2.4k voters

The Weirdest Sex Trends from History

Updated February 6, 2019 10.8k votes 2.4k voters 337k views19 items

List RulesList includes any popular sexual act or trend that was a thing before the 1980s

How has sex in history changed as the centuries have gone by? The art of this type of physical intimacy has been practiced by human beings since time immemorial. In a historical sense, it is extremely diverse both in function and form, taking on practical, and sometimes religious, uses. Historical sex is fascinating, full of interesting historical sex practices, trends, and fads.

Often times the subject is considered too intimate to discuss, and thus taboo. And even in the privacy of your own home, getting it on still made people uneasy. This led to a plethora of regulations placed upon people by society or dominant groups, like the church, to instruct people on the proper way to have relations with their significant other. Some groups believed that it should only be for reproductive purposes, like the Catholic Church, while others took a more hedonistic approach. These restrictions led to some rather... bizarre ways that people vented their physical frustrations.

What are some of history's strangest and most surreal sex facts, as practiced in the ancient world? How did people get down in the past? Take a look below and be sure to vote up the most surprising and fascinating trends from the history of sex.

  • 1

    Pleasure-Giving Devices Were Used For Medical Purposes

    It may seem like common sense today that women experience pleasure just as men do, but this is actually a recent development in thinking. Before the 20th century, women were considered to be pure and innocent, and therefore were not thought to experience lust. The pent-up frustration they experienced was called hysteria. The cure for this so-called malady meant a visit to the doctor's office, so that they could massage the afflicted area with an electric pleasure-giving device specifically built for that purpose, which is where the modern day equivalents come from.


    Little weird?
  • 2

    Protection Used to Be Made from Animal Parts

    There are many things for which people should thank modern medicine and science. One of which is the invention of latex, the material from which most modern-day condoms are made. The Romans, however, did not have this privilege. Their condoms were made from more unsavory materials, such as animal parts. 

    Little weird?
  • 3

    Rough Play Was Practiced In Ancient Egypt

    Humans were practicing various forms of rough play long before Fifty Shades of Grey brought it into the mainstream. In Ancient Egypt, intimacy was openly, and often publically, expressed in many ways that we might find shocking, given the time period.

    The Etruscans practiced rough play and the fresca Tomb of the Floggings depicts men engaging in these rough acts with women. 

    Little weird?
  • 4

    Lipstick Was Used to Indicated Oral "Skills"

    When it comes to lipstick's lasting appeal for personal beauty, thank Hazel Bishop, a WWI chemist who is considered the father of the smear-proof formula. But lipstick itself has been around since antiquity. In Ancient Egypt, it was the cosmetic of choice for women and men.

    For sex workers, bright painted lips meant that you were very skilled from an "oral" perspective. 

    Little weird?