As you probably know condoms are the only method of contraception that also protects couples from sexually transmitted infections (STI). They are available in different sizes, colors, and even flavors to make sex not only safe but enjoyable as well. Producers are flexible (you will hardly believe how flexible they are) and have brought to the market condoms that boost pleasure for both partners and others that prolong the time before ejaculation. Well, we collected a bunch of super curious facts about condoms, which will amaze and entertain you. Here are they:
A cave story
The earliest proof of using condoms can be seen in caves. We are serious. There are some cave paintings, showing penis coverings. It is known that such a cave is the French one Grotte des Combarelles, and the sex painting there is about 12 000 – 15 000 years old.
The first female condom
According to a review of historical and medical sources, conducted by The US National Library of Medicine, King Minos of Crete and his wife Pasiphae used the first version of the female condom. She put a goat’s bladder in her vagina. Do you know the reason for it? It was believed that King Minos’ semen was containing scorpions and serpents. Therefore, the role of the goat’s bladder was to protect his wife.
Classes’ segregation condoms
In Egypt, they dyed condom-like penis caps in different colors to distinguish the classes better and protect themselves from the epidemic of bilharzia, which affected Africa and South America.
Ancient Romans against venereal diseases
Ancient Romans have used animals’ bladders during sex as well. They haven’t used it for contraception but for the prevention of venereal diseases.
Let’s thank Mr. Goodyear
Production of latex condoms is possible thanks to Charles Goodyear, who utilized vulcanization and made it possible to use rubber and transform it into the well-known shape with suitable thickness/slimness.
Condoms – the billion dollars industry
During the 20th & 21st century, HIV spread appeared to be a great problem among sexually active people. So, we naturally faced condoms as a means to enjoy safe sex. The variety of condoms worldwide and the risen awareness about STI have significantly increased the use of condoms worldwide. Data, published on the Grand View Research website, shows that the global condom market value was USD 7.9 billion in 2018.
Made in China
When it comes to condom use and production the top 4 countries in the world are China, The USA, United Kingdom, and Japan. If we look at Europe – Germany, Italy, France, and the UK are among the countries with the highest condom demand.
Unusual condom flavors
Believe it or not, producers are pretty brave in experiments with condom flavors. There are condoms with weed, Nutella, chicken tikka masala, bacon, and pumpkin-spice flavor. The weirdest flavor is maybe the garlic one. Wow, are they serious?
Double wrapping may be a trouble
Some people believe that using two condoms doubles their protection. Unfortunately, this is not reality. Double wrapping even increases the chance of failure i.e. breakage. What you can do to protect both – your partner and yourself, is to choose quality products, put the condom according to the instructions shown by the producer, and to keep an eye on the expiry date.
Some people are allergic to latex. However, it’s not an excuse to have unsafe sex. There are latex-free options on the market that are just fine. So, if there’s a will, there’s a way.
Long, longer, the longest
Do you know how long has been the largest condom that is ever made? It was as long as 21.94 m!!! Well, it wasn’t for a super gifted man, but it had a mission. The condom was fitted over the popular monument The Luxor Obelisks on the Place de la Concorde in Paris. It was supposed to raise awareness of AIDS. The installation took place on 1 December 1993, and as you probably know 1 December is World AIDS Day. The record is listed on Guinness World Records.
The largest condom collection
Here is one more record related to condoms. The Italian Amatore Bolzoni has the biggest condom collection in the world. He was proud of collecting a total of 2077 different condoms till 11 November 2004 when the record was listed. Amatore started his collection in 1980. He possesses ones from different countries and continents – Europe, America, Africa, and Asia. The oldest condom in his collection is from the XIX century and it’s made of sheep’s bowel. Other remarkable specimens are those given to soldiers during the occupation of Italy in World War II. Last, but not least, Amatore has US army condoms as well.
Condom sales were generally forbidden in Italy in the late 1920s, due to the very low birth rate. However, there was a very limited distribution for people who had diseases. Another interesting law, related to condoms, passed in Germany, in 1933. According to it condoms were available only in pharmacies and after purchase, they should be wrapped in plain brown paper packages.
Condoms on TV commercials
The first TV commercial for condoms in Britain is broadcasted in 1987 when The Independent Broadcast Authority lifted its ban on advertising products for birth control. The measure is taken to oppose the AIDS outbreak. The commercial showed a romantic couple separated by a fence, where the fence was a symbol of the barrier to safe sex. However, no condom is shown in the ad. It was illegal. What was permitted was to show the packages, but not the condoms themselves. These commercials could be broadcasted on TV after 9 p.m. to avoid children’s attention.
The first TV commercial for condoms in America was broadcasted on 17 November 1991 on Fox. It was 15 sec long and had to obey the rule that TV commercials may promote condoms only as a product against STI, not as a birth control measure. In the meanwhile 3 other major TV networks refused to broadcast the ad, considering it as a bad taste, even though they agreed to broadcast commercials promoting tampons, hemorrhoid medication, and even a vaginal deodorant.