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October 22, 2008


Laura Essendine

Whilst researching my book on the history of contraception, Casanova's Condoms, I encountered some weird and wonderful kinds of condom.

Egyptians soldiers (when they fought without clothes) wore them as penis protectors and they were helpfully colour-coded to signify the rank of the wearer.

Casanova called his an "English Riding Coat" and had it crafted out of linen. Louis XVI’s were hand made in England, tailored to fit and lined with silk and velvet.There was even a trade in London in the sale of washed, second hand condoms.

Add to this the use of dried intestines, fish bladders, snakeskins and even tortoiseshell.

It makes on glad we've moved on!

Laura Essendine
Author - Casanova's Condoms
a lighthearted history of contraception.

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