Ooooh, Ahhhh: The History of the Condom

From the amorous name "love sock," the perplexing term "jimmy hat," to the always creative "dick-sock," the condom has been around for ages. Here is a brief history of our favorite penis protector.

Packet of Condoms
(Image credit: Courtesy of Getty)

5 History Stages of Condoms in Images

(Image credit: Courtesy of Getty)

1. Ancient Sheaths, 1,000 B.C.

Aside from the "pulling out" and rhythm methods, the ancient Egyptians used linen cloth to protect against sexually transmitted disease. In addition, Egyptian women used crocodile dung and honey as spermicides. (Wonder what they used to clear up the fungal infection that ensued?)

2. Painful Protection, 1400s

Fast forward, and it seemed as if cultures were mimicking our modern-day condoms, like in China where they covered the head of the penis with lamb intestines or oiled silk paper (kind of resembles a modern condom, right?). Except in Japan, people used condoms, named 'glans' which were made out of animal horns, fine leather, and tortoise shell (Kill. Me. Now.).

3. The Rubber, 1839

Goodbye slimy animal intestines on the "d" and thank you to Charles Goodyear of Goodyear Tires, who discovered how to create condoms in mass quantities. Goodyear's invention was better than the former condom choices of mammal bladders and shells, the Goodyear protector smelled like rubber (surprise) and had seams running down the sides like tires. Fun fact: This is where the term "rubbers" comes from.

4. The Latex Savior, 1912

Julius Fromm from Poland took Goodyear's rubber condom model and perfected it. He created glass molds that resembled a penis and dipped them into a rubber solution, which he later vulcanized in an oven. The condoms came packed with a slip of paper to hand off to the pharmacist, which read, "Please discreetly hand me a packet of three Fromm's Act."

5. The Fun Condom, 2014

Modern condoms are like Skittles: They come in an array of colors from red to yellow with a variety of flavors like strawberry to grape. There are hundreds of textures from ribbed, studded, and dotted to heighten pleasure — some even have an attached vibrating device. On that note, enjoy some safe sex and "taste the rainbow."


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