Athletes Believe The Olympics Have Put Them In Sex-Proof Beds, But People Have Spotted A Few Workarounds

What an actual anti-sex bed might look like. Image credit: Massimo Parisi/, Paul Chelimo/Twitter

Customarily – and for practical and health reasons – athletes competing in the Olympic Games are given condoms. A lot of condoms, actually. At the Winter Olympics in 2018, for instance, athletes received 110,000 condoms or over 37 condoms per athlete.

In short, you put thousands of athletes at the peak of their physical fitness all in one place, nobody is surprised when they bang like they're doing it on behalf of their country. Rather than try and stop this (the Olympic committee are not puritans) and initially to try to prevent the spread of HIV, host nations make sure that they are safe and provide protection.

This year, however, is a little different, given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The organizing committee will this year seek to stop athletes from participating in the no-pants pentathlon, handing out condoms to the participants only as a parting gift, to try and limit the spread of COVID-19 between athletes.

As well as not providing condoms, it has been rumored among athletes that the committee has taken a rather more unusual effort to enforce social distancing in the bedroom. Unlike New York, which recommended glory holes earlier on in the pandemic, the Olympics are reportedly going the other route and accommodating athletes on beds that won't cope with the weight of more than one person.


The solution, according to the Internet, is that if you attempt to have sex on the bed, the cardboard will collapse. The rumor appears to have been spread among athletes, including silver medalist Paul Chelimo.


People spotted a few flaws in this supposed scheme, including that long-distance runners could have a four-person orgy and still not make up the weight of a regular person, and, well:


However, the idea that the Olympics are attempting to stop the athletes from having sex through the "collapsable bed" method appears to be untrue. The beds are made of cardboard for environmental reasons, not to prevent the two-person pole vault. 

The beds, in fact, have been stress tested for just such eventualities and can handle the weight of 200 kilograms (440 pounds). They've even been through stress tests to ensure they can cope with sudden unexpected impacts.

"We've conducted experiments, like dropping weights on top of the beds," a spokesperson for the manufacturer said back in January 2020. "As long as they stick to just two people in the bed, they should be strong enough to support the load."

To prove the point, gymnast Rhys Mcclenaghan demonstrated his bed could easily take his weight, even when performing some pretty hefty jumps.


Essentially, if you stick to two or fewer participants in the "down there" javelin, you won't have any problems. Other than a lack of the usual astonishing number of condoms, of course.

 This Week in IFLScience

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