Today’s post is a bit of a history lesson which I thought would be fun since many sexual practices, tools and toys have been around for literally thousands of years.
Take the Condom.
Did you know it’s been around since Ancient Egyptian times?
It was first seen depicted during this time in which Egyptians would wear linen sheaths. Historians hypothesize that it was mainly worn to prevent disease, but also could have been involved in various ritual practices during that time.
Later, in Europe around 100-200 AD, cave paintings depicted the use of sheaths or condoms in France.
Widespread Use & Spermicide
In the 1500’s, linen sheaths were utilized in a much more widespread manner in order to prevent disease after an Italian man, Gabrielle Fallopius, conducted experiments on over 1,100 men and found that use of the sheaths prevented diseases such as syphilis. Later, it was also discovered that the sheaths helped prevent pregnancy as well. In the late 1500’s was also the first time that these linen cloth sheaths were sometimes soaked in chemical solutions and set out to dry and can be referenced as the first use of spermicide.
Condom is the Word.
The word condom was not actually used to refer to these linen sheaths until the 1700’s and, it seems, no one is quite sure why, though there are many rumors and suggestions. In the mid 1700’s, condoms made from animal intestines became available, but they were very expensive and often re-used. Condoms became very popular in London in the later 1700’s and were even advertised in storefronts.
In 1844, the face of the condom changed forever when Hancock and Goodyear discovered rubber vulcanization and condom manufacturing was revolutionized. Condoms were then able to be made as thin, but strong elastic rubber sheaths that could be manufactured quickly, cheaply and effective for contraception and disease prevention.
In 1861, the first condom advertisements were published in the New York Times, but later in 1873, The Comstock Law was passed which made it illegal to advertise any sort of birth control and allowed US postal workers to confiscate condoms sold through the mail.
In the 1880’s, the first liquid latex condom was produced, but they aged very quickly and were not of the best quality.
In the early 1900’s, a movement preventing Americans from using condoms resulted in over 70% of American WWI troops returning home with STD’s. By WWII, the American Govt. changed tact and aggressively promoted the use of condoms to prevent another STD issue among soldiers.
In 1919, Frederick Killian began hand-dipping from natural rubber latex to produce condoms that were thinner, odorless and far more long lasting.
1.5 Million Condoms Made Per Day.
By the 1930’s, the largest condom manufacturers in the USA were producing 1.5 million condoms per day.
In 1957, the very first lubricated condom was produced by Durex in the United Kingdom, but despite this great leap in the condom revolution, the 1960’s felt a decline in condom usage and an increase in free love (without protection) and the use of the pill, the coil and sterilization.
Condoms Are Available Everywhere.
With HIV/AIDS in the 1980s, condom use skyrocketed once again and the sale of them became widely available in grocery stores, bars and other convenience stores.
Variety Is the Spice of Life.
The 1990’s showed a boom in condom variations with more options than ever. Condoms were made in varying sizes, colors and became thinner than ever before.
Today, condoms are available with a variety of textures (ribbed and studded), colors (including glow in the dark ones!), flavored and even a special condom made especially for women. There are now alternative options for those allergic to latex made from polyurethane and lambskin.
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