Sex Around the World

  1. Bhutan, Tibet, Nepal, India – Present day

    “However, polyandry is still practised in Bhutan, Tibet, Nepal and pockets of India, particularly amongst the minority tribes living in the Himalaya region.”

    Source: Multiple sources including “One Woman, Multiple Husbands And The Vanishing Practice Of Polyandry In Bhutan,” dailybhutan.com, 2/29/2020

  2. Niger – Present day

    “Aside from rating themselves as the most beautiful people on earth, the Wodaabes are among the few communities in the world that allow women to marry two husbands at the same time – a practice commonly referred to as ‘Sigisbesim.’ While some women prefer to leave their first husbands before moving in with the second, some like to have both husbands at the same time. For the men, they find their mates at a popular ‘wife-stealing’ festival known locally as ‘Yaki,’ which can sometimes last for 10 days.”

    Source: “The Wodaabe’s Age-Old Wife-Stealing Ceremony,” face2faceafrica.com, 7/10/2017

  3. India – Present day

    “The Muria embrace sexuality from a young age. Youths are sent to mixed-sex dormitories called ghotul, where they live in close quarters and are expected to engage in sexual activities, up to and including intercourse; this expectation does not extend to group sex, which is discouraged.”

    Source: “India, Muria Tribe,” atlasofhumanity.com, accessed 12/24/2020

  4. Global – A 2015 study

    Romantic–sexual kissing not practiced in more than half the world. “We defined romantic–sexual kissing as lip‐to‐lip contact that may or may not be prolonged. Despite frequent depictions of kissing in a wide range of material culture, we found no evidence that the romantic–sexual kiss is a human universal or even a near universal. The romantic–sexual kiss was present in a minority of cultures sampled (46%). Moreover, there is a strong correlation between the frequency of the romantic–sexual kiss and a society’s relative social complexity: the more socially complex the culture, the higher frequency of romantic–sexual kissing.”

    Source: “Is the Romantic–Sexual Kiss a Near Human Universal?” anthrosource.onlinelibrary.wiley.com, 7/6/2015

  5. Russia – 2005 to Present day

    “Day of Conception (also known as Procreation Day) is a Russian Holiday made popular by the region of Ulyanovsk, birthplace of Vladimir Lenin. The day itself takes place on September 12th, and couples who then have a child on June 12th are rewarded by the regional government.”

    Sources: “Russia: Make Love, Have Baby, Get Money,” abcnews.go.com, 1/7/2009; “Uncanny and Ming-Boggling Cultures From Around the World,” alltravelblog.com, 8/24/2020

  6. Indonesia – Centuries old practice to Present day

    “’The ritual at Gunung Kemukus [Indonesia] is people have sex with someone who is not their husband or wife, it has to be a stranger, someone they have never met before,’ says Koentjoro Soeparno, professor of sociology at the University of Gajah Mada. ‘They need to do it on Jumat Pon and they need to do it seven times. That’s every 35 days, so it’s a relationship that lasts around a year. So the couples have to make a significant commitment to each other.’”

    Source: “An adulterous pilgrimage,” abc.net.au, 3/21/2014

  7. Cambodia – to 2003

    “In the days of Cha Bai’s youth [1960s], the Kreung people did things differently. Every girl who came of age left her parents’ house to sleep in a small, low hut nearby. Kreung people call the huts the ‘maiden huts,’ or ‘houses of the young women.’…They build them to allow young people to experience courtship on their own terms, says Cha Bai.…In 2003, a Khmer businessman raped an indigenous girl from a village near Krolah. It was about then that most in Ratanakkiri decided to stop building the maiden huts. ‘We stopped. All of us, we stopped. We couldn’t do it anymore,’ says Ly Sam Oeun.”

    Source: “The Struggle to Save Teen ‘Love Huts’ in Cambodia,” vice.com, 3/25/2016

  8. Hawaii – Kapu system, abolished November 1819

    “Aside from restrictions of class and family, there were few sex kapu for common people. Masturbation, sex between uncommitted individuals, paired individuals having lovers, liaisons, polyandry, polygyny, homosexual patterns of behavior, and such were all accepted practices…Sex was considered to be good and healthy for all, young and old included.”

    Source: “Title: Sexual Behavior in Pre Contact Hawai‘i: A Sexological Ethnography,” by Milton Diamond, PhD, hawaii.edu, 2004

  9. Europe, New England – 16th to 18th centuries

    “Historically, bundling was a courtship practice in which, as a part of an ongoing courtship process, a couple spent a night together, usually in bed, dressed or half dressed. During the night, the young couple got to know each other intimately and sexually through various kinds of stimulation and mutual gratification. However, these were supposed to fall short of penetrative sex that could lead to pregnancy.”

    Source: “Bundling,” encyclopedia.com, updated 2020

  10. India – Pre-1858, 2018

    “Other experts also believe that India had a more open attitude to homosexuality before the Raj and there is ample evidence of it in medieval history and mythology. Historian Rana Safvi says ‘love was celebrated in India in every form’. ‘Whether ancient or medieval India, fluid sexuality was present in the society. One can see the depictions of homosexuality in the temples of Khajuraho and Mughal chronicles,’ she says.”

    Source: “Why legalising gay sex in India is not a Western idea,” bbc.com, 12/31/2018

  11. Pre-Colonial America

    “Research indicates well over 100 instances of diverse gender expression in Native American tribes at the time of early European contact. The cultural legacy of these people was nearly erased by religious indoctrination and the imposition of laws criminalizing varied sexuality and gender expression.”

    Source: “Gender and Sexuality in Native America: Many People, Many Meanings,” nps.gov, accessed 12/24/2020

  12. Ancient Greece

    “Ancient Greece featured at least five different varieties of same-sex relations: (a) pederastic relations, typically between adolescent boys and adult men who were not yet married; (b) relations between male youths of approximately the same age; less frequently (c) homosexual relations between fully adult men; (d) age-differentiated relations between females; and (e) relations between adult females.”

    Source: “Historical Views of Homosexuality: Ancient Greece,” oxfordre.com, 5/29/2020

 


Disclaimer: Sexual practices not only changed by country, group and village, they also were different at different times and even differed by individuals.