If you have ever felt embarrassed anytime you need to get a condom from a pharmacy or a supermarket then you will probably understand the motivation of Slide Safe.
Slide Safe is a startup in Nigeria that is willing to step into the space created by Nigeria’s conservative views about sex or like the Nigerian President once put it, the things that go on in the other room.
In conservative societies, many conversations are deemed too private for open spaces; sex falls into the category of those topics alongside others like mensuration. These topics may seem like taboo to talk about openly but many of the products that are necessary to manage certain aspects of them are sold commercially and very much in the open.
Still, safe sex is a necessity and embarrassment or the fear of scorn cannot be reason enough to ignore it, especially, when faced with the very real dangers of HIV and STDs. About 3.2 million adults were living with HIV in Nigeria by 2016
All this was probably behind Florida Uzoaru’s launch of Slide Safe in Nigeria in January 2017. The company aims to discretely deliver STD test kits and sex products, including condoms and lubricants, on demand. It is self-funded by Uzoaru and two co-founders, Precious Onuobia and Janet Nwaoshai
Uzoaru says that the major goal of the startup is to increase sexual consciousness around safe sex and frequent testing for sexually transmitted diseases.
Currently, Slide Safe operates on the largest university campus in Lagos and plans are being made to expand by partnering with hotel chains across the country.
According to Uzoaru, Slide Safe has sold more than 600 boxes which cost between $5 and $20 since it launched. It also recently graduated from a three-month accelerator program by Co-Creation Hub.
To keep the orders as anonymous as possible, orders are placed via an SMS shortcode and delivered discretely to the location with a packaging that is “as anonymous as possible” so only those buying it know what it looks like.
In fact, the importance of anonymity to Slide Safe customers can probably be highlighted easily by the fact that the startup had to change its name which was formerly “Sex In A Box” because it made people uncomfortable.