The sale of flowers, cards and chocolates goes up during Valentine's week, but very few know that the demand for condoms and contraceptive pills also rises in this season of romance.
"Yes, the sales increase up to 10-20 percent during Valentine's week, the reason being people grab this opportunity and try to make full use of their freedom," Shishir Miglani, director Yes2condom, a 24X7 online retail service, told IANS over phone.
According to a survey, both men and women are slowly becoming comfortable with the use of condoms and don't mind experimenting with flavoured, lubricated or dotted ones.
"Awareness about female condoms has surely increased and we see the difference when they phone out of curiosity. Usage is definitely there, but we would be wrong if we compared female condoms with the sale of male condoms," he said.
Gurbachan Singh, owner of Friends Medicos, said in general the demand for condoms and contraceptive pills has grown, but it sees a sharp rise, especially during Valentine's week.
"Yes, it is true that the sale of condoms and contraceptive pills increases during Valentine's week. We see a major increase in demand during Valentine's and also at New Year. Our customers range from youngsters to middle-aged people," Singh told IANS.
Miglani says an online facility makes it easier for people to place such orders.
"As we are online retail providers, it becomes easier for the customer to overcome their hesitation while asking for condoms compared to buying it face to face. But there are some people who find it difficult to ask for it even over the phone. As far as the age bracket is concerned, we make sure that our customer is over 18," said Miglani.
Shubhlal, the owner of a chemist shop, said: "A lot of youngsters come to our shop though hesitating a little, but definitely the sales are higher at this time."
People in a relationship don't just seek emotional comfort, but prefer physical intimacy as well, though a safe one.
"We have special offers this time - a certain number of deliveries are free. Then we have also planned to make special value- added packages. For example, we add a lubricant extra in the order," Miglani added.