There is a fascinating side of history that goes beyond what is traditionally taught in school. Throughout human existence, there have always been various sexual preferences, fetishes, and intriguing details surrounding them. It may come as a surprise, but ancient civilizations had their fair share of risqué practices and artifacts.

Let’s delve into some historical facts about sex that your History teacher probably didn’t cover.

Dildos have a long history, dating back at least 30,000 years. From the Stone Age to Ancient Greece and the present day, civilizations have kept dildos as handy tools. Archeologists have discovered phallus-shaped objects from the Stone Age, made of materials like antler bone, chalk, and siltstone, suggesting their use as dildos. In ancient Greece, olisbokollikes, dildos made entirely of bread, were a notable sexual practice. These bread dildos were depicted in various sources, although their purpose, whether for pleasure or rituals, remains open to interpretation. The Han dynasty in China also had a penchant for sexual artifacts, burying their dead with bronze dildos in elaborate tombs.

Cock rings also have an intriguing origin story. The earliest cock rings, about 800 years ago in China, were made from goat eyelids. This unconventional choice was believed to enhance stamina and maintain longer erections. To add extra stimulation, the goat eyelashes were often left intact—an unexpected historical detail.

Ancient Egyptian women employed a do-it-yourself spermicide using a mixture of honey, fruits, and dates. Descriptions found in the Ebers Papyrus from 1550 B.C. and the Kahun Papyrus from 1850 B.C. reveal that Egyptian women created a paste from acacia fruit, honey, and grounded dates. They would apply this paste to cotton and insert it into the vagina as a form of contraceptive tampon. The acacia’s fermentation into lactic acid likely contributed to its spermicidal effect.

In medieval times, women sought ways to deceive virginity tests, which placed a high value on a woman’s virginity. To feign virginity, medieval texts advised women to place a leech on their labia the day before their wedding. The leech would cause bleeding, creating the appearance of virginity during first intercourse. It was a crafty way to deceive their husbands.

Impotence trials were a peculiar aspect of medieval France’s legal system. When husbands were accused of “injurious non-consummation” by their wives, they had to undergo impotence trials in ecclesiastical courts. The accused husbands had to prove their virility in front of a jury, often by ejaculating or engaging in sexual intercourse with their wives. These trials became a spectacle and a form of live pornography during the 16th and 17th centuries.

Napoleon Bonaparte, known for his military conquests, reportedly had a unique preference for body odor. Legend has it that he sent a letter to his wife, Josephine, instructing her not to wash until his return. Although we can’t confirm the authenticity of this story, the context of personal hygiene during that time suggests that it’s not entirely implausible. In medieval times and up until the late 18th century, bathing was not a common practice, and an attraction to body odor was prevalent.

During the Victorian era, women who exhibited symptoms of anxiety, nervousness, or irritability were diagnosed with “hysteria.” Doctors prescribed a treatment known as the pelvic massage, which involved both external and internal techniques. The external massage included pressing down on the patient’s pelvic area and employing vibratory shaking. The internal massage consisted of using fingers for stimulation. Essentially, it was a form of fingering that served as a treatment for women’s “hysteria” and can be considered a massage with a happy ending.

These historical sex facts shed light on the diverse and intriguing aspects of human sexuality throughout different periods in history. They offer a glimpse into the unconventional practices and attitudes toward sex that existed in the past.

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