Top 10 STRANGE Facts About SEX
The deeper we dig into our world’s past, the stranger things tend to get. On this journey back through time, we’re tackling the historical taboos of ancient sexual practices. Should you have the maturity level for it, join us on our exploration of the stranger side of copulation with these top ten weird sex facts throughout history.
A History of Beastiality
One of the most taboo sexual acts of today actually has quite the part in our lengthy world history. Depictions of bestiality date as far back as the Fourth Glacial Age, between 40,000 and 25,000 years ago and cave paintings from the 7th century B.C. point to the act being a common practice. Greek historian Herodotus once wrote about the practice of bestiality in ancient Egypt, where it was believed that women copulated with sacred goats and bore their genitals to the Apis bull to give it strength. Egyptian hunters were also alleged to have intercourse with female crocodiles before killing them. Zoophilia has been seen in many historic cultures, though it also wasn’t uncommon for Churches, like those during the Middle Ages in Europe, to punish the act by executing the offender.
The further you go back in time, the more acts that we deem immoral today were somewhat common practice. Pederasty, or the sexual relationship between an adult male and adolescent or pubescent boy, is widely viewed as a grotesque act today, but it wasn’t always shunned. Ancient Greeks, Romans, Celts, and Persians were among the elder civilizations that partook in pederasty, though how the act was viewed depended on the specific city. For instance, parts of Greece condemned it while Athens approved relations with boys aged 12 to 18. In the early years of the Roman Republic, it was common practice for men to desire and go after boys, but intercourse was only legal with slave children.
Hawaiian Genital Chants
Former American president Lyndon B. Johnson may have been chided for publicly nicknaming his little Johnson “Jumbo,” but the 36th commander-in-chief could have fit well into ancient Hawai’ian civilization. In the antiquated custom, it wasn’t unheard of for Hawai’ians to have names that they openly shared for their genitals. Even more fascinating, it was believed that royalty, including figures like Queen Lili’uokulani and King Kalakaua, had chants specific to their nethers. These chants, or mele ma’I, offered figurative and literal descriptions that were thought to be created in the person’s infancy by bards and poets.
Condoms, pills, IUDs, implants, caps, sponges, patches, injections – the contraceptives of today are leagues ahead of what ancient civilizations used for population control. Methods believed to be used in Rome, Greece, and Egypt included silphium juice, or an extract from a now-extinct plant believed to be connected to the modern “heart’ shape, and more drastic measures like infanticide and alternative sexual practices. Egyptian women were also believed to line their vaginal canal with crocodile feces, which acted as a spermicide and, we have to assume, tested the resolve and dedication of her partner.
Believe it or not, some sex practices were linked back to the very deities that ancient civilizations once worshiped. For instance, the concept of oral sex is believed to have stemmed from an Egyptian myth of the god Osiris. After being murdered and dismembered by his brother Set, Osiris’ wife, Isis, set out to restore her husband. While she found and reconstructed most of him, just one very vital part was missing – his “staff.” To make Osiris 100% whole, Isis formed a new member out of clay and blew into it. The illustrated depictions of Isis breathing life back into Osiris are believed to have eventually led to the sexual practice of fellatio.
The Witches Broomstick
Ever wonder where the connection between witches and broomsticks came from? Well, let’s not tell the kiddo’s this, but the origin is believed to be connected to the use of recreational hallucinogens and a very peculiar method of administration. The concoction – a toxic mix of nightshade, devil’s snare, black henbane, and mandrake – would induce vomiting if taken orally and may not fully absorb properly if applied topically on skin, so these early European enchantresses turned to an area of their body that allowed for proper absorption without the toxic side effects. The ointment was applied to the handle of a broom which they straddled, allowing the mixture to enter their bodies through their genitals.
A Cure for Hysteria
Strange how a device believed to be a woman’s best friend was actually invented to benefit 19th-century male doctors. When women were diagnosed with hysteria, or as it’s known today as sexual frustration, doctors resorted to manual stimulation to relieve symptoms. Though it wasn’t widely believed or recognized that women felt any sort of sexual pleasure, physicians found this method of treatment becoming more and more popular – and who’s surprised that it did? –, resulting in hand fatigue and cramps. To combat the physical demand of the therapy, doctors brought in mechanic implementations, eventually leading to the concept of the modern vibrator.
In ancient Greek medical texts, one may come across reference to the “wandering womb.” While it may sound like a lesser-known creature of Greek mythology, the wandering womb was thought to be the cause of common ailments in women at the time, including “hysteria.” Plato and Hippocrates spoke in great detail about the concept but it was physician Aretaeus of Cappadocia that labeled the womb “an animal within an animal” and further detailed its range of motion. Vertigo, loss of speech, and even death were blamed on the wandering womb with the only cure being attracting the womb with pleasant smells introduced through the genitals.
Spartan Wedding Night
We’ve heard some kinky things in our travels, such as a bride having to dress and look more like a man to commence the consummation of the marriage. For Spartans, it was believed to be common practice for brides to shave their heads, don clothing commonly worn by men, and wait in a dark room until their prospective groom came to have his way with her. One alleged reason for the ritualistic cross-dressing was that it worked as a means to ease the groom into a heterosexual lifestyle after spending most of his time in an all-male environment.
Want a child but know you don’t quite have the genes to produce offspring you could be proud of? In ancient Arabic culture, it wasn’t uncommon for low-brow men to offer their wives up to more stately figures with sought-after qualities in hopes of producing more distinguished children. The wife would spend her days with the chosen man until she became impregnated, at which point she’d return home to her husband, who, for the duration of the lending, had to abstain in order to keep the child. The act of wife lending was also reported in Spartan, Viking, and even Eskimo cultures.