body glitter and nipple tassels. All of these also come together in a large red gift box called Amour, which is becoming a popular wedding gift.
Besides, the condom stores can be the best alternative for spreading sex education in the times when Bollywood movies and internet have become the only source from where youngsters can hear about sex.
“When a young customer comes to us, it is not my place to tell them what they should do. I can only give them correct information and hope they use it,” said Kerkar.
“Even if they don’t buy anything, they will leave with information, which is always a good thing,” he added.