Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The pope versus Freud and the penis

The instructions are clear: After having sex, the man is to stay in bed while the woman should get up and run in a circle around the room three times and complete 10 deep knee bends after each lap. It apparently does not matter if the woman runs clockwise or counterclockwise, but running swiftly in a circle and breaking to do knee bends was, as late as 1928, prescribed as a form of birth control.So was Coca-Cola. Rumored to be a spermicide as well as a refreshing beverage, it seems to have been frequently used as some sort of post-coital cleanser.So there’s the deep-knee bends and the Coke trick as contraceptive folly. Add to that some anti-baby lipstick, pumps, sprays, clamps, one-quarter-inch thick condoms made from fish bladders, and a dizzying number of spiral intrauterine devices (that look oddly beautiful, fragile, and delicate, laid out in uniformed rows), which together create an amalgam of sexual factoids and implements contraceptive information and misinformation on display at the Vienna Museum of Contraception and Abortion.(read more>>)

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