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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sex life: 15 surprising factoids about sex in different cultures (plus a video!)

Sex is no doubt one of the hot button issues for modern married couples with children. Most parents will fess up to struggling to find time to rekindle romance while juggling work, wiping sticky faces and driving carpool and recent studies confirm that this is sadly the status quo.

But much of the data addresses sex in the U.S. and the U.S. alone, and we thought it might be fun to see how our western attitudes and practices (between consenting adults and in our sex ed for kids) fit into a larger, more international picture of the sexual habits and teachings across cultures.

Here, 15 surprising factoids about sex:

1) Wife Swap: The Australian Aborigines temporarily exchange wives as a gesture of friendship and goodwill at the ceremonies where puberty rites are held for their kids. The wives often initiate this, enjoying the change of ''scenery'' as well.

2) Bisexuality is more the rule, not the exception: Homosexual relationships are an accepted practice among the men and boys of the Siwans of Africa. The few who do not participate are considered peculiar.

3) It's ok to watch: Lesu children are premitted to watch adults, other than their parents, copulate.

4) No Virgins under 10!: The Ila people of Africa encourage their children to fully develop their sexual capabilities, permitting them any form of sexual expression they wish to partake in. It is claimed there are no virgins older than age 10 in this society!

5) Knowlege is power: Upon reaching puberty, boys of Mangaia (one of the Cook Islands) are given sexual instruction - including many details of positioning, and delaying their own satisfaction so that their parter women may experience multiple orgasms.

6) Why wait for marriage? In a survey in 1949 of 849 societys, 75 percent were found to permit premarital intercourse. Of course, in America in 1988 the stats showed that 70 percent of married American women had indulged in premarital intercourse as well . . . they are just supposed to feel *guilty* about it here! (source)

7) Experience preferred: Some Hindu sects require a preist to deflower a virgin before she consummates her marriage with her husband.

8) If one is good, two (or three!) is better: The most common universal form of marriage is actually Polygamy - one husband with two or more wives. Of those 849 societyes, 70 percent are polygamous.

*Conversly, polygyny (or polyandry), defined as "a wife with two or more husbands" is the least common form of marrige.

9) Keep it simple: The Aweikoma of Brazil are very literal people. Because eating and intercourse each involve entering bodily orifices, they use the same term for both activities.

10) Speak up! The inhabitants of Bali, and the Lepcha of Sikkim have no elaborate rituals or practices of seduction. If sex is desired, one only need ask for it - this is true for both men and women.

11) You break it, you buy it! If a Goajiro woman of Colombia successfully trips a man during a ceremonial dance, he is required to have intercourse with her. Be careful where you step ladies (and gentlemen...)

12) Three's a charm: Pacific-dwelling Marquesan men have acquired the ability to prolong their erections indefinitely until their parter is fully satsified. It is considered normal for the women to exeprience at least 3 orgasms.

13) Sisterly love: During the latter stages of a Hidatsa womans pregnancy, her husband is allowed intercourse with her sister. (and his pregnant wife is probably very relieved!)

14) Endless love: Its not uncommon for the Aranda of Australia to copulate three to five times nightly, sleeping for short intervals in between activity.

15) All bets are off! Anytime there is a show of blood from the uterus (during menses or after birth) a Jewish woman must not engage in sex with her husband. There are laws of family purity that say when and when not to engage in sex. During pregnancy, however, is the one time in a Jewish woman's life when it is permissible to have sex all the time. This explains a Jewish's man smile when he says, "My wife is pregnant."

If you'd prefer your factoids set to music, watch the Spelling Sex video below (safe to play at the office...)


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