6 Depraved Sexual Fetishes That Are Older Than You Think
Bizarre sexual fetishes are a staple of the human psyche--most everyone has them, and with the arrival of Internet porn, all the walls came crumbling down. Suddenly, everyone everywhere could share their sick, nasty fantasies with the entire world, safe under a veil of anonymity.
But the Internet by no means invented these things. As it turns out, they've been around way longer than that stain in your Honda.
Tentacle Rape - Late 18th Century
We love to mock "tentacle porn," and Japan for inventing it. If this is your first day on the Internet, just know tentacle porn is one of the Internet's most beloved methods of making young people terrified of sex, and it is precisely what it sounds like: women being raped by tentacles (usually in cartoons).
The modern tentacle rape genre was created by Toshio Maeda, whose manga Urotsukidoji "created what might be called the modern paradigm of tentacle porn," which we suppose in Japan is actually seen as an accomplishment rather than grounds for a sexual assault conviction. According to Maeda, he started the practice in order to get around Japan's strict censorship laws, which forbade the depiction of a penis but did not forbid penetration by anything else.
Bet they regret that.
For men, the fetish appeals to those who enjoy seeing women humiliated and subjugated by something that isn't even human. For women, the fetish appeals to those who've secretly always wanted to have sex with Squiddly Diddly.
While Maeda may have created the modern tentacle rape, he wasn't the inventor--not even close. Maeda was preceded by Katsushika Hokusai, an artist from the late 18th and early 19th century. Hokusai was the artist of the "Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji," an internationally recognized series of prints that earned him fame both locally and globally. Also: he liked him some tentacles.
Hokusai's "The Dream Of The Fisherman's Wife" is speculated to be the first instance of tentacle erotica, so by all means don't click that link if you're at work, there are children present or you have a soul.
But before you go calling Japan a nation of psychotic fish diddlers, check out "Tentacles of Desire: The Man Who Loved Cephalopods." Contained within is the story of Joshua Handley, an English artist in the late 19th century whose travels to Japan resulted in an obsession with tentacle erotica.
Handley attempted multiple times to publish some of it in England, even coming up with some of his own to add to the table. People were appalled--not by the tentacles, but at the notion that the women in the stories were actually enjoying themselves, because for some reason rape would make it much less disgusting.
Autoerotic Asphyxiation - 17th Century
Experts say that on the list of most frequent causes of embarrassing deaths, autoerotic asphyxiation ranks just below tequila and above backyard wrestling. While the term "sex accident" may sound awesome--like a high speed collision with a tractor trailer made of nudity--the reality of it is hotel staff discovering your body strangled to death and clutching your genitals in a kung fu grip.
Autoerotic asphyxiation is just a big-city scientist term for "masturbating while strangling yourself." And it's more common than you'd think: according to ABC News and the FBI, roughly 500 to 1000 young men accidently die each year during autoerotic asphyxiation, though we're curious why the FBI is involved in this figure.
If you were thinking the practice was accidentally discovered in some 1980s S & M club, you're wrong. Erotic asphyxiation goes back to the 1600s, when it was used as a treatment for erectile dysfunction, presumably because the patient in question would rather be dead than go on living.
If you're wondering how in the hell they connected "strangling" with "boners," the answer is every bit as terrifying as you're probably guessing. The practice started when observers at public hangings noticed that male victims often sported an erection after death, sometimes even ejaculating at the moment of. Wikipedia even has an article on "death erections," which the editors at Cracked have already claimed as the name of their upcoming metal band side project.
"Ghost Boner" was already taken.
Foot Fetishism - 13th Century (or Earlier)
Put simply, the foot fetish is a sexual attraction to feet, be they wrapped up in stockings or bare in all their sweat-pruned glory.
Try to picture all the boners we just created.
Foot fetishism has many forms, and can range from simple kissing and licking to full on penis massages. Many celebrities are self-confessed foot fetishists, including Jay Leno, so if you want to take a moment and ponder that, we'll wait.
And while there are many, many websites and lots of YouTube videos supplying wank material for foot lovers, you probably could make a good living selling the same material a thousand years ago.
These aren't for the beach.
The first mention of foot fetishism we can find dates back to 1220 AD. Experts think the fetish got its start due to fear of STDs (history records show a lot more foot lovers during syphilis epidemics, like those of the 16th and 19th centuries). Keep in mind that back then, pretty much everything in the world gave you some version of the plague, let alone the festering bog of some peasant's vagina. Clearly, blistered gangrenous feet were the refined solution, because you can't get AIDS from a foot. (Or can you? We really have no idea).
Some foot porn, circa 1926.
As it turns out, the list of historical foot fetishists reads like the A-Team of literature. F. Scott Fitzgerald, whom you may remember as the author of that one book that you pretended to read in high school, had a foot fetish, as did Thomas Hardy, who wrote that other book we didn't read. Know who else is on the list? Fucking Casanova, a man whose name has literally become a phrase meaning "guy who spends more time inside vaginas than outside of them".
Necrophilia - Fifth Century BC
There's no polite way to put this: Necrophilia is the fucking of dead bodies. Although considering the recent popularity of "vampire romance," having sex with a pale lifeless meatwad is apparently mainstream now.
Those nipples might as well be dollar signs.
Psychologists have theorized that there are a number of reasons why someone would be attracted to corpses, chief among them being the desire for a lifeless and unresisting partner (well, duh). But apparently the whole craze started the same way so many things start: with mummies.
Herodotus (the Greek historian who lived in the fifth century BC) wrote in his Histories that, in order to stop people from having sex with corpses before mummification, the ancient Egyptians left them to decay for three or four days before handing them off to the embalmers. That's right: Necrophilia was such a problem for these guys that they had to take active preventative measures against it.
But that's not all: One legend says that after killing his wife in jealousy, King Herod the Great continued to have sex with her body for, wait for it, seven years. Considering that this wasn't really the worst thing he ever did in his life, it's painfully apparent that his title of "The Great" might have been handed out a little early.
Zoophilia - Older than Civilization
Zoophilia, also known as "bestiality," is the practice of having sex with an animal. While it isn't expressly illegal in most areas of the world, it also isn't officially condoned, the policy apparently being "let's not talk about it and hope it goes away."
According to this article, most zoophiles experience the first stirrings of their fetish between the ages of 11 and 14, which suddenly explains the success of both Alvin and the Chipmunks movies. Zoophiles don't draw much of a difference between the affections of a human and an animal and, really, we can't see much of a difference between a pet and a significant other--they both cheer you up when you're down and they both can be trained to lick your genitals.
As it turns out, the act of bonifering an animal may be older than recorded history, because it's really not all that hard to figure out just what's going on in this cave painting from Val Comonica, circa 8000 BC.
And he looks like he's having the time of his fucking life.
Furthermore, the ancient Romans' flirtations with the animal kingdom are near-legendary. Donkeys, baboons, geese, dogsÃÆÃÂ¢ÃÂ¯ÃÂ¿ÃÂ½ÃâÃÂ¦ you'd be hard-pressed to find a species that the Romans didn't defile at some point. This reaches epic levels of insanity when you learn that Roman women would often masturbate with live fucking snakes, which were trained to "suckle the nipples."
The Roman attitude towards bestiality was so relaxed that many Roman citizens indulged in it, up to and including their goddamn emperor. But they met their match with the Egyptians, who according to the Greek historian Herodotus "mastered the art of sexual congress with a crocodile." They didn't just fuck crocodiles, they fucking mastered it.
"You'll find my Ph.D. wedged in his asshole."
Sadomasochism - 470 BC
If you're reading Cracked, you're probably the type of person who already knows that sadomasochism was named after the Marquis de Sade. But he didn't invent it.
Alternatively known as "bondage," "S & M" and "get the fuck out of my apartment," sadomasochism involves two consenting partners engaging in a style of sexual roleplay characterized by domination and submission. One partner, the dominant, inflicts pain, while the other partner, the submissive, receives it. S & M covers a wide range of activities, from simple verbal abuse and light spanking to full-blown flogging and humiliation.
So if de Sade wasn't the father of sadomasochism, who was?
Tarquinia's Tomb of the Floggings contains some of the earliest erotic artwork known to man, and they're almost 2,500 years old (dating around 470 BC). In addition to numerous depictions of orgies and guy-on-guy butt-tastic sex, we have a scene of what is clearly two dudes filling out one woman while whipping her back.
Also, she appears to have bitten one of them in half.
So the next time you see a leather sex club and think to yourself that you're watching the downfall of modern society, keep this in mind: They were doing full-on S & M orgies five centuries before the New Testament.
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And stop by our Top Picks (Updated 3.29.2010) to see what David Wong's favorite fetish is.