Condom Sense Inc., one of the first condom retail stores in the United States, opened its 400-square-foot boutique in January 1992. Located in the center of Portland, Maine's Old Port shopping district, Condom Sense has become a landmark in the area, surrounded by charming boutiques, brick buildings, cobblestone streets and beautiful waterfront.
Although in business since 1992, Condom Sense only recently introduced lingerie and intimate apparel to the boutique to appeal to a broader base of customers. And in doing so, the Condom Sense team expanded its boutique by an additional 400 square feet, providing for a total 800 square feet of pure bliss.
Upon walking into the boutique, shoppers are greeted by a clean, organized, well- lit store, with cool jazz tunes playing softly in the background. The front half of the shop has popular greeting cards, novelty and bachelorette items, which gradually progress to the shop's array of condom, personal lubricants, books, sensual products and lingerie. The boutique, known for unique merchandise, may offer an assortment of keepsakes, but one mainstay is the company's idea of customer requests. All the lines brought in are based on customer requests and careful decision-making based on observations and regional differences.
"This is New England, after all," says Nelly Hall, owner of Condom Sense, "a little colder and perhaps a little more conservative with a basic color palette."
But while color palettes may be standard, the new lingerie section is far from boring. Popular brands and styles including Leg Avenue and an assortment of sexy role- play costumes, especially French maids, nurses and school girls. Other brands include Fantasy Lingerie and Affinitas.
The family owned and operated business' primary clientele are women between the ages of 25-60, who are college educated and seek products to enrich their sexual health and relationship with their partners. One claim to fame Condom Sense declares is its high level of professional and friendly service that is achieved by going above and beyond to ensure customer satisfaction.
"We have been known to walk an elderly customer to her car and stay open late for a customer driving into town," says Hall.
Condom Sense Inc. is located at 424 Fore Street, Portland, Maine, 04101.