Condoms dominate the restaurant’s decor — mannequins wear outfits made from them, the lampshades are covered in them, and diners receive them at the end of their meal in lieu of mints.
From “Cabbages and Condoms: The Restaurant That Serves Green Curry and Birth Control,” Slate, December 13, 2013.
Okay, who’s opening one in the U.S.?
Birth control, way back when
"Peabody’s Wayback Machine" image by Twechie.
Modern life isn’t perfect, but there are definitely some perks. Where previous generations had to carry paper maps around while traveling and make do with Eggos, we’ve got smart phones and gluten-free waffles. There are also a lot more options when it comes to birth control.
So what birth control methods were they using in the U.S. while dialing land-lines and watching Bewitched? Let’s get in the WABAC machine and find out! In our new series, “Birth Control, Way Back When,” we’ll be exploring birth control methods from the days of yore, when dropping by Walgreens for Plan B on your way to brunch was as far in the future as a self-driving car.We’ve scoured sources both popular and scholarly to bring you the highlights of birth control from a variety of decades. If you can’t wait for the first post, some of our favorite resources on the topic are Linda Gordon’s The Moral Property of Women: A History of Birth Control Politics in America, Elain Tyler May’s America and the Pill: A History of Promise, Peril, and Liberation, and Planned Parenthood’s 3 minute video history of oral contraceptives.
Got a story about birth control methods past or a juicy bit of birth control trivia? Drop us a line in the comments; we’d love to hear from you!
Method Monday: Birth Control for TV Characters—Round Two!
In Round Two of this Method Monday special (you can read the original here), join us in speculating about how the cast of Grey’s Anatomy gets down, whether New Girl’s Jess tells Nick to wrap it up, and just how pregnant the vampires of Bon Temps, Louisiana, can get.
Character 1: Jessica Day, New Girl
Here’s why: It’s Jess! She’s wacky, she’s spontaneous, and she’s so socially awkward that she’s never sure when she’s going to end up scoring. She needs a method that’s reliable and portable, and with her unstable employment (read: no health insurance), she probably wants one that doesn’t require repeat visits to a health care provider.
The copper IUD is the perfect method for Jess: low-cost, effective, and environment-friendly. And with the IUD, Jess can go where the moment takes her. Even when it’s an extremely awkward moment.
Jess is also responsible (and awkward) enough to carry around a box of 100 condoms with her on Valentine’s Day—just in case.
Character 2: Tara Thornton, True Blood
Her method: Male condom + Being a vampire (we don’t have that one in our method explorer)
Here’s why: Tara started out True Blood as a typical Southern girl—tough but sweet, with a big crush on her best friend’s brother. Then the show put her through the wringer: she got brainwashed, her boyfriend was murdered, she was kidnapped and tortured by a vampire, and she was ultimately turned into a vampire herself. Tara 2.0: not so nice.
Early Tara seems like a condom kind of girl—male condoms are easy to find, effective, and essential for STI protection (helpful when a girl’s trying to make it with Jason Stackhouse). Turning into a vampire eliminated Tara’s need for birth control: Vamps can’t get pregnant and seem immune to human diseases. Silver lining? (Ohhh, vampire pun!)
Character 3: Lady Mary Crawley, Downton Abbey
Her method: Not right now (dear)
It’s the early twentieth century on Downton, and despite being sexually adventurous, Mary’s options for birth control are pretty limited. While early versions of condoms exist, most birth control is extremely primitive. (Lysol douching, anyone?) Good thing Mary really wanted a bun in the oven after marrying her cousin-love Matthew!
If she hadn’t wanted a pregnancy, Mary would probably have had to rely on some version of “I have a headache” for birth control. It’s usually a temporary method, but hey—when it works, it’s 100% effective.
Characters 4-57: The Cast of Grey’s Anatomy
Here’s why: Oh, you thought Grey’s Anatomy was about medicine? Actually, a much bigger focus in Grey’s storylines is who’s sleeping with whom. Or who isn’t sleeping with anybody at all.
Remember the time the whole hospital got syphilis? All kinds of birth control methods have shown up on Grey’s, from abstinence to sterilization, but the one we really hope that everyone at Seattle Grace is using effectively? Condoms. Any kind of condoms.
Who else should we be speculating about? Got theories of your own? Let us know in the comments.
Batting Glove, Bone Blanket, Bullet Bag, Chicken Chariot, Cock-a-doodle- don’t, Conception Rejection, Dunce Cap, Elastic Prophylactic, Freudian Slip, Full Latex Jacket, Groin Cloth, Head Shed, Jimmy Hat, Jimi Hindrance, Lone Ranger’s Mask, Love Glove…
Got any? Visit TeenSource.com.
First of all, don’t panic. Teen Source is a great resource for condoms (free ones!) if you’re in California and in your teens. In California but over 19? We’ve got some tips for finding free condoms in LA and San Francisco. Not in California at all? Here’s 5 ways to find condoms anywhere in the country.
7 Steps To Take When the Condom Doesn’t Make It
There’s nothing scarier than finishing an intense session only to look down and realize that something was left behind by your partner. Where did the condom go? Unfortunately what that means is that the condom is still having a bit of fun although you and your partner are done. Even worse: It now has a few (hundred million) friends to join the party.
But just because the condom breaks or doesn’t make it to your next bedroom bash doesn’t mean all hope it lost. Here are 7 things you should do instead of panicking.
1. See the doctor.
Maybe you’ve discovered the condom broke and you’re too freaked out to figure out where it went. First, rest assured that it’s impossible for it to be floating around between your spleen and your liver. If you don’t feel comfortable enough to “explore,” see a doctor who can go where your hand may not dare to—otherwise you could risk an infection.
2. Double up if you’ve skipped pills.
Here’s what to do if you realize you missed a pill (or two, or three…). Depending how long it’s been, you may want to use a backup method.
3. Opt for Plan B.
Emergency contraception (a.k.a. Plan B) is now available without a prescription and can work up to five days after unprotected sex—though the sooner you take it, the more effective it is.
4. Cope with copper.
ParaGard is a copper IUD that can be inserted by a doctor up to five days after unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy after the fact. It increases cervical mucus and repels sperm.
5. Get tested.
If you’re sexually active you should be getting tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) every six months. It’s especially important when having multiple partners so that if you get an STI, you can narrow down who may have infected you or been infected by you. Keep in mind that you can’t get accurate results for some STIs until at least six months after unprotected sex, so get tested regularly.
6. Think about what went wrong.
Was the condom expired? Did you put it on backwards? Not enough lubrication? All of these are common culprits that contribute to condom failure. Think about how you can better prepare so you can avoid future scary situations.
7. Plan for next time.
If you need a better birth control, Bedsider can help break down your options. Emergency contraception can even be bought beforehand to be kept on stand-by for emergency situations.
Toya Sharee is a community health educator and parenting educator who has a passion for helping young women build their self-esteem and make well-informed choices about their sexual health. She is regularly featured on MadameNoire.com and blogs about everything from beauty to breakfast cereal to love and relationships. Follow her on Twitter @TheTrueTSharee or visit her blog, Bullets and Blessings.
Most condoms are made of superthin latex, to help a man forget that he’s wearing one. But the Origami Condom, one of the designs spotlighted by the Gates Foundation, is intended to be felt. Its accordion-like silicone folds allow it to slip onto the penis more easily than a rolled condom, and generate pleasurable friction while in use. The Origami Condom has a roomier tip than a traditional condom and a lubricated interior, which creates additional tactile sensation as the wearer moves—the difference between wrapping yourself in plastic wrap versus silk sheets.
At colleges with convenient health clinics offering a range of sexual health services—like birth control and emergency contraception, pregnancy tests, and testing for HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs)—students were:
—less likely to have an accidental pregnancy (4%) compared to students at schools without a clinic (7%);
—more likely to use a method of birth control the last time they had sex (92% versus 87%); and
—more likely to use a condom the last time they had sex (74% versus 60%).
For the boys, carrying a condom is a right of passage. Hell, your school (or maybe even your parent) provided you with this latex token of sexual freedom. If you’re a woman and you are carrying a condom, it’s assumed that you’ve come to this rooftop party to sleep with all the men present and perhaps even the rest of Brooklyn, too.
If you’ve ever had a condom break, it’s probably because it was stored incorrectly, expired, or put on wrong.
P.S. STORES CAN SELL YOU EXPIRED CONDOMS! Check the expiration date!
Yep, mistakes like storing condoms in the wrong place for too long, putting them on wrong, or opening the wrapper with something sharp are the main reason condoms fail. Our humble contribution? Step-by-step instructions for putting on a condom on our website and, for folks with an iPhone, an app to let you practice! (You know what they say about practice…)