Editor’s Note: This article contains sexual references. Don’t keep reading if you’re afraid of gross body stuff. 

If you love that stuff, keep reading.

(Yeah, I knew you would.)

So, if you’ve ever binge-watched some of your favorite 90’s sitcoms – and let’s be honest, who hasn’t?

You’ll realize they all have this one bizarre thing in common.

None of them seem to be a fan of condoms.


Forget, condoms or pills, or any of the more conventional contraception methods we’re used to in our day to day life, somehow, all of our favorite heroine’s, starting from Elaine from Seinfield, to Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw – What is going on!

So, long story short, the 90’s for some god forsaken reason, seemed to be a huge fan of the diaphragm, which in case you didn’t know is this super weird, little rubbery disc your doctor fits inside you (literally inside your lady parts) and magically prevents pregnancy. Well, not magically, but you get the drift.

Anywhoo – the dodgey diaphragm was actually a super popular form of contraception and over 25% of white females used it….in the 1950’s.

So we get it, granny probably made good use of it – but, what we don’t get, why, all of these mid-90’s to early 2000’s shows, were so obsessed with it!

The thing was the diaphragm literally bid adieu in the mid 1960’s, with it dropping to practically nil use in the early 2000’s.

And yet, it was front and centre for all of these shows, despite drastically declining use.

Just look –


Friends didn’t even start until 1994, so who in 1994 used a diaphragm?

Well, we had the same questions – so we did a little digging – I mean there has to be a reason right?

So, here’s exactly what was going on.

And as with most idiotic problems from the early 90’s, we had but one root problem. The patriarchy.

So basically, all of those diaphragm-obsessed episodes, starting from Elaine’s Sponge problems to Monica’s little outburst, had one thing in common – they were all written by men.

Which of course was super problematic, because none of the men had any idea what they were talking about.

(Plus it had the added benefit of fitting in with the politics of the era.)

Because the diaphragm was so old, it wasn’t as controversial as the condom or the pill, so it was the networks way of catering to their conservative audience even if it was about as realistic as using a sponge… *we see you Elaine*

So in the end, the diaphragm debate is what it is – basically yet another media trope, which ironically is what it’s recognised as in modern sitcoms – take a peak at this, if you don’t believe us!