Weird History What Sex Was Like in Medieval Times  

Aaron Edwards
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We can all agree that sex is pretty awesome. But, alas, it wasn't always this way. In the past, sex was seen, at best, as a necessary evil to make babies. At worst, it was a pathway to eternal damnation. Medieval sex (or lack thereof), was about as joyless as it gets... but it wasn't without its oddities.

After all, the church was trying to look out for everyone's immortal souls... but sometimes that meant tough love (pun intended). Women in Medieval times had it especially tough. Not only were they not allowed to enjoy sex, but if they had it at all, they were seen as damaged goods in the eyes of society and the church. But still, sex happened... just under some pretty rough restrictions. Even marriage didn't give people the freedom to go at it.

Wondering which positions were considered the worst, how people used sex toys, or what would God think of you for going down on your partner? Check out the answers (and even more about weird Medieval sex) below.

Condoms Were Made of Intestine and Linen


Condoms Were Made of Intestine... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list What Sex Was Like in Medieval Times
Photo: Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 4.0
Condoms have been around a long time, but they weren't always made of latex. Back in the day, condoms were made from animal bladders or intestines, and were constantly reused. For some strange reason, though, it wasn't seen as a mortal sin by the church. Maybe they were worried about STDs spreading. 

Missionary Position Was the Lay of the Land


Missionary Position Was the La... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list What Sex Was Like in Medieval Times
Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain
The missionary position is pretty tried and true, but if you were going by the church's standards, it was the only way to go. Any other position had the risk of confusing gender roles, and no one wanted to see a man outside a position of power. (Insert eyeroll.) One of the worst positions? Having a woman on top, of course. 

Erectile Dysfunction Was a Big Deal


Erectile Dysfunction Was a Big... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list What Sex Was Like in Medieval Times
Photo:  Thomas Rowlandson/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain
Since it was important that people have kids, not being able to perform was a major problem. If a guy couldn't get it up, their penis would literally be investigated by the church. In the end, if sex was impossible, the couple could be separated. 

Women Masturbated with Loaves of Bread


Women Masturbated with Loaves ... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list What Sex Was Like in Medieval Times
Photo:  jeffreyw/Wikimedia Commons/ jeffreyw - Mmm... French bread CC BY 2.0
Yes, masturbation was also a sin. But sometimes, it just has to be done. There were actually wooden sex toys in the past, but many people just didn't have that kind of money. So... they used hard loaves of bread. Gives new meaning to the term "yeast infection." (Sorry.)