The Stupid Rise Of The Subscription Condom Startup

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I love me some subscription commerce. Whether it be getting new underwear sent to me in the mail, or having someone pick out shirts for me, I love the idea of paying a flat fee and having shit just show up at my doorstep once a month. It’s even better if whatever’s being sent is kind of a surprise.

That said, there’s a recent trend in subscription commerce that’s disturbingly popped up and recently been flagged in the TechCrunch tips line: The rise of the subscription condom service. Over the past few weeks, it’s been suggested that we (separately) look into DollarRubberClub.com, as well as Rubber of the Month Club. A cursory Google search reveals that there are others, like Lucky Bloke — “the ultimate condom subscription service,” it claims — and Sir Richard’s Subscription Condom Service.

Now why would anyone subscribe to a service that sends you condoms by mail once a month? Dollar Rubber Club touts, “No more embarrassing trips to the drug store. No more funny looks from that pimple-faced kid behind the counter.” Rubber of the Month Club, meanwhile, has a number of different “humorous” reasons that pop up each time you show up on the site. Like Reason #25: Nobody wants to drive a minivan. Or this:

So basically, the target demographic for these services are shut-ins who are not only afraid of growing up and joining the population of adults that might eventually reproduce, but are also desperately afraid of teenaged checkout workers. Apparently these folks don’t want anyone knowing they’re getting laid. Which really, in my experience, is the exact opposite type of person who would need a box full of rubbers showing up at his door every month, but whatever.

So ok, the big argument for buying condoms online isn’t even about the embarrassment factor, it’s about the cost. I mean, let’s face it, buying condoms from the drugstore is a rip-off, everyone knows it, and there are plenty of places online where you can buy a fuckload of condoms, cheaply and easily, and have them delivered to your home or office in very discreet packaging.

The thing I don’t understand is why anyone would feel the need to subscribe to such a service. The services work just as you’d expect them to: You sign up, choose a subscription — generally of 3, 6, 12 condoms or more — and you pay some nominal amount to have that number of rubbers show up at your house once a month.

But here’s the thing: No one really ever knows how much they’re going to get laid in a month. I’m sure there are people out there in the world who keep notes and spreadsheets and collect data and can reasonably guesstimate their average amount of coitus per month, but come on. Unless you’re employed as a professional, or you’re some sort of weird fuck robot, chances are you’re either going to use less condoms than you’re paying some weird shady online company for. Or you’ll go over your monthly allotment, in which case you’re screwed. (“Sorry, partner, I guess I just underestimated how often I was going to stick it in.”)

The point is that all of us have ebbs and flows. But subscription commerce services, if done right, should be built on consistent and reliable actions. It sure would be nice to get a new piece of clothing once a month, dudes need to shave every day, etc. etc. But even for the luckiest of those getting lucky, sex isn’t like that.

So anyway, don’t pay once a month knowing that you don’t know how many condoms you’ll actually need. Buy in bulk instead — then you never have to worry about not having condoms when you need ‘em.