For perhaps 30,000 years, humankind has sought methods to enjoy sex without incurring unwanted pregnancy. From masturbation to condoms to drugs, the search goes on, with untold approaches to meeting this need on the techno-horizon.
1900: Sigmund Freud published, The Interpretation of Dreams, in which he attached quite unhealthy mental conditions to sexual desires both men and women commonly express in dreams. Reading that one's sexual desires indicate mental illness certainly curbed a lot of sexual pursuit.
1902: Hamilton Beach Corporation patented the first commercially available vibrator (the 5th appliance ever to be electrified after the sewing machine, fan, tea kettle, toaster, vacuum cleaner, and iron).
1920: Trojan Brand Condoms were first mass marketed in this year.
Soon afterward, the all-important coming-of-age ritual of a circular ring forming on a teen-age boy’s wallet from the “rubber” he kept in case he got lucky, was established.
It would be another 30 years, however, before they could be gotten out of a machine across America at the local Texaco gas station for $0.25.
1930: Tubal ligation (informally known as getting one’s “tubes tied“) to prevent fertilization becomes a viable surgical option for woman around the US and Europe.
1953: The first approved oral contraceptive (the “pill”) is distributed by US doctors beginning in this year, spawning a wave of sexual promiscuity that lasted decades.
1965: In France, women fought for reproductive rights and helped end the nation's long ban on birth control.
1970: In Italy, women gained the right to access to birth control information.
1972: The American pornographic film, Deep Throat hit the theatres (making Linda Lovelace one of the world’s most desirable women for a short time) and making performance of fellatio a curiosity for countless sexually active anywhere the film was distributed.
1976: The IUD, the long-acting reversible copper-based intrauterine device that is placed inside the uterus is first marketed.
1983: The contraceptive “sponge,” the soft, pliable suppository combining both a physical barrier as well as a spermicidal when inserted into the vagina and over the cervix prior to intercourse, is made available.
1985: The so-called “female condom,” a thin, soft, loose-fitting sheath with a flexible ring at each end is invented in reaction to the apparent HIV epidemic.
The inner ring at the closed end of the sheath is used to insert the condom inside the vagina and to hold it in place during intercourse, while the rolled outer ring at the open end of the sheath remains outside the vagina and covers part of the external genitalia. Female condoms are also promoted to be used by the receptive partner during anal sex.
1987: While inflatable sex dolls had long been smuggled into the United States since the 1960s (and sold in sex shops around the country), it was in this year that the law against “importing obscene or indecent items” was abolished after a five-year court battle which concluded in a ruling that said disallowing such imports violated free trade regulation.
Since that time (though rarely imported now) the once cheaply-made vinyl version that was commonly given as gag gifts, has evolved into lifelike dolls that can cost as much as $7,000. (Rumors say Japanese robotics experts are currently developing a fully-operational version that may sell for upwards of $25,000. *See Android, 2007.) Say what you will about having sex with an inflatable doll, it is indeed “safe sex” with no possibility of pregnancy or disease.
1990: Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERMs), a class of compounds that act on the estrogen receptor, selectively inhibiting or stimulating estrogen-like action in various tissues, are created.
Phytoserms are scientifically accepted SERMs from a botanical source.
1991: While pornography had been freely traded across the Internet since the 1960s, the advent of the World Wide Web and the opening of the Internet to the general public launched an explosion of online pornography that has changed the face of adult films and magazines. Today, an estimated 75—80% of all Internet usage is applied to viewing porno. An outlet for masturbatory fantasies, many argue this is perhaps one of the best methods of birth control.
2002: The “Patch,” a transdermal patch applied to the skin that releases synthetic estrogen and progestin hormones to prevent pregnancy is made available.
2002: NuvaRing, a flexible plastic (ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymer) ring that releases a low dose of a progestin and an estrogen over 3 weeks, manufactured by Merck, is made available by prescription.
2006: Implanon, a single-rod long acting reversible hormonal contraceptive subdermal implant that is inserted just under the skin of a woman's upper arm which releases progestina over a three year period of time, was first approved for use in Indonesia in 1998 (and subsequently approved for use in over 30 other countries), with FDA approval in the United States on July 17, 2006.
2007: A Japanese outlet for animatronics love dolls launched Android Magazine, a publication specifically aimed at love-doll aficionados and robot designers, its premier issue selling over 10,000 copies. This magazine is credited with almost single-handedly bringing about the advent of a totally-functional lifelike sex doll which will be ready for consumers within the next year or two (2011).
2009: Several tech journals announce the advent and soon-to-be reality of real-life, inter-active, person-to-person cyber sex. Test runs of this technology are being conducted at this very moment.
Contraception: A History, Robert Jutte
A History of Contraception, Angus McLaren
Images via Wikipedia.org
> Sex and Older Women
> Birth Control, Part I
> Health Benefits of Sex
> Sex in Middle Age
> Curatives for HIV
> How to Make Sex Better
> Sex and the Five Senses
> Coming of Age Ritual Music
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