We cannot deny that sex is an integral part of modern society everywhere. However, sexual taboos still exist. Although in some parts of the world people openly talk about sex, we shouldn’t take it for granted. But what do we actually consider as taboo?
“Something that is kind of forbidden and deeply shameful and scandalous too,” says Gert Hekma, professor of the department of Sociology and Anthropology of the University of Amsterdam. “A general taboo exists on more explicit sexual communication, between parents and children, in schools, but also between partners on specific sexual wishes.”
To open up communication, here’s a list of the five weirdest taboos across the globe:
1) Purity Ball in Colorado
Fathers in Colorado make a promise to protect their daughters’ mind, body and soul from premarital sexual activities. Both fathers and daughters attend a formal dance called purity ball, where after enjoying a formal dinner fathers swear to protect and guide their daughters from losing their virginity . The oath is described by Pastor Randy Wilson: “I, (daughter’s name)’s father, choose before God to cover my daughter as her authority and protection in the area of purity. I will be pure in my own life as a man, husband and father. I will be a man of integrity and accountability as I lead, guide and pray over my daughter and my family as the high priest in my home. This covering will be used by God to influence generations to come.” Girls from four years old up to college age can take part in the ball.
2) Temporary Marriage in Iran
Premarital sex is forbidden for young Muslim couples in Iran. It is actually considered as a crime punishable by fining or even flogging. However, there is a way around it and it is called Temporary Marriage (Sighe). This marriage is a private contract which can last from one hour up to several years. The couple signs the contract, however not any further action or formal registration is needed. It provides a legal way for the couple to satisfy their sexual needs before the official marriage without facing social harassment. However, women should wait for two months before they undergo a new marriage.
3) Sex only at night
For Kuna Indians who live in Panama talking about sex openly is considered a taboo. According to their religion, Mormonism, they are only allowed to have sex during nighttime. They believe that having sex during the day is not in line with God’s laws.
The tribe of Semang, who live in Malaysia, also believes in the same thing. However, they go one step further as they are convinced that lighting and heavy thunderstorms are the result of a couple satisfying its sexual needs in the middle of the day. So be careful!
4) Only holding hands in Laos
Talking about sex publicly in Laos is unacceptable. Couples are not supposed to express their sexual feelings in public places either. Everything aside from holding hands is considered as insulting. Women are not allowed to show too much skin. Even if you are visiting Laos as a tourist you should be aware that sexual relations between an unmarried Laos citizen and one from the West are officially illegal and can be punished by three to six months in prison.
5) Masturbating in China
The Chinese government’s decision to loosen some of its control over sexual issues during the last few years, in combination with the use of the internet and the sexual revolution have resulted into a more open country regarding sexual issues. In the past years China’s inhabitants could not even talk about sex publicly without being censored. That doesn’t mean though that sex taboos don’t exist anymore. Masturbation is still a taboo in China. In high school students learn that “masturbation will lead to homosexuality.”
By Valia Papadopoulou