The condom, this little piece of latex as we know it today, is actually more than 8000 years old. It's absolutely crazy, isn't it? And yet, his story is not that popular.

In this blog article, we tell you the history and evolution of the condom, from antiquity to the present day, supplemented by a short guide to help you choose the condom that suits you best, by its size and its subject, while being interested in the alternative of the female condom.



How was the condom invented ? Where does the hood come from? Its history is very rich, since it has evolved over 8000 years . We will focus here on the main points, to discover how the condom became the one we know today.
If the first traces of condoms date back to 6000 BC, during ancient Egypt , with paintings were found representing Egyptians equipped with "penis sheaths" for aesthetic and ornamental purposes, the condom as we know it today Today has evolved well.
Until modern times, condoms were made from linen (like that of Tutankhamun found in his tomb) or from animal intestines (like balloons) or the colons and bladders of sheep or of lamb. It was from 1855 that the first rubber condoms were offered, thanks to the Americans Charles Goodyear and Thomas Hancock, precursors of vulcanized rubber which made the condom much more resistant . Then they passed the baton to the firm of a certain Charles Macintosh who would then initiate the production of these modern condoms . In 1860, condoms were produced on a large scale and sold for quite a price, even though they were supposed to be washable and reusable (which is absolutely not the case today). At the time, doctors mainly spoke of the condom as a " male protector " to protect against sexually transmitted diseases like syphilis, and not as a means of contraception , for fear of associating the condom with prostitution.
It was a little later that the little piece of rubber really became popular, when natural latex was replaced by synthetic latex . During the summer of 1918, the American army sent to Europe counted nearly 18,000 soldiers missing every day due to STIs . During the Second World War, the command changed strategy and put aside its moral prevention based on abstinence to distribute free condoms , and thus reduce the spread of these diseases . It was also the time of the great industrial revolution with the invention of latex in the 1920s, which allowed condoms to be much more elastic and also to be pre-lubricated , ribbed or flavored .
In the 1950s, in the southern United States, razor blade dispensers were transformed to install 25,000 condom vending machines in public toilets or gas stations. In France, the advertising of condoms was only authorized in 1987, subject to approval from the National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products, in the same way as medicine. And then the rest, you know it!


· Since January 1, 2023, certain condoms are free and without a prescription in pharmacies for young people aged under 26 , or covered by Health Insurance at 60% on medical prescription for those 26 and over .

· In March 2024, already 16.7 million condoms have been distributed free of charge since this measure came into force.

· It is estimated that the use of contraceptives, including condoms, prevents more than 300 million unplanned pregnancies per year.

· Today, the condom remains the most effective solution to protect against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs and STIs), including HIV infection .



To guarantee you a certain comfort and safe efficiency without putting aside the sensations of pleasure , it is important to take into account a few elements when choosing your condom. First of all, to ensure the safety of the condom , check these three criteria:

  • The condom must bear the CE marking which certifies its compliance with essential safety requirements.
  • The condom must bear the NF marking which indicates that the manufacturer submits the product to laboratory control.
  • The condom must be manufactured in accordance with an ISO standard .
Latex or latex-free, which material to choose?

What is latex? Invented in 1920, latex revolutionized the manufacture of condoms by making them much more elastic , since they can stretch up to eight times their size. Latex is extracted from the sap of the tropical rubber tree, Hevea brasiliensis.
If, upon contact with latex, you experience irritation, itching, coughing, shortness of breath, or eye irritation, then you are probably allergic to latex . In severe cases, this can cause asthma, a feeling of suffocation or loss of consciousness.
Rest assured, latex-free condom solutions exist:

  • The polyisoprene condom , a synthetic form of latex that does not contain the proteins responsible for allergic reactions, is manufactured chemically unlike latex.
  • The polyurethane condom , more resistant than latex, transparent, odorless and extra-thin (0.045mm).
  • The sensoprene condom , a synthetic material which is said to be almost imperceptible. It is less thin than the polyurethane one but more comfortable.
  • The hypoallergenic condom in deproteinized latex , that is to say low in natural latex proteins.
The sensations of pleasure remain the same , since latex-free condoms provide a natural skin-to-skin sensation, and do not emit the smell of latex. The little extra of these latex-free condoms is that, unlike latex ones, they are compatible with oil-based lubricants , which offer excellent glide duration, much better than water-based lubricants.

And condom/lubricant compatibility? As a general rule, we reassure you: intimate lubricants based on water , glycerin or silicone are compatible with 100% of condoms, with or without latex. Do you want to be sure of your choice? We invite you to consult our lubricant comparator which helps you at a glance to check compatibility with the condom you have chosen.

How to choose the size of your condom?

For optimal comfort and above all for guaranteed effectiveness , it is important to know what size condom to choose . When you wear it, it should neither be too tight nor too loose, and should cover the entire penis , from the glans to the pubis. To find out your size, measure the length of your fully erect penis, from the base to the tip, then measure the width (diameter) of your penis or its circumference, in order to accurately choose the size of condom that suits you. will suit best.
While there are penises of all sizes and diameters, penises are generally classified according to three lengths/widths:

  • Small : up to 14cm in length and 47mm to 47mm in width.
  • Medium : 14cm to 17cm in length and 50mm to 52mm in width.
  • Large : over 17.5cm in length and 54mm to 56mm in width.


Like the male condom, the history of the female condom dates back several millennia. It is in Greek mythology that we find the first traces: Pasiphaé is tired of the adulteries of her husband Minos the king of Crete and casts a spell on him so that his sperm contains germs of venomous snakes, condemning his mistresses to death . To gain the king's favor, Procris, daughter of the king of Athens, suggested that he make a sheath from a goat's bladder and insert it into the vagina of the women with whom Minos wished to mate: the idea of female condom was born.

In the 19th century, during the rise of rubber , the "lady's condom" did exist, but would not be as effective as the external condom, and would not protect against STDs at all.
The research undertaken to manufacture this internal hood continued, and it was finally in the 1980s that the spread of the AIDS epidemic gave them a boost. In 1985, Danish inventor and doctor Lasse Hessel developed "Femidom" , a new polyurethane intravaginal device which has the shape of a lubricated sheath , held in place by two flexible rings. It is gradually becoming authorized in Europe, but it will be necessary to wait until May 1999 for it to be distributed by a laboratory in France. But the female condom is expensive, and is confined to a niche market.

Today, we find Femidom on sale in pharmacies and on the Internet. It is pre-lubricated with dimethicone , an internal, non-spermicidal silicone, to facilitate insertion. Just like the male condom, the Femidom protects against STIs and is a safe and effective means of contraception .

Good news, since January 9, 2024, boxes of 5 and 10 internal condoms from the Ormelles brand have been distributed free of charge to young people aged under 26 .

The condom has undergone a great evolution, both in its manufacture and in its popular vision. Today, it is recognized as THE solution against the spread of STDs and HIV, and is one of the symbols of contraceptive freedom.


Do you still have any doubts about the compatibility of your lubricant with your condom? Visit our lubricant comparator to find out everything.