“Exploring how one small object revolutionized contraception, protection, and everything in-between.”
The Museum of Sex, in partnership with the makers of Trojan Brand Condoms, made safe sex sexy again with Rubbers: the Life, History & Struggle of the Condom, a detailed look into the provocative life of the condom. The exhibition took a fun, functional, and fundamental look at the history and progression of the condom from a single object to its role as a multidisciplinary artifact. Influencing everything from science and art to politics and religion, the condom, which has remained at the epicenter of debate since its inception, rose from its humble beginnings to become a barometer of morality and a savior in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Ribbed, flavored, and studded, contemporary condoms have undergone a monumental transformation from their early linen incarnations; now customizable sizes, shapes, and textures not only promote safety, but equally enhance pleasure. This exhibition traces the life and history of the condom from creation and quality-controlled testing to its integral role in safe sex campaigns to its historical and continued status as an emblem of both promiscuity and responsibility. Simultaneously lauded for its ability to combat the transmission of deadly diseases while also condemned by some for its contraceptive qualities, the condom has become the forerunner in moral debates regarding contraception and protection. Through artifacts, art, photography, historical ephemera, and film, patrons explored the epic impact the condom has had upon our society, morality, and health.