Yalla condoms: Lebanese entrepreneurs deliver pleasure and safe sex

Share:

yalla condomsRobert Tabet and Zadi Hobeika are accidental condom salesmen. After griping about the culture of shame and secrecy surrounding condom sales in Lebanon, the duo decided to launch yallacondoms.com, a creative and confidential platform for promoting sexual health and education.

Tabet, a pharmacist, noticed that many of his customers seemed uncomfortable buying condoms. Eyes trained on the ground, Lebanese clients would furtively purchase prophylactics and intimate accouterments before scurrying out of the store, obviously hoping that the pharmacist wasn’t passing judgment.

“There is a big need in the Lebanese market,” Tabet said. “There is a big taboo, and there is a psychological barrier.”

And while many pharmacists in Lebanon, particularly in Beirut, are dispassionate in their dealings with clients, others are not.

“Sometimes when you go to pharmacies, they aren’t happy that you’re buying condoms,” Tabet said.

“There’s this idea that if you’re buying condoms, you’re cheating on your wife,” Tabet added. “And often lubricants are associated with gay sex.”

Tabet said he had never seen a couple perusing the condom aisle together, discussing different products.

Hobeika, an entrepreneur who recently returned to Lebanon after a stint with Google, also noticed there was a need for an alternative condom-sales platform, where clients, particularly young people, could buy safe-sex products away from a critical eye.

And so their website, yallacondoms.com, was born.

Offering a wide variety of condoms, as well as pregnancy tests and lubricants, individuals and couples can study the products at their leisure and place their orders.

“When we get an order, we process it that day. We pass it to a delivery company, who delivers it usually the next day,” Tabet said.

Packages are sent in discreet, unmarked boxes and can be delivered anywhere in Lebanon. Customers need only give a name (many use aliases, Hobeika and Tabet said), an address, an email address and a telephone number.

Since the site launched two weeks ago, Tabet and Hobeika have received some 30 orders from all over the country, including Tripoli and the Bekaa Valley.

Confidentiality is key to the operation. Only the client, Hobeika and Tabet know details of the order.

“We’re putting a lot of time and effort into reassuring people,” Hobeika said. The pair refused to share any details about the orders they have placed so far or even the aliases their clients have used.

“We want it to be a way of raising awareness,” he added. “We want to have an impact on people and say, ‘You don’t need to be ashamed. You can buy condoms online and no one needs to know.’”

The website also has a live chat section where clients can ask for advice regarding sexual health.

“We got a question from someone who said ‘I’m going to have sex but I don’t know about safe sex, what condom should I use?’” Tabet recounted. “So I told him, ‘This is for beginners, this is for the woman’s pleasure, this is for the man’s pleasure, and this is really advanced.’”

“We can offer guidance,” he said. “We want to collaborate with NGOs in the future and play a social role.”

Despite requests, Tabet and Hobeika say they will not sell erection pills, sex toys or the morning-after pill, citing legality issues. They do, however, intend to regularly stock new condom brands.

While the pair intended to have a soft launch, inviting their Facebook friends to view the site, the project took off almost immediately.

“We weren’t planning for a quick start,” Hobeika admitted.

Now they’re already planning to expand to include express delivery, condom guides and more. “We have a lot of ambition,” Hobeika said.

“The feedback has been really positive,” he said. “We haven’t gotten any shock reactions yet.”

“And besides, it’s kind of fun telling people I’m a condom salesman.”

Al Bawaba

Share:

Comments

102 responses to “Yalla condoms: Lebanese entrepreneurs deliver pleasure and safe sex”

  1. 5thDrawer Avatar
    5thDrawer

    THUMBS UP UP UP !

  2. Leborigine Avatar
    Leborigine

    We surely can’t be that backwards in Lebanon. Many married couples use condoms to avoid pregnancies! Why would they pass judgement that buyers are either gay or cheaters. Seriously, we are becoming a country of retards. Good on you Robert and Zadi, I think you guys are going to reduce honour killings and the spread of aids! Wake up people, this is 2014, sex is good and sex is natural. I wish everyone uses their penises and vaginas instead of guns and knives!

    1. MaImequer0 Avatar
      MaImequer0

      Saw a dad explaining condoms to his son at the local kwiki-mart… The son asked what they are for, and the dad explained that they are for safe-sex and birth-control. Kid asked why there was two in a pack… dad replied, one for Friday and one for Saturday… Kid noticed a pack of 8, dad said they are for newly-weds, one for Monday, one for Tuesday…….. and two for Sunday….. Fine. Just as they were leaving, kid noticed a 12 pack… dad explained that they are for people that have been married for a long time,,, one for January, one for February, etc….
      A little humour to compliment your well written comment….☺

      1. cook2half Avatar
        cook2half

        Lol, I’m in Jerusalem now

        1. Comtessa di Alba Avatar
          Comtessa di Alba

          Did you think about me in Jerusalem? I will think about you on London Bridge 🙂

          1. cook2half Avatar
            cook2half

            I did. The Church place was beautiful!

      2. Leborigine Avatar
        Leborigine

        Humorous and very true. If all parents were that open about sex in front of their kids, the world would be a better place, especially in the middle east. They are all consumed with the idea that it is taboo without any good reason.

        Anyway, talking about humor, there is one below. Hope you can read Lebanese 🙂

        أبشع جريمة في تاريخ البشرية

        الاب كل يوم يوصل بنته عمرها 16 سنة الى المدرسة ، ذات يوم يرن هاتف
        المنزل .
        ويرد الوالد واذا ب مديرة المدرسة تقول له :

        … … أنت والد فلانة : قال نعم

        قالت: لماذا إبنتك غائبة عن المدرسة منذ أسبوع .


        بدت علامة التعجب واضحة على الأب : الاب انذهل واجاب كيف هذا الكلام وانا
        اوصلها كل يوم الصبح بالسيارة

        وجلس الأب فى حيرة من أمره ، ولم ينم طول الليل .

        وفى ثاني يوم .

        الاب يوصل بنته ويراها تدخل المدرسة ثم

        يختبىء قرب المدرسة واذا المفاجأه الكبرى ؟

        إنه يرى ابنته ،تخرج وتذهب مع شاب في سيارته ،يمشي الاب وراء ابنته

        ويراها تنزل مع الشاب وهي بين احضانه فرحة ثم يدخلون عمارة وتدخل

        معه شقة ما كان على الاب المسكين

        الا أن طار عقله وتماسك نفسه

        وبعد قليل دق جرس الباب فتح الشاب واذا بوالد الفتاة يرى ابنته في وضع مريب
        تقشعر له الأبدان

        تصرخ الفتاة أبي وتبدأ المعركة بين الشاب وأب الفتاة ، ولكن تسرع

        الفتاة الى المطبخ وتحضر سكين

        وتزرعها في قلب الاب فيقع على الارض متضرحا بدمائه، فتقوم الفتاة والشاب

        بوضعه في الغسالة

        وتعود الفتاة الى البيت وكأنه لم يحصل أي شيء .

        وهي تقول اين ابي .

        ليه ما ذهب الى المدرسة ليأخذني وصار لي ساعة انتظر ولم يأت

        وجئت مع اخ صديقتي

        وبعد ساعات من الانتظار: واذا جرس الباب يدق.

        فتحت الفتاة الباب وكانت المفاجأة، اذ ان يلي على الباب …..

        كان ابوها

        فتصرخ الفتاة وتقول ابي كيف هذا ..

        اجابها:
        يا بنتي

        (( مع برسيل للغسيل ما فيش مستحيل))

        الشتيمة على فكرة حرام

        شير خلى غيرك يشربها وانت ساكت

      3. MekensehParty Avatar
        MekensehParty

        Hind, I didn’t know this funny side of you

        1. MaImequer0 Avatar
          MaImequer0

          I don’t believe hind has a funny side, but FYI, I’m not hind. She has renamed herself as comtessa

    2. MaImequer0 Avatar
      MaImequer0

      Saw a dad explaining condoms to his son at the local kwiki-mart… The son asked what they are for, and the dad explained that they are for safe-sex and birth-control. Kid asked why there was two in a pack… dad replied, one for Friday and one for Saturday… Kid noticed a pack of 8, dad said they are for newly-weds, one for Monday, one for Tuesday…….. and two for Sunday….. Fine. Just as they were leaving, kid noticed a 12 pack… dad explained that they are for people that have been married for a long time,,, one for January, one for February, etc….
      A little humour to compliment your well written comment….☺

      1. cook2half Avatar
        cook2half

        Lol, I’m in Jerusalem now

      2. Leborigine Avatar
        Leborigine

        Humorous and very true. If all parents were that open about sex in front of their kids, the world would be a better place, especially in the middle east. They are all consumed with the idea that it is taboo without any good reason.

        Anyway, talking about humor, there is one below. Hope you can read Lebanese 🙂

        أبشع جريمة في تاريخ البشرية

        الاب كل يوم يوصل بنته عمرها 16 سنة الى المدرسة ، ذات يوم يرن هاتف
        المنزل .
        ويرد الوالد واذا ب مديرة المدرسة تقول له :

        … … أنت والد فلانة : قال نعم

        قالت: لماذا إبنتك غائبة عن المدرسة منذ أسبوع .


        بدت علامة التعجب واضحة على الأب : الاب انذهل واجاب كيف هذا الكلام وانا
        اوصلها كل يوم الصبح بالسيارة

        وجلس الأب فى حيرة من أمره ، ولم ينم طول الليل .

        وفى ثاني يوم .

        الاب يوصل بنته ويراها تدخل المدرسة ثم

        يختبىء قرب المدرسة واذا المفاجأه الكبرى ؟

        إنه يرى ابنته ،تخرج وتذهب مع شاب في سيارته ،يمشي الاب وراء ابنته

        ويراها تنزل مع الشاب وهي بين احضانه فرحة ثم يدخلون عمارة وتدخل

        معه شقة ما كان على الاب المسكين

        الا أن طار عقله وتماسك نفسه

        وبعد قليل دق جرس الباب فتح الشاب واذا بوالد الفتاة يرى ابنته في وضع مريب
        تقشعر له الأبدان

        تصرخ الفتاة أبي وتبدأ المعركة بين الشاب وأب الفتاة ، ولكن تسرع

        الفتاة الى المطبخ وتحضر سكين

        وتزرعها في قلب الاب فيقع على الارض متضرحا بدمائه، فتقوم الفتاة والشاب

        بوضعه في الغسالة

        وتعود الفتاة الى البيت وكأنه لم يحصل أي شيء .

        وهي تقول اين ابي .

        ليه ما ذهب الى المدرسة ليأخذني وصار لي ساعة انتظر ولم يأت

        وجئت مع اخ صديقتي

        وبعد ساعات من الانتظار: واذا جرس الباب يدق.

        فتحت الفتاة الباب وكانت المفاجأة، اذ ان يلي على الباب …..

        كان ابوها

        فتصرخ الفتاة وتقول ابي كيف هذا ..

        اجابها:
        يا بنتي

        (( مع برسيل للغسيل ما فيش مستحيل))

        الشتيمة على فكرة حرام

        شير خلى غيرك يشربها وانت ساكت

    3. Hannibal Avatar
      Hannibal

      I am with you 100%. However, in a confessional sectarian country where religion is a crucial part of the law vis a vis marriage and the way of life it will always be frowned upon as both religions, Islam AND Christianity shun the use of contraceptives.

      1. cook2half Avatar
        cook2half

        Lololol I just came back from Jerusalem, went all over the place. Nice Lebanese restaurant on the way back. I’ll post pics lol

        1. Hannibal Avatar
          Hannibal

          Do I need to mention Judaism? lol

          1. 5thDrawer Avatar
            5thDrawer

            Yah … but they must be ‘users’ …. they can’t seem to get the members ‘UP’. ;-)))

          2. Hannibal Avatar
            Hannibal

            lol… behave.

          3. 5thDrawer Avatar
            5thDrawer

            I’m trying … been busting to run a couple of re-prints. :-))))))

          4. Hannibal Avatar
            Hannibal

            lol… behave.

          5. cook2half Avatar
            cook2half

            🙂

          6. 5thDrawer Avatar
            5thDrawer

            Dome of the rocky place??? Nice sky. 😉

          7. cook2half Avatar
            cook2half

            :)))

          8. sweetvirgo Avatar
            sweetvirgo

            Beautiful pics cook 🙂

          9. cook2half Avatar
            cook2half

            Thank you =D Here’s a pic of eastern Jerusalem

          10. cook2half Avatar
            cook2half

            🙂

          11. 5thDrawer Avatar
            5thDrawer

            Dome of the rocky place??? Nice sky. 😉

        2. sweetvirgo Avatar
          sweetvirgo

          I was there in 2012. It’s beautiful. Food was really good.

          1. cook2half Avatar
            cook2half

            Silly question, but is that Haifa beach in your avatar? lol..

          2. sweetvirgo Avatar
            sweetvirgo

            Yes it is. That’s where I stayed. Gorgeous beach

          3. cook2half Avatar
            cook2half

            I’m in Haifa right now 🙂 Gorgeous indeed

          4. sweetvirgo Avatar
            sweetvirgo

            I hope you’re having a great time.

          5. cook2half Avatar
            cook2half

            Thanks! I went through Highway 6 today. I just love what theyve done with the country. Its beautiful. Have you been to the West Bank before? I haven’t

          6. sweetvirgo Avatar
            sweetvirgo

            Yes I have. Some parts are nice. The people were friendly.

      2. 5thDrawer Avatar
        5thDrawer

        But Christians can say ‘screw you’ to the priest in many more ways, without getting totally bombed. Some sects can even piss the Priest off in the confessional on Sundays. He can’t run out of the box after and tell everyone you’re a ‘sinner’. ;-))))

      3. 5thDrawer Avatar
        5thDrawer

        But Christians can say ‘screw you’ to the priest in many more ways, without getting totally bombed. Some sects can even piss the Priest off in the confessional on Sundays. He can’t run out of the box after and tell everyone you’re a ‘sinner’. ;-))))

      4. cook2half Avatar
        cook2half

        Best chicken kebab ive had in this country

  3. Shirdel2142 Avatar
    Shirdel2142

    Cool,iran dosnt make any condoms,sex is a difficult debate here.

    1. cook2half Avatar
      cook2half

      During the shah it must have been way better. “We’re alllll gonna get laiiiid” lol

      1. IraniAngel Avatar
        IraniAngel

        obviously u havent been in iran lately. when it comes to sex iran is a wild jungle n thats not a positive comparison… seriously teenage-boys hitting on old ladies in their 80’s in the streets.. really disgusting

        1. 5thDrawer Avatar
          5thDrawer

          Ewwww … is that like ‘any port in a storm’ thinking??
          You need more massage parlours ….

          1. IraniAngel Avatar
            IraniAngel

            exactly… its like ‘do the first hole u meet in streets’ way of thinking.. when i moved to europe i found that ppl in europe r much more relaxed concering sex.. in iran its all about sex..

          2. 5thDrawer Avatar
            5thDrawer

            Astounding ….

          3. IraniAngel Avatar
            IraniAngel

            n of course not caring if that hole is situated on a female OR a male body.

          4. 5thDrawer Avatar
            5thDrawer

            LOL ….

          5. Oh for god sake Irani, would you stop already. You just me turned me of one rare pleasures I have in life. Lol

          6. IraniAngel Avatar
            IraniAngel

            lol

          7. 5thDrawer Avatar
            5thDrawer

            Astounding ….

          8. IraniAngel Avatar
            IraniAngel

            n of course not caring if that hole is situated on a female OR a male body.

          9. 5thDrawer Avatar
            5thDrawer

            LOL ….

          10. IraniAngel Avatar
            IraniAngel

            but i think ppl from afghanistan r worse… once i met an afghan dude who said:
            ‘kona konast,
            agar nakoni gonast’
            meaning that a hole is hole…. well i donno… maybe cookie can translate later.. i can tell u this though… its very poetic… LOOOOL :p

          11. IraniAngel Avatar
            IraniAngel

            but i think ppl from afghanistan r worse… once i met an afghan dude who said:
            ‘kona konast,
            agar nakoni gonast’
            meaning that a hole is a hole…. well i donno… maybe cookie can translate later.. i can tell u this though… its very poetic… LOOOOL :p

        2. cook2half Avatar
          cook2half

          ewwwwwww

        3. cook2half Avatar
          cook2half

          ewwwwwww

    2. cook2half Avatar
      cook2half

      During the shah it must have been way better. “We’re alllll gonna get laiiiid” lol

    3. 5thDrawer Avatar
      5thDrawer

      Should tell El Supremo that he can’t make Latex in Centrifuges – hard as they try. 😉

      1. cook2half Avatar
        cook2half

        From Mount of Olives

        1. 5thDrawer Avatar
          5thDrawer

          Another lost concept, obviously … If you want Olives, go up to Zgharta. :-)))

          1. cook2half Avatar
            cook2half

            *These orives are speciar* (chinese accent) mouhahahaha

        2. You bastard cook, rubbing it in while your on holiday’s. Damn you. Lol

        3. You bastard cook, rubbing it in while your on holiday’s. Damn you. Lol

    4. Sex is a difficult debate in every marriage. Just ask any male in the relationship. Lol

      1. 5thDrawer Avatar
        5thDrawer

        Oh Farq … only every 28 days. ;-)))
        Hmmmm … I often wondered how a hand could have a headache … but then, who can argue with the lady-of-the-kitchen. :-)))))

    5. Sex is a difficult debate in every marriage. Just ask any male in the relationship. Lol

      1. 5thDrawer Avatar
        5thDrawer

        Oh Farq … only every 28 days. ;-)))
        Hmmmm … I often wondered how a hand could have a headache … but then, who can argue with the lady-of-the-kitchen. :-)))))

  4. IraniAngel Avatar
    IraniAngel

    everybody shud have fewer kids

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar
      5thDrawer

      2.3 to be exact, Irani … unless your population is over the birth/death ratio anyway.
      Hell, China is over the birth/kill ratio too. Even 1 is too much. 😉
      But India and Pakistan area people are working to be the real over-achievers, I hear. :-)))

      1. cook2half Avatar
        cook2half

        pfffffffft overpopulated much??

        1. 5thDrawer Avatar
          5thDrawer

          Hot nights under the stars … same problem as Ethiopia. 😉

          1. cook2half Avatar
            cook2half

            I have an idea.. STOP BREEDING SO MUCH

            (lol… :)))))

          2. 5thDrawer Avatar
            5thDrawer

            I think ‘voyeurism’ is an unknown word … everyone is tired of watching anyway.
            ;-)))

          3. cook2half Avatar
            cook2half

            If only the West Bank settlers were this good lol..

          4. 5thDrawer Avatar
            5thDrawer

            Stacking them up in concrete there? :-))))

          5. cook2half Avatar
            cook2half

            The number over the Green Line is 650,000 now, double the amount from 13 years ago. Ugly rushed up concrete all for the work of Yahweh 😛

          6. cook2half Avatar
            cook2half

            The number over the Green Line is 650,000 now, double the amount from 13 years ago. Ugly rushed up concrete all for the work of Yahweh 😛

      2. cook2half Avatar
        cook2half

        pfffffffft overpopulated much??

        1. 5thDrawer Avatar
          5thDrawer

          Hot nights under the stars … same problem as Ethiopia. 😉

      3. IraniAngel Avatar
        IraniAngel

        this is what im talking about… its about saving the planet. overpopulation is the fuel to more wars n hate n disasters n u name it

        1. 5thDrawer Avatar
          5thDrawer

          And every human body puts out 400BTU/hr. Not counting what they use.;-)

      4. master09 Avatar
        master09

        OH&S at its best.
        We need another war to save most of these poor souls.
        As cruel as it sounds this is the only answer. 3 billion down and new education by the mass.

          1. How are my friend. Hope you are well. It’s great to see you participating again. Take care brother.

          2. Doing great Farq thanks , no desire for participation but will take the opportunity to give brotherly love and best regards to all the nice people from all corners. best to you and yours 🙂

          3. How are my friend. Hope you are well. It’s great to see you participating again. Take care brother.

        1. Now there’s a solution, more death and distruction.

        2. Now there’s a solution, more death and distruction.

          1. Hannibal Avatar

            Just send them to Syria… 😉

      5. Hannibal Avatar

        Is that too many people or too few trains? 😛

    2. cook2half Avatar
      cook2half

      Herzliya, Israel :))

      1. IraniAngel Avatar
        IraniAngel

        hhhhhh what the hell??

        1. 5thDrawer Avatar
          5thDrawer

          These are the boats they allow to sail the waters of the Med. 😉

          1. IraniAngel Avatar
            IraniAngel

            good to know. lol

    3. cook2half Avatar
      cook2half

      Herzliya, Israel :))

  5. sweetvirgo Avatar
    sweetvirgo

    I can’t believe that in 2014 it is an embrassement to buy a condom? Safe sex is good sex. There should be more information about it. Not just for men but for women too. What about birth control? Lebanon should not be that far behind. I would expect this from Saudia but not Lebanon.

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar
      5thDrawer

      Believe it, sweetie. But when you think about it, the concept of ‘safe sex’ where bullets and bombs fly around all the time?? Seriously ?? :-))))))

  6. MekensehParty Avatar
    MekensehParty

    middle-ages news

  7. MekensehParty Avatar
    MekensehParty

    middle-ages news

  8. 5thDrawer Avatar
    5thDrawer

    Today’s thought.
    Has anyone else noticed that our ‘Australian Special Friends’ have avoided THIS subject completely??
    I thought they sold condoms ‘down under’ too.
    :-))))))))))))

  9. It’s appropriate time to make a few plans for the future
    and it is time to be happy. I have learn this publish and if I could I desire to suggest you some attention-grabbing issues or tips.
    Maybe you could write subsequent articles referring to this article.
    I desire to read more things approximately it!

  10. What i don’t understood is in reality how you’re now not actually much more neatly-preferred than you may be right now.
    You are so intelligent. You know therefore significantly in the case of this matter, produced me personally believe it from numerous various angles.

    Its like women and men don’t seem to be involved except it’s one thing to
    do with Girl gaga! Your own stuffs nice. At all times take care of it up!

Leave a Reply