SO THERE’S NOTHING LIKE SKIN AND sticking some rubber on your wang’s a drag, right. Or you’ve got that “allergy” to latex. Yeah, never heard that one before. Guess what? You should be grateful, because pre-science, folks came up with some super uncomfortable ideas, like dead-ending your junk with onion juice. And tar. Funtimes for everyone? Not so much. Wait, there’s more–the history of condoms is bigger than a breadbox, and longer than a baby’s arm. 5 highlights, below.
1. FROM THE LINEN CLOSET
Back 1000 BCE, Egyptians tried wrapping the old candle in some cloth. There was no such thing as a microscope, obviously.
Linen condom circa 1800s.
2. THE ORIGAMI CONDOM
In fifteenth-century Japan, copulating folks used silk paper. Would that make a crinkly sound? Could they fold it into an origami Starship Enterprise when they were done?
Image may not be historically accurate.
3. THE TORTOISE SHELL CONDOM
The tortoise shell member dates from the same period in Japan. Bet no one ever said “second skin” about this.
4. MR. FALLOPIUS’ BOW-TIE SURPRISE
Sixteenth-century Italian do-gooder, Gabriele Falloppio–familiar-sounding name he’s got, there–said he invented linen sheaths to protect people from the syphilis (aka The Coachman On the Box/French Gout/The Old Dog) that was spreading madness and pustules all plague-like throughout Europe and Asia. His little contraption was worn rather more like a hat than a raincoat, if you get my drift. And it had ribbons.
5. RUBBER RUBBERS
The first rubber condom was made in 1855, and, despite the fact that they weren’t so popular in their day, and that most condoms are made of latex today, the name stuck. The rubber started out as a little bonnet, if you will, before it became the full-length candywrapper you know today. It quickly became the norm in Brooke-Shieldsing yourself against plagues and gurgling babies alike.
Look at this familiar little wrapper.