The District expects to register six-to-twelve inches of snowfall today. Winds are clocking at up to 40 miles an hour. The government is closed. Classes are canceled. Road conditions are hazardous. You want to pass the time by fucking. But is it safe?
A tipster for We Love D.C. reports that at least one District Safeway’s condom selection was so decimated from the blizzard supply rush that only Magnums were left on the shelf (plenty of lube, though). Snogasm, indeed. Will D.C.’s near-record snowfall present a heightened risk for unintended pregnancies and STD transmission among antsy residents?
So far, at least, the condom rush has yet to extend to the District’s most pervasive condom provider, CVS Pharmacy. Perhaps the chain’s signature security click-boxes are fortified enough to prevent a quick clearing of the shelves: I called several CVS locations to check on their availability, and many claimed to be stocked with the full cornucopia of reproductive health products. The Dupont Circle CVS (6 Dupont Circle NW) boasts a full condom stock and will be open 24 hours throughout the storm; a clerk at the Adams Morgan CVS (1750 Columbia Rd. NW) promises the store will stay open until 10 p.m. As for AdMo’s prophylactic stock: “Yes, we have a lot, honey,” she insists.
The larger condom concern, of course, lies in the Southeast quadrant, home to the District’s highest HIV/AIDS rate and the lowest concentration of pharmacies. One Southeast CVS (661 Pennsylvania Ave. SE) is currently operating and stocked with condoms—-but the clerk who answered the phone said she couldn’t promise the store would keep its doors open throughout the storm. One Anacostia CVS location (2646 Naylor Road SE) also plans to close early, at a time TBD. That store’s condom stock isn’t as healthy—-“we have a few,” says an employee—-but the store doesn’t anticipate having to turn anyone away from protection. “They’re not running out,” she says. “Nobody’s buying them at the moment.” CVS’s second store across the river (3240 Pennsylvania Ave. SE) wasn’t answering the phone when I called; a nearby Safeway pharmacy (2845 Alabama Ave. SE) also wasn’t talking.
If your local pharmacy is closed or running low on condoms, the D.C. Department of Health points condom-seekers to the long list of community partners who distribute free condoms to District residents. While the D.C. government is closed today, some of D.C.’s condom partners may still be shilling rubbers gratis. But make sure to call ahead. “They’re not government run, so they’re probably opening and closing on their own accord right now,” says a DOH rep. The list includes 37 locations in NW, 29 in SE, 14 in NE, and four in SW. The DOH also directs frisky residents can also text “DCWRAP” (followed by their zip code) to 365247 for a list of the nearest participating locations. The DCWRAP text line may be closed today, as well: I texted twice. I got nothin’.
But what of the residents who aren’t able to brave the wind, sleet, and snow to reach one of these rubber providers? Call up DC Snacks, one of the Department of Health’s condom distribution partners, who will deliver free condoms to your door—-along with your order of Cheetos, cigarettes, or Chipwiches, of course.
Snack delivery entrepreneur Matt Mandell says that DC Snacks was open for business until about 10 p.m. last night. He hopes to resume delivery service again this evening, provided that the snow slows enough to ensure safe conditions for his delivery fleet. Since most DC Snacks snacks are delivered on bicycle, tonight’s service depends on whether the main city arteries get plowed. “Our people on bikes can usually ride until we hit about six inches of snow, and then it’s hard to get traction. That’s when we pretty much closed,” says Mandell. Mandell doesn’t like to be closed. “We’ll do our best. In some areas, we’ll have to walk the bike. Some areas we can do it by motorized transportation . . . if it’s close enough, we’ll try to walk it there,” he says. “I’m almost positive we’re going to be open tonight.”
If DC Snacks is operational this evening, be sure to take advantage of the extras. “There are always people who request that we throw a bunch of condoms in the bag,” says Mandell. “We will definitely do that.”
Photo by Darrow Montgomery