Sexual Taboos: Then and Now

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Shocking Sexual Taboos

Did you know that in Ancient Egypt wearing a lipstick meant you are open to oral sex? Not anymore. With changing boundaries of all kinds, refined taboos have started to prevail.  

Here’s a list of shocking sexual taboos that have changed overtime: 


The concept of inbreeding was common in Royal families. They believed in the ‘Red Cloud’- a disease that would wipe out everyone in a tribe except a brother and a sister. The Egyptian Pharoahs believed that incest would keep their bloodline “pure”. However, the medieval restrictions placed by the Church on these inbreeding practices resulted into the prevailing taboo.  

Inbreeding, in today’s time, is considered as a taboo due to the detrimental outcomes of same genetics and the most widely held hypothesis-Westermarck effect or the reverse sexual imprinting that believes people who live in close domestic proximity during the first few years of their lives become desensitized to sexual attraction. 


Ancient Greeks enjoyed ‘Boy Love’ and no, it wasn’t termed as homosexuality. Greek society did not distinguish between genders but behaviours. The sexual act was played by the active or dominant and the passive or submissive desires. The active role was associated with masculinity while the passive role meant youth and femininity. Homosexuality as a term was completely out of the picture. 

However, in the medieval era, societal attitude towards homosexuality completed changed. In some countries, the LGBTQ members are accepted. Homosexuality remains a taboo in most parts of the Indian society even when it is deeply rooted in the Indian mythology. 


The Greek and the Roman aristocrats hated public kissing because of the practice of brushing with human urine amongst Roman citizens.  Luckily, we don’t have to think twice before kissing in public anymore. 

However, you’d be surprised to know that public masturbation was a popular event in Ancient Egypt. As a ritual, people would ejaculate into the Nile river for growth and prosperity.  

Sex outside marriage:-

Many tribes in the world still believe in a sexually liberated culture of open marriage. It is believed that tribes reinforce the belief of staying emotionally detached from their partners.  

From the Muria Tribes’ sex dormitories to Indonesia’s weird Pon Celebration, one can find a lot about polyandry. Muria Tribe had built mixed-sex dormitories where people were sent to practice all sorts of sex. During the celebration of Pon in Indonesia, participants wish for good luck by indulging in intercourse with someone else. 

Modern society believes in monogamy which is why most people see polyamory as a taboo. However, fraternal polyandry, where a group of brothers share a wife, is still prevalent in many societies.  


Greeks and Romans have always been relaxed about nudity. They adored everything about their bodies and mutually cherished it with nudity. 

Except for the Renaissance paintings, nowhere would you find such peaceful and shared nudity in public. 

Did we miss anything? Comment and let us know more about the lesser heard taboos in the comments below.  

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