Unusual Sex Practices of Early Filipinos

Pilik-mata ng Kambing

Pilik-mata ng Kambing - one of the sexual accoutrements used by Filipinos. Photograph taken from Colors Magazine, January 1997 issue.

Despite their professions of piety, the early Spaniards were avid voyeurs who took prurient interest in the sex life of the natives. The first Europeans to record Filipino sexual practices were Antonio Pigafetta and Fray Juan de Plasencia.

Pigafetta interviewed and examined couples at length. Here are some of his findings:

"Both young and old males pierce their penises with a gold or tin rod the size of a goose quill. In both ends of the same bolt, some have what resembles a spur, with points upon the ends; others are like the head of a cart nail. I very often asked many, both young and old, to see their penis, because I could not credit it. In the middle of the bolt is a hole, through which they urinate.

The bolt and the spurs always hold firm. They say that the women wish it so, and if they did otherwise they would not have communication with them.

When a man wishes to have intercourse with a woman, she takes his penis not in the normal way, but gently introduces first the top spur and then the bottom one into her vagina. Once inside, the penis becomes erect and cannot be withdrawn until it is limp."

Pigafetta asserted that the women hated this mode of fornication, which lacerated their organs. "they very much preferred our men to their own," he noted with the hint of a boast.

He was wrong. Later, Spaniards found the painful posture to be the rage, especially in the Visayas. Juan de Medina, an Agustinian friar, wrote that women there would copulat only that way and were "grief stricken" when Catholic missionaries compelled them to reform.

From Stanley Karnow's In Our Image - America's Empire in the Philippines, Random House, New York, 1989; and Fe Maria C. Arriola's The Body Book, GCF Books, Quezon City, Philippines, 1993.

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