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THE EVOLUTION OF HUMAN SEXUALITY: A NEW-WORLD MYTH ABOUT THE HISTORY OF CELIBACY, SEX AND MARRIAGE

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Ever wondered how celibacy was birthed? Or how humans came up with the idea of abstinence from sex before marriage as a societal norm? Read this!

Several millennia ago, the first humans (Homo sapiens) to inhabit this earth were slightly different physiologically, compared to what we are today. They looked just like we do, but their genitalia and sexual response weren’t the same.

The first humans were colored and they had sexual organs that wouldn’t function until after marriage, unlike we see in humans today. Females had sealed vaginas, there was no such thing as menstruation before marriage and the only holes they had between their legs were the urethral opening and anus, the first for urination and the latter for defecation. That was all! The clitoris also wasn’t sensitive and couldn’t respond to touch until after marriage. In human males, there were the penis and anus. There was no such thing as an erection, the ‘morning wood’ and the production of sperm until after marriage. Life was quite simple and rules regarding abstinence were so easy to follow because physiologically, it was impossible to have sex before marriage.

You must be wondering what exactly happened after marriage:

Humans at the time were religious. They worshiped their deity and had priests, kings, and queens. Once a female and male human found interest in each other, it was required for them to make it known and they would undergo customary marriage rites that involved sacrificing livestock and incantations by the priests to seal the union. The rites were quite intensive and right after the ceremony, sealing the union would bring about the emergence of a sexual response in both partners. The couples would be told to watch out for a change in their genitals and instructed to consummate the marriage by sticking one into the other.

After the rites were performed, the erogenous zones would suddenly become sensitive and responsive to touch. The couple would be required to go indoors and the man would get his first erection. The sealed vagina would immediately open up at first contact with the penis and just like they’d been told, he would lie on top of the woman and proceed to stick his penis into her vagina.

The first sexual intercourse marked the beginning of the menstrual cycle in women and depending on how fertile she was, she would either get pregnant and give birth before seeing her first period. If not, she would start menstruating and it would happen monthly until the necessary things are done for her to conceive her first child. It was quite miraculous how it happened and everybody grew up looking forward to it. You could never experience it if you didn’t have the customary marriage rites performed, so marriage was considered a necessity for humans. It was also very necessary for the continuation of human life on earth because of reproduction.

Humans lived that way for several centuries. You are born, you meet someone you find desirable enough when you are of age, you undergo the customary rites of marriage and your sexual response is birthed. Although sex was quite pleasurable, to men largely, it was never regarded publicly as a pleasurable activity. It was always tied to reproduction and people would always concentrate more on other aspects of life: food, wars, obeying their gods and survival.

HOW SEX FOR PLEASURE CAME ABOUT


Several centuries later, humans began to appreciate the pleasurable aspect of sexual intercourse. Women found sex to be pleasurable and the clitoris was identified as very sensitive and an essential organ for female sexual response. It led to the birth of lust and children grew up looking forward to experiencing what exactly it felt like to be filled with lust, since married couples would talk about it, write about it and make songs about it. It was perceived to be worthy of the anticipation and it led to people marrying for the wrong reasons.

Teens couldn’t wait to get married mainly because of sex. They would work so hard to be considered matured enough to choose a partner and right after marriage, they would have lots and lots of sex. The world became so consumed with lust and they were quick to let any couple get married, even in their teens, so far as they found themselves a desirable partner.

THE QUESTION WAS: Why wait for marriage when you can find a desirable partner now to be able to have and enjoy sex? People couldn’t wait to see their bodies change after marriage.


IT BECAME AN ISSUE OF MAJOR CONCERN:

People would rush to get married, get introduced to sex and go their separate ways after, because they couldn’t live together and they would go about having sex with whomever. It made the marriage institution quite irrelevant with regards to finding a life partner, and rather made it an institution to initiate people into a lustful world where everyone just wanted to have sex and get pleasure. Children were being born here and there, and men would opt to marry several women to be able to have sex anytime and every time. Once one woman was menstruating, they would focus on the other and once one woman got pregnant, they would get another wife for their sexual needs.

There was a need for humans to concentrate on development, getting trained to work and being more productive, but the sexual anticipation made it hard to get the youth to concentrate largely on every other thing but sex. For this reason, the chiefs, elders, and priests decided to come together to discuss the way forward. They decided to appeal to the gods for help with regards to what to do. They spent years offering sacrifices and appeals until their cries and prayers were heard.

WHAT CHANGED?

The high priest had a revelation after a decade: the gods decided they would give humans the free-will to decide when they would start having sex, but it came with conditions. Women would be born with open vaginas but with a hymen to show that they were sexually pure and in their early teens, their menstrual cycle would begin. Men would also have the ability to get erections when they are born but wouldn’t be able to ejaculate until they reached puberty, between 10 to 13 years. The free-will was to detach the initiation of human sexual response from marriage. It was also to give humans the go-ahead to choose when and how they wanted to start having sex and for people to marry for the right reasons.

After that revelation, babies were miraculously born with similar genitals to what we have today but rules had to be made. People had the free-will to have sex but you had to have an occupation and be productive in the society before you could go ahead and choose a partner for marriage. It encouraged indiscriminate sexual activity. People were having sex here and there and girls who weren’t old enough were getting pregnant and giving birth on the regular.

THE FINAL REFORM

After a several decades, an assessment was made and humans realized that sealing the vagina and making males unable to attain erections was actually for the good of the human population, but they couldn’t go back in time to get it back. For this reason, strict rules had to be made and because of patriarchy, women were required to be genitally mutilated when they attained puberty. It was because the clitoris was classified as too sensitive and a weapon of destruction to women to strip away their dignity and fill them with lust.

The new rules led to the perpetuation of the practice of Female Genital Mutilation in many cultures. People were required to abstain from sex until they were old enough and were deemed matured enough to choose a life partner. Women had to make sure their hymens were intact before marriage and anyone who was caught to have flouted the abstinence rule was stoned to death to deter others from doing the same.

So, for many years, respect was accorded to women who kept their virginity till marriage whereas men weren’t necessarily required to abstain because there was no way of checking to see if their virginity was intact.

P. S. THIS IS A MYTH: A MADE-UP STORY ABOUT THE HISTORY OF ABSTINENCE, CELIBACY, SEX AND MARRIAGE IN HUMANS.

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MENTAL HEALTH ADVOCATE, WRITER, SEX AND RELATIONSHIP EXPERT

Ami Shikah is a sex educator and mental health advocate. She is passionate about sex education and is working towards making her website/blog a place where people come to for knowledge and information that will help them make healthy decisions about sex and sexuality. Mental health isn't treated with much importance in her part of the world (Ghana, Africa) and as someone who has had to deal with depression and suicidal thoughts, she hopes to share her experiences with the world and help other people like her. She has in-depth knowledge about sex, sexual health, sexuality, vaginal health, pregnancy and abortion and is working to share it all with the world. She has also made it possible for people to ask questions and get answers to them anytime.

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