We all know that condoms are contraceptive devices, as well as that they can be used to protect
us against STDs. But actually, there is much more to these rubbery things than that. Here are
some things you probably didn’t know about them.
The origin of the very word ‘condom’ has yet to be determined, but there have been claims that it
was named after its inventor, dr. Condom (or Conton, as some claim), came up with the
device sometime in the 17th century, during the rule King Charles II. There are also those who
believe that the word could derive from the Latin ‘condus’ (receptacle). According to some
sources, condoms were first used by The Egyptians in the 14th century BC, but the earliest
evidence of their use in Europe comes from scenes in cave paintings in France, sometime
between 100 and 200AD. Italian anatomist Gabrielle Fallopio claimed to have invented the
condom in 1564 with the purpose of protecting users from syphilis.
Materials Used for Production
In the Western world, the condoms were initially made of linen, back in the 16th century, when a
ribbon was sewn into the open end that drew the device around the penis. Then in the 18th
century, they were produced from lamb, goat, and sheep intestines, at times fish skin, as well.
In Asia, on the other hand, they were produced of thin leather, tortoiseshell, or oiled silk paper.
The first patent on a rubber condom was obtained by Charles Goodyear in 1844. Contemporary
trends include the production of vegan-friendly condoms, i.e. those that contain no animal parts
and that are produced without animal testing.
They Weren’t Always Legal
In the United States, under The Comstock Act, which came to power in 1873, it was illegal to
send “obscene” materials (including contraceptive devices) through the mail. Apart from banning
condoms, the act also banned spreading information about abortion for educational purposes.
Large-scale sporting events usually witness a dramatic increase in condom usage in the cities that
host them. One of the recent examples is the 2010Vancouver Olympics when as much as
100,000 condoms were distributed among the 7,000 athletes that participated in this event. And
guess what? There we all used with the event still in full swing, so the Canadian Foundation for
AIDS decided to provide additional quantities. Talk about world records…
Weirder They Come
Flavored condoms for oral sex were once considered quite extravagant, at least until much more
bizarre contraceptive devices were introduced. For instance, did you know that there was an anti-
rape condom? It has rows of jagged hooks that cling to a penis during penetration and once
attached, it can only be removed by a doctor. And how about the one that glows in the dark or
has a ruler printed on it? Definitely not for those of you who are constantly pestered by penis