The wild west was full of, well, wildness. From outlaws running free, crime at a rapid rate and little to do to pass time, it was really a bunch of degenerates and corrupt folks running amuck. What a time to be alive, right?
While we’ve (sort of) progressed as as society since those wild west days, it’s kind of fun to imagine what things may have been like way back when. One way we’ve recently been reminded is through the video game Red Dead Redemption 2, which has set records for sales since it hit stores last weekend.
Since we’ve been playing Red Dead Redemption 2 since we scooped up our copy, we couldn’t help but wonder what sex in the wild west might have been like for Arthur Morgan, John Marston and the rest of the Van der Linde gang. After digging up some research online, here’s exactly how wild sex in the wild west really was.
Prostitution was rampant
There’s a reason why all those classic wild west films include prostitution — and it’s not because Hollywood knows sex sells and they want people to watch. The real reason? Because prostitution was hugely popular and a staple in towns and cities, with some places having sex workers roaming the streets with sheets to lay down in the streets, to others having brothels.
Most prostitutes were 30 years old or younger, largely uneducated and, in many cases, illiterate. These girls didn’t hold much social power, but were a huge part of the economy of a city or town in the wild west because of all the men either passing through or working on mines and railroads.
Not much oral sex was going on
Oral sex is awesome, but in the wild west, there wasn’t a whole lot of it happening. It’s not as if it was something that wasn’t around elsewhere in the world, but people in the wild west actually seemed to think it was too European for their personal liking, which is why it wasn’t going on. In fact, oral sex was so sparse that even prostitutes were against it, shunning other workers who performed it.
Fluid gender roles
Many people think of the wild west as cowboys riding horses, rocking thick mustaches and carrying a pistol on his side. That’s partly true, yes, but there was another side of the wild west that may surprise you — like the positive way homosexuality and gender roles were viewed.
Basically, the wild west didn’t identify people as homosexual or heterosexual, with a book written by Peter Boag called Homos on the Range: How gay was the West? saying that “people engaged in same sex activities weren’t seen as homosexual.” In many cases, when groups of guys were out of town on work trips, many men were assigned to act as women and, well, you can probably figure out what happened from there. Guys in the wild west got theirs where they could.
Birth control was basically poison
Unlike today, where safe sex is preached and practiced, the wild west didn’t use much protection. In fact, condoms were so expensive that people had to find other ways to prevent spreading of diseases and unwanted pregnancies. That’s why prostitutes often used abortifacients, which had poisonous ingredients from plants that would often kill unwanted pregnancy once ingested. It’s sad, but, in the wild west, many women had to decide whether to kill the baby, or risk the high possibility of dying while giving birth.
Sex was anything but private
Sex in the wild west wasn’t all about two people camped out in a bedroom and getting naughty between the sheets. In fact, it was the exact opposite, as it was more common for multiple families to share a house or large room, which meant there was a lot of partner sharing or sex without much privacy. Having more space meant having more money, and those in the wild west often didn’t, meaning shared rooms or houses and finding strategic ways to get off.