Friday, March 27, 2009

The TGIF Sex Blog (Cultural History)

Hola Everybody...
What never ceases to amaze me is how so many people who visited my sex blog, who vociferously claim to sexually “liberated,” often demonstrate what I can politely call “provincial” sexual attitudes. Aw heck, why begin being diplomatic and just call it for what is is: I’m sick and tired of people who like to claim they are sexually uninhibited (or even “normal”) when in fact they’re just some country-assed muthafuckas.

The thing is, they like to say shit that sounds nice, but their actions and attitudes actually contradict what they say! LOL!

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-=[ Sex and Taboo ]=-

“Sex without love is a meaningless experience, but as far as meaningless experiences go it’s pretty damn good.”

-- Woody Allen

Until very recently, you lived your whole life isolated into the culture in which you were born. Today, technological advances have changed this. We live in an era rich in the exchange of information and cultural practices. I have a passion for cultural studies and I’m always fascinated by the vast range cultural expression. Nowhere is this truer than in the realm of human sexuality. While many people still think sex is something you do in the dark and only in one sexual position, or that sexual fantasies are evil, even a cursory glance at a cultural history of sex gives us a different picture.

We often take our own cultural practices as being the most “normal” or morally righteous when they aren’t. In fact, even within our own culture, there are inherent contradictions and sexual hypocrisies. 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 American homophobic men were raised in a culture in which taking it up the ass was considered manly, these very same men would be fighting about who could take it up the ass best. I’m not joking. Think about it: if you’re narrow-minded and culturally intolerant in this context, why wouldn’t you be the same in another cultural context?


When I first began seriously studying sex, 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 the pre-teen years, they are taken away from the tribe to live 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 to be ready (i.e., become 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.

The South Seas have forever stirred the sexual imagination of the West ever since early reports of lush tropical paradises of the flesh inhabited by beautiful people were disseminated. While this fantasy distorts the real sexual practices of this part of the world, it is true that many of the sexual practices found in the Pacific and the Americas differed greatly from Christian/ Judeo morality.

Sexual promiscuity, for example, was tolerated and native women who would swim out to the boats naked delighted 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 had a reputation for sexual looseness were allowed to participate in this form of sexual diplomacy.

A Tahitian society traveled about the islands as singers, dancers, athletes, and sexual exhibitionists. They were permitted promiscuous relationships wherever they went. What early explorers did not understand is that this group represented a religious institution and that much of their sexual behavior had a religious justification; after all, a God of fertility founded the society.

The Polynesian Islands is the area par excellence of public copulation, erotic festivals, and sex expeditions. While they unfortunately disappeared with the advent of Western colonization, 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 lady who boasted about having made the entire crew of a whaling boat happy.

Throughout Asia, there are unique customs also. In my post on cunnilingus, I wrote about a tradition reportedly started by the Tang Dynasty empress Wu Hou. It is said that she required, by royal decree, that all government officials and visiting dignitaries perform cunnilingus on her in public. 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 gets pregnant outside of sex hospitality, she is formally married to a prayer rug.

I guess what I’m trying to convey in a short (an 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. And perhaps, they’d be right...



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