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Risqué Ceramics

The Moche were master artisans who created beautiful ceramics. A unique subset of these ceramics depict human figures engaged in a variety of sex acts: fellatio, masturbation, and anal sex. Curiously rare, however, are depictions of cuninlingis and vaginal penetration. Archaeologists still debate the purpose and meaning of these ceramics. Were these provocative pots meant to titillate, or were they a form of birth control propaganda? Unfortunately, many of these erotic ceramics have been found in looted graves. Only through careful excavation conducted by archaeologists can we unravel the mystery of the Moche sex pots.

Text Source: Matthew Piscitelli, Ph.D., National Geographic Society Program Officer
Photograph by:
  • Kenneth Garrett/National Geographic Creative