Scientists Just Discovered 2,000-Year-Old Sex Toys In China

The Chinese knew how to party.

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If you thought the idea of your family members ever walking in and finding your dildos and sex toys was a mortifying vision, then you clearly have no intention of being buried with those items and having them revealed for the entirety of the world to view in a museum or two.

And even though you’re probably cringing hard from that image, that’s exactly what happened recently when 2000-year-old sex toys were discovered in China.


Scientists recently dug up some fairly interesting artifacts from the Han Dynasty (206 BCE to 220 CE), and it seems the old-time Chinese royalty were harder partiers than we ever gave them credit for — if the stuff they had buried with them was any indication, that is. We have to wonder, was there a person whose sole job was to create these for the royals, or did they just order that from their local blacksmith?


The items recovered were from the “crème de la crème” of Chinese society in that period, and boy did they know how to get down! Apart from fancy decorated pots and other typical family-safe burial items were some very interesting bronze dildos and even butt plugs — made out of jade, a highly prized and expensive AF precious stone in Chinese culture.

And even more interesting? The dildos weren’t just there for personal use; no, these items were for sharing with a partner, if the markings they uncovered were of any indication.

“They were all definitely made for use, and we can speculate based on their various bases how they were worn,” said Fan Zhang, the exhibition co-curator of the Yizheng Museum. “They’re all bespoke (made to order), 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.”

Although the dildos were definitely for fun times, the fact that the butt plugs were made out of jade, a stone with extremely spiritual ties in the culture, means that they were most likely inserted post-mortem as a means of keeping the dead spirit intact... and to keep their Chi in place.


While not sexy, it’s still a very eye-opening look into Chinese royalty during this time period. And there’s certainly no such spiritual grace with the dildos.

With those, what you see is definitely what you get. And what you’re getting is an ancient, custom order strap-on.

All Photos: Yizheng Museum


If you’re interested in going to see these 2000-year-old sex toys for yourself — and let’s be honest, who wouldn't? — you can see them in the “Tomb Treasures” collection at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco from February 7 to May 28, 2017.

Who knows? Maybe you’ll be able to find some new inspiration from the people who clearly knew how to party with abandon better than we ever could.