Weird History

Weird Sex Toys People Used in Ancient China  

Lyra Radford
363.3k views 6 items

Pleasure devices from ancient China weren't necessarily all that different from the toys of today. The people of ancient China were very explorative with pleasure toys and sex in general, as can be seen in the abundance of erotic relics and paintings dating back to the Ming Dynasty. Some of the oldest known images that depict sensual relations can be traced back to the people of ancient China.

For the ancient Chinese, experimenting with homosexuality and group relations was common practice. They were also considered great innovators in female pleasure. It was very normal for men to have wives and many concubines, but women could only stray with permission. Perfecting pleasure toys was a way to continue exploring sexuality without a partner, ensuring a woman would remain faithful when her partner couldn't perform. This list contains some of the sensual toys ancient Chinese people used - for both pleasure and pain.

The Punishment Saddle
The Punishment Saddle is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Weird Sex Toys People Used in Ancient China
Photo:  Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY)

This saddle - affixed with a penetrative pleasure toy - was actually used as a punishment for unfaithful women in Ancient China. With a simple command, an emperor could have one of his women stripped, placed on the saddle, and paraded around town naked. People were encouraged to throw rocks at her or whatever they had on hand.

This saddle is still around and used in more of a specialized capacity, no public shaming required. 

Male Genitalia Cages

This male chastity device meant to cover and angle the shaft downwards. The use of these cages in ancient China could have been to prevent the loss of jing: the man's "essence." Taoists believe losing too much jing could be a health hazard, so they avoided relations and/or withheld release as much as possible.

These cages were, and still are, frequently used in BDSM play.

Hollow Pleasure Shafts
Hollow Pleasure Shafts is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Weird Sex Toys People Used in Ancient China
Photo:  Scott Edmunds/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

In ancient China, the wealthier a guy was, the more wives he had to keep up with, which could be exhausting. Men in ancient China became great champions of female pleasure. They believed if they could provide their women with a sexual substitute, they could keep them faithful.

Some pleasure items were cast in bronze or crafted in jade and many were hollowed out so they could release liquid. 

Demon Destroyers
Demon Destroyers is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Weird Sex Toys People Used in Ancient China
Photo: Vassli/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Dating back 5,000 years ago, these shafts weren't used sexually. The holes near the testicles were there so the ancient Chinese could hang them up over doors. They believed the demons would get so embarrassed at the sight of male genitalia mounted on the wall that they'd stay away from the house.