Thursday, October 02, 2008

inner dork: contraceptive through the ages

Did you know...

The earliest known illustration of a man using a condom is 12-15,000 years old and the illustration can be seen on a cave in France.
(I would really like to see this illustration. I mean, how is this depiction illustrated?)

The oldest condoms were found in the foundations of Dudley Castle in England. They were made of animal gut and date from 1640.
(Was the sperm that old, or the animal gut?)

Dating from 1850 BCE, in ancient Egypt, recipes for barrier methods of birth control were buried with the dead to prevent unintended pregnancies in the afterlife.
Spermicides included: honey, sodium carbonate, and crocodile dung.
(Can you imagine the croc dung and the aftereffects of using dung as birth control? Say the smell? The ooze?...okay, I'll stop there.)

By 1550 BCE Egyptian women used cotton-lint tampons soaked in the fermented juice of acacia plants to prevent pregnancy.

By the first century, women in India were using rock salt soaked in oil for birth control. Other methods included honey, clarified butter, and palasha tree seeds, as well as elephant dung and water.
(Again with the smell and ooze.)

Casanova takes credit for inventing the diaphragm. He would use the halves of squeezed lemons and place it over the cervix.

However, Greeks used pomegranate halves as diaphragms.
(Take that Casanova.)

Methods used for sponges: tissue paper, beeswax, rubber, wool, pepper (ouch!), seeds, silver, tree roots, rock salt, fruits, vegetables (Hmm, which ones?), and balls of opium (I'm sure it numbed the cervix, or maybe the sperm, but that's probably about it.)

AND finally, Lysol was originally marketed as a vaginal douche to use after intercourse.
(Yes, there was internal damage, infection, and even deaths.)
(Cannot even begin to image the pain and desperation.)

Oh, and 7-UP was also used as a vaginal douche to prevent pregnancy.
(Sweet and bubbly.)

Thank god for the 21 century and the access to information.

6 comments:

Jay said...

"The earliest known illustration of a man using a condom is 12-15,000 years old and the illustration can be seen on a cave in France."

Is it fate that you would mention this as I'm studying cave art in Anthro. right now?!

More than likely, it is either the Lascaux Cave or the Niaux Cave. (the Lascaux cave has only a single human depiction out of 600 paintings and 1500 etchings. Maybe that's it.) There's another cave, the Chauvet cave, but it's around 30,000 to 32,000 years old.

Am I turning you on yet? ;-)

Party Girl said...

Jay: Always.

Always. Always. Always.

Party Girl said...

Jay: Always.

Always. Always. Always.

Party Girl said...

So nice, I said it twice.

Party Girl said...

or eight.

Todd said...

You forgot garlic ... eat enough of it and members of the opposite sex (and vampires) will flee. Being alone is the ultimate contraceptive.