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Holy Sex: Fascinating Rituals in Religious History

A judge in Delhi welcomed 2014 in the old fashioned way—by issuing a statement about premarital sex. The act is, he said, “not only immoral, but also against the tenets of… every religion in the world.” Over the last two thousand years, this judge’s views have been supported time and time again. From cults of virginity to the stoning of adulterers, the religions of the modern world have made sex a virtue mainly by the act of omission.

But were ancient religions really as fixated on abstinence as their modern descendants? As it turns out, thirty thousand years of human history is a long time to maintain unchanging views of sexuality. The Delhi judge may be surprised to find many religious views on sex today are largely a modern phenomenon—and in many cases extra-marital sex was not just allowed, but even required, as a proof of spiritual devotion.

Here’s a list of five fascinating sexual rituals once as commonplace as praying to Mecca or trimming the tree for Christmas.

1. It was sinful not to have sex.

In ancient Babylon, Greek historian Herodotus wrote accounts of a form of worship of the goddess Aphrodite that compelled a woman, once in her lifetime, to offer herself up to a stranger. The ritual would proceed as follows: the woman would arrive at the temple and wait for the first man to cast a coin into her lap (the amount was irrelevant) and speak the sacred words. Whoever the man was—whether King or Shepherd, young or old, she would be obligated to have sex with him. Refusing was a sin, and the money given to her was holy and remitted to the temple.

Author Mary Renault gives life and poignancy to this custom in her iconic book, The King Must Die: A Novel, a retelling of the Theseus myth.

2. The way to cement Kingship was through love, not war.

There are many popular coronation ceremonies, but would you believe a public display of sex was once one of them? In ancient Sumeria, a young king was expected to show that his relationship with the goddess was strong by bedding her chief priestess in full view of his subjects. The eager audience rejoiced if it appeared the coupling was a successful one – it would mean good crops and prosperity ahead.

This ritual was also the source of much of the oldest erotic poetry.

3. Being pregnant at the wedding didn’t cause the lady guests to clutch their pearls in shock.

It turns out in 12th century Great Britain, cohabiting before marriage was so common it was the norm, rather than the exception, for a bride to be pregnant on her wedding day. In fact, families in the Middle Ages were so concerned with carrying on the bloodline that (in a seemingly modern twist) they encouraged cohabitation during the engagement period to ensure the lady was able to conceive. The wedding was concluded only when the bride was visibly pregnant. In later centuries, the Catholic Church changed its views and began to combat the practice, but it was not fully stamped out until The Marriage Act of 1753.

4. Men ran around whipping women with leather thongs to promote good luck and fertility.

Today, people prepare for February 14th (Valentine’s Day) by buying flowers and making dinner reservations. However, the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia taking place on February 15th (which survived until the 5th century B.C., and to this day, variants remain alive and kicking in the former Czechoslovakia) involved a different kind of celebration of love and fertility. Held in honor of Lupa, the mythological wolf who was believed to have suckled Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, the festival was a celebration of spring and release of good luck and fertility in the coming year. Naked youths and magistrates ran through the streets, striking (the often willing) women who lined up for the rite regardless of their current state: those who were barren hoped the blows would render them fertile, those already pregnant hoped for an easy and safe delivery.

5. At Bacchanlia, sex and politics were expected to mix.

Today we think of Bacchanals as cheesy, Greek-themed parties hosted by college frats. But in ancient Greece, the celebrations in honor of Bacchus, God of wine and ecstasy, were popular and subversive events that evolved into such hotbeds of political conspiracy that they were eventually banned. The early incarnations of these celebrations were open only to women and created an opportunity for a powerful female priesthood. A historian writing about the rites describes them as licentious, drunken revels where different sects of society freely intermixed.

This paper, by historian Matthias Riedl, delves into the fascinating political history of the practice—as it turns out, the suppression of the Bacchanals has claim to fame as the first major religious persecution in Europe.

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Pleasure, Procreation, and Punishment: Shocking Facts about Sex and Marriage in the Ancient World

Much of what is considered normal in the present day might have been seen as shocking in the past and vice versa. This idea applies to many of the aspects of daily life, including customs related to sex and marriage. The following is a series of surprising facts about sexual and marital life in the ancient world.

Honey and Pepper to Increase Pleasure

Ancient Greeks had a number of concoctions meant to enhance sexual performance. One of them was meant to cause a lasting erection and it involved smearing the penis with a mix of honey and crushed pepper.

Another Greek text suggested: “ Grind the ashes left after burning a deer’s tail, and then make a paste of the powder by adding wine ”. By smearing the penis with this mixture, the desire to have sex would have supposedly been enhanced.

The Greeks also used an unknown Indian plant which was said to cause powerful erections after rubbing it on the genitals. Some Greek men claimed that under the influence of this plant they achieved sexual climax up to 12 times, while some Indians claimed that they climaxed 70 times. In order to cancel the effects of these potions, individuals would apparently pour olive oil onto the genitals.

Arranging a Marriage at the Auction and the Importance of Virginity

Although arranged marriages are an accepted cultural practice for some cultures today, it is worth noting some of the ways ancients went about this practice as well. For example, arranged marriages were a common practice in Ancient Mesopotamia and the union took the form of a legal contract between two families. Also, the couples never met before the marriage ceremony.

In Sumer and Babylonia, marriage was simply viewed as a way to ensure procreation, therefore as an enforcer of the continuity and harmony of society. It had nothing to do with the personal happiness of the couple involved. Romans also practiced marriage arrangements.

In his “Histories”, Herodotus spoke of the existence of marriage markets where young women were sold to men looking for a wife. This happened once a year in the villages of ancient Babylon. At these “bride auctions” many young women who were eligible for marriage were gathered in front of a group of men seeking a wife. Each of the women were sold to the highest bidder. Rich men competed for the most beautiful of the young women and the ugliest women were handed over to the commoners – who could not bid on the beautiful ones.

In the ancient times, the rules of marriage were a lot stricter for women. In ancient Israel, for example, women had to be virgins before marriage. On the other hand, men were not expected to be virgins when they became husbands. Also, if a man accused his wife of not being a virgin at the time of marriage, she faced the risk of being stoned to death. If the charges were disproved, the man was only flogged or forced to pay a fee for his wrongful accusation.

Prostitution Practices to Appease the Gods

Male prostitution was widely accepted in Greek and Roman societies. In Athens, the income of both male and female prostitutes was subject to taxation. Therefore, the activity was actually regulated by the state.

When it came to male prostitutes, the majority of the clients were also male. Still, even though male prostitution was legal, a man performing services for a fee would have his civil rights removed. He was banned from many aspects of public life and could not serve as a magistrate nor was he allowed to speak in the assembly. As a result, the majority of male prostitutes were slaves or foreign residents.

In ancient Babylon, there was a custom that all women had to perform a sacred duty to the goddess Mylitta. This was a form of sacred prostitution involving the woman going to the sacred temple of the goddess and having intercourse with a stranger in exchange for a fee. In his “ Histories”, Herodotus describes how women “are continually entering and leaving this place. Whenever a woman comes here and sits down, she may not return home until one of the strangers has tossed silver into her lap and has had intercourse with her outside the sanctuary”.

The earnings were dedicated to the goddess and, while beautiful women were done with their obligation quite quickly, less attractive women had to wait longer, sometimes even years.

Some cities of ancient Rome had statues of the god Priapus with an erect penis. These statues were placed in market gardens in order to discourage trespassing. The god was said to inflict intruders with severe sexual punishments – be they women, men, or young boys.

‘Til Death Do You Part…

In ancient Mesopotamia, Hammurabi’s Code regarded adultery as a crime punishable by death. In Rome, the Julian Law on adultery stated that a woman caught in infidelity could be killed – and it was her father who made the decision. In Athens, adultery was a serious offense that was originally punishable by death. Later on, killing the adulterer was replaced with fines and public humiliation.

In ancient India, there was a practice called “sati”. This was based on the belief that a widow was not entitled to move on with her life after her husband had passed away. Therefore, the widow had to jump on her dead husband’s pyre (funeral fire) and be burned alive. In another version of the same practice, the widow was buried alive next to the corpse of her deceased husband.

 

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The 7 Weirdest Sex Stories of the Ancient World

“Ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians had erotic preferences and sexual taboos we’ve seldom heard about,” says California author and historical detective Vicki León in her new book The Joy of Sexus: Lust, Love, & Longing in the Ancient World. Her book’s topics range from orgasm to the long-ago fear of hermaphrodites, from circumcision to the wide acceptance of a variety of gay relationships. With Tip Sheet, she shared some carnal curiosities and extraordinary stories of sex and love, encountered while researching The Joy of Sexus.

1. Most sexually twisted ruler: Emperor Nero? Or Caligula? Mere runners-up. Emperor Tiberius (reigned A.D. 4 – 37) holds that dubious honor. According to his biographer Suetonius, in later life, Tiberius built himself a porn central on Capri. There, youngsters performed elaborate daisy-chains of sexual acts, the emperor by turns voyeur and participant. Even grosser activities took place in his bathing pools, where toddlers were trained to nibble and fellate him underwater. The old perv called them “his little fishes.”

2. Wandering wombs and other private parts: Relaxed about nudity, Greeks and Romans adored the human form. where Greeks especially admired beautiful buttocks, male and female; gorgeous rear ends even had their own goddess cult. Nevertheless, no one tinkered with human bodies after death. Result of this taboo? Human anatomy, largely unexplored, was guesswork.

One of the most bizarre beliefs held that women’s wombs vagabonded about the body, causing hysteria. Thus, doctors applied bad smells and loud noises to scare wombs back into position. Medicos (and intimidated husbands) also had dire opinions about the female clitoris. Diminutive was dandy; anything larger called for (gulp) surgery.

3. The curious role of kissing: Male-female public kissing was frowned upon among Greek and Roman aristocrats, although husbands did routinely kiss their wives upon returning home after a hard night of male partying. Their goal? (Female) wine detection, not affection. But kissing’s innocent pleasures really lost popularity after the bathroom habits of Roman citizens from Spain became common knowledge: a great many brushed their teeth with human urine.

4. The popularity index of anal sex: Few towns win infamy by giving their names to a class-A felony. In Biblical times, a burg we know as Sodom near the Dead Sea did just that. As told in Genesis 19: 5-8, God was fed up, about to destroy it and neighbor cities when Abraham pointed out some decent folks worth saving–his own nephew Lot and family. God sent two male angels down to investigate, who immediately attracted a large mob of sodomy-loving locals. To “protect” his angelic guests, Lot threw his two young daughters to the mob, adding, “They’re virgins, too!” At that point, God had had it with Sodom–and you know the rest.

In later Greco-Roman times, sodomy lost its standing as an abomination. Called pedico, it was practiced by men and women, the latter largely for contraception. When it came to adultery, however, the law took the practice of pedico in another direction: the guilty party could be sodomized by the injured party. Or, if he chose a stand-in, with a large radish!

5. Erotic salads, pro and con: To maintain their manly wellbeing, males around the ancient Med had to watch what they ate. The Greeks believed that anti-aphrodisiac lettuce instantly withered an erection. In Egypt, men were equally certain that lascivious lettuce gave their organs vim and vigor, serving romaine at their orgiastic festivals for the fertility god Min. Romans and Greeks also put their aphrodisiac faith in other vegetables, from tubers to a remedy called “the deadly carrot.” When salad supplies ran low, olive oil (with or without herbal additives) was the everyday erotic helper–applied topically by female partners.

6. Gladiators’ sex lives: Since 3 out of 4 were slaves, you’d think gladiators had few opportunities. But they were hit on by female groupies from all walks of life, as the hard-breathing graffiti still visible in Pompeii show.

Not all gladiators were enslaved. Meet history’s most deranged fighter: a wingnut named Commodus, who preferred gladiating to being emperor. Although athletic, he cheated extensively–slaughtering countless bears, lions, and humans from a terrace above the sands of the arena. In his spare time, Commodus dutifully pursued sexual degradation, trying to outdo feats by earlier rulers.

His parents, Faustina and Emperor Marcus Aurelius, also faced a gladiator dilemma. She became aroused over one combatant; after confessing her passion to her husband, he consulted with soothsayers. Their solution? Faustina was ordered to have sex with the gladiator in question, who would then be murdered while on top of her. Afterwards, she was obliged to bathe in his blood, do a quick cleanup, and then make love to her husband Marcus.

7. Most long-ago men and women believed in a joyous polysexuality, one where lust, love, and longing were fluid, and not always confined to one gender. Such as the bittersweet story of a love triangle made in heaven. Like other royal matches, Sabina and Hadrian had an arranged marriage. The empress traveled with Emperor Hadrian on his years-long circuits of the sprawling Roman Empire. Although he dallied with women and men alike outside the marriage bed, they treated each other with courtesy.

Near his 50th year, Hadrian met his true love: Antinoos, a sultry, teenaged nobody from Bithynia. They became inseparable; and Sabina, their unwilling witness. On yet another grand tour, they reached Egypt in A.D. 130. One October evening, the 18-year-old disappeared. After a frantic search on land and in the waters of the Nile, Hadrian went berserk with grief. Neither the body nor the motive was ever discovered.

Within weeks, he deified the boy, turning his lost love into a god. Hadrian founded in a city in his name, had thousands of statues made of Antinoos, and ordered his worship throughout the empire.

As if to make amends, a few years later Hadrian also deified Sabina when she died, making his longsuffering empress into a goddess. But his apotheosis of a commoner, a sexual playmate, was a first. Today, the museums of our world are still crowded with statues and busts of that beautiful lost boy, often misidentified as Ganymede or Dionysus.

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Crazy Sex Practices Throughout History

Birds do it, bees do it…  Human beings have been doing it since the beginning of time.  We’re talking about sex, bay-bee.  Here are some of the craziest sex practices throughout history.

Impotency as a means of divorce. It was hard to break up a marriage in the old days. In fact, King Henry started that whole English Reformation thing to try to worm his way out of a marriage. In France during the Middle Ages, there was one thing the courts would consider in cases of divorce: Impotence. Men had to “stand at attention” in front a tribunal of clergy, doctors and the court. They would then be forced to ejaculate to the court’s satisfaction.

Dill dough… Dildo. While dildos have been used since the beginning of time, they did not receive the name “dildo” until the Renaissance. During this period, dildos were thin loafs of bread seasoned with dill… Hence the name, “dill dough.”

A devoted eunuch. Eunuchs focus their energy and devotion in the service of the person who has them neutered. One of the most famous sea captains in the world, Zheng He, was a eunuch. Being a eunuch allowed him to become a great captain, he believed. Many other men believed that becoming eunuchs would enrich their lives as well.

Manhunt… Literally. Island girls from the islands that dot the Pacific Rim have a unique custom of hunting men for sex. Yup. You read that correctly.

Don’t get emotional. Courtly love, as it was called, was the practice of men who were forbidden to openly show their affection for their one true love. Instead, they went to war and oftentimes died for this supposed love.

Hōnen Matsuri. In Japan, every year on March 15th, men struggle and fight for the honor of carrying a 15-foot penis throughout the town of Komaki for their annual Hōnen Matsuri festival. The Hōnen Matsuri festival celebrates the power of the phallus and hopes that it will grant fertility for the crops and fields.

Nazi sex dolls. During World War II, soldiers engaged in a lot of sex with prostitutes and acquired sexually transmitted diseases like syphilis. It was a huge problem. In order to combat infections, Hitler had blow-up sex dolls made. They sported blonde bobs and aided in the STD problem the Germans were facing.

Cleopatra was a freak! Cleopatra had a dildo fashioned after Caesar’s penis and had it casted in gold. Well, if anything, she was a fancy freak.

Celibacy or power? Celibacy was a big deal once upon a time… King Philippe of France disemboweled several of his knights to keep his bloodline pure once he got wind that his daughters were frolicking about the knight’s chambers at night…

Sexual energy. Nikola Tesla was a firm believer that sexual energy was just like electricity and should be conserved and used in the service of humanity, for the greater good. Still, no sex-powered cars roaming the streets. One day!

The Wayuu people of Colombia. In Colombia, when a young Guajiro woman (the region of Colombia in which the Wayuu people inhabit) trips a boy during a ceremonial dance, she must have sex with him. This puts a new twist on the idea of a Sadie Hawkins dance.

Masturbate like an Egyptian. Semen and ejaculating was seen as a symbol for creation to Egyptians. During a festival where they honored the god Min, the men would openly masturbate in public. Egyptians also believed that the flow of the Nile River was the result of the god Atum ejaculating into the banks.

Government funded banging. The government of Holland has been known to provide their employees with a monthly stipend to visit prostitutes in Amsterdam’s Red Light District. Socialized prostitution? You betcha.

Sexual prohibition. During Medieval times, the church wanted to control sex in the name of God. If you read some of these old prohibitions, however, you will notice that they read in an almost pornographic manner… Probably because everyone (even theologians) were all horned up from not having any god damn sex.

Kamasutra is a Kama-copy cat. The famous book is believed to have been taken by Lakshmana temple carvings in the Kajuraho temple, located in central India. These carvings show men, women and animals engaging in an array of sexual gymnastics that would send anyone to the hospital in today’s day-and-age.

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How to choose the right material for Dildo

Depending on your preferences, your habits, your experience, the use you want to make, your budget too, you will not turn to any object.

Since sex toys are going, whether it is a toy intended for penetration or not, come into contact with your mucous membranes or just your sensitive parts, it would be interesting to know what is toxic or not for you, because we will not hide it, the sex toy industry remains very little controlled, and even globally and it would be stupid to end up with a mycosis from the first use.

For the wrong example, we are talking about sex toys in Jelly (or gelatin), latex or PVC: they are certainly very affordable materials in terms of cost, but which remain very porous (porous globally that means that there is holes in it that can contain bacteria, microbes, so we do not share under any circumstances, even after washing) and do not last in time. These are materials according to me obsolete even if they remain still very used, for cheap sextoys precisely. They cannot be sterilized or completely disinfected.

And if that were all that!

This kind of objects contain mostly phthalates (not only), and I am not a chemist but it is a substance with very toxic properties that can alter fertility, it is carcinogenic, it can infect. In short, we do not really like it and we want to prevent it from coming into contact with our genitals.

Experts discourage objects made of these materials, especially for penetration, whether anal or vaginal, because infections do not care what hole it is.

We must also know that there are loveshops who refuse to sell this type of objects, in principle, for the health of their customers and their customers (space pleasure, passage of desire). So, if it’s possible of course, I advise to bet on something else from the start. It will be a long-term investment certainly more expensive, but it will also be “body safe” , that is to say that unless you make a bad use, for example with poor hygiene, we do not risk ‘catch the hot piss with , a priori.In any case, read the instructions before using a new toy.

ABS plastic

It is a rigid material, hypoallergenic, it does not contain phthalates, and globally cheaper than other materials that are more skin effect, such as silicone for example. Unlike the jelly, which breaks down, literally, it lasts in time.

To clean it: soap and water are enough, or a special cleaner sex toys, found in specialty shops. To disinfect it, a bit like a cup at the end of the cycle, it should not be boiled, because spoiler, plastic: it melts. No dish washer either, suddenly. On the other hand, passing a shot of isopropyl alcohol, a solvent known in particular for dissolving oils, should not spoil it. Any type of lubricant can be used with, but we ban oil-based lubricants if we ever use a condom: it would tear it.

Materials Used to Made Sex Toys

Silicon is widely used in the sextoy market as best dildo material; it is healthy for the body, provided of course that it is a product that is composed of 100%. To be sure that this is really the case, it is better to turn to brands recognized for their authenticity at this level. Silicone is a non-porous material,hypoallergenic; it is soft and supple, very pleasant to the touch unlike again, the jelly, which remains a little greasy on the hands. The silicone lasts in time, unless it is cut, for example if it comes in contact with a knife, but if it does, I do not want to know how it happened.

To clean it: soap and water, special sextoy cleaner. It can be sterilized by boiling it, using isopropyl alcohol or a 10% bleach solution. As for the type of lubricant that can be used with, we will turn more to a lubricant based on water or oil , a silicone base could make it porous, and it would be very stupid given the quality and price of sex toys in silicone! If the toy is shared or passed from the anal hole to the vagina, placing a condom on it could prevent many disasters.

Glass

Borosilicate glass (or Pyrex, like this brand of dishes and cooking utensils) is often referred to in the composition of sex toys. It is beautiful, all smooth, rigid, non-porous, and hypoallergenic. It retains temperatures quite well, which can be interesting for hot-cold effects! In addition to having a non-negligible aesthetic appearance, glass sex toys are not necessarily very expensive. Of course, if it falls to the ground, it’s broken, that’s the disadvantage. Besides the slightest shine, even if it is still in one piece, I strongly advise against use, the glass is good for pounding selective sorting. Sometimes the glass sex toys are decorated with paint and it is very pretty but it is difficult to know if it is safe or not, so if the painting is external, please be careful and at the slightest sensation burning by pity stops.

To clean it: with water and soap, special sextoy cleaner, isopropyl alcohol, 10% bleach solution, but it is not boiled . The glass being altered at more than 800 ° C, it is possible to put your glass sextoy in the dishwasher. And finally, we can use glass toys with any type of lubricant.

Metal

Stainless steel and aluminum are non-porous, smooth and rigid, like glass, but give a much more luxurious look to the object and when you say luxurious, the price follows. They also retain very good cold and heat, so gently with warm-cold games.

To clean it: with soap and water, special sextoy cleaner, isopropyl alcohol, dishwasher, no solution containing bleach however, they can be boiled, it is compatible with all types of lubricants : that’s great. However, it is a very heavy material and it can disturb some and some. Just like wooden toys, metal toys can easily last a lifetime.

Wood

It is aesthetically original, they are varnished so no worries for potential splinters unless it falls and splits, and it’s sweet! Sometimes they are handmade and even unique, so it is difficult to certify that they are 100% non-porous and non-toxic , you really need to learn about the manufacturer Nob essence, Idea of ??desire, if references t interest!). Wood is a very qualitative and expensive material that can be compatible with all lubricants and cleaned with soap and water.

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