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15 Things People Actually Used To Believe About Women's Bodies That Will Make You LOL-sob

People thought women could only experience an orgasm if sperm were present. :-/

Unless otherwise noted, all facts are from Therese Oneille's Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady's Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners.

1. In the 19th century, scientists believed uterine diseases were caused by men “withdrawing” prior to ejaculation.

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In other words, it was a total disgrace to pull out and keep a woman from experiencing the joy that is ejaculation. Semen deprivation = uterine disease, obviously.

2. People also thought that women could only experience an orgasm from sperm.

People thought women were so dependent on sperm that they could only climax if the man ejaculated inside the woman. Geez, thank goodness for men, amirite?

3. And what, exactly, did they think a woman’s orgasm entailed? Just a "pulsating womb."


A real gem of a guy named James Ashton wrote that when a woman climaxes, her “womb becomes engorged with blood and moves up and down in the vagina, bringing the neck in contact with the male organ.” Hmmm. Ok.

4. It was also believed that if a woman had sex in any position other than on her back, she would develop fungal growth in her fallopian tubes, get cancer, and then die.


Any pure, respectable woman would lay on her back with her legs firmly locked. Don't be trying any acrobatic pretzel shit, girl...unless you want a painful death.

5. Women thought that the best way to stay clean was to bathe in and inhale ammonia.



6. Women used to tie meat around their faces to prevent wrinkles because an aged face = a miserable soul.


During the Victorian Era, wrinkles were the clearest sign a woman was unhappy

— because what besides self-loathing could possibly cause wrinkles? Women would do about anything to prevent this...including tying slabs of meat around their faces to, um, replace lost fatty tissue.

7. Freckles were considered an impurity and were burned off with acid or ultraviolet radiation, aka the sun.


The answer to this cosmetic dilemma was to go stand outside until the sun completely roasted your face. Once it began to peel, you would apparently exfoliate the freckles off. As we know today, the sun can further freckles soo... 🤔

8. In order to achieve the "perfect" bosom, women rubbed cold water on their boobs to stimulate blood flow.


Oh and the "perfect" boobs at the time were apparently pineapple shaped. Droopy boobs meant that you had a droopy soul.

9. Prominent cheek bones and a flat chest were considered ugly.


We just learned that every woman in the nineteenth century should have pineapple-shaped boobs. Well, having a flat chest and being generally thin meant a woman was sick, was a part of the working class, thought too much, and/or engaged in sinful activities.

10. People believed that sitting alone and keeping thinking to a minimum could help women gain weight.


A woman would have to fatten herself if she ever wanted to find a husband and the community's respect. And how would she do that, you ask? By finding a quiet, cool, and humid location to sit — and not think — in, of course! It was thought that if a woman just took a break from thinking and controlled her own damn emotions for once, then she would gain weight because her heart rate would slow down.

11. If a woman was considered to be overweight, she might casually swallow a tapeworm.


What a time to be alive! Doctors would tell a woman who wanted to lose weight to swallow a worm and let the little guy go to work on her stomach. After the worm was done eating all her calories and was at a good 30 feet long, she would pull it out at her next trip to the chamber pot...ALL 30 FEET OF IT.

12. Men thought some women menstruated "incorrectly," which in turn caused cramps, and then led to hysteria.

Yes, you read that correctly. Men of the 19th century believed a woman was at total fault for any "irregularities" — cramps, infrequency, bloating — in her period. To maintain a cramp-free and perfectly scheduled menstrual cycle, women were told (BY MEN!) to avoid iced beverages, bathing in the sea, and cold baths. Failure to do this was said to lead nearly all hysteria cases.

13. Oh, and a woman’s irregular and painful period was also seen as a result of her terrible personality.

Pye Henry Chavasse, who wrote Advice to a Wife on the Management of Her Own Health in 1880, believed “the pale, colourless complexion, helpless, listless, and almost lifeless young ladies, that are so constantly seen in society, usually owe their miserable state of health either to absent, to deficient, or to profuse menstruation." Lifeless young ladies? Just why, Pye?

14. There was a fear that virgins were at risk of having their menstrual blood build up in their hearts and lungs.

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This totally reasonable belief dates all the way back to 400 B.C. and was said to have started with Hippocrates. (Yeah, surprise! Another man.) It persisted into the Victorian era, when people thought this built-up blood explained sluggishness and insanity among women. Right, ok.

15. Don't relax quite yet! It was also believed that an irregular period would lead to death...from the blood tearing through a woman's brain and destroying her lungs.


Orson Squire Fowler — who, might I mention, was a not a doctor — thought that if a woman became sad, she would not have her period, and then the built-up blood from not menstruating would wreak havoc on her brain and vital organs. He also said it “makes her the most ugly and hateful.”

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