Dear family members: Some of you may not want to read this post, although really that would be silly because I am 35 years old and married, so you likely know that I have sex. But I'm just saying... Because I have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), I have all sorts of reproductive snafus. One of them is that I don't get my period. Not having a period at least four times a year increases my chances of developing various uterine-related cancers, so I have been taking medication since I was 18 years old to bring on the blood every month or so. When I started dating Husband almost 16 years ago (Feb. 23!), it made sense to just get on the Pill.

Of course, being on the Pill for decades has side effects, too. While for a long time, it gave me a reliable period, in the past year or so, my uterine lining has gotten so light due to the Pill that I don't even wear a pad or tampon. Then it stopped. After freaking out multiple times that I might be pregnant (unlikely, given the PCOS and the Pill), I saw my doctor. He said that I should skip the Pill for a month to give my body a little rest and relaxation.

That meant I needed another form of birth control, just in case. Although I hated the horrendous ad campaign that came with Elexa, the low latex odor, high lube condom introduced by Trojan a few years ago, I used them the last time I had to be off the Pill (medical testing) and LOVED them. However, since they had a shitty and stupid ad campaign (why doesn't anyone ever ask me?), Elexa bombed and is no longer available.

I bought good old regular Trojan-ENZ, hoping that the goodness of Elexa magically transferred over to the blue box. It didn't. These puppies are drier than the Mojave Desert in July and smell like a latex factory. I'm not too keen on smelling like I was just fucked by a rubber band. The quest for a good condom was on.

After some internet research, I identified four potential dick socks: Crown Skinless Skins (seriously, that name creeps me out - and it does not help that it is a weird fleshy pink, making me think about my crazy virgin college roommate who insisted that she would never use condoms because only raw dick was what felt good - but it was highly rated for low odor, slipperiness, and design); Kimono MicroThins (not smelly, very thin), and two kinds of Trojans, Ultra Thin and Thinsation (both low on the latex emissions). It seems, though, that consumers have some issues with the Trojans breaking. I need that concern like I need another hole, so I focused my shopping on the first two brands.

I stopped at a Duane Reade pharmacy on my way to my writing group. The Kimono MicroThins were available at a price: $18 for 12! I hesitated. Not that I felt the Crown ones would be cheaper, but because if I am going to pay for sex, I want the best. I decided to try my luck elsewhere. On the way home from writing group, I stopped in the neighborhood sex shop on Amsterdam Ave. and 73rd. The clerk eyed me suspiciously as he continued chatting in another language on his mobile's speaker phone with a woman. (I wondered if it was his mother.) They had plenty of paddles, lubes, dildos, videos, and costumes, but their selection of condoms was worse than Duane Reade. I stormed out in disgust.

This afternoon I will try the infamous Babes in Toyland Toys in Babeland sex shop. (They are the people who gave out free vibrators on election day in 2008 if you came in and said you voted. Love it!) If I can't get what I need there, then I ain't gonna get it anywhere.