In mid-June, Jamie Lawson swung by his local Sainsbury’s (a U.K. supermarket franchise) to pick up a few things — — and found himself fuming in front of the store’s “family planning” section. Although far from the first time he had seen the label in his life, this particular instance was the last straw.
“I am a gay man; the sex I have is non-reproductive by definition,” Lawson, an anthropologist focused on sex and sexuality at the University of Bristol, explained in a Skype interview . He explained that buying condoms and lube in that section makes him feel excluded from the sexual experience, “self-conscious in a way that heterosexual people [aren’t].”
Condoms can, of course, be used for family planning — the intentional taking of steps to control the number of children you will have and when you will have them. Condoms are also a handy barrier to sexually transmitted infections; , other than making sex more pleasurable. Classifying both items — along with the vibrators and small toys that increasingly occupy those same shelves — as “family planning” tools seems both categorically incorrect and an attempt to euphemize what they are actually used for: sex.
Related: Most sexually active states
The 11 most sexually active states in America