From a tribe of semen-drinking men to the community of brothers sharing a wife, amaze yourself with these 10 shocking tribal sex traditions from around the world.
Paying for dinner and a movie to get someone into the sack is so passe, or at least foreign to other cultures. Every society has its own sexual mores, so if you think we’ve got this whole knockin’ boots thing down lock, stock and barrel, you’d be wise to think again.
Take a look at some of the rituals other peoples practice. We’d say they’re weird, but you know what? They may very well look at that whole dinner and a movie thing and think we’re the ones who are far from normal.
1The Sambians: The semen-drinking tribe - Papua, New Guinea
To become a man in this primitive tribe, boys are removed from the presence of all females at the age of seven, living with other males for ten years. During the ten years, the skin is pierced to remove any contamination brought upon by women. For the same reason, they also regularly incur nose-bleeding and vomiting caused by consuming large amounts of sugarcane.
To top it off, they are required to ingest the semen of their elders, which is thought to sustain growth and strength. When they are finally introduced back into the tribe, they continue to engage in nose-bleeding at the same time as their wives' menstrual cycles.
2The Mardudjara: Intimate cutting rituals to achieve manhood - Australia
The first portion of this Mardudjara Aboriginal rite involves a barbaric circumcision followed by the circumcised male ingesting his own foreskin. After he heals up, the penis is then cut lengthwise on the underside, sometimes all the way to the scrotum. Blood is then dripped over a fire in order to purify it. From then on, the male will urinate from the underside of his penis instead of the urethra. The real question, however, is how does destroying a boy's 'manhood' bring him into manhood?
3The Trobrianders : The tribe where kids start having sex at 6 – Papua, New Guinea
These islanders from a remote tribe in Papua guinea seem like a case study in the ultimate consequences of the sexual revolution: girls want sex just as much as guys, and kids start having sex at a very young age — 6-8 for the girls and 10-12 for the guys — with no social stigma. There are few customs about dating to inhibit “hooking up” and, of course, revealing clothing has been taken to its limit, with girls actually going topless.
However, while everybody is having sex whenever they want, premarital meal-sharing is a big no-no. You're not supposed to go out for dinner together until after you get married.
4Saut d'Eau: The city where you may witness rituals of voodoo and love - Haiti
If you travel to Haiti and visit the waterfalls of Saut d'Eau during the month of July, you may witness quite a risqué ritual. Voodoo practitioners make this journey each summer to worship the goddess of love. Pretty normal stuff, right?
Wrong. Picture a bunch of buck-naked people twisting and wriggling around in mud mixed with the blood of sacrificed animals, with cow and goat heads thrown into the mix. I'm sure there's nothing like it if you're an exhibitionism lover.
5The Nepalese: A community where brothers share a wife - The Himalayas
According to an article in Psychology Today, “Almost all of the few polyandrous societies practice what anthropologists call fraternal polyandry, where a group of brothers share a wife." This is the case in the Himalayas, where there is little land available for farming and agriculture, and families with more than one son would be faced with dividing up their land were each son to start his own family.
The solution? Find one wife for all of their sons so that they can live together as one family and keep their family plot intact. Also, as told in the National Geographic documentary Multiple Husbands, this arrangement works best when the wife is adept at "scheduling" time with each brother.
6Th Wodaabee: The tribe were men steal each other's wives - Niger
In the Wodaabe tribe of Niger in West Africa, men are known to steal each other's wives. The Wodaabe's first marriage is arranged by their parents in infancy and must be between cousins of the same lineage. However, at the yearly Gerewol Festival, Wodaabe men wear elaborate makeup and costumes and dance to impress the women – and hopefully steal a new wife.
If the new couple is able to steal away undetected (especially from a current husband who may not want to part with his wife), then they become socially recognized. These subsequent marriages are called love marriages.
7Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs: The pharaohes who would practice public masturbation
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 ancient Egyptians were so inspired by the act of self-stimulation that at the festival of the god Min, who represented Pharaoh's sexual potency, men masturbated in public.
8Ancient Greece: Where homosexuality was completely out of the closet
The ancient Greeks did not conceive of sexual orientation as a social identifier the way Western societies have done for the past century. Greek society did not distinguish sexual desire or behavior by the gender of the participants, but rather by the role that each participant played in the sex act, that of the active penetrator or the passive penetrated.
This active/passive polarization corresponded with dominant and submissive social roles: the active (penetrative) role was associated with masculinity, higher social status, and adulthood, while the passive role was associated with femininity, lower social status, and youth.
9Ancient Greece: When pederasty was the social convention
The most common form of same-sex relationships between males in Greece was "paiderastia" meaning "boy love." It was a relationship between an older male and an adolescent youth. A boy was considered a "boy" until he was able to grow a full beard. In Athens, the older man was called erastes, and he was to educate, protect, love, and provide a role model for his eromenos, whose reward for him lay in his beauty, youth, and promise.
To love a boy below the age of twelve was considered inappropriate, but no evidence exists of any legal penalties attached to this sort of practice.
10Modern Iranian culture: Where you can have a temporary Marriage if you pay for it
We all know that Muslim practices are among some of the strictest regarding sexual intercourse and the relationships between men and women. For instance, Muslim couples are only allowed to have sex in the missionary position. It's considered gross and degrading for a man to ask any other position from his wife.
However, in certain Muslim countries, like Iran, a young couple who would like to have sex before they're ready to marry can request a “temporary marriage.” They are allowed to pay for a short ceremony, with a written contract dictating the amount of time they will be “married.” Once this is done, they can have sex like bunnies without contradicting Islamic law.
I know a lot of people here in America who probably wish we had something similar!
11The Mangaians: Doin’ The Deed With Boys
In Mangaia, an island in the South Pacific, people are encouraged to have many sexual partners before they marry and boys undergo what’s called a superincision - that’s cutting the foreskin — at the age of 13. Ouch!
Even more amazing is that older women are told to have sex with young boys so they can learn about sex and how to properly please their partner. Hmm, wonder if they speak cougar in Mangaia.
12Inis Baeg: Where You Keep Your Undies On While Having Sex
Back in the 1960s, researchers discovered that the people of Inis Baeg, an island off the coast of Ireland, have sex with their clothes on and only did it in the missionary position. The church preached to residents that sex with a spouse is a responsibility, while foreplay never extended beyond kissing and touching the rear end.
The island was sexually repressed and nudity was frowned upon, as was any sort of erotic contact. And if they were mating with their tightie whities on, we’re guessing doing laundry was probably not a fun chore, either.
13Ancient Egypt: Where You Choke The Chicken In A River
Ancient Egyptians masturbated into the Nile River. Read that again. They weren’t kinky or exhibitionists; rather, they believed the god Atum created the world by pleasuring himself, so to honor him they would do the same at the banks of the river, as well as hoping their love juice continued to course through the water. And you wonder why bottled water has become all the rage.