Thomas Doty – Storyteller


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The Size of That Fish Really Matters

When Jaime de Angulo's first wife -- anthropologist Cary Fink -- snagged funding to do a study on the sex lives of Indians, she sent a telegram from her field work near Alturas to Jaime in Carmel: "Send condoms. Doing research with the chief." In short order, a package of stylish French condoms was on its way.

This was a sign of modern times! If this had been real Old Time sex they would have used the swim bladders of fish for condoms.

Back then, young men were inspired to become skilled fishermen, and catch-and-release was practiced frequently. "Oh, oh. That one's not big enough. Better try again."

Young fishermen discovered early on that dip netting a fish got more desirable results than spearing it. And the fishy smell? Well, that's a topic for a whole other story about one of Mister Coyote's amorous adventures.

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The photo shows a stash of fish bladder condoms from last century that sold for a lot of wampum. They were described as "like new." Note the tally marks. It is said that a good fish bladder condom could be used for ten years!