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The Very Brief Life Of A Condom

condom lineupThe life of a condom may be brief, but it is noble.

Humble beginnings: In order for condoms to grow up stable, flexible and strong, latex is treated with chemicals and then prevulcanised (heated). According to Durex, the chemical reactions that occur during this process react with the latex’s rubber content to make it “stronger, more reliable and [to] give it low allergenic potential.” After another round of testing, the potential condoms move onto their next step to becoming useful or whatever.

The latex is transferred into a temperature-controlled storage tank. Glass molds (or “formers”) are then dipped into the latex, rotated the former is coated evenly, then dried and then dipped again. The formers are sent through an oven to vulcanize the rubber and ensure the condoms are strong and elastic. After the necessary chemical reactions are complete, the latex is removed from the glass formers as condoms and then dried and powdered. I wonder how similar the process is to the creation of dentist’s latex gloves, which are also weirdly powdered.

Condoms are then electronically tested using stainless steel shafts called mandrels. Mandrels look just like metal penises minus the urethra, veins and other organic penis accoutrements. Electronic testing checks for holes and other potentially compromising defects. The condoms that make it past the electronic testing are then sent to be packaged.

In order to individually wrap condoms, they are placed between two foil webs that are then heat sealed together. The condoms are then injected with flavorings, lubricants and what have you and neatly sealed between the foils which are then stamped with batch number and expiration date. The condoms are not quite ready to be shipped out to retailers; there’s more testing to be done to ensure they’re ready for business.

There are so many tests to ensure you’re safety. For instance, strong hands man handle them during manual inspection by humans. Air is injected in them during the air inflation test in order to assess their resilience against bursting and elasticity–in order to meet standards, condoms must hold at least 18 liters of air. Tensile tests assess how stretchy they are, which is good if you have a huge penis. They sure are tested a lot…for uniformity, lubricant quality, some are even artificially aged to see how the product holds up at the end of the projected 5 year lifespan. You don’t get the results condoms deliver without diligent testing and stringent standards. If a batch of rubbers fail even one test, the whole lot is disposed of because they are unsafe and useless.  Once the condoms are guaranteed to be in good shape, they are ready to be shipped out.

The flawless batches of good condoms are then packed into branded boxes and dispatched to distributors where they can be shoplifted by hooligans or purchased by responsible types. From there they will either live in a drawer or wallet (where they will deteriorate) or they will be responsibly unwrapped, rolled onto a D or vibrator, inserted into a butt, mouth or vagina, filled with semen (or not) and then knotted up and given a proper burial in a trashcan. RIP condom, thanks for keeping us safe.

Read about the Trojan process here and the Durex process here//Image via Shutterstock

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