History (Evolution) of Birth Control et al.

Newsweek has a fascinating slide show recapitulating the history of birth control. From chastity belts to Lysol douches to female condoms, human history waxes and wanes from societal endorsement of abstinence and safe sex. Advocating for the practice of safe sex has been a crucial platform of the Obama administration. This certainly was an effective tactic in The Girl Next Door when Matt and his nerdy “tripod” of friends created an educational sex video featuring porn stars. And it worked!

On a related note, boys in the 18th and 19th century were fitted with penile clamps, preventing them from masturbating or having erections at night. It essentially was a “one size fits all” cock ring with jutting barbed spikes (imagery is enough, not visual media necessary). Before the development of polysomnography and the subsequent discovery of nightly erections (nine a night!) coinciding with REM sleep, it was assumed that these nightly erections were associated with “wet dreams” and not a physiological phenonmenon called nocturnal penile tumenscence. Nocturnal penile tumenscence enables doctors to determine if erectile dysfunction is psychologically and/or physiocally mediated. It’s a more invasive measure than the “postage stamp” test. Perhaps Charlotte would had benefitted from this information…..

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