Edward Lai Harner, Edward Harner
Andrea Harner
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November 5, 2003

CVS stands for Puritanical, Misogynistic Fascists

Could condoms, pregnancy tests, etc locked behind glass cabinets be any more wrong? The answer is no.

Well yes, if a few hurdles are added...such as:

1) A customer must obtain a permit from the government or note from mom or dad (depending on age) to purchase the desired sinful item (s).

2) The customer must turn in the permit/note to a CVS associate for review.

3) If accepted, the associate would place an announcement in the local paper, then declare, in the store, over the PA system that Ms. Slutty Pants will be purchasing a Lifestyles Extra Ribbed 12 pack, 2 tubes of KY Jelly and an EPT Pregnancy test just in case.

4) Finally, the associate would follow Ms. Slutty Pants to the register to make sure she's not a thief in addition to a slut.


I stood there, in the CVS store at Bleecker & Thompson, staring at this atrocity, forcing myself to take deep breaths, and to think rationally about this issue.

I know that these items are often shoplifted so I suppose, in my mind's most open state, I can understand the desire to lock them up but then one's moral compass should kick in at that moment and make you realize that's just a bad idea.


Think about the other more expensive, often stolen items such as Crest Whitestrips...where are they? Are they locked up? NO! They are behind the register.


Can you imagine being a young girl, afraid you might be pregnant, just wanting to purchase, as incognito as possible, a preganancy test...and you have to "SEE ASSOCIATE FOR ASSISTANCE"!!!


I called CVS headquarters @ 1.800.SHOP.CVS and of course I was silly to think I could talk straight with the customer service representative since she was a woman but in the end she was a CVS corporate pod who ended our conversation with, "Thank you for your comments, I will be happy to pass them. Have a nice day."


My experience with corp customer service on the phone:

They are robots. They have a script and they will not leave the script no matter what you say to them. So many times I'm talking to them and they simply repeat the same thing over and over and over.

It's pretty sad.

Posted by: twhid at November 5, 2003 1:59 PM

Think also of young boys and girls who want to practice safe sex! Instead of casually being able to buy condoms, they have to go get someone to assist them. I'm sure an awkward situation must disuade some from purchasing condoms. And that's a shame.

Posted by: megnut at November 5, 2003 2:18 PM

They don't do this at any of the CVS's that I've been to, not that I've looked for condoms in all of them. I'm sure the one near me in Mass. has them out there in the aisles. What's the deal - is that a city thing?

Posted by: hostess at November 5, 2003 6:04 PM

With all respect, I find your entry a bit sensational. As far as I know, CVS has no moral obligation to provide these or any other products to the consumer public. It does, however, seem within their rightful powers to make decisions on presentation of inventory.

As for this "atrocity" (a bit strong, don't you think?), I would have assumed that the standard of emotional maturity required for sexual intimacy far exceeds that which would allow one to anonymously seek the assistance of a drug store clerk.

Posted by: b at November 5, 2003 8:06 PM

To b,

Thank you for your thoughts. It's clear to me why you never have the need for contraceptives. Good luck with that and getting that job at CVS.


Posted by: Andrea at November 5, 2003 9:18 PM

Have you ever tried to shoplift at a CVS? It's nearly impossible. I don't think CSV would lose as much in theft as they are probably losing now in sales if they took the rubbers and such out of the glass case. Do you?

re CVS stands for Puritanical, Misogynistic Fascists, wouldn't that make it PMF?

Posted by: Big Fan at November 6, 2003 11:20 AM

I'm sorry,

but I would have to somewhat agree with B. First of all, put yourself in CVS's position. The glass case tells me they must get shoplifted a lot, so do you really think that as a business they are going to say, "Well, let's continue to lose all this money because we are donating to a good cause"? It's not their responsibility.

Second, let me just say this: if a dude/dudette is gonna walk into a store and go to so much trouble as to risk going to jail by STEALING the goddamn thing, they are probably PRETTY DARN SERIOUS about contraceptives. So I don't think putting contraceptives behind a case will make people go, "Meh...too much trouble...forget it."

Just my opinion.


Posted by: mia at November 6, 2003 4:54 PM

Actually, yah. If I were a kid I'd rather steal them then have to ask the sales person, out loud, with people in the store watching while I stand on one foot then the other waiting for the person to get the key out and then ask me exactly which kind I want. Cripes, I'd probably rather risk getting pregnant or getting the girl pregnant than have to deal with that. But don't for a minute think it's gonna stop them from having sex - it'll just stop them from having safe sex.

Posted by: hostess at November 6, 2003 7:56 PM

perhaps CVS stands for:

Caustic Venereal Sores


Christian Vehement Soldiers


Childlike Vaginal Shunners

Posted by: twhid at November 7, 2003 11:37 AM

Directed towards Hostess:

Ok, so maybe you're right.

Still, do you blame CVS for being a business rather than a doctor's office? On the one hand, people could steal. On the other, they could forget all about contraceptives and have unprotected sex.

Perhaps CVS isn't really the party to blame here.

Posted by: mia at November 7, 2003 9:08 PM

Well, maybe they should give away condoms for free at school. Just go to the nurse's office and help yourself. Or are they only teaching abstinence in the schools now?

Posted by: hostess at November 7, 2003 10:11 PM

No, I totally agree. They should give away condoms, but some schools are against that. My school, at least, did not give away condoms, but it did teach us about contraceptives, thank god. Then again, this was a North Jersey school, so it wasn't very conservative.

Posted by: mia at November 8, 2003 9:23 AM

working in the retail business i can understand the concept of protecting the merchandise. cvs has the right to do what they want to do. just like plannned parenthood has the right to leave out a basket of free condoms on the counter. i assume cvs isn't the only store in the area that carries such items. i say walk a couple of blocks or suck up and deal with it.

Posted by: alicia at January 1, 2004 2:55 PM
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