Every generation in human history has viewed itself as more advanced and civilized than the last. The one constant has always been sex, and rituals around it.
Marriage orgies are an interesting cultural element, but it has not quite died down. In some cultures even today, gang kissing the bride is an accepted and expected part of the wedding ceremony. Gang kissing itself traces its roots to a tradition in some cultures where a marriage ceremony would end “…with people other than the groom being granted full sexual access to the bride.” Freud described it as the “..bride taking on all the men present.” I don’t know any other descriptive set of words than that (you can almost see it as a porn subtitle).
Among the Dahari of India, however, exists a different version where any woman married into a family (not a particular man) has to have sex with all the brothers. This was fraternal polyandry at its best. That means that a wealthy family was known by how many wives they have between them, as opposed to how many cars, acres of land, jet planes or even bank balances. Fraternal polyandry existed in a few African communities, although it was not as common as polygamy.
In the Chickasaw (of Mississipi) matrilineal system, a man moved into his wife’s home after approval by her mother and sisters.
Once accepted, he was allowed to have sex with all her sisters, married or otherwise. I should probably end that part with a disclaimer that you should not try that at home, but you go ahead, refuse to give a fuck and go all Chickasaw on your wife and her sisters. People have died for less, much less.
But those are the nice kinds of sexual ritualistic orgies.?Future generations will perhaps think the same too of our coital madness (“Our ancestors had this bizarre orgy called bukkake, so gross!”).
In?Primitive Mythology, a part of the series of books called ‘The Masks of God’, Joseph Campbell writes about a ritual love-death among the Marind-anim of South Guinea had that combined everything from cannibalism to sexual orgies.
In Page 171, Campbell writes:
“The particular moment of importance which terminates in a sexual orgy of several days and several nights, during which everyone in the village except the initiates makes free with everybody else-until the final night, when a fine young girl, painted, oiled, and ceremoniously costumed, is led to the dancing ground and made to lie beneath a platform of very heavy logs. With her, in the open of the festival, the initiates cohabit, one after another; and while the youth chosen to be last is embracing her the supports of the logs above are jerked away and the platform drops, to a prodigious boom of drums. A hideous howl goes up and the dead girl and boy are dragged from the logs, cut up, roasted, and eaten.”
That’s two different orgies, one with everyone in it except the select few and the other with the select few in a single girl who, with her last mate still at it, would be killed, roasted and eaten. And in the morning, they would feel as accomplished as the next guy. Well, except the copulating couple digesting in their bodies.
Among several African communities, harvest-time orgies were quite common among unmarried people. Most of what we know about this is from letters from racist white men who wrote back home about “savages simply doing it out in the open.” Despite this, they are the few written historical records we have, and while alot might have been embellished to trigger Christian anger and motivation to evangelise, some of it was true.?Africans weren’t prudes either to whom sex was purely for procreation, and neither were they sexual savages who had no rules around coitus.
Of course, since children were important in every society, it followed that sexual rules were loose around procreation. Among the Kamba the wife could have sex with the man’s brothers and close cousins, and even bear their children. Extra-marital children were encouraged, not just among the Kamba, because it was thought that curses flowed through family lines (hedging your bets, if you may).
Masturbation and Ritual Sex
Before that grosses you out, the Mardurdjara Aborigines of Australia have a solution for all men who have trouble peeing with an erection in the morning. Its simple, during male initiation, the boy would be made to cannibalize his own foreskin. He has to “swallow his own boy.”
Later, the young man gets a second incision on the underside of the penis right from the frenulum, the head, all the way to somewhere near the scrotum This means that he has to squat to urinate so there gentlemen, problem solved? Anthropologists think it’s meant to simulate menstruation, to sympathize with women. In the?comments here, one commenter says that the nick was also used as a form of contraception because a pebble could be placed inside there to stop the semen from flowing into the vagina during intercourse. Talk about being ahead of their time!
Now that we are on the topic of semen.
There’s?this article?with more racist rants than a KKK sermon. Before you read it, I should warn you that the comments are worse. The stated facts are, however, exactly that, facts. Among the Samba of Papua New Guinea, a boy must copulate with the older men orally during the first stage of the initiation ceremony. Interestingly, this has nothing to do with feminization but with turning the boys into fierce warriors by ingesting the semen of the older more accomplished men, or “inseminators.”
The Fourth Stage of Initiation has an interesting element. The young man, now turned from being inseminated to being an inseminator marries and is taught how to protect himself from the odor of a vagina. He must, while having intercourse with her, not penetrate too deeply because if it (you will not believe this) enters her urethra it might make him ill… HUH? Did this people even human anatomy?
Women were also taught fellatio (I just think older men in this culture just loved head). Among the lessons was that one must swallow the semen to later be able to provide her child with milk and strong bones…because the Samba believe semen is transformed into breast milk.
Semen and its magical uses. Too many. Too many. We are not even near done.
Among Ancient Egyptians, during the festival of the god Min, high-born Egyptian men gathered and masturbated in celebration. Seriously. Ancient Egyptians believed that the sun god Atum created the Nile by masturbating, and hence the ebbs and flows of the river were the flows of his ejaculate. This bizarre creation theory meant the Pharaoh had to wank himself silly into the Nile, adding particulates for the Mediterranean Sea of course, to ensure the Nile never dried. Min, on the other hand, represented the potency of the Pharaoh, and his nobles masturbated to pay their taxes to the eternal flow of the Nile.
It was the same case among the Lobi of Ghana. There men gathered on the banks of the Volta river and danced until they were horny. Then they wrapped their dicks in casings and wanked themselves silly. They then poured the ejaculate into the river, expecting that animals downriver would drink the semen, and therefore keep multiplying. Note that both examples here are of male masturbation because in most societies, female masturbation was frowned upon. It was actually one of the primary reasons for female circumcision.
Among the Kikuyu and several other Kenyan tribes, initiation ritual sex was allowed and expected. Parents would talk freely with the children on all matters sex, including the pre-initiation masturbation which was right and proper for boys but wrong for girls.
Ngwiko was a pre-initiation ceremony of incomplete sex-play that disappeared during the colonial era. Other elements of sexuality included mutual masturbation among young unmarried adults. Full intercourse was discouraged before initiation but they could pretty much engage in anything else. So mutual masturbation was pretty much all this young horny things did, for an entire night, while being chaperoned.
Some post-initiation cultures such as “kuhuurwo mbiro ya rwenji”?(wiping off the soot of the circumcision knife) are still present among some rural Kikuyu. This was full sexual intercourse, different from the intercourse during the initiation ceremony itself. Suffice to say that in addition to the knives, the tetanus and the bleeding, initiation ceremonies were big orgies.
But on the point of female masturbation, among civilisations such as ancient Egyptians and Sumerian cultures, priestesses had rituals that involved self and mutual masturbation. The acts were considered sacred, and involved sex toys such as dildos. The rituals were called?phallophoric?(to carry the phallus) because the first step was to dance around while singing obscene songs and carrying dildos around their waists.
Homosexuality is African, Homophobia isn’t
You have probably heard the argument that homosexuality is not only African but the first recorded case was actually right?here. Archaeology proves the point, with a 4390-year old Saqqara tomb in Egypt. In it, two men, Khnumhotep and Niankhkhnum are buried together, a practice only related to lovers. The walls of the tomb depict them nose kissing and in an intimate embrace.
Gay people were either classified in a gender neutral terms or they were regarded as transgender. In some tribes in Gabon and Cameroon, homosexuality was believed to have a medicinal effect; in some South African tribes, lesbians made up the bulk of traditional healers and astrologers. Among the Meru (and the Kikuyu) of Kenya, crossdressing medicinemen called ‘Mugawe’ were known to engage in homosexual relationships, although the social dynamics viewed them as women despite their male genitalia. Among warrior communities, sexual relationships between older, experienced warriors and younger “beardless” novices were not common.
Actually, until the Middle Ages when the Catholic Church went batshit crazy about “sodomy”, most communities had no problem with these relationships, and even encouraged them. Note that you’ve probably read this about the Roman and Greek warrior units, but it excited outside of them, even in Carthage, and nascent North African warrior communities.
The badass warrior queen Nzinga of Ndongo and Matamba (today, Angola) ruled as a “king.” She dressed as a man, and kept a harem of young men who dressed as women and were referred to as “wives.” Vast examples exist of such scenarios of open culture across Sub-Saharan Africa, with homosexuality in some communities in Benin and Congo being seen as more of a phase than a form of sexuality. In most of these, patriarchal to the bone, gay sex among men was permitted, and in some, encouraged. Lesbian relationships are perhaps rarer, but not too few. You have them across communities beyond the traditional woman-woman marriage practiced in communities in Kenya, for example. In most societies, such as Cape Bantu, lesbian sex was one of the key steps to becoming a diviner.
We never really evolve, we just learn how to behave in public. And how not to kill and eat each other after orgies.
One story is good,
till Another is told.