When the first ribbed condom came off the mold in 1970, the inventor field-tested it. "It really wasn't all that great," he said.
In fact, nobody thinks ribbed condoms are better than unribbed ones, but they continue to sell well.
From Brian VanHooker's profile of Bill Crawley, inventor of the ribbed condom:
While those ridges were supposedly meant exclusively for a woman's pleasure, there are tons of reviews online citing how they don't feel like anything at all. In a piece for Women's Health, sexologist Gigi Engle described ribs as a "fun add-on" but qualified that by adding, "This won't feel like much for everyone, but it can add some nice texture." Meanwhile, a reviewer of Trojan's Ultra Ribbed condoms on CVS' website said that they "couldn't even feel the ribs," and that the material was "really thick." Then there are the Reddit threads dedicated to how they do nothing but scrape the vagina in completely pointless ways. "I fucking hate them," writes one female redditor on r/AskWomen.
That said, they were — and still are — very successful. Before long, Akwell began selling ribbed condoms — originally dubbed "Stimula" condoms — under their "Lifestyles" brand. They also sold ribbed condoms under the brand "PRIME," which originated the slogan "Ribbed for Her Pleasure" sometime in the 1980s.
Within a few years, other companies followed suit. Trojan has had ribbed condoms of their own since the 1970s, and today, nearly 50 years after their inception, ribbed condoms continue to be widely available in stores and online. Most tellingly, the slogan "Ribbed for Her Pleasure" is still part of the zeitgeist (Wayne's World probably has a lot to do with that.)