Background Condom purchasing is an important preparation for condom use. The present study examined if products surrounding condoms in the store play a role in preferences for where to buy condoms among young people. Methods: Sixty-nine men and 111 women (<30 years) completed an online questionnaire on their preferences for condom placement, associated embarrassment with these placements, and motives for having sex. Results: Fifty percent of men and 70% of women indicated the counter as least preferred placement. Two-fifths of men and women preferred the sensual context, including among sex toys and lubricants; however, the remainder of participants, particularly women, preferred other less sexual contexts. Both the counter and sensual placement were strongly associated with embarrassment, and this, in turn, was predictive of placement preference. Finally, the motive for having sex to experience intimacy was negatively related to counter preference, and the motive for having sex to experience pleasure was negatively related to the neutral placement and the female personal care placement preferences. Conclusion: The findings suggest that using multiple and alternative placements for condoms in stores may encourage condom purchasing behaviour among young people.