Too Many People Feel Weird About Buying Contraception —And It Could Have Some Serious Health Effects

Ashley Batz for Bustle

If you feel awkward buying condoms, you're not alone. In fact, a new survey from Superdrug Online Doctor found that there are still a lot of negative feelings around buying birth control and condoms. I've always been pretty chilled out about it — but probably because my 18-year-old boyfriend was too nervous to by them, so my 15-year-old self did it. I got used to it real quick. But, according to Superdrug, not everyone has.

They asked 1,000 Americans and 1,000 Europeans about how they feel buying contraceptives and any habits they had around it, and it looks like we're still pretty damn uncomfortable, which is a big problem. "While we may laugh when we hear about people trying to disguise a bottle of lube or packet of condoms in the checkout line, our reluctance to buy sexual health items is no laughing matter," the site explains. "About half of all pregnancies are unplanned, and there has been a 73 percent increase in people seeking care for HIV in the last decade."

So as much as we might like to tease each other about how red-faced we get, it can have some far-reaching problems.

Here's what they found about our contraceptive buying habits, because placing them face down isn't fooling anyone:

1. Buying Toys Isn't So Bad


For both men and women, around 41 percent felt excited buying lingerie and lube. But then again 21 percent felt awkward, around 20 percent felt embarrassed, and quite a few felt nervous— so even the sexy items can stress us out.

2. But Buying Contraceptives Is Worse?


Yikes. So, when it comes to buying contraceptives only about 20 percent of women and 28 percent of men still feel excited. Everyone else is basically cringing. Eighty percent of women feel "awkward," "embarrassed," or "anxious/nervous" about buying condoms and other contraception – compared to 72 percent of men.

I get it, but it's worrying that so many people feel that way — about something that can affect their health.

3. Men And Women Have Different Fears


Interestingly, men felt weird buying contraceptives from women— while a women's number one concern was buying from someone they know.

4. We Will Straight Up Leave


So 45-54 year olds are the most likely to flee a shop to avoid dealing with a cashier, but all age groups seem to have some runners.

5. We Don't Have The Most Sophisticated Camouflage Techniques


So... yeah. Forty-one percent of men and 46 percent of women have tried the 'face down' technique.

6. And Sometimes It's Worth A Journey


Gay and bisexual men and women were the most likely to travel to avoid seeing people they knew when buying contraceptives, probably for obvious reasons. But nearly 20 percent of straight people did the same thing.

Whatever stigma is still left around buying contraceptives, we need to get rid of it. They're too important to our health. So next time you're buying a pack of condoms, smile and be proud.