Friday, February 13, 2015

The Friday Sex Blog [Sex and Culture]

Hola Everybody...
My back has been killing me, forcing me to take too many days off from work. I’m going to have to go for a reevaluation.
However, today is Friday and that means we talk about sex... 

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Sex Practices across Cultures

Until relatively recently, you lived your whole life isolated in the culture in which you were born. Today, however, the world is a lot smaller -- technology allowing us access to information about different cultural practices. I am passionate about cultural studies and I’ve always been fascinated by the vast range cultural expression. Nowhere is this truer than in the realm of human sexuality. While many people in the West still think sex is something you do in the dark and only in one sexual position, even a cursory glance at the history of sex gives us a different picture.

We often mistake our cultural norms as the default or of a higher moral standing when, in fact, they aren't. Moreover, those who are most rigid in their thinking are those who would be most rigid in any cultural upbringing. So it follows that if homophobic American men were raised in a culture in which engaging in recipient anal sex was considered manly, these very same men would be competing about who could take it up the ass best. LOL! I’m not joking. Think about it: if you’re narrow-minded and intolerant in one cultural context, why wouldn’t you behave in the same way in another cultural context?

Whatevah muthafuckas... 

When I first started studying sex, I was fascinated by the broad range of sexual expression. I came across many different accounts from many different cultures. For example, in one Papuan tribe, young men are made into “boy brides” as part of a coming of age ritual. When boys reach their pre-teen years, they are taken away from the general population to live separately with older men. During that time, the boys are made to play passive roles, sometimes even performing homosexual acts with their “husbands.” When the boys are deemed ready (i.e., to enter society as men), they are reintegrated with their tribe and married to the daughters of their “husbands.” The homosexuality has no bearing on the boys’ sexual orientation, nor is there any stigma associated with it. (Though, I definitely would tease my son-in-law about sucking my dick. LOL)

Ever since the first reports of lush tropical paradises inhabited by beautiful people reached Europe, the South Seas have stirred the sexual imagination of the West. While the fantasy distorts the genuine sexual practices of that part of the world, it is true that many of the sexual practices found in the Pacific and the Americas differed greatly from the Christian/ Judeo sexual mindset.

Sexual promiscuity, for example, was tolerated. Native women would swim out to the boats naked delighting early explorers. However, further study shows that this sort of uninhibited sexuality was part of a strategy to keep the white foreigners peaceful. Only women who were sexually experienced were allowed to participate in this particular form of sexual diplomacy.

A certain Tahitian society traveled the Polynesian islands as singers, dancers, athletes, and sexual exhibitionists. They were permitted promiscuous relationships wherever they went. Of course, early Western explorers failed to grasp that this group represented a religious institution and much of their sexual behavior had a religious justification; after all, the society was based on a Goddess of fertility.

The Polynesian Islands is the area par excellence of public copulation, erotic festivals, and sex expeditions. While sex practices unfortunately disappeared with the onslaught of brutal Western colonialization, ceremonies involving sexual license had been commonplace. Naked dances occurred on Easter Island and the Marquesas, for example. At the close of feasts, Marquesans would hold public group-sex displays. The women taking part would take pride in the number of men they serviced. One anthropologist recalls a nice old woman who boasted about having made the entire crew of a whaling boat happy.

Most of Asia had their unique sexual customs as well. In a previous post on cunnilingus, I wrote about a tradition reportedly started by the Tang Dynasty empress Wu Hu. It is said that she required, by royal decree, that all government officials and visiting dignitaries publicly perform cunnilingus on her. In Mongolia, among the Mongour, certain “fake” marriages occur. If a daughter is offered to a guest (as ritual hospitality sex) and she gets pregnant, she is married to a belt, which must be left behind by the guest. The belt is simply symbolic of the man, who may never return. Similarly, in Mongolia, if a woman becomes pregnant outside of sex hospitality, she is formally married to a prayer rug.

I guess what I’m trying to convey in what is a short (and inadequate) piece, is that sexual expression varies greatly across the human condition. And before you start giggling, or wagging the morality stick, please remember that someone from another culture would deem your own sexual practices just as funny and just as immoral.

My name is Eddie and I’m in recovery from civilization… 

PS: Sex is good for you. Try it.

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