We've come a long way.
With Valentine's Day over, it's time to celebrate another likewise important occasion: National Condom Day. You'd think that condoms are the revolutionary invention of the 20th century, but they're actually not. In fact, they have existed for centuries.
According to this LifeStyles infographic, the oldest known image of a sheathed penis was in 15,000 B.C. The very first documented condom was during the reign of the Roman Empire, which were hand-sewn pieces of linen.
Asian aristocracy used glans condoms (which only covered the head of the penis) made from intestine, oiled paper, an animal horn or a tortoise shell. And during the 1400s to the 1700s, the primary materials used for condoms were linen, goat intestines, or goat bladder (at least they had choices).
The first rubber condom was invented in the 1800s, which proved to be more reliable. Unfortunately, they were also incredibly thick. So for the longest time, people's choices were between the flexible but kind of gross animal intestines, and the cleaner but thicker and unsatisfying rubber.
Fortunately, a genius invention in 1920 by the Young Rubber's Company (now the brand we know as Trojan) arrived in the form of what we know as latex condoms, and the lubricated condom arrived decades later in 1957 in the UK.
The turning point for condoms' impacts on people's sex lives was in 1985 when the AIDS epidemic called for more options. By 1990, we had more condom options than we knew what to do with, in different brands, colors, sizes, texture, and even flavors.
From plain old linen and intestines, who would have thought we'd get to the bright yellow and banana-flavored penis protection of today?
Check out the infographic below!