Not much shocks Team Staying Alive, but these contraceptive techniques certainly did.
It’s hard to imagine our sex lives without the wide variety of contraceptives on the market right now. From the humble condom, to IUD’s and the pill, we are given the freedom to make our own decisions about what is the most comfortable method of contraception for ourselves, and our partners. So, spare a thought for our unlucky ancestors who had to endure (often toxic) experimental methods of protection. Join MTV Staying Alive as we count down the craziest contraceptives in history…
7. Cola Douche
Who doesn’t love a drink of fizzy cola? Well drinking is one thing, using it as a contraceptive is quite another – but that’s exactly what used to happen. In times past ladies were led to believe that a post coital cola douche could be used as a tool to help prevent unwanted pregnancy. Sticky.
6. Crocodile Dung
Ok, so this one sounds pretty gross. However it’s been stated that the Ancient Egyptians were the first people to think they’d concocted a birth control which actually worked. The innovative thinkers mixed a paste consisting of crocodile faeces, and placed it inside the vagina forming an alleged sperm barrier – albeit an incredibly smelly and unhygienic one.
5. Squat and Sneeze
This one is relatively straightforward. Squats are all the rage, particularly in the gym (or when using a public toilet). However in ancient Greece, the physician Soranus recommended that women should combine their squats with a sneeze shortly after sex to prevent any unwanted babies. Messy.
One of the trippiest modes of contraception ever invented was using opium flowers as a makeshift diaphragm. Prior to reaching the highs of pleasure, similar to the crocodile dung method, women would fill their vaginas with the leaves to prevent the chances of pregnancy.
3. Lemon Diaphragms
Legendary lothario Casanova led a life filled with sexual escapades without amassing an equally legendary brood. How did he manage? Well according to his memoirs he was partial to experimenting with a plethora of methods of birth control including sheep-bladder condoms and using half of a lemon as a cervical cap for his chosen mistress. Sorry Cas – it really doesn’t sound that sexy to us.
2. Blacksmiths’ Water
Another nod to the ancient Greeks in the efforts of population control was the theory that drinking the water blacksmiths used to cool metal materials would prevent women from falling pregnant. The belief was that the lead found in the water would keep ladies sterile – a belief which remained up until the World War I, which saw women volunteering to work in lead factories to keep them child free.
1. Tortoise Shell Condoms
The trusty condom has always been a staple on the contraception market, however it has taken on many forms during its lifetime including lamb’s sheath, rice paper and leather. However, none of the aforementioned were quite bizarre enough for this list, thus the tortoise shell condom takes the prize as our wackiest historical contraceptive. Thought to have been invented by the Japanese around the 6th century, the hollowed out shell of a tortoise would be placed atop the penis to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
How many of the above had you heard of before reading this list? Tell us below.