Weird History Untangling The Real Details Of Cleopatra's Epic And Mythic Sex Life  

Melissa Sartore
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Theories about Cleopatra's lovers - and her sexual proclivities - abound. She was married to her brothers, bedded at least two powerful Roman men, and may have fashioned a vibrator using bees. The history of Cleopatra's sex life is both in keeping with the Egyptian sexual mores of her time, and potentially taboo by modern standards.

Was she the beautiful temptress she was made out to be?  Did she dominate the men in her life? Facts about Cleopatra's sex life remind you how she used sex for power and, honestly, did it pretty well. She got what she wanted, indicating she was as intelligent and charming as she was sexy.

Cleopatra May Have Pleasured Herself With Bees

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Photo:  Michel Fingesten/WikiMedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0

According to legend, Cleopatra was one of the innovators in the history of sex toys. It was said she fashioned an early version of a vibrator by putting angry bees into a hollowed-out gourd and using it to pleasure herself. In other versions of the story, Cleopatra masturbated by sitting on top of a papyrus box of angry bees. 

Bestiality in the Egyptian world didn't just include insects. There were accounts of men having sex with cattle, women having sex with dogs, and Egyptians successfully figuring out how to have sex with crocodile. Crocodile were useful for other aspects of sex as well.  Using crocodile dung was a common type of contraceptive

Cleopatra Was Supposed To Have Been An Expert On Fellatio

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Photo:  Pietro da Cortona/WikiMedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0

Cleopatra was known as "Meriochane" by the Greeks - a term that literally translates to "she who gapes wide for 10,000 men." She was supposed to have accomplished this feat on just one night. 

Her affinity for - and skill at - fellatio was reportedly what she used to seduce Caesar. She supposedly asked Egyptian prostitutes to teach her how to do the act, wanting to train herself in what she needed to do to get her man. 

Cleopatra Was Likely The Product Of An Inbred Relationship

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Cleopatra was the daughter of King Ptolemy XII Auletes, a Macedonian who became king of Egypt in 80 BCE. The identity of Cleopatra's mother is not known for certain, but it was either one of Auletes's concubines or his sister-wife, Cleopatra V Tryphaeana. It was common in Egypt for rulers to marry family members - cousins or siblings, most often - in order to keep bloodlines pure. It's likely that Cleopatra resulted from one of these relationships.

Cleopatra Married Her Two Brothers When They Were Children

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Photo:  Olaf Tausch/WikiMedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0

In keeping with Egyptian custom, Cleopatra married her brother, Ptolemy XIII, after her father died in 51 BCE. Her father designated Cleopatra and her brother as co-regents before his death because, by Egyptian law, she had to have a male co-ruler. At the time of their marriage, Ptolemy XIII was between 10 and 12 years old, something Cleopatra used to her advantage. She quickly pushed aside her brother, issuing administrative documents in her name only and putting her likeness on coinage.

After three years of this, however, Ptolemy XIII forced Cleopatra into exile. She fled to Syria where she seduced the Roman general Julius Caesar to persuade him to recapture the Egyptian throne on her behalf. He did, Ptolemy XIII fled, and later died. When she returned to Egypt, she married her other young brother, Ptolemy XIV. Somewhere between 11 and 13 years old at the time, Ptolemy XIV and Cleopatra co-ruled until Ptolemy's death in 44 BCE. After that, she co-ruled with her son by Julius Caesar, Caesarion.