Origin of the name
The word condom is probably derived from Latin “condus” meaning receptacle. Another explanation is that the gut condom was invented by the English army doctor Colonel Quondam in around 1645 and that the word is a corruption of his name. We do not know who invented condoms, but we do know that they were in use. There is evidence of this in the writings of Marquis de Sade, Casanova and James Boswell. The latter, a Scottish lawyer and writer, protected himself against sexually transmitted diseases by using a linen condom. During a visit to an Amsterdam brothel in 1764, he drank with a prostitute, but the encounter went no further as he’d left his “armour” behind. When visiting a brothel in Marseilles, Casanova tried so-called “English raincoats”, and spoke of reaching great heights.
The oldest illustration of a condom was found in Egypt and dates back more than 3,000 years. It is difficult to judge from the drawing what the ancient Egyptian wearing the condom had in mind. He may have worn it for sexual or ritual reasons-or both. Some claim that, in later times, the Romans made condoms from the muscle tissue of warriors they defeated in battle. The oldest condoms were discovered in the foundations of Dudley Castle near Birmingham, England. They were made of fish and animal intestine and dated back to 1640. They were probably used to prevent transmission of sexually transmitted infections during the war between the forces of Oliver Cromwell and soldiers loyal to King Charles I.
Throughout the age’s people have tried to find ways of preventing conception and venereal diseases. Obvious methods, such as withdrawal, the rhythm method, douches, and sponges were used, as were various predecessors of today’s condom. In ancient Egypt, a linen sheath was used as protection against troublesome insects and tropical diseases. The Chinese tried to prevent infection by wrapping oiled silk paper around the penis, and the Japanese had leather and tortoiseshell sheaths. The Romans used tampons that had been dipped in herbs and condoms made of goats’ bladders.
The history of condoms in Europe begins in the sixteenth century, when the venereal disease syphilis reached epidemic proportions. In 1564, the Italian doctor Gabriel Falloppio wrote in the book ‘Morbo Gallico’, that a linen bag drenched in a solution of salt or herbs formed a protection against the disease. In the eighteenth century linen and silk condoms were used, as well as sheaths made of lambs and goats’ gut. To prevent them slipping off, a ribbon on the open end of the condom was tied around the penis. The sheaths made of bladder or gut could be used more than once; in contemporary paintings and prints, they are some-times seen hanging on a hook or a clothesline to dry.
Historians disagree about how condoms got their name. Some say a “Dr. Condom” supplied King Charles II of England with animal-tissue sheaths to keep him from fathering illegitimate children and getting diseases from prostitutes. Others claim the word comes from a “Dr. Condon” or a “Colonel Cundum.” It may be more likely that the word derives from the Latin “Condon”, meaning “receptacle.”
In the 18th century, the famous womanizer, Casanova, wore condoms made of linen. Rubber condoms were mass-produced after 1844, when Charles Goodyear patented the vulcanization of rubber, which he invented five years earlier. Condoms made of sheep’s intestines are still available. They are now disposable and should only be used once. In the 1940s and 50s, they were washed, slathered in petroleum jelly, and kept in little wooden boxes in a bedroom drawer-but they weren’t talked about-in front of the kids, anyway
What is a condom?
Condoms are a thin rubber tube, which fits over the man’s erect penis before intercourse. When the man ejaculates, he does so into the condom that prevents the sperm from entering the vagina. Most condoms are made of latex and when coated with spermicide is considered an effective means of protection from pregnancy and the spread of STIs. There are other condoms available that are made of animal intestine but these are less effective for disease prevention.
In 1839, Charles Goodyear discovered a way of processing natural rubber, which is too stiff when cold and too soft when warm, in such a way as to make it elastic. This had advantages for making condoms; unlike the sheep’s’ gut condoms, they could stretch and did not tear so quickly when used. Those very early rubbers had a seam and were as thick as an inner tube, so they could not have been very comfortable. Besides this type, small rubber condoms covering only the glans were often used in England and the United States. There was more risk of losing them, of course, and if the rubber ring were too tight, it would constrict the penis. This condom was the original “capote” (French for condom), perhaps because of its similarity to a woman’s bonnet worn at the time, also called a capote. A century later, it was hoped the invention of plastic and other man-made materials would lead to an improvement in the quality of condoms. That was not the case. What could be done however was, something about the speedy deterioration of the rubber. Since that time, condoms have not only become thinner but also more reliable. In 1995, plastic condoms went on the market in the USA.
Latex, the sap from a rubber tree is the raw material for condoms. It is obtained by making a slanted cut in the bark of the tree. A bucket is hung under the cut, which catches the sap. It is a continual and labour intensive process. More than 80% of rubber is used in the car industry, mainly for tyres. Rubber plantations are primarily located in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Nigeria, and the Ivory Coast.
The production of condoms from latex is relatively simple and since 1920, has virtually remained unchanged.
In the condom factory, a large vat is filled with latex and various chemicals are added to ensure the durability of the end product. Next, a row of glass moulds (in the form of condoms), suspended from a conveyor belt, is plunged into the latex, a technique known as “dipping”. The moulds go through a series of latex dips, turning themselves around to insure even distribution and a thin layer of latex. Between each dip, they are dried with hot air and vulcanised. This treatment insures optimal malleability, elasticity, and durability. A powerful water-jet spray then releases the condoms. Next, in the finishing phase, the condoms are dried and powdered. They then go through a series of procedures to test their quality. Afterwards a lubricant may be added and they are packaged in a hygienic, airtight aluminum pack. During the entire production process, the condoms are constantly undergoing quality controls.
Never use a condom more than once.
Always use a latex condom for effective prevention of STIs.
Lubricated condoms offer more protection from breakage and spillage of semen.
Always use water-based lubricants.
You can double up condoms during vigorous sex. Use an unlubricated condom on the bottom, and a lubricated one on the top.
Unlubricated condoms are best for oral sex.
Practical concerns when using condoms One of the problems with a condom is that you must interrupt foreplay momentarily to put it on. Some people are wrapped up in the moment and forget to practice safer sex. Making the condom a part of your sexual ritual will go a long way to ensuring proper use. Additional incentives to use condoms are the many varieties and brands to choose from. Condoms come in different sizes and some have special ridges to increase enjoyment for both partners. Experiment with different brands until you find the one that is best for you. Another concern is that latex condoms are weakened by oil-based lubricants such as Vaseline, edible oils and medications. If you wish to use lubricants during sex play make sure that they are water based.
How effective are condoms?
When condoms are used properly, they are about 95% effective in the prevention of pregnancy. When condoms are used with spermicidal foam, their effectiveness rate is nearly 100%. Furthermore, condoms provide excellent protection from the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, although the exact rates of success are unknown. The latex condom is the recommended form of STD and pregnancy prevention.
When using a condom, you check for holes and review the expiry date. Note: never carry a condom in a hot, confined place such as your wallet. Always ensure they are kept out of direct sunlight. Squeeze the tip to release the air and then roll the condom down to the base of the penis. Some rolled latex will remain at the base of the penis to make it easier to pull the condom off after ejaculation. Be sure that your fingernails or jewelry do not damage or rip the condom. After orgasm, the man should hold the base of the condom during withdrawal from the vagina or anus. After the condom is away from the genitals of the partner, the condom can be safely removed.
Try a variety of condoms to find the brand that works for you. Often, some brands provide a better fit than others, and a good fit is important to the optimal operation of the condom. Keep in mind the following:
For vaginally and anally penetrative sex, you will probably be adding lube from your plastic lube bottle to the outside of the condom. Thus, whether the condom is pre-lubed is not important if you have lube of your own.
Uncircumcised men may find contoured condoms more comfortable, and circumcised men may find form-fit condoms more comfortable.
For use on penises, select a condom with a reservoir tip. you may select a condom with a plain (non-reservoir) tip if you wish.
For fellatio, be sure you are using a condom . You do not need to add lube outside of the condom, obviously, but feel free to put some inside – perhaps a little more than usual.
Caring for Condoms
Throw them away if they are past the expiration (EXP) date or four years past the manufacturing (MFG) date. Don’t let them get punctured, or get exposed to temperatures outside their specified range (in particular, don’t keep latex condoms in your wallet, in a glove compartment where they can overheat, or in the same pocket of a purse where the safety pins and keys are kept…). Be aware that it is possible to damage a condom during use by scraping it with fingernails, jewelry, and teeth. Open condom packages carefully, by tearing the package vertically with your fingers at a corner. Do not try to test condoms yourself before use by unrolling them, filling them with water, or inflating them. This will only weaken them.
Making Condom Use Pleasurable Through Psychology
To eroticize condoms , masturbate with them. When you have found your favorite brand of condom, practice with it. Practice taking it out of the package without tearing it and practice putting it on (thinking about your favorite act of sex as you do so).
Instructions for Condom Use
1.Do not contact the vulva or anus of your partner with your penis until a condom has been applied.
2.Remove the condom from the package carefully, and note which direction is “up” (discard the condom and put on another if you try to put it on upside down; the condom should be unrolled with the tube of latex emerging from the INSIDE of the ring at the base). Do not unroll the condom before putting it on.
3.Wait until you have a full erection before putting on the condom.
4.If you want to put a small drop of lube inside the tip of the condom to increase sensation, then do so before unrolling the condom.
5.If you are uncircumcised, pull your foreskin back.
6.Roll the condom down, holding the top half-inch (or receptacle tip) of the condom between your fingers as you do so. This keeps out air bubbles, and helps the condom operate properly. It should leave a reserve space at the top end when the condom is entirely rolled down.
7.Roll the condom ALL the way down, and then give the whole thing a good squeeze to help it stay on.
8.Apply lube to the outside of the condom (except for fellatio).
9.Check the condom periodically during sex, do not penetrate past the base of the condom, and reapply/reconstitute lube whenever necessary (especially when you feel the condom start to get hot).
10.If you ejaculate while having sex, hold the condom near the base and pull out while still hard.
11.Remove the condom (possibly covering your hand with a tissue or towelette) and discard it in such a way that someone will not be exposed to it later.
12.Depending on how you removed the condom, you may then wish to wash your hands and/or genitals (or use an anti-bacterial towelette), or at least not touch your eyes or genitals until you have had a chance to do so.
Comments on Condom Slippage and Breakage
When the steps listed in “Instructions for Condom Use” are followed correctly, and the condom has been cared for properly, it will very rarely if ever slip or break for most people. However, if you do experience slippage or breakage, then in the interest of keeping things simple try the first six suggestions in “Practices that Can Help” section before trying the more extreme later suggestions.
Prevention of Condom Breakage
Condoms that Can Help
Any condom that is stronger than average, or stronger than the brand you experienced breakage with, should be of assistance (it should be noted, though, that the FDA rigorously tests condoms, and so there should be no condoms on the market, which are patently and consistently unsafe). Using a condom that is much too small can cause sometimes breakage. It should also be noted that some of the same conditions, which cause breakage, could also cause slippage, so one should consider using a condom such as Mentor if breakage is a concern.
Practices that Can Help
Using more lube outside the condom and reapplying/reconstituting it often (possibly when you feel the condom start to get hot, or sooner), and replacing the condom every once in a while can help. Men who engage in intercourse that lasts for extended periods of time can especially benefit from this advice. As usual, it’s a good idea to check condoms periodically during sex.
Recovery from a Condom Slipping Off or Tearing
Unless you are strongly allergic, apply a spermicide liberally to/inside the affected genital areas of both partners, and let it remain there for at least fifteen minutes. Men may urinate and wash their genitals before applying the spermicide for substantial extra protection. Do not douche vaginally or anally following condom breakage; this will only push possibly infectious substances in further. In general, you may wish to always wash any areas of your body that come into contact with body fluids of another. If you believe that you have been exposed to an STD, see your health care provider as soon as possible.
Advanced Condom Use
Switching from Anal to Vaginal Penetration
If you plan to switch from anal to vaginal intercourse during sex, take care to avoid transmitting bacteria from one region to the other. Different barriers must be used to avoid increased risk of vaginitis. Basically, take off the old condom, and put on a new one.
Putting on a Condom with One’s Mouth
Open the condom, and unroll it a little way Open your lips into a letter “O” Put the condom (making sure that it’s facing the right direction) between your upper and lower lips, in front of the teeth Holding on to the penis or dildo with one hand, put your mouth on that penis or dildo. Tighten your lips and push down on the rim of the condom Push from the neck to unroll the condom down the penis or dildo
Wearing Two Condoms At Once
The friction of latex on latex can cause problems for those who use more than one latex condom at once. The use of more than one latex condom at once is considered a last resort, after the suggestions in “Preventing Condom Breakage” have been followed and found to be insufficient.
Making Safer Sex Fun
For many, safer sex has become a chore- something that you do so you don’t suffer the consequences. The portrayal of safer sex in the media is often sterile, almost medical. We are bombarded with images and advice about safer sex. Condom companies market their products on television; AIDS activists make us fear for our lives (and rightly so) and news stories tell us about the ever-increasing number of unwanted pregnancies. The fact that many of us have to change our behavior is quite clear; sex can be dangerous in certain ways with certain people. But wait a minutesex is supposed to be fun, to be a means of expressing love, and of sharing in one another. Well, sex can still be fun, it just has to be practiced in a newfangled way. Hopefully some of the suggestions below will help you to learn some new tricks to being safe and having pleasurable, satisfying sex.
Making the condom ritual a winner with your lover
The condom is the most widely used method for safer sex. Although the condom is one of the best ways to protect against several STDs, many men and women complain that the condom tends to ‘dull the feeling’, making sex less pleasurable. Well, you’re going to have to live with a little reduction in sensation, because latex does act to cover the nerves that produce pleasure on the penis, and alter the feeling of the penis in the vagina for the woman. However, all is not lost- there are ways to increase sensation for you and your partner when wearing a condom.
Try a variety of different condoms. Experiment with the length, thickness and features of the condom. Some condoms come with ribbing or ridges that act to increase stimulation for the receiving partner. Other condoms come with flavoring and fun colors as a pleasant alternative. Buy a bunch of different kinds (you can find them in adult stores and pharmacies) and try them all until you find the ones that feel just right. The trying is almost as fun as the finding!
Dress your condom up for pleasure
Just before you put on the condom, spread some water-based lubricant (also found at most drug stores) on the head of your penis. The glans is then gently massaged by the lubricant as intercourse takes place. As you can imagine this one is real popular, and the enjoyment starts the minute you run to the bedroom and try it!
Spend more time on foreplay
Most foreplay is perfectly safe, and is often as pleasurable as sex itself. Safer sex couples who want to get the most out of every bit of lovemaking will stretch foreplay until both are near or approaching climax. Put that condom on and enjoy each other -sex after lasting foreplay will make you forget the condom is even there.
Maintain a positive attitude
Experiment with which partner puts the condom on. Try to incorporate the activity into your sexual ‘routine’. Be creative with the before and after, and always make it fun!
Condoms, dental dams, and oral sex
Performing oral sex using a dental dam or condom can be an unpleasant taste experience. One major complaint about latex has always been its displeasing taste. What is worse, latex that is pretreated with lubricant can turn any normal condom into a nightmare for the taste buds.
Here is some advice:
Get your own lubricants
If you find your own brand of lubricant, you can start buying unlubricated condoms or dental dams to use for oral sex, and lubricate when you are ready to have intercourse. Also, many lubricants come in a variety of flavors which many a mouth finds more pleasant than latex.
Buy flavored condoms and dental dams.
Most erotic boutiques have a variety of condoms, which will please even the most discriminating tastes. You may even like the taste of flavored latex more than the real thing!
Some alternatives to the dental dam
Dental dams offer a unique kind of problem. Many people do not like to use dental dams because they like to feel the tongue to clitoris or tongue to anus stimulation. Along with dental dams, you can employ some other stimulation to complete the experience. Wear a latex glove covered in lubricant to further tease your partner’s anus or vagina. If dental dams are becoming a problem because you are tired of holding something on your partner, you can use plastic wrap and wrap it around the vagina and/or anus. While cellophane is not as good protection as latex (and should never be used instead of condoms), using it will keep the hands free to use elsewhere.
Use lubricant inside and outside the condom. (Many condoms are pre-lubricated.) Lubrication helps prevent rips and tears, and it increases sensitivity. Use only water-based lubricants, such as K-Y jelly or LUVE, with latex condoms. Oil-based lubricants like petroleum jelly, cold cream, butter, or mineral and vegetable oils damage latex.