We all love sex, don’t we? And, I imagine that sex has gone through a huge change simply from a cultural perspective, and perhaps we’ll keep going in that direction. But, if I were to take you back just a couple of centuries ago, back to the medieval period (5th to 15th Century) in Europe, things would start taking an outlandish turn.
Sex had rules, etiquette, and do’s and don’ts back then. Some of them were crazy ideas and some of them were downright hilarious. We’re not sure how anyone kept a tab if the rules were to be broken, but we’re guessing there was a pamphlet or something of the sort which basically told you what the repercussions for sexual sins would be after death. The church was damn cool that way.
Here are 10 facts about medieval sex that’ll amaze you. Maybe even get you thanking your lucky stars that you weren’t born back then.
1. There was only one position that was legal – the missionary.
Imagine a life where ‘doggy style’ is the kind of sex that’ll get you not just the stink eye, but also front row seats to satanic torture in the depths of hell. In fact, the most progressive move by the Church at the time was to grade different positions at different levels of sin. The sexier the pose gets, the deeper your descent to hell.
2. There was a death penalty for premarital sex.
You can look, but you can’t touch. Premarital sex was such a huge no-no that the Church kind of had a SWAT team that would sneak up on your sex-having ass from the back and catch you mid-thrust with a pair of handcuffs. You’d most probably be executed by disembowelment. But hey, you deserved it, right?
3. Erectile dysfunction meant an automatic wrap on your sex life.
Those weren’t the days when you could just tell your wife you’ve had a long day at work, or some bullshit like that. If, by any chance, you were having trouble sporting that hard on, the Church would send its absolute best medical experts (read: exorcists) to give your penis a thorough check up. If the problem persisted, your marriage was over, and with that, any chance of having sex in the future.
4. Before latex came around, condoms were made of animal parts or cloth.
There are very early records of condom usage in history, which is quite surprising since the Church considers it a sin, even today. I guess they had larger problems to deal with back in the day. Supposedly, condoms were used, more or less, to deal with STDs than anything else, and were fashioned from anything, ranging from animal bladders or intestines to linen. And, they were also constantly reused. Sloppy Seconds, anyone?
5. Bread loafs made the best dildos.
First of all, let me just say, women were warriors back in the day. Damn! Way to put that bun in the oven. Although, masturbation was considered a sin, people didn’t really give two shits. Wooden dildos were already a thing, but who had that kind of money? So, women resorted to the next best option, which happened to be hardened loafs of ‘dill dough’. See what I did there?
6. Husbands would have to gift their wives presents for having taken their virginity.
Virginity was pretty much the standard to judge a woman by, back in the day. Women who had lost their virginity were considered to be less pure than the ladies who remained celibate. Even losing their virginity after marriage had to be compensated with a gift. The husband would have to give his wife a decent present for taking away the one thing that was so treasured in her. ‘Cause fuck personality and shit.
7. Sex ‘had’ to be done to make babies, but you better not enjoy it.
I can’t even… Apparently, one of the mandates dictated that sex was a necessary evil to make babies, but still an evil. Which meant that you could do it because you had to, but then enjoying it while you did it meant that you were heading down the highway to hell. If that’s the case, then you, me and more than 99% of the world’s population is hell-bound. Fo Sho!
8. Praying hard enough would fetch women their virginity back.
Coming back to virginity being the one and only badge of honour, women who lost their virginity, even if it was because of marriage, could actually serve penance and pray for the rest of their lives to win it back. Of course, physically nothing changed, but religiously a woman could win her place back into the arms of the divine.
9. Gay people had a really, really tough time.
I don’t even have to mention how the Church views homosexuality, because not a lot seems to have changed. But, back in the medieval age, homosexual acts, when discovered, were punished with everything from burning, hanging, and even starving the perpetrators to death.
10. Oral and anal sex reserved a spot for you in hell.
Man, if masturbation is a no go you can be sure that every sex act that can’t make babies was considered to be a sin. I wonder what kind of stuff were these fools smoking back then. I want some of that, right now!
“Whoever ejaculates seed into the mouth, that is the worst evil. From someone it was judged that they repent this up to the end of their lives.” Such, are the words of Canons of Theodore – a book of judgement published by the Archbishop Theodore of Canterbury.