The definition of sex ranges from a quickie in a dive bar bathroom to a profound connection with someone you love. However you look at it, there’s no doubt sex makes the world go ’round.
Now, we westerners might think ourselves as sexually liberated—or at least headed in that direction. And that may be the case, but there are some cultures who make us look like repressed prudes. It’s impossible to list all of the strange sexual customs and adulthood rites around the world, but here’s a fascinating look at some of the craziest sex rituals we have found.
In the Sambia tribe of Papua New Guinea, young men are expected to perform oral sex on their elders. As one Sambian elder put it, “If you boys don’t drink semen, you won’t grow big. You should not be afraid of eating penises—it is just like the milk of your mother’s breast.” Strange logic, but you’ve got to hand it to them for their openness to sexuality.
Trip the Night Away
Amongst the Guajiro people of Venezuela, young men and women perform a kind of mosh-pit fertility dance. The young ladies dance around trying to trip a guy she finds most attractive. She trips him. He falls. And then they both have sex! Just like in a modern day Rom Com!
According to Sex and Society, “Even the ebb and flow of the Nile was thought to be caused by Atum’s (the god of creation) ejaculation. This concept spurred the Egyptian pharaohs to ritually masturbate into the Nile to ensure an abundance of water.” The Egyptians found this inspiring and the act of public self-stimulation became the next fad. They probably had celebrity hot spots like we do—place to preen and be seen.
A polygamous South African community restricts people from having sex during the day. This rule came about to prevent them from having sex too frequently. This community also avoids intercourse after having a bad dream, during a storm, of after the lady’s husband has killed a crocodile, python or hyena. We assume the last one is because the wife wants him preparing the meat for cooking rather than trying to get laid.
People in Indonesia celebrate a holiday called Pon. They travel to a sacred mountain called Java and perform good fortune ceremony by having sex with someone other than the person’s husband or wife. But here’s the catch: The festival comes around 7 times in a year and you have to have sex with the same person every time to actually get some good luck. We have a feeling some people may be breaking a few mirrors throughout the year to keep going back to the magic mountain.
In the populated Himalayas, there is not much land available for farming and grazing. Families with more than one son divide their land when each son starts his own family. To prevent overpopulation the family finds a single wife for all of their sons. These brothers wind up sharing the wife. Apparently, she must be a master at time management to keep all the brothers in line.
A woman’s armpit is one of the most concentrated areas of hormones. For that reason, in some parts of rural Austria, women feed their lover’s apple slices that have been held under their armpits. Delicious!
Hold it In
According to historians, in ancient Taoist culture in China, it was believed that a man’s semen contained most of his positive energy and life force. Therefore, he was encouraged not to release too much of it during sex. We not for in men getting blue balls, but learning not to finish too soon is never a bad thing.
The Aweikoma people in Brazil use the same word for sex and food. That could be confusing, or it could be a lot of fun if you gave it a try with your partner one night. “What exactly do you want me to put in your mouth?”
While some cultures look down on sex before marriage, the Kreung tribe in North Eastern Cambodia understand the importance of sexual compatibility. When a girl is marrying age, she spends a few nights in a “love hut” where potential mates visit her and spend the night with her. The one she considers a match becomes her husband. Seems like a great way to find your soul mate to us!
Losing the Race
Okay, this isn’t a tradition so much as it is a trend. But according to the Business Insider, did you know that 87 percent of people in Greece have sex weekly while the U.S. sits at just 57 percent? We have some catching up to do!8