Article: ‘Not In Texas’ (5 Weird Sex Laws And Restrictions)

Did you know that up until very recently sex toys were banned in Texas? Or, to be more precise, the selling of sex toys was prohibited.

This was due to the Texas obscenity statute introduced in 1973, which barred the sale or promotion of ‘obscene devices’, of which ‘a device including a dildo or artificial vagina, designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of genital organs’ was apparently obscene…right.

The legislation was even updated in 2003 to clarify that a person ‘commits an offense’ when they promote or possess ‘any obscene materials or obscene devices’ in a wholesale manner. Some people even got prosecuted under the statute, one being a former schoolteacher, who sold a vibrator to two undercover cops in 2004.

My heart goes out to this woman, but there is something ridiculously amusing about the idea of police going undercover to buy sex toys. ‘They’re got a Doxy! Move in! Move in!’

The statute is technically still in place but, as of 2008, a US District Judge released a report decreeing that the statute was ‘facially unconstitutional and unenforceable’, to which we can all breathe a sigh of relief (except for the undercover sex toy cops. They’re probably sadder for it).

But Texas isn’t the only place with sex laws (enforced or otherwise) that are just a little bit barmy.

So, after the serious tone of my last article, I thought we’d get a bit goofy here and look at some of the absurd rules and regulations that exist, or have existed, out in the world.

#1 Carrying Condoms In New York

Many of us remember the iconic scene where, after learning that condom boxes are educational, Joey incredulously pulls out a huge roll of his own to learn about their effectiveness (98%). But maybe Joey shouldn’t have been so flippant about flaunting his personal stock of safer sex items, at least not when on the sidewalk, because doing so could have landed him in jail.

That’s right: Up until 2014, if you were carrying multiple condoms, you could have been arrested by the police.

This isn’t because condom possession was illegal but more because it was often used as ‘evidence’ of prostitution, particularly as a way to persecute sex workers and queer or trans individuals.

Thankfully the practice has now been overturned as police realized that it was preventing people from practicing safe sex, for fear of getting arrested. Funny that.

#2 Being Naked In A Hotel In China

For many of us, getting naked after a long, hard day is pretty much a fundamental human right, but if you’re a woman in a Chinese hotel it could land you in some serious trouble.

Women in China are prohibited from being naked in a hotel room, with the only exception being that the bathroom, where stripping off is sometimes essential.

I’m not too sure how this one would be enforced. I suppose if you were bold enough to order room service while flaunting the law or had your curtains open then you could find yourself in some trouble. Otherwise it may simply be a case of ‘what the cops don’t know can’t hurt them’. Not that I’d ever recommend breaking inane and sexist laws, of course not *shifty eyes*

#3 Sex On A Motorcycle in London

Now, in theory, this one makes sense.

Motorcycles are rather precarious and cumbersome hunks of metal and, at high speeds, you really don’t want to be distracted with any sexual activity. A blowjob while driving in a car is distracting enough, but on a motorcycle? Well that’s just a logistical nightmare too.

But this is where things get weird: This law is strictly concerning sex on a parked motorcycle.

Wait a minute…

If this law sounds a little bonkers then that because it’s London, so it is, but there is also a reason. Post-WW2 motorcycles became someone of a status symbol among certain people. Because of this there was a noticeable increase in sex in public specifically linked to motorcycles (and on motorcycles).

It was this that spurred the ban, to save people from frequently encountering motorcycle enthusiasts on the streets. Dogging is still legal though, so we can all take solace in that.

#4 Blowjobs, Fortune-Telling, and Necrophilia in Louisiana

Now that’s an odd combination there, but trust me when I say that all three of these things are weird (and weirdly frustrating) when it comes to the state of Louisiana.

A sodomy law in Louisiana currently makes it so that oral sex in the state is technically banned. This means that, should you be caught in the act of oral sex, you might face charges and other legal ramifications.

I would be screwed.

The act is considered ‘dangerous, unhealthy, and immoral; and banning it is apparently ‘consistent with the values of Louisiana residents’ according to the Louisiana Family Forum, the state’s most influential Christian lobbying group.

But, and here’s the ridiculous part, it is completely legal to commit necrophilia…although presumably oral sex would be a no-go.

And, as an odd aside, it’s also illegal to use palmistry, fortune-telling, or divination to ‘settle lover’s quarrels’. This law is specific to New Orleans but just adds to the overall weirdness of Louisiana.

#5 Teaching Others About Polygamy In Mississippi

If I were writing my posts while in Mississippi I might have already landed myself in handcuffs, and not in a kinky manner.

Apparently it is illegal even teach others what polygamy is, because sex and relationship education is a huge no-no, don’t ‘cha know.

It does make me wonder though – would the law make a distinction between polyamory and polygamy? I guess it would be hard to find out, because the moment you start teaching someone the difference you’re technically incriminating yourself.

Even writing that sounded ridiculous.

And that’s all for now!

There are a slew of ridiculous sex laws out there. Quite a few are oddly specific to different areas of the US, which to me says more about just how sex-focused the US is rather than how sex-restrictive it is. Rock on America, and remember: What the sex toy police don’t know can’t hurt you.