Buy Condoms in USA Legal Ages, How To Buy, Quality and Tips
Buy Condoms in USA Legal Ages, How To Buy, Quality and Tips
Table of Content

Condoms help with pregnancy prevention and STD protection, and above all, they don't cost that much. So, how old do you have to be to buy condoms, anyway?

In case you are wondering, you can never, ever use a balloon in place of a condom but it could possibly work the other way around.

In the United States, there are no federal laws dictating how old someone has to be in order to purchase condoms. However, most states have their own laws in place. In some states, such as Wyoming and South Dakota, you must be 18 years or older in order to buy condoms from a pharmacy. In other states, such as California and New York, the age requirement is lower, at 16 years or older. It’s important to check the local laws in your state before purchasing condoms. If you’re not of legal age to buy them in your state, you may be able to purchase them from an adult bookstore or online.

How old do you need to be to buy condoms?

You can buy condoms at any age.

Condoms are available in drugstores, Planned Parenthood health centers, other community health centers, some supermarkets, and from vending machines. Individually, condoms usually cost a dollar or more. Packs of three can cost from about $2 to $6. In packages of 12 or more, condoms can cost less than a dollar each.

Be sure to check the expiration date of the condoms that you are buying. It will be stamped on the side of the package. All condoms are tested for defects. But, like rubber bands, condoms deteriorate with age. If properly stored, they should stay effective until the expiration date printed on the package and on the wrapper of each condom.

So there isn’t really a legal age to buy condoms in the U.S.A. On the other hand, there is a legal age to have sex that is generally referred to as the age of consent, which varies throughout the 50 states in America.

There are several age scenarios between the partners to make it legal to have sex, and laws change over time. There are serious jail sentences in every state for breaking these laws.

Age of consent by state

We put together a list of the age of consent by state. All the age groups below are in no way clean-cut answers to the age of consent by state. There are several age scenarios between the partners to make it legal to have sex, and laws change over time. You can always google this topic for the up-to-date information in your state. There are serious jail sentences in every state for breaking these laws.

If you fall into one of the age groups below, do more research regarding the age of consent in your state to be sure you’re legal.

Age of 16

Sixteen is the age of consent if you live in Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Main, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington or West Virginia.

Age of 17

Seventeen is the age of consent if you live in Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York or Texas.

Age of 18

Eighteen is the age of consent if you live in Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, North Dakota, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin or Wyoming.

Let's get back to the buying part for the moment.

How to buy condoms in the US?

Photo: healthline
Photo: healthline

There is no age restriction or prescription required to buy condoms. People might feel awkward going into the aisles of a grocery store to find a condom brand (or even look around at a few options) before purchasing one. But condoms are fairly easy to buy and can be found pretty much everywhere. You do not need to buy them at grocery stores. Condoms can be purchased online, in convincing stores, supermarkets, drug stores, community health centers, doctors’ offices and even in washroom stalls (vending machines).

Purchasing condoms makes you responsible and want to protect yourself and your partner. You should not feel ashamed of this. If you are having trouble getting condoms, visit the doctors and/or community centers. Local student organizations are schools offer condoms for free.

How can you get condoms online in the USA?

For some people, it doesn’t get any less awkward over time to go and buy condoms. And maybe you feel that between school, family, and your social life, you have little time to go out and buy or ask for free condoms. Know that you can get condoms online as well.

There are many websites where you can buy condoms, many times at a reduced price. And they’ll deliver your condoms in a discrete package to your door, so your post person, family, and neighborhood won’t have any idea you’ve ordered a boxful of condoms. All you’ll need is a credit card or PayPal account.

Some popular websites for buying condoms include:

  • amazon.com
  • condomdepot.com
  • ripnroll.com

Why is buying condoms so awkward?

There’s something about buying condoms that just makes everyone feel awkward. Whether you’re at the drugstore or the grocery store, it seems like no one knows what to do when they get to the condom aisle.

But whatever the reason, it’s time to stop being so awkward about buying condoms. They’re a necessary part of healthy sexual relationships, and there’s no shame in needing them. So let’s take a closer look at why buying condoms can be so awkward, and find some ways to make it a little less embarrassing.

Do you need an ID to Buy Condoms?

You may not need to show ID when buying condoms, but that doesn’t mean you should take the risk of not using one. Although there is no law stating that you must provide identification when purchasing condoms, many stores have policies in place that require it. This is because store owners want to make sure that no one under the age of 18 is able to purchase them.

So if you’re looking for some protection and don’t want to show your ID, be prepared to search a bit harder for a store that will sell them to you without requiring identification.

When’s the Best Time to Buy?

The best time to buy condoms is well before you actually need to use one. That way if a store closes earlier than you thought or you get some last-minute jitters, you still have time for a re-do. If you're worried about running into someone you know, aim to hit up the pharmacy early in the morning (before school) or later at night (on your way home) when it's not a likely time that other people will be doing errands.

What Kind To Buy?

Photo: birthcontrol
Photo: birthcontrol

With a plethora of condoms out there it can feel like a difficult task to choose, especially when it's new for you. There are a handful of brands out on the market, and you get to choose from four sizes and several types. Do a little bit of research and you'll be in to know about condoms in no time.

How Many To Buy?

Condoms come in boxes or packs. Box count varies by manufacturer, but 10 or 12 counts are the most usual. Depending on the type of the material and some other factors, the general shelf life is at least several years. That fact alone shows that you have a long time to put your condom pack to use. If for whatever reason they expire before you could use them, toss them and buy new ones.

What is the Cost of Condoms?

Condoms are probably one of the cheapest forms of birth control. Not only do they protect you against STDs and pregnancy, they are fairly inexpensive or even free.

The price is determined by where you buy the condoms and brand/types of condoms. In a larger box of condoms, each condom will cost you less than $1. In smaller packs of 3 condoms can cost between $2-6. It is beneficial to stock up on condoms since they last a very long time (if stored properly), cost less and be prepared when you need it.

No matter how much condoms cost, your health is more important. If you cannot afford condoms, see a doctor or visit a community center to get some. The protection against pregnancy and STDs is more important.

Condoms can also be combined with other birth control for added protection against pregnancy. Another way to protect against pregnancy would be using the withdrawal method while using a condom. This will allow you to ejaculate in the condom away from the vagina.

Tips for Buying Condoms

Sex is a subject many people take personally. It’s completely normal if you feel a little weird going out in public and buying condoms.

If you’re nervous about buying a pack, here are some tips to make you feel more comfortable.

Buy before you need them

Buy your condoms before you think you need to use them. They last for a while. If you’ve met someone you’d like to have sex with, it’s good to be prepared. This way you won’t be scrambling to buy condoms when the moment is right.

Check the expiration date

It’s also important to know that condoms have expiration dates and using an expired condom reduces its effectiveness. So it’s a good idea to routinely check the expiration dates on your condoms and restock when they’re past their prime.

If you get carded

Know that you should not be carded or questioned about your age when buying condoms. A cashier cannot legally refuse to sell you condoms if you don’t show them your ID.

If the cashier does ask your age, there’s no need for you to answer. If you do want to say something, you can remind them that there is no age restriction on buying condoms. Or, if you feel uncomfortable, simply leave and buy condoms elsewhere.

Learn what you need

Know which condoms you want to buy before you go into a shop. The type of condom you need mostly depends on what size and shape you need, and then if you want extras such as lubrication or spermicide.

You should also be aware if you or your partner has a latex allergy, as you should avoid using condoms made from this common material. Condoms come in different materials, such as polyisoprene and lambskin, as well.

At the store

Some shops keep condoms behind the front counter or in a locked case,so you might not be able to take a look at the box up close before you buy it. You’ll also need to ask a store clerk to get it for you. In this case, it helps to know what brand and type of condom you want in advance.

Know that it’s normal

Realize that buying condoms is a normal part of having a responsible sex life. You may feel a little embarrassed to go up to a counter to buy condoms. But chances are the cashier and other people in line won’t notice or care about the fact you’re buying condoms.

And let’s be honest: you’re being safe about sex — and that’s a good thing!

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