6 Historic Sex and Dating Rituals You’ll Be Glad Succumbed Out

September 18, 2017

It’s fair to say that the social norms around love and sex have gotten a lot more complicated in the past few decades. If you want to go on a date these days, you’ll need to spend upwards of 17 hours find the angle from which your face appears the most attractive, and then master the fine art of responding to incoming flirtation. Respond too quickly and you look like a desperate loser, but respond too late and you look like an asshole. That said, although pursuings of romance were simpler back in the olden days, they weren’t necessarily better . Not when an argument with your significant other could lead to a perfectly legal deathmatch, or when getting a divorce from your spouse meant being sold at auction.


Marital Disputes Were Occasionally Settled Via Fights To The Death

There’s a lot of advice about how to resolve arguments with your partner. One school of thought is that you should be like the stream and let everything but the most heinous stuff float away. Another indicates you should jack-jaw about every conflict, sitting down and talking everything through like rational adults so that bitternes doesn’t build over hour. Of course, there’s always a third option, courtesy of the 13 th century: penetrated into a no-holds-barred battle to the death.

Throughout the Middle Ages, it wasn’t unheard of for disagreements to be negotiated via trial by combat. This method wasn’t just restricted to royalty or the upper classes; anyone could participate and only, like, wail on whomever did them wrong. And although they weren’t an everyday activity, opposes between husband and wife aren’t uncommon in the historical record. In 1200, for example, there was a battle between a husband and wife in Bale, Switzerland, whilst another combat in 1228 resulted in a( literally) crushing defeat for the spouse, in what must have been some highly heavy petting.

In one of the few moments in history in which women weren’t being dunked on by the system, the spouses were disabled during such battles by having to fight from inside a three-foot-deep hole dug into the arena floor utilizing only clubs. Oh, and if they touched the sides of the hole, one of their clubs was confiscated. The spouse, meanwhile, was free to wander around the arenas picking him off from a distance with, we shit you not, boulders in a sack πŸ˜› TAGEND

It was such an … interesting … setup that one artist of the day was able to fill an entire book with struggle styles that either side could utilize to victory. Victory, of course, is a word here meaning “killing.” Which is likely why we don’t do things this style any more.


Spending Your First Night Together Meant Being Sealed In A Sack

Teenagers have forever been easily combustible sacks of hormones and body fluids. These days, we deal with this by encouraging them to wear tight clothes and drink, because we’re unbelievably cool. But previous generations weren’t so accommodating.

For instance, in the 17 th century, teen couples interested in spending the night together were wrapped in burlap sacks and left to lie next to each other. Known as “bundling, ” this practice was unbelievably popular in rural areas of England and Wales. It worked like so: When a teenage couple was set to expend the night together, the girl would have a bag tied around her waist in order to ward off any invaders. The dehornified couple would then be tucked into bed, and just to make sure that no nonsense happened, they were separated further by a wooden plank.

The objective wasn’t all-out psychological warfare( although that was a bonus ). It afforded the couple a chance to spend the night together whilst simultaneously permitting the mothers to expend the night without fretting they’d have another mouth to feed in nine months. It was kind of sweet, in a way — one of the first steps toward allowing young people to pick their own partners rather than have them thrust upon them.

Bundling demonstrated such a successful method of boner-foiling that it soon built its way to New England, where the situation reportedly got even weirder. Supposedly, if a happen traveler needed a bed for the night, the wife and daughter( s) of the house might be bundled and made to share a bed with them. Whether this is merely a prurient rumor or not is a little hard to say, but bed-sharing did happen a lot more back then, and craftsman were selling beds with built-in bundling boards. So it’s possible. And certainly one way to boost your Yelp reviews.


You Could Carry Creepy, Intense Talisman Of Your Lover’s Eye

If you love someone, you’ve probably expended a fair amount of day gazing deeply into their eyes, lost in the starburst patterns around their dilating pupils( often a green light for smoochin’ ! ), or their flecks of gold, or their cat irises or whatever. Now how would you like to have that to carry around with you eternally?

Politely disinterested? Wholly weirded out? Oh.

Well, we got it for you anyway.

These little paintings were called Lover’s Eyes, and were en vogue in Western european countries around the start of the 19 th century. Legend has it that they got their start when the future King George IV fell in love with a Catholic widow of two husbands, Maria Fitzherbert. After a lengthy and generally fruitless courtship — including a faked suicide attempt, an illegal proposal, and Maria fleeing the goddamned country — George ultimately hit on a winning formula. He sent a painting of his eye, with the postscript: “I send you a parcel, and I send you at the same hour an eye. If you have not altogether forgotten the whole countenance, I guess the likeness will strike you.”

Something about this struck her( maybe the futility of trying to escape a persistent prince ), because she came back to England and married him in a secret ceremony on December 15, 1785. This creepy love story was the beginning of a creepy love tendency, and while it faded out rapidly, experts suspect that some 1,000 of these little paints exist to this day. It’s all but impossible to identify them without an inscription though. The subjects, and certainly the depth of meaning of these objects, were clearly intended for one person alone. Which, while still unbelievably creepy , is kind of romantic.

Also they let you lie pretty easily about who your devotee might be, which is fun.


You Had To Get Birth Control Advice From Illicit Pamphlets

In 1968, students at Montreal’s McGill University had a problem: They wanted to crush some ass, but had little knowledge about family planning or pregnancy or whatever bizarre STIs they have in the Great White North( that might indeed be the name of one ). This was all thanks to stringent laws that prohibited the dissemination of such prohibited knowledge. But as there’s no problem that students won’t solve if it allows them to bone or beverage, they hit the books, went underground, and mass-produced their own pamphlet, inventively titled The Birth Control Handbook .

Within, students could find information on everything from the menstrual cycle to contraception to sexuality stances. With regards to family planning and abortion, it dedicated students everything they could possibly need to know, from information on procedures to broaching the subject in conversation to cost guides and reviews of local clinics. As one reader made very clear, “women were desperate for this information, so starved for information … you wanted it, in as much detail as you could get, as graphic as it could be made.”

The publication of the pamphlet was constructed possible by donations from students, as well as secret fund from Princeton University and the University of Maine, and son did they do a lot with it. Between 1968 and 1975, they’d distributed a staggering three million copies of the guidebook — a figure boosted by horny students in the U.S. writing to get their hands on this mythical volume that they’d heard about via whisperings in sex backrooms.

There was another illicit sex guidebook before this. In the 1830 s, The Fruits Of Philosophy advised sex-havers everywhere about the science of family planning. Although the majority of members of it is hilariously antiquated, it was one of the first publications to espouse the benefits of vaginal douching with a spermicide post-sex. Unlike the Canadians, the author of this pamphlet, Charles Knowlton, was found out by The Man, fined $50 for flouting profanity laws, and sentenced to hard labor. You’ll be glad to know though that the matter is didn’t hurt his cause, because his cause was awesome . Case in phase: Not only did a member of the jury that convicted him ask for a transcript of the book, so did the prosecutor and the judge . It turns out that while they were duty-bound to impose the law, they didn’t agree with it.

They also likely liked to fuck.


Finding A Partner Was All About Disgusting, Vomitous Love Potions

When the ne’er-smooth route to love ran super off-road in the old days, romance’s four-wheel drive came in the form of love potions. Horrifically disgusting love potions πŸ˜› TAGEND The Pitt Rivers Museum/ University of Oxford
Feeling roused yet ?

That’s ambergris, a “growth” found in sperm whale bowels. In the Middle Ages, they used to make love potions with ambergris mixed with gypsum( procured more commonly today in walls ), wax, and labdanum( a resin you can pick out of the fleece of passing goats ). Is that attaining you musky? If not, consider the version of love potion recommended by Pliny the Elder, made of hyena eyes. And Cleopatra was said to have imbibed pickled pearls — that’s mushy oyster ooze-grit and vinegar — to maintains her, uh, milkshake frosty.

Moving right along the dark tunnel of old-timey love, we see that love potions in France were once made up of natural herbs, natural flies, and natural menstrual blood. And the 1500s love potion of choice was a mixture of periwinkle, leeks, and earthworms.

Love and fish-killing are two activities not commonly so closely related .

Now, beyond the fact that these potions don’t run( presumably, ingesting this stuff would actively make a person decidedly unappealing ), the production and consumption of these things didn’t always aim well for either party. In New Mexico during the days of Spanish control, girls making love potions — made of fried or mashed worms, milk, bodily fluids, and powdered shells, since you’re asking — were reportedly rounded up as witches. Which ended in the usual theatrical murder of unpopular females, in this case at the hands of men who we’re going to go out on a limb and call unsatisfied customers. Which honestly doesn’t seem fair. If someone hands you a plate of jizz-worm meal and you eat it and abruptly no one wants to kiss you, at least some of that has to be on you, lover-boy.


Ending A Marriage Meant Being Sold At Market( If You Were A Woman )

Marriage used to be simple. Two people vowed to live “peoples lives” together, angry, on a farm, facing none of the risks posed by extramarital sexting, or extramarital streaming, or one of them taking up vaping. And while that sounds delightful, one upside today’s lovebirds have is that there are options for escaping a doomed relationship other than “selling your ex-partner like an unwanted exercise bike.” Which was something which actually happened.

Up until the 1850 s, getting divorced in England involved navigating a complex annulment process or petitioning parliament into drafting a statute to allow it, which essentially invited the government to cross-examine you on your erectile dysfunction. In absence of either the money or reciprocal hatred are required to put themselves through such a process, it used to be commonplace for couples in rural areas to offer themselves for sale to other potential suitors.

Wiki Commons
This may still be occurring in some of the shadier parts of Craigslist, come to think of it .

And by “themselves, ” we entail “the wife.” Although this was a mutually agreed-upon process, there was never any question of the wife putting the husband out to someone else’s pasture. One person walked away single and rich, the other walked away with another husband, and that was that.

Mind you, the spouse had some control over this process. In the event that her husband was on the cusp of selling her off to a drunken psycho, the spouse had the option to veto any sale that she wanted, thus affording her some hope of being paired off with one of those long-haired lotharios who are always buying women at the market.

And how much could you buy a bride for, you ask, checking your wallet? Well, that all depended on the husband. If he was a businessman, he’d surely to continue efforts to get a good cost, if merely for the sake of his own reputation. But if the husband was a drunken wretch, he’d sell her for whatever pocket change someone had … or a pint of brew, as one wife in 1862 found to her dismay.

When they aren’t ruining history like two drunkards with a hour machine, Marina and Adam can be found on Twitter. Adam also has a Facebook page, but that’s merely for the cool children. Uncool kids will understand that Marina is behind the times and still needs one — please help her. Thanks again for enduring the punchy puns of Team Marinadam! See you next time ! Also check out 7 Route Dating Employed To Be A Horrifying Game Of Roulette and 6 Reasons Online Dating Will Never Lead To Love . Subscribe to our YouTube channel, and check out Why Dating With Depression Is So Hard, and other videos you won’t assure on the site !

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