15 Weird Sex Facts From Around The World

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Sex_Rituals_1Illustrated by Ly Ngo.
Here in the United States in the year 2014, we have a pretty standard set of mating rituals: Mill around a bar looking for attractive strangers who then purchase alcoholic beverages for you in hopes that you engage in friendly conversation and later, maybe some sex. To an outsider, contemporary sex rituals might seem bizarre, but a deep dive into history books will tell you that in times of yore, throughout the world, the things we've done to get it on have been downright peculiar.

1. In pre-contact Hawaiian culture, everyone had public names for their genitals. Hawaiian royalty and commoners each had their own genital chants which described their sex organs both figuratively and literally. Called mele ma‘is, the genital chants were a celebration of the future generations boys and girls would sire. Plus, naming your genitals sounds a lot better than this euphemistic va-jay-jay business.

2. In the Sambian tribe of New Guinea, young men are kept away from women for a set period of time and must fellate and then swallow the semen of the tribe's mightiest warriors. It's just a part of growing up.

3. In the Trobriander tribe of Papa New Guinea, children start engaging in sexual activity as early as age six to 12. Women are just as active as men in pursuing sexual encounters. There's no social stigma involved.

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4. Some believe that in ancient Egypt, it was thought that the ebb and flow of the Nile was caused by the creation god Atum's ejaculation. Because of this, pharaohs ritually masturbated into the famous river.
Sex_Rituals_2Illustrated by Ly Ngo.
5. Homosexuality was socially significant in ancient Greece (this isn't the weird part), with a particular focus on relationships between older gentlemen and young boys, or pederasty. The real stigma was when the two men of the same age and social class were getting it on, because being the bottom was thought to be feminizing, and sex was better off between people who already had a skewed power dynamic. Yeah, it's weird.

6. The Guajiro people of Colombia engage in a ceremonial dance in which if a young lady trips a young man while dancing, they must have sex.

7. Male homosexuality and same-sex marriages were prominent for centuries in the Siwa tribe of Egypt. If men didn't act gay, they were considered outcasts.

8. The little island of Inis Beag, off the coast of Ireland, is considered to be one of the most sexually repressed societies ever. Adults keep their underwear on during all sexual encounters and people consider intercourse to be hard on their health.

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9. Mangaia, a tiny island in the South Pacific, is home to some of the earliest and most advanced sexual education. Starting at 13, boys have sex with older women who teach them restraint and how to last longer to please a woman. Amen.
Sex_Rituals_3Illustrated by Ly Ngo.
10. In the Mehinaku village in Brazil, men compete for sex with women by giving them gifts of fish.

11. The Kreung tribe in Cambodia built love huts for their girls when they reached their mid-teens. Different boys spend a night in the hut with the young girls until she finally finds a match. Divorce is illegal here, so think of the love hut as the sexual Sorting Hat.

12. In the Middle Ages, the church dictated that the missionary position was the only proper way to have sex. Coitus a tergo (you know, doing it from behind) was, of course, listed as the most shameful.

13. The Aweikoma of Brazil play it real simple and use the same word for eating and sex, since both involve taking something into your body. Great things, might I add.

14. Some tribes in the Himalayas practice polyandry, where brothers all share one sex partner. It's done so that their farm land doesn't become overpopulated with children.

15. In the Marquesas Islands, it was considered just fine to witness your parents doing the deed.

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Nerve, the cultural center of the web for sex and relationships, was one of the first online destinations to open the conversation on erotica in a candid, empowering way. Now, they're bringing their smart, fearless take on everything from orgasmic meditation to the world's weirdest sex rituals to R29.