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Ah the glove, rubber, shower cap, Johnson wrap.. well, you get the picture. There are about a thousand and one names used for this spectacular little invention used during sex to prevent S.T.D.'s and pregnancy. But how old is the condom? In this section of The History of Contraception, we'll look at the ways the "love skin" has evolved through history.
Believe it or not, there are cave paintings over 12,000 years old that depict condom use. There was also an illustration of a condom found in Egypt dating back 3,000 years. Unfortunately, Its almost impossible to tell from the drawings what reasons they had for wearing them. It could have been for ritualistic reasons, or maybe even ribbed, for her pleasure.
The first condoms actually found were in the foundations of Dudley Castle in England. Made from animal gut, these historical rubbers were dated back to 1640. It is theorized that they were used to prevent the spread of Sexually transmitted diseases during the war between Oliver Cromwell and King Charles. Even the famous Casanova put on the glove before the love; but his condoms were made of linen. We're not sure why napkin skins would make much of a difference, but if it made him feel better, that's all that matters.
Condom production took a turn for the better 5 years after 1838 when the vulcanization of rubber was patented by Charles Goodyear. In the early part of the 20th century (1900's), however, The American Social Hygiene Association fought hard for the prohibition of condoms. They felt if people wanted to engage in sex, they should take the risks involved into account for their own actions. In other words, if you stick your Johnson where it doesn't belong, it's your own fault. In fact, at the end of the first World War, there was a very high rate of Sexually Transmitted Diseases among the troops returning home. The military leaders at that time believed that condoms and infection prevention was "unchristian" and immoral, they preferred their boys have a case of rectal infection and inflammation of the rectum, because they certainly weren't able to "just say no." Nonetheless, by the time 1924 rolled around, the condom was the most commonly used form of birth control, and by the second World War, the military aggressively promoted condom use. Urging the soldiers "don't forget — put it on before you put it in" through government training films.
During the 'sexual revolution' of the '60s, condom manufacturers were almost put out of business. It became common practice to have as many sex partners as one wanted, and condoms were not needed since the use of the pill and IUD provided effective birth control, and the more prevalent Sexually Transmitted Diseases, gonorrhea and syphilis, were treated easily. That's when the AIDS virus reared its ugly head, and condoms became more necessary then ever.
Well, thats the story behind the prophylactic, sheath, raincoat, cock-armor. Sex will never change, but the methods for avoiding the unpleasant responsibilities afterward sure do, and how!
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