WATCH: How Tokyo 2020 Suspended the Most Popular Olympic Sport: Sex


Bed-hopping is the ultimate Olympic past-time. In 2012, ESPN released a shocking expose on the, ah, boisterous activities that went on behind closed doors. American Olympian Josh Lakatos once compared the village to a brothel, saying “I’ve never witnessed so much debauchery in my entire life!”

Once upon a time, the unofficial Olympic slogan was “What happens in the village, stays in the village,” but that wasn’t to be. The expose revealed that there was a lot of sex being had, so much so that athletes were warned not to let it distract them from what they’re actually after—not a quickie, but an Olympic medal. But even with the warning, the demand for condoms in the Olympic Village is always high.

The Olympics started its tradition of handing out condoms in 1988 as a way to promote HIV and AIDS awareness in the ‘80s. But it didn’t stay an “advocacy” for long. By the end of the games, condom wrappers littered the roofs of the Olympic village. Yes, the roofs. We don’t even want to know how that happened.

Then the 2000 Olympics in Sydney ordered 70,000 condoms. It wasn’t enough, and athletes called for another bulk order of 20,000 condoms. The 2002 Winter Olympics, in Salt Lake City, learned from its predecessor. The organizers ordered over 100,000 condoms to be distributed for free to the athletes. But none can compare to the 2012 London Olympics which was apparently the most debauched in history. It got so intense that gay hookup app Grindr crashed midway through the games as spectators caught the ‘Olympic fever.’ Fast forward to the 2016 Olympics in Rio, which was the most generous in its condom distribution, purchasing almost 450,000 condoms and 175,000 sachets of lubricant.


That’s a hell of a lot of condoms. With a reputation like that, it’s no wonder the Olympics is known to be the biggest sex party with the hottest people in the world.

Mattress gymnastics is an Olympic past-time, but all that changed with the pandemic. It looks like the decades long tradition of debauchery is coming to an end as the Tokyo Olympics is discouraging sexual activities for the duration of the games. We certainly understand—even if most of the athletes are vaccinated, any sort of contact puts you at risk. If players deign to ignore Japan’s warnings, they won’t just have STIs to contend with, but also COVID-19.

Another way the Tokyo games is breaking with tradition is that instead of handing out condoms upon arrival, the athletes will be given the 160,000 condoms at the time of their departure. Consider it a farewell souvenir from the 2020 games. There’s also the matter of the cardboard beds being given to athletes. Netizens were quick to call them “anti-sex” beds, because really, who could get it on on that? But the organizers say they opted for these less durable beds for the sake of sustainability.

At least cardboard is easier to burn, because in the Sydney Olympics, the Australian delegates threw a giant bonfire to end the games and burned the well-used, and very stained, furniture.

So maybe Tokyo made the right choice after all. 

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Anri Ichimura
Section Editor, Esquire Philippines
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