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Cory Silverberg

My First Condom

By February 20, 2013

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I grew up using condoms. I can't remember a time when I didn't know what condoms were for. Mind you, the first 20 or 30 times I used a condom I was alone. I did go through a short period of abstaining from condom use, though not from masturbation. By the time I got to have sex with another person condoms were a part of my sex life like seat belts were a part of driving. It felt weird to be doing one thing without putting on the other.

I would have been 10 or 11 years old when I came across a supply of condoms in a grown-up's bedside table. By "came across" of course I mean "found while snooping." At that age I thought I had exhausted every possibility for variations on masturbation, and introducing condoms seemed to be something novel. I have since discovered that masturbation is an activity with practically limitless variations. But what did I know at 10. Also I associated condoms with grown up sex and figured why not take a relatively safe step closer to that possibility. Also, I liked to steal things.

This early association between condoms and sexual pleasure meant, and still means, that I think condoms are hot. Condoms mean something fun is about to happen. I may one day find myself in need of a catheter, and at that point I imagine my relationship with condoms will change. But for now we're still on good terms. The best of terms really.

This makes me an oddity of course. Most people think of condoms as a necessary nuisance or something to be avoided whenever possible.

If we could harness just a fraction of the hand wringing that public health officials do over how to get more people to use condoms, and transform that into hands rolling condoms over toys, penises, what have you, we would surely see a significant drop in the rates of unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections.

February is National Condom Month and if you're not like me, and you don't like condoms, I thought I'd share some of my favorite condom links, many of which are funny, some of which are educational. If you do nothing else to celebrate the month, pick one link below, check it out, and then share it with someone. Making condoms a regular part of our sexual conversations may be one way to change our relationship to them.

To celebrate National Condom Month Trojan condoms produced this funny and insightful Animated History of Condoms

Watch and listen to Paula Treichler, professor of gender and women's studies and African studies at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, talk about her forthcoming book which is something of a cultural history of the condom, at the Chicago Humanities Festival.

Condom Info from About.com:

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