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Purchasing condoms on a college campus can be a dreaded trip to the store for many students, sometimes resulting in a cart full of random items meant to cover up the trip’s intent. Whether students are afraid of running into their cute TA with a box of lubricated condoms or dropping the product in the middle of the check-out line, buying contraception can be an nerve-inducing process. “Dollar Rubber Club” is looking to make that uncomfortable purchase a regular and easy experience.

Bill Swanson, head of Media Relations for the Dollar Rubber Club, found that people buying condoms often left the grocery store feeling uncomfortable with their purchases. When walking up to the cashier with a box of condoms and a random pack of gum to hide the box won’t do the trick, the Dollar Rubber Club can be there to help.

“The Dollar Rubber Club is about providing a better, more cost effective and less awkward way for people to buy condoms,” Swanson said.

The company consists of an online membership program where a small credit card payment can ensure that a discreetly packaged box of condoms will be delivered to their customers’ doorsteps each month.

“We wanted to use a membership model where we could save our customers the embarrassment of going to the store (to buy condoms) and also make it easy for them to receive their condoms on a monthly basis,” Swanson said.

The website provides an easy ordering system where members can choose between Trojan, Durex and Lifestyles condoms, with four varieties offered for each brand.

Orders can start as low as $3. The cheapest package, called The Traveling Salesman, includes three condoms of choice. The Weekend Warrior, the most expensive package, is a 12 condom variety pack for $10, sizes and textures varying.

Swanson said their company is not only looking to make their customers more comfortable, but more informed about sexual education as well.

“We are all about promoting safe sex and making responsible decisions about your body and health,” Swanson said.

The company partners with various sexual education organizations across the country, and while their business is for profit, it looks to educate various universities and groups on what it means to be protected.

While the Dollar Rubber Club can bring condom purchasing to your web browser, the McKinley Health Center hosts various programs that include free contraception. Contraception is handed out to students for free in the Union and in various cultural houses on campus.

Pajion Montgomery, senior in LAS, is the chairman of the Special Populations Committee, a student-run program that caters to educating minorities on various health topics. Montgomery explained that McKinley not only offers free condoms in various brands and sizes, but also provides other forms of sexual safety such as dental dams, pregnancy tests and lube.

“Everything is included in your student health fee, and you can get them every two weeks,” Montgomery said.

McKinley looks to hand out the kinds of products that students are already purchasing on their own. They include an array of sizes, flavors and textures to ensure all students are accommodated.

While all information remains confidential and parents of students are never involved in the process, carrying condoms can still feel embarrassing for some students.

“(Contraception) isn’t seen as cool, and I think the taboos are a pretty big deal,” said James Haas, senior in LAS, with experience at McKinley and Planned Parenthood.

Haas has worked with various sexual education programs and has dealt with handing out free condoms on campus through McKinley. He recognized that often times students blush and turn away at the offer of free contraception.

Students can grab a month’s worth of condoms with a swipe of the hand, but many turn down the offer.

“I think (the Dollar Rubber Club) is awesome because when we hand out condoms, I think a lot of people are embarrassed about having them in public,” Haas said.

It can be hard to have a conversation surrounding contraception with sexual partners, especially when it’s after a night on Green Street and the clock reads 2 a.m. If students are educated about safe sex and carry contraception with them, they are much less likely to contract diseases or have an unwanted pregnancy.

“We do everything possible to make sure students are informed, but people can get carried away sometimes, especially when they are drinking,” said Jerry Ogbudimkpa, the director of Health Education at the McKinley Health Center.

Ogbudimkpa believes that all students should be educated on the topic of sexual health and should not be afraid to protect themselves, as a lack of contraception is a health risk.

It is often forgotten that carrying contraception is a health necessity.

Haas pointed out that condoms should be as necessary as carrying a bottle of Tylenol in your backpack.

If students are not comfortable taking advantage of the resources that the University offers, the Dollar Rubber Club can easily serve as a safety net. With the click of a button, condoms are shipped in an envelope containing a sexy, silk bag to be hidden in a night stand.

“We’d rather (students) use the Dollar Rubber Club than nothing at all,” Swanson said.

Whether students are getting free condoms from the Union or ‘Dollar Rubbers’ online, they should remember that protecting themselves is not only safe, but cool.

“If I had it my way, there would be a jar of condoms everywhere you look,” Haas said.

_Becky can be reached at [email protected] _