Ancient Egypt ُSex


Egypt was and is a civilization of vast diversity. Ancient Egypt had
many different sexual behaviors and diversities: homosexuality,
transgenderism, incest marriages, exhibitionism, prostitution, adultery,
bestiality, necrophilia, and others. There were different customs
among nobility, common people, and slaves. Nobility had a wide
range of marital customs and practically all sexual behaviors were
both accepted and condemned depending on the time period and the
ruling class. This was similar with the common people, only there
seems to be a more strict regime in marriage, and a variety of
punishments to those who broke the laws. What was acceptable among
slaves and concubines was dependent upon their owners. Although
Egypt has similarities to other civilizations, they also had unique
sexual imagery and customs.


Egyptians thought highly of cleanliness and shaved not only their
heads, upon which they wore wigs, but also their pubic hair, which
prevented forms of pubic lice. Circumcision was also practiced which
eliminated smegma (dirt and bacteria build up under the foreskin).

Contraception and Potions
Different types of contraception were attempted, such as the use of animal dung as a form of a spermicide. If this failed, potions were derived to induce miscarriage. Potions were also used as aphrodisiacs.
Lineage of Pharoahs
Ancient Egypt’s lineage was traced through women and property was passed through women. For this reason, Ancient Egypt originated as a matriarchy. The pharoahs were trustees of the property passed down and their reign was decided by their matrilineal status. Because of the matrilineal structure, husbands would lose their property and status if their wife died. The property was passed down to the daughters and granddaughters. Many incest relations began with fathers and daughters and granddaughters because the men wanted to stay with the property. There were also numerous brother/sister incest marriages.
Sexual Imagery of Gods and Religious Rites
One Creation Story
Chaos (probably the Roman name equivalent of the Egyptian deity), the god of creation, masturbated, and from his ejaculation he created the other gods.
Isis and Osiris
Osiris was hacked into pieces by his brother Seth. Isis pieced him back together but was unable to find his phallus, so she created a new phallus. Egyptians would have a celebration of this event, during which women would walk through the streets singing and walking with puppets that had extremely large genitals.
Bes was the dwarf god with a very large phallus. He was considered a protector of women and some would tatoo Bes on their thigh. Bes is celebrated in physical sex and rooms came to be known as ‘Bes Chambers.’
Hathor was the goddess of love and music. In one story she exposed her genitals to her father, the sun god who smiled.
Bastet was the cat goddess, associated with Hathor, and also a fertility goddess. During the festival for Bastet, women would expose their genitals.
Cult of Apis
For 40 days, women would go to the Temple of Apis, the Bull. They would expose their genitals to the statue. Once they left, they never returned again.
Temple of Amun
The Temple of Amun had different practices over Egyptian history, but at one point, a woman would go into the temple, have sex with whomever she pleased until menstruation, after which there was a celebration. Then she was married.
Further Reading
The Book of the Dead (hieroglyphics and translations).
V. Dasen. (1993) Dwarfs in Ancient Egypt and Greece. New York: Oxford University Press.
C. Eyre. (1984) “Crime and Adultery in Ancient Egypt.” Journal of Egyptian Archaeology. 70 (pp. 92-105).
H. Frankfort. (1948) Ancient Egyptian Religion: An Interpretation. New York: Columbia University Press.
M. K. Hopkins. (1983) “Brother-Sister Marriage in Roman Egypt.” Comparative Studies in Society and History. 22 (pp. 303-355).
J. Lindsay. (1965) Leisure and Pleasure in Roman Egypt. New York: Barnes & Noble.
L. Manniche. (1977) “Some Aspects of Ancient Egyptian Sexual Life.” Acta Orientaia. 38 (pp. 11-23).
L. Manniche. (1987) Sexual Life in Ancient Egypt. New York: KPI.
D. Montserrat. (1996) Sex and Society in Graeco-Roman Egypt. New York: Kegan Paul International, Distributed by Columbia University Press.
R. Parkinson. (1995) “‘Homosexual’ Desire and Middle Kingdom Literature.” Journal of Egyptian Archaeology. 82 (pp. 57-76).
S. B. Pomeroy. (1984) Women in Hellenistic Egypt. New York: Schocken Books.
G. Robins. (1988) “Ancient Egyptian Sexuality.” Discussions in Egyptology. 11 (pp. 61-72).
G. Robins. (1993) Women in Ancient Egypt. London: British Museum Press.
B. Shaw. (1992) “Explaining Incest: Brother-Sister Marriage in Graeco-Roman Egypt.” Man. 27.2 (pp. 267-299).

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