Listen to "Taboos vs Rituals"
Sexuality and sexual restraint have been going through massive changes with the morals of different eras and vary from culture to culture, from religion to religion. We think we live in a sexually liberated society where few things are taboo, but that is not really the case. If we have a look back to the city of Pompeii and the saved paintings from those times, we are going to blush.
Most of those hidden for centuries images stayed taboo because of their explicit detailed sexual content. The city of Pompeii and Ancient Rome and Greece will be a topic for discussion in some of our future issues. The point is that what used to be a natural and not shameful act of intimacy in other eras, is now taboo. There are practices that are wrong and vicious like pedophilia, rape, and all sexual perversions that harm the other person or could even kill them, and those are rightfully punished by the law.
However, the very act of sex, the very intimacy has become something inappropriate to talk about and discuss. In many countries parents still, severely object to sex education at schools, the topic of sex is never brought up in the family and the oppression of sexual desires – something natural as the desire to eat and drink water – can lead to serious physiological issues in later years, to cruelty and perversions, to sex addiction (not to be mistaken with desire for sex) which can be destructive to a person’s life and mind.
So, instead of facing a topic, which brings people joy and pleasure, we still hide from it, we set up rules, we have developed sensitivity to the most common connection between two people, through which we have children. The modern society is so uptight about discussing sexual topics, it almost sounds like: “Here are my three children, but how I got them, I don’t know. The cat dragged them in, I guess.”
Let’s NOT talk about sex, baby, but let’s have sex. If that is not hypocrisy, I don’t know what is. It will be a good idea to present some opposing traditions and rules which do exist in our world. No judgment, no conclusions, no stating what is right and what is wrong, what is too limiting, and what is out of comprehension in terms of liberation. It’s just an attempt to look at the approach people from all over the world have in regards to sex with all the extremes, as shocking as some of them can be.
In Japan, most girls will not go out on a date with a man who doesn’t have a proper education, a house, or at least a car.
Meanwhile, the Pon celebration of Indonesia is a ritual performed seven times per year. People go to the sacred mountain on Java and spend the night there, praying for fortune and good luck through having sex with somebody other than their husband or wife. They believe that their wishes will come true only through having sex with strangers. Pretty much a giant swing party, about which no one talks later. Also, a way to avoid cheating outside the ritual.
In Iran, dating is taboo if one is not engaged or married. No public display of affection is allowed, no kissing on the cheek, no hugging.
At the same time, the Muria tribe in India (the country with the most sexual taboos) performs the ritual Ghotul. Teen boys and girls are brought together, they are taught singing, dancing, and sex. The night is spent as a big orgy. The girls drink herbal juice to avoid pregnancy and if that happens, the whole village adopts the child because no one knows who the father is. Talk about sexual education and parental responsibility.
In Ireland, people are not supposed to talk about their previous relationships because the place is small and everyone knows everyone. That’s how they avoid awkwardness.
Also, in Inis Beag Island near Ireland, people are sexually repressed to such a degree that they keep their underwear on during sex. All right, but how?
The Guajiro people in Columbia perform a ceremonial dance during which if a woman trips a man, they must have sex. Problem solved – it’s a tradition.
In Portugal, it’s taboo to date more than one girl at a time. I suppose that is the right thing to do if you don’t want to lie, hide and sneak around.
And now, let’s swing to Mehinaku Village in Brazil where men try to win the heart of a girl by giving her as many gifts as possible. The gifts are made of fish. Romance with aroma.
In Palestina, no sexual contact is allowed before marriage. And yet another swing: in Aranda, Australia the usual practice is for men and women to have sex approximately five times a night.
In Fuji, public display of affection is still strictly limited to a kiss on the cheek.
Meanwhile, in some tribes in New Guinea girls and boys are separated from the age of seven for a whole decade. During this time they have to drink the semen of the strongest men in the village to be strong, healthy, and potent when they come back to society. And here we are with our healthy diets. What were we thinking?
In Italy, when going on a date with an Italian, do not cut the spaghetti, never talk anything bad about his family, least of all about his mother.
In some tribes in Papua New Guinea, children start sexual activity at a shockingly young age – boys at 10 to 12, girls much younger. The activity is accompanied by ritual chants and beauty spells whispered into the cocoa oil, which is later rubbed into the skin. Go figure!
In Ukraine (and not only) girls should not pay on a first date. I rather agree here.
On the Mangaia Islands in the South Pacific Oceans people have some of the most advanced sexual education routines. At the age of 13, boys sleep with an older woman to gain some experience and be prepared for the girl they marry.
Almost everywhere in Europe, the US and Canada one does not talk about previous relationships on a first date, not even on a second, not even on a third. A piece of advice: never is a good option.
An old traditional dance in rural Austria is the apple dance: the girls dances with two slices of apples under the armpits and when the dance is over, she gives them to the boy she likes and he has to eat them. Yummy? I must admit this always cracks me up.
In the Gulf countries, a man is not allowed to touch a woman not related to him under any circumstances, no handshakes, no traveling with a woman in the lift.
In Cambodia, in the Kreung tribe, the parents build a love hut for their daughter when her time for marriage comes. She spends many nights there with all the boys to be married and chooses the best for her. I guess it’s like the Sorting hat in Harry Potter – once you choose, you cannot UNchoose because cheating and divorce are illegal.
Whatever you might think of those traditions and taboos, it all depends where you stand on the globe – what is unacceptable and out of the question for some, is quite normal for others. With no judgment on my behalf, I am just presenting the information. My personal opinion: as long as you don’t hurt physically or emotionally somebody… well, some of the stuff is rather intimidating for me, but whatever floats your boat, man. Whatever floats it.
– By Geri Decheva
Also Read: Surprising taboos from the world