No one wants to think about their ancestors having sex, but it had to happen in order for you to exist. Although it’s probably hard to imagine people like Hitler or Cleopatra getting it on, it’s an undeniable reality. It might be weird to picture those scenarios in your head, but there are some historical sex facts—and one bizarre story—that are more fascinating than disgusting. Here are a few of them:
Back when Hitler had power, he initiated the Borghild Project to combat syphilis. After he found out that a large amount of his soldiers had sexually transmitted diseases because they were sleeping with prostitutes, he decided to give each of them a blow-up doll to sleep with instead. However, the soldiers refused to carry around the sex toys out of fear of embarrassment.
There is a rumor that Cleopatra came up with the idea of vibrators. Instead of making them mechanical, she wanted to take hollowed out gourds and fill them with angry bees. Although that story may or may not actually be a fact, there is hard evidence that Julius Caesar did give Cleopatra a sculpture of his penis as a gift.
Back in the 19th century, oral sex wasn’t as acceptable as it is today. In fact, many people believed that any woman who asked for oral sex was a sadist, and that going down on a woman was a “gateway drug” that would lead to oral sex between men. Meanwhile, the Romans believed that people who engaged in oral sex had bad breath; they would not even invite such people over to their houses as dinner guests.
The pharaohs in Egypt used to ejaculate into the Nile River during certain ceremonies. They believed that male masturbation was of incredible importance, especially when the act was completed by a god. Pharaohs would walk up to the edge of the river, take off their clothes, and masturbate so that their semen fell into water instead of onto the land.
The debate over whether or not size matters has been going on for much longer than you’d think. Back in the 1500s, men wore codpieces over their genitals, but instead of simply using the codpieces to hide the area, they also used them as tools of enhancement. Some men would add decorations to their piece, and others wore a size larger than they needed in order to make them seem more well endowed.
In the past, members of the Christian church were only permitted to have sex in the missionary position, which meant that the man had to be on top. Women were not allowed to straddle their man, and anal sex was prohibited as well. Sex was not meant to be enjoyable—its only purpose was to create children. A married couple could face serious consequences if someone caught them having sex the “wrong” way.