Newly Revealed Bronze Dildos and Jade Butt Plugs Show Ancient China’s Kinkier Side (NSFW)

Ancient China may have been a little kinkier than we knew!

Newly released artifacts uncovered during a recent dig show that life during ancient China’s Han dynasty (206 BCE to 220 CE) may have been quite frisky.

IFL Science reports:

The discoveries were unearthed in a series of excavations between 1995 and 2011, around the Jiangsu province, near present-day Shanghai, that explored the tombs of 2000-year-old aristocrats, wealthy elites, and royalty. Among their loot was a wealth of art and objects detailing their everyday existence, from vessels and ceramics, urinals and loofahs, to bronze dildos and jade butt plugs.

Jade was a revered material at the time. Virtually priceless in its value, its purity and beauty were believed to ward off spiritual and bodily decay. The material was used to create “death-suits” for the bodies of the super-rich, made up of hundreds of tiles sewn together with golden threads. Embalmers also used butt plugs made of the rare stone to prevent “the loss of vital essences” from the body.

“The jade plugs are used to seal the body and keep in vital essences that can leak out during life and death,” exhibition curator Fan Zhang explained in an emailed statement to IFLScience. “Basically, it is to maintain the chi. The most important orifice was the mouth, and we have a beautiful example of a mouth seal in the shape of a cicada in the exhibition.”

Researchers believe the items were being used by men, as the bronze dildo was found within the elite tomb of a king. “They were all definitely made for use, and we can speculate based on their various bases how they were worn, ” Zhang added. “They’re all bespoke, and the ones we have here might have been laced into place with leather or silk thongs, though it’s not clear if they were designed for men or women — they’re not heavy at all — though the phallus without the ring form was likely for a man since it was found in a king’s tomb.”

You can see the relics for yourself at the upcoming “Tomb Treasures” exhibition at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, which will run from Feb. 17 until May 28, 2017.

Hopefully they have replicas in the gift shop!

Take a look at the artifacts below:

Bronze Dildo

Bronze Dildo

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