Condoms Through the Ages

Safe sex is not a new idea at all, and while the safety techniques of today may vary very dramatically from the days when a gentleman slipped on a fast pig bladder, the idea is the same. Nowadays, if you have an unplanned liaison, it is a easy task to pop in and have a quick STD test to put your mind at ease. is an excellent resource for this. Good times are often higher on the agenda than good sense, but one place where prevention is much better than a cure is sexual wellbeing, and security is certainly better than infection!

For many decades at least, and probably much longer, the humble condom has been around in some shape or form. One would have to presume that the basic form was fairly normal, but it would probably be difficult for the lads of the eighteenth century to understand the aerodynamic nature of the sexual armour of modern men.

Skin against Skin

History informs us that either a linen cloth treated with chemicals or some kind of animal bladder developed the first preventive measures against unwanted pregnancy and illness. It was much more necessary to make sure you were safe without the hindsight of a simple STD examination, and the use of these crude condom versions was common. However, there has been debate about their use. Some sceptics believed that they were promoting sex with unsafe partners, and they were abandoned mid-coitus when they experienced the loss of sensation that occurred while wearing them. There was also a great deal of moral reasoning against their use, but the industry still flourished and they were available in barber shops, pubs, markets and even the theatre in the eighteenth century. As they were less comfortable than the skin ones, the linen type quickly became obsolete, but even as manufacturing became more commonplace, in relation to the average wage, the condoms were incredibly costly.

Around rubber

In safe sex, the introduction of rubber condoms heralded a new dawn. They became much more available and, while in the nineteenth century an STD test was still not the standard, the masses became more aware of the value of using a condom. The invention of the rubber condom meant that their cost was much higher because they were reusable; the skin variety was still favoured by so many people. The skin condom sensitivity factor was also higher than the rubber one. Originally only available after a detailed fitting to an individual customer, manufacturers soon discovered that a much cheaper ‘one size fits all’ range could be made, and the rubber revolution began.

Latex Latex

In 1920, the discovery of latex (a derivative of water suspended in rubber) brought with it improvements in both condom performance and cost. Latex ‘s properties made it stronger, lighter and its longer shelf life, with the mechanics of mass manufacturing in motion, ensured that the entire condom industry was turned on its head. The use of condoms increased in the 1900’s with still no accessible STD test available, as individuals became more informed in the ideals of safe sex in general.

The Polyurethane

Quick forward to the 21st century and there is a very different look, sound and social profile of the new polyurethane condom. Society is much more comfortable about condoms today and they are available from supermarkets to pub toilets everywhere. Healthy sex, as the HIV / AIDS pandemic and other sexually transmitted diseases continue to spread, is the buzz word of the new century. On the internet, an STD test is just a click away and condoms can be bought with your weekly groceries. Good old Johnny seems to have finally found his rightful place in the world-vive la condom!