all things condoms

Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Let’s go back in time and look at the evolution of condoms and everything associated with them

Condoms from another era

Posted by Condomologist on June 3, 2009

Author John Crowley reflects on his condom research while writing historical fiction, making sure he gets the terminology from the WWII era just right. The fruits of his labor include some interesting finds, among them some paper envelopes that once contained johnnies (as a British sex historian he communicated with calls them), which were once available as collectibles on ebay. My pick of the litter is the one seen below — because I’m a sucker for all things French — the text of which loosely translates into “Let your love flourish (or grow).”



Posted in Condom Art, Condom Brands and Styles, History | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Bea Arthur: Sexual Pioneer

Posted by Condomologist on April 28, 2009

I wrote awhile back about the Golden Girls making condom buying funny, and in the wake of Bea Arthur’s death this week, TV Guide revisits some seminal moments in television history as sexual taboos are shattered (including an old-school Jason Bateman clip from a 1987 episode of Valerie, where he and his girlfriend discuss condoms and birth control). It’s well worth viewing a clip of the Golden Girls if only for one of the catchiest theme songs of all time, but it’s pretty remarkable to hear the old ladies talking HIV and AIDS and condoms back in the 1990s given the shame and stigma still surrounding those issues today. 


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Limbaugh’s Safe Talk

Posted by Condomologist on March 9, 2009

This from a piece the LA Times did in 1989 that’s being revisited on Larry Harnisch’s blog The Daily Mirror. I’m not sure much as changed with Rush’s schtick since then, so at least we can say he’s consistent.


A pretty blonde in a turquoise dress, who had written to Limbaugh saying she was dying to meet him, pranced up on stage and handed the portly talk-show host a prophylactic.

Then, Limbaugh launched into a routine familiar to his radio fans. He wrapped the condom around the microphone, announcing: “This, my friends, is safe talk.” The audience cheered. “You are protected from any evil because of this.

“The idea of these things is not to prevent AIDS,” he said of the condom. “The idea of these things is to sell ’em. . . ..”

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Help us Obama

Posted by Condomologist on February 19, 2009

A nod to the folks over at Feminist Philosophers for highlighting the downright scary reasons why abstinence-until-marriage programs are such an obstacle to creating a world in which young people are taught accurate sex ed. Our new President has committed himself to policy promoting comprehensive sexual education, including abstinence and safer sex methods. This is a good sign and a good change from the past.

Posted in History, Policy | 1 Comment »

Condoms in Porn

Posted by Condomologist on February 19, 2009

This from a study just released at UCLA:

“We compared the prevalence of condom use during a variety of sexual acts portrayed in adult films produced for heterosexual and homosexual audiences to assess compliance with state Occupational Health and Safety Administration regulations. Methods. We analyzed 50 heterosexual and 50 male homosexual films released between August 1, 2005, and July 31, 2006, randomly selected from the distributor of 85% of the heterosexual adult films released each year in the United States. Results. Penile-vaginal intercourse was protected with condoms in 3% of heterosexual scenes. Penile-anal intercourse, common in both heterosexual (42%) and homosexual (80%) scenes, was much less likely to be protected with condoms in heterosexual than in homosexual scenes (10%vs 78%; P<.001).No penile-oral acts were protected with condoms in any of the selected films. Conclusions. Heterosexual films were much less likely than were homosexual films to portray condom use, raising concerns about transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, especially among performers in heterosexual adult films. In addition, the adult film industry, especially the heterosexual industry, is not adhering to state occupational safety regulations.”


This is good news, I guess, for the gay porn industry, in terms of promoting safer sex — but only when compared to the straight porn genre, seriously lacking in any regard for public health. As someone who has been known to watch straight porn now and then, I quickly realized after reading this abstract that they’re just giving us what we want. There’s something about watching unprotected sex that seems more…I don’t know…sexy, intimate, dirty, just plain enjoyable — and I’m guessing I’m not alone. The question is, Do I feel this way because it’s what I’m conditioned to — we rarely watch a mainstream movie with sex in it where condoms are discussed or are present in sex scenes — or is it something inate that makes condomless sex more appealing. Regardless, apparently testing their actors for HIV every 30 days is good enough for most major studios; Vivid Entertainment rescinded its condoms-only policy to one of condoms-optional a few years back, and Wicked Entertainment remains the only major adult film company to remain condoms-only. But with so many viewers getting free porn online at Redtube or Youporn or Pornhub — none of which are affiliated with any actors, but rather show clips from a variety of sources — it’s hard to imagine the porn world (or atleast the straight one) being at the forefront of public health initiatives anytime soon. This is unfortunate considering heterosexual sex is the main form of HIV transmission worldwide and heterosexual women are the population most rapidly rising in terms of HIV acquistion. But then, I wouldn’t expect porn to be the voice of reason anytime soon. Their job is to entertain us, and they do a pretty good job at that.

Posted in Education, History, Research and Study, Videos | 1 Comment »

KY: For sex or surgery?

Posted by Condomologist on February 10, 2009

Back when I first started talking sex to students in Madison, one of my stump lines stolen from my peers was: “The reason KY Jelly gets so tacky is that it was made for gynecological exams, not for sex.” Now that I’m finding that certain recurrent teachings in the sex ed field are not so well grounded, I went in search of the answer to the KY conundrum. If, in fact, it’s proven true what I’ve been spouting to the kids all these years, it would make sense that its shortcomings might be due to its not-so-sexy beginnings. The KY folks tell us it got its mojo going in 1917 as a personal lubricant. Funny that the US Patent Office tells a different story. It’s hard to read, but it’s dated 1906, and it says: “The class of merchandise to which the trademark is appropriated is medical and surgical appliances, and the particular description of goods comprised in said class upon which said trademark is used is antiseptic, non-fatty and soluble lubricating jelly.” You be the judge.


Update: The Trademark and Patent Office link appears not to work, but the serial number for KY is 71015387 and the registration number 54,124. I’ll try to change the link once more, but if it doesn’t work, try punching in the numbers if you’re interested.

Posted in History | 2 Comments »