It's my favorite time of the week, the time of the week when Mental_Floss and I get to teach you some valuable piece of knowledge that will help you immensely as you move through life.  Now, we all know there is nothing grosser than the thought of your parents having sex.  Your grandparents are even worse.  But seven or so generations back, thinking about sex between your ancestors becomes really funny.  That's why today we're going to learn about…

Strange Sexual Customs Of The Past

Ancient Birth control
Egyptian birth control was really sh*tty.  Since no one had the pill in ancient Egypt, women packed crocodile dung into their “all seeing eye.” If for some reason that didn’t work, and a woman suspected that she was pregnant there were numerous fail-safe Egyptian home pregnancy tests. For instance, she could insert an onion into her vagina—and if her breath smelled onion-y? Well, looks like someone's boyfriend will be picking up extra shifts at the slave whipping site!

The Romans on the other hand, had their own tricks. Initially they used silfium, an herbal contraceptive that became so popular in Rome it became extinct. When that dried up, they were left with the only intelligent alternative: squatting and sneezing post-sexum, the sight of which must have been as funny, if not funnier, as someone stuffing crocodile poop into her vagina.

Sex with Feet
Back in the day, when a girl was young and her bones good and tender Chinese parents would bind their daughters’ feet with long strips of cloth. But why exactly? Basically so that the outsides of the feet would curve downward and inward to form vagina-like folds. As painful as it was, the deformed feet were thought to be highly erotic, and there are plenty of accounts of men paying enormous dowries to have sex with the resulting folds. The plus side of this was that the women rarely got pregnant from the foot sex unless, of course, her husband had really, really good aim. 

Punishments for bad behavior
During the Middle Ages, priests studied various Penitentials—books dedicated to providing the proper punishment for a sin. Here’s how specific the books got: 

A wife who mixes her husband’s semen into dinner so as to make them more amorous shall do penance for three years (from the Penitentials of Theodore, c. 675). Of course, that’s nowhere near as bad as "emptying" into someone else’s mouth. That sin could land you seven years of Hail Mary’s.  The Penitentials are silent though on the subject of "emptying" into your roommate's sock. 

Enlarging your penis, Indian-style
Vatsayana, author of the Kama Sutra, was an ascetic who may have never had sex. But that didn’t stop him from recommending a ton of sex positions, and dedicating his last book to penis enlargement. His failsafe trick? Sleep face down on a cot with a hole in it. Then attach a giant weight to your member, and snooze.  Better still, convince your roommate this trick works and watch the hilarity unfold!

Dildos: Don’t leave earth without one
Along with the many things they’d be needing in the afterlife (just the essentials, like necklaces, cosmetics, perfumes and gold) early Egyptian queens were also buried with a wide variety of dildos.  Yup, dildos and mumified cats…that's Egypt in a nutshell. 

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