The gateway to a fun evening
The gateway to a fun evening

Contraception. We at the Dodgy Perth office understand it’s all the rage among the young folk. So we’re here to help out with alternative suggestions.

The above advert ran in Perth’s newspapers in the mid-1930s. Most of it is fairly easy to decode (the word ‘contraception’ doesn’t appear at all).

Rubber goods were condoms, of course, available in a range of styles. Except most women didn’t like condoms. They were mostly used for preventing disease rather than as a means of birth control, and so were more associated with the brothel than the bedroom. As a consequence, caps were more popular with married women.

Cains Vitality Pills were the 1930s Viagra. Whenever you see a reference to ‘building up the system’, ‘vitality’ and ‘youthfulness’ in an old advertisement, they are referring to erections. And nothing else.

But ‘Pleasure Powder outfits’ had the Dodgy Perth team stumped for a while. It took a bit of research into the history of contraception to find out what these were.

It consisted of two parts: a rubber bulb containing the powder attached to a hollow cylinder with a mark on it. The cylinder was inserted into the vagina up to the mark, then the bulb was pumped once or twice in order to catapult the necessary amount of powder against the opening of the uterus.

A Pleasure Powder outfit (c.1900)
A Pleasure Powder outfit (c.1900)

The powder consisted of boric acid, citric acid, tannic acid, gum arabic, and ‘powder’. Right up inside you. Must have been a wonderful experience.

Having been prepared in this way you had 30 minutes to get the deed over and done with, or the procedure had to be repeated.

So, condoms, caps, Viagra, and Pleasure Powder made from a variety of acids. Go for it kids, you have our permission.