You asked for it: Free condoms
Fri Jan 28 2011
Photograph: Jay Muhlin
"Where can I get condoms for free without having to visit the NYU health center or something?" —Stuart P.
Avalon Salon & Day Spa
There's no purchase required before snagging some NYC-branded condoms, female condoms or lube from the bathroom of this relaxation den, but it's not like you couldn't use a good wax ($20 and up) anyway. 112 Christopher St between Bleecker and Hudson Sts (212-337-1966, avalonsalondayspa.com). Sun--Mon noon--8pm, Tue 10am--8pm, Wed--Sat 10am--9pm.
Political manifestos and vegan muffins aren't the only things up for grabs at this socially conscious bookstore—bag handfuls of the ubiquitous NYC prophylactics from a plastic shoebox by the register. 172 Allen St between Rivington and Stanton Sts (212-777-6028, bluestockings.com). Daily 11am--11pm.
Caribbean Women's Health Association
Call ahead to make sure one of the nurses at this immigration center is available to give you a free HIV test, a condom demo and a goody bag of rubbers. You'll score some from Durex, Magnum and LifeStyles—three made for females and a dozen made for males, including a few fruit-flavored ones. 3512 Church Ave between Brooklyn Ave and E 35th St, East Flatbush, Brooklyn (718-940-9501, cwha.org). Mon--Fri 9am--5pm.
Make it a quickie at this liquor spot known for its funky mismatched chairs. A silver dispenser of Durex and NYC French letters hangs within arm's reach of the front door, but to stock up without an audience, reach into the flower vase on top of the restroom's antique dresser. 32-05 Crescent St between 34th Ave and Broadway, Astoria, Queens (718-606-9705). Daily 4pm--4am.
A shave and a haircut are a tad above two bits at this posh West Village barbershop (you'll pay $75), but the sex protection is free. Look for a bowl—it's not always easy to see. 5 Horatio St at W 4th St (212-929-3917, fscbarber.com). Mon--Wed 11am--8pm; Thu, Fri 9am--8pm; Sat, Sun 10am--6pm.
MIC Women's Health Services
If you forgot to glove up last time, this center offers free pregnancy tests; be sure to take complimentary Durex, female and NYC condoms from a basket at the reception desk so you're not in the same pickle next time. 295 Flatbush Ave between Prospect Pl and St. Marks Ave, Fort Greene, Brooklyn (718-522-1144, healthsolutions.org/mic). Mon--Fri 9am--4:30pm.
Make your after-party plans responsible ones at this gay dive where you can rescue pocketfuls of LifeStyles and NYC rubbers from a fishbowl. The monthly soul- and disco-themed bashes will give you plenty of reasons to need 'em. 322 E 14th St between First and Second Aves (212-477-4744). Daily 3pm--4am.
Find more condom distribution spots at nyc.gov/condoms.