Business Reported Brisk at First Condom Shop

TUBAN ~ Bali’s first condom shop is doing a roaring trade, the owners said this week, as tourists and locals avail of a stunningly wide array of prophylactics on offer – including in durian flavor.

The shop, called The Guard and located in the Discovery Shopping Mall, is also the first of its kind in Indonesia.

An Australian woman, Sarah Bagus, married to a Muslim man and living in Jakarta is the brains behind the store. The 27-year-old says the perception among Indonesians about condoms was that they were part of a promiscuous lifestyle – and the couple wanted to change that.

“We wanted to make people aware of safe-sex practices, healthy lifestyles and family planning alternatives,” she told the Australian Associated Press.

“It’s not about freely promoting sexual activity; it’s about health and safety and making people more aware of their options.”

Store manager Teddy Arianto reiterated to The Bali Times that the shop was not promoting casual sex, rather safe sex.

“By opening a condom shop, we don’t necessarily support free sex. We don’t accept customers below 17 years of age. We’re not simply selling condoms, but also acting like a consultant. We provide customers with information to help them get what they need.”

Since opening three weeks ago, the shop’s customers have been roughly half local people and half foreign tourists, said Arianto.

Most people were unaware that there was more to condoms than protection, he added, saying: “People used to know only one kind of condom. They don’t know that nowadays brand makers have brought about innovations in order to make condoms more acceptable – there are ribbed condoms, female condoms and condoms with flavors.”

With Rp500 million (US$56,600) invested in the business, The Guard is looking to stock more types of condoms in addition to the existing 26 kinds from Indonesia, the UK, Thailand and US, said Arianto.

The store donates Rp500 from every item sold to a local AIDS charity, and so far has handed over Rp5 million, he said.

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