Shadows Condom Tin-Courtesy of the Museum of SexLeave it to the Museum of Sex in New York City to come up with an entire show about … condoms.
Turns out that annoying, smelly little jimmy hat is pretty interesting! I chatted with Jessica Vaccaro, press officer at MoSex, and gleaned some interesting info about condoms.
- French cave paintings (at the Grotte des Combarelles, if you're in the neighborhood) reportedly show people wearing condoms.
- It was a syphilis epidemic in the 1500s that kicked off modern condom use. Early condoms were made out of fish bladders, animal intestines, and — excuse me – tortoise shell?! Casanova was supposed to have preferred linen.
Condom Dress courtesy of artist Adriana Bertini
- At first, condoms were meant to be used, washed out, and re-used. Eeeyuw.
- Despite their syphilis-preventing properties, condoms were often illegal because they could be used for contraception. (You know. Every sperm is sacred, and whatnot.)
- The Ramses company was founded by Julius Schmidt, a sausage caser in New York City. Sausage caser! Snk, snk, snk!
- In England, guys used to get their condoms at the barber's. You'd get your hair cut, and then the barber would ask you, "Do you need a little something for the weekend, sir?"
- It wasn't until the 1970s that bathroom dispensers eliminated the embarrassment of having to ask a pharmacist for them.
The exhibition has all sorts of condom-related objets d'art – including a dress made of condoms. (Paging Tim Gunn!)
Who knew rubbers were so fascinating?