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What Sex Was Like in Feudal Japan

Feudal Japan is often idealized in historical works of art and modern fiction. This historical period is associated with fierce samurai, elegant courtesans, and an ever-present sense of formality in dress and culture (conversely, if you want a view of the violent, chaotic ugliness of the period, check out samurai cinema). Sex in feudal Japan was often idealized too, but sexuality was a lot less elegant and formal than many realize. This list will explore these harsh realities, and describe what sex was like in feudal Japan.

Some of these feudal Japan sex life items are surprising. For example, samurai often had sex with 12-year-old boys during official apprenticeships. Aristocratic men could have multiple wives and concubines, while their female counterparts were stuck with one husband. In feudal Japan, sex life was influenced by social standing. Essentially, one’s sexual partner was almost always of a similar social background. Lower class teens in feudal Japan were free to have as much sex as possible, but upper class youths had to follow strict rules about whom they could see and marry.  

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