I have neither bought, used nor thought about scum bags, er... prophylactics in more than 40 years. I have vague and both humorous and unpleasant memories of them.
The funniest memory (which did not involve me) was an initiation stunt for pledges at a fraternity at Lehigh University. The kids had to go to pharmacies, select female clerks, and purchase condoms in pantomime, as if they were mute. I don't know if any of the pledges got lucky.
Today, the weenie wrappers are openly displayed in drug stores. Back then they were kept "under the counter" and also sold from vending machines in the men's rooms of bars and gas stations "for prevention of disease." Farther back in human history, animal intestines, linen, and even leather was used for "rubbers." CLICK for more history.
My first awareness of male contraception goes back to high school, where I heard tales of sexually active classmates wrapping their dicks in Saran Wrap or (GASP!) aluminum foil. In the 60s the Fugs sang about using Saran Wrap.
At my first gym class in college, we were instructed: "Gentlemen, if you're gonna take it out and you're get it wet, put a raincoat on it."
This elaborate introduction leads up to today's real penis news: Apparently lots of people hate traditional latex condoms and inventors are working on alternatives.
In November 2013, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation began distributing $100,000 grants to teams of researchers who’d submitted proposals for “the Next Generation of Condom.” The Gates Foundation hopes that at least one of the grantees will develop a product that men in the developing world want to use, which will consequently have “substantial benefits for global health, both in terms of reducing the incidence of unplanned pregnancies and in prevention of infection with HIV or other STIs.”
For a paper called “ ‘And Isn’t That the Point?’: Pleasure and Contraceptive Decisions,” published in Contraception last year, Gallaudet University sociologist Julie Fennell interviewed 30 men and 30 women about their experiences with condoms. “The most enthusiastic endorsement that several people … offered was, ‘They don’t bother me,’ ” writes Fennell. “Both women and men mentioned disliking the smell, taste, feeling, inconvenience, and sense of wastefulness of condoms.”
I've tried some mildly adventurous sexy stuff, but have never been involved in condom tasting. But, different strokes for different folks.
Read more here, from Slate.