Of the many artifacts that are Chinese, some of the most interesting- as well as embarrassing, are those related to sex. Since prehistoric times man (and woman) have been fascinated by this subject, and it certainly shows in the objects and art that were produced. During the Mao era China reached new puritanical heights, and this is one of the few times we cannot blame people’s increasingly prudish opinions on religion. Though China is increasingly open to sexuality and how it is portrayed and acted upon in the west, much seems to have been forgotten about their own forays of seduction and pleasure.

Though there are parts of China’s past that are being preserved and studied in museums, these apparently aren’t the types of objects deemed worthwhile enough to keep, and if anything they are just downright embarrassing to the Chinese. Saving face is so important in their culture, and to have all of this be paraded around and fawned over as many other Chinese art and artifacts have been, is perhaps too much for them. It is certainly something Chinese Communists don’t want to discuss in great depth or portray their country as being. For to even mention sex outside of marriage to your own spouse have become somehow perverted, and you would certainly never be caught dead discussing what your greatly revered ancestors might have been doing with this…

Chinese thumb (cock) ring- dyed stone

One example of this forgetting about oneself and the past seems to have occurred in what are referred to thumb or archers rings. Though they often fit on a thumb, there is another appendage of the male anatomy that they also fit given their larger size. Today these rings are called “cock rings” and they aid in both producing a firmer erection by trapping blood, and can help to produce longer erections as well. Cock rings apparently were the world’s first form of Viagra, but since people were increasingly embarrassed to talk about sexual matters, this use has apparently been forgotten.

Bone thumb ring- chinese or tibetan


Not to say that all large Chinese labeled as thumb rings are automatically cock rings, but there are many examples of ancient ones that really couldn’t be worn easily as anything but such because they are very oversized for even a thumb- particularly an Asian one, but for a smaller than average sized penis which most Chinese have, they would be perfect. There are also examples of ones with carving on the inside of the ring to aid in grip, as well as many that are asymmetrical- with one end having less of a lip- perhaps to aid in entry and re-entry or because the material itself had been rubbed more there.

But you talk about embarrassing- just try telling some white guy that just paid thousands of dollars for a nephrite jade “thumb” ring to add to his collection that he’s had for years and inherited from his Dad that it was originally probably used on a Chinese man’s penis (and subsequently may have also spent some time in or near a vagina). The case of Chinese cock rings being sold as thumb rings all these years though is a great example of why it is important to do scientific research on artifacts to try to understand them and what their function was- instead of just selling them for the highest amount possible before people know what they were used for.

This also gives whole new meaning to the term of “jade stalk” which is how the penis is classically referred to in ancient Chinese texts. Being covered by jade, it truly was that.




  • See this auction: sold 10/11/2016 for $36.00 by prue-tibet
  • Another auction, different photo, same seller: sold 11/20/2016 for $49.00 by prue-tibet
  • Another auction, different photo, same seller: sold 11/30/2016 for $3.35 by prue-tibet


Though many people might consider this to be “fake” jade, the subject matter and way it is presented, as well as surface patina the object shows is in no way fake. Because of the puritanical attitudes towards sexuality which still persist for the majority of Chinese- they certainly wouldn’t have been carved any time recently in the numbers that are being sold.

In the Tang Dynasty women wielded power and held high official ranks including that of Empress of China, and it is thought most of the relatively more recent sex jade is from this era. Note the curl of the woman’s ear, a common and simple embellishment of very early carvings that later evolves into more complex symbols- like ruyi and clouds.


Around the Tang Dynasty- 618 to 907 AD- was the height of women’s power as well as the height of hedonistic carvings in their tombs. It is believed that many of these carvings of the act of sexual intercourse are from that same time period, and not necessarily were the embellishments of men’s graves for wishes in the afterlife and for eternity, but of powerful women too.

The Chinese, though keen on some parts of their history, may be embarrassed about these parts, and that is why they are being sold while higher quality carved stone of more dignified things may be kept. Because of the large volume of stone and its weight as well as pumping of many an underground aquifer, many of China’s museums may be experiencing subsidence, and for all we know some of these pieces may have been sold from their collections for that reason. Can you imagine something like this next to huge oil paintings of Chairman Mao leading his people to glory after a “century of humiliation”?




Bestiality was featured in a number of these pendants, with a dog or “beast” featured above, and a goat carrying yuan bao (ingots of precious metals) can be seen below. These may have been more symbolic than portrayals of real or normal acts, as the animals were seen as symbols of wealth and power, and so being seen having sex with them- the act of conquest and of being king. was a way of empowering yourself- especially important in the afterlife.


Hongshan phallic pendant- yellow jade

The penis above, though small, is made from a soft yellow green stone of what I would call “jade”, though some modern connoisseurs might not classify it as that.


Though yellow in color, this is from a oil that was used on  this type of carved quartz crystal- it loses its yellow coloration in sunlight indicating most haven’t been exposed to much if they are still yellow. Perhaps the crystal afforded some insight into the hidden realm of woman, the womb and where children come from? Or maybe any glimpses made it more magical, especially since glass wasn’t invented yet.


Pink colored crystal is made by melting clear quartz crystal (or sand) with copper or a copper ore. The penis above is a very ancient one that may be up to 6,000 years old, while the ones below may have been produced using the exact same crystal smelting techniques their ancestors used thousands of years ago relatively recently. Like within the last 20 years or even 10 since people began to be exposed to more things like pornography in China and Tibet, and have far more realistic detail like wrinkles and veins, as well as new styles like the double dildos seen below.




Though the styles may have changed a bit from 4,000 years ago, the sizes probably haven’t- with the poor men only able to afford smaller ones while richer people would be the only ones who might be privileged enough to own a big one. Of course as the size goes up, so does the boasting, and much of it may be entirely for show at the larger end, and not all functional.


Jade (or a multitude of other softer stones) that was available to ancient Chinese for carving often will develop a surface patina or rind, but not always depending on the type of material it is, where it was buried and how well it was wrapped when it was buried in the tomb of the dead. While smaller penises may have actually been used, particularly by older men, some of the larger ones may have been strictly for bragging rights in the afterlife and/or ceremonial offerings.


  • See this auction: sold 07/08/2016 for $29.05 by chinese-moon
  • Another auction for a similar item, different photo, same seller: sold 08/24/2016 for $29.28 by chinese-moon
  • 765g Another auction for a similar item, different photo, different seller: sold 07/06/2016 for $32.40 by chinese-sun
  • Another auction for a similar item, different photo, different seller: sold 07/08/2016 for $21.06 by art-kungfu

Though the Chinese (Communists in particular) must be embarrassed as heck about the thousands and thousands of penises they have unearthed, they certainly aren’t letting it show to the world how MANY there are. Especially putting them all together like in a museum or exhibit. But yes, the ancient Chinese- if they did not invent dildos, certainly carried them to whole new heights- literally. And though men are the primary purchasers of dildos these days, these penis pendants were found most often accompanying women in death, while men wore a symbol like a vagina starting some 6000 years ago.




  • See this auction: sold 08/28/2016 for $8.99 by gemshow88


China is a very, very big place if you haven’t noticed, and the distance between places can also be enormous. If you are, as most people might have been, involved in trade- you might be gone from your spouse for months if not years before cars were invented, and these little phallic pendants may have offered your wife back home some comfort (perhaps physically as well?). Something like this may have been the closest and most personal symbol you had of your significant other, and what better thing to hold close to your breast in the afterlife?

Also if castration of men is a frequent occurrence in your society for thousands of years, penises like these might come in handy, particularly if you are stuck with a 1,000 or so concubines like many of the Imperial eunuchs were. Thought to be above sexual activities with females since they had no genitalia, but this may not have been the case, particularly since many were found in the Imperial possession.


  • 473g See this auction: sold 09/25/2016 for $32.56 by junjie389
  • 518g Buy It Now page, different photo, same seller ($35.99) by junjie389– no longer a registered Ebay user when checked back 05/2017
  • 473g Another auction, different photo, different seller: sold 09/30/2016 for $22.37 by firephoenix518
  • 473g Another auction, different photo, same seller: sold 10/11/2016 for $12.50 by firephoenix518


Newer carvings tend to be more realistic, while older phallic carvings- up to 6,000 years old or more tend to be a little cartoonish, particularly with the cast of characters dominated by animals that was venerated at the time. Newer ones also are typically made from clear quartz crystal, obsidian, and other imported stone not native to China or Tibet, while older ones are made from a variety of materials, but most often agate, smelted crystal, jade and synthetic stone like the turquoise below. Newer penises, rock hard and a cure for erectile dysfunction more reliable than Viagra are seen above, while below are older examples.

Of some concern is the fact Chinese are selling these sexual devices as brand new in some cases like the auctions above- since they are all well used apparently. Look closely at the detail on the side of the penis above and how it has been smoothed… There are some diseases and bacteria you could feasibly get from this, and not informing buyers that these items were previously in someone else’s orifices should be illegal at the very least.

Some of the items like the ones below may have been specifically made for the funeral preparations of someone very powerful, and may not have ever been used before, but not informing buyers they are looting the 3,000 year old tombs of Kings of Tibet (Shang Dynasty?) isn’t exactly morally correct either when they think they may be purchasing a newly manufactured fake.






I suspect this seller-  zhanglihua73513 – bids on their own items that are being auctioned to raise the prices- and if you don’t bid high enough, then they relist the item for auction again and again. The penis with the skull on it above I purchased in August for the price listed, and it hasn’t been relisted since, but others have. The ox head penis below I’ve attempted to purchase many times, even bidding $50 at one point in September, but I was supposedly out bid- but then it was relisted again. And I was outbid again. Then it was relisted again. And again. And…

There are many other sellers of Chinese and Tibetan goods who do the exact same thing- they have bidders who raise the prices, and if you don’t meet what they think it should sell for, it is relisted. One is this seller zhanglihua73513, and others include qing*206219 and  good_deal2258Ebay has a thing called a “reserve price” for auctions for this very same issue, and sellers could just auction it with a reserve price to be legitimate- which would enable them not to sell the item if it doesn’t meet their minimum as well as inform buyers that they didn’t meet the minimum. But they don’t and just play games with buyers like this which is totally against Ebay rules, but Ebay just lets them get away with and never investigates. Very corrupt selling practices, let alone where they got these items they are selling from, and reflects the level of greed as well as lack of morality involved.


  • See this auction: no sale 08/20/2016 at $54.99 minimum by zhanglihua73513
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller: sold 09/18/2016 for $51.00 by zhanglihua73513
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller: sold 10/13/2016 for $34.00 by zhanglihua73513
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller: no sale 11/06/2016 at $54.99 minimum by zhanglihua73513
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller: sold 11/14/2016 for $49.00 by zhanglihua73513– Note: I have been suspecting this seller has been bidding on their own items, and if they don’t sell for as much as they want, they outbid the legitimate bidders and relist the item again and again. This ox penis made from smelted turquoise I purchased on 11/14/2016 so we will see if it shows up again for auction after this. If it does, it means the seller really does have multiples of the same item, but if it doesn’t, then it means this seller really was just relisting the same item again and again.Update 01/24/2017: since I bought this item, I haven’t seen it again come up for auction- which means there was probably only one item being relisted again and again until I bought it. I also bid on other similar items, but if I didn’t bid enough- around $50 for these turquoise penises- then I didn’t get the item and it was relisted, though according to Ebay the item was “sold”. Supposedly this is against Ebay’s rules, but this is one of at three sellers I’ve caught so far whom I’m pretty sure are doing the exact same thing in bidding against legitimate bidders to raise final prices and set a reserve price for items. This is deceptive to customers who might believe items are being sold are far lower prices than what they actually are, and that there are far more items (being mass produced) than what there actually is as well.






  • See this auction: no sale 10/10/2016 at $54.99 minimum by zhanglihua73513
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller: sold 11/03/2016 for $1.75 by zhanglihua73513
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller: no sale 11/15/2016 at $54.99 minimum by zhanglihua73513
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller: sold 12/05/2016 for $43.00 by zhanglihua73513
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller: sold 12/21/2016 for $50.00- I won this auction, but once again it was only at the $50 dollar mark that the seller let me have it, though the bidding for the item began at $0.99 with no reserve. A reserve price is how legitimate sellers set a minimum price that they would like to sell the item for and can easily be done on the item page by the seller on Ebay, but instead this seller bids against legitimate bidders and raises the price to what they want you to pay or they relist it again. I told the seller I wasn’t going to pay them because they’ve been setting the price and this is the 5th time they did this to me, and Ebay has sent me a notice that the seller opened an unpaid item case against me by zhanglihua73513


I tried to turn in this seller for bidding against legitimate bidders and continuing to relist items until they get the price they want, but there wasn’t a way to do that online at all- (though you can turn in buyers, not sellers, and individual items which they do nothing about except continue to sell and collect the proceeds on) without contacting Ebay’s call center currently based in the Philippines which I’ve had absolutely no luck with in the past on any level with anything, though I’ve tried numerous times.

After I received the unpaid item case notice from Ebay for the auction the seller obviously set the price on (again), I sent a terrible and angry email to the seller telling them once again to cancel the auction because they had set the price, also cursing them out for being thieves to begin with- for the 6th time since the auction had ended- and the seller finally canceled the auction. Since then this seller zhanglihua73513 has taken all items they had for sale on Ebay and completely cleaned out their shop, but not closed it yet (02/2017), which also seems very evasive. Update 05/2017- only 3 things are listed for sale currently, unlike former sales where at least 50 items were being auctioned at any given time. Update 06/29/2017- seller had a number of items for sale again as well as 10 different turquoise penises like those shown previously, so was back at it again, relisting the same items and bidding against bidders everytime until the items sold for the high price they wanted it at- (probably about $40-50 each), just like the previous set of turquoise penises were.

They all appear to be in the same condition and style, probably all part of the same set which was only the very wealthiest of wealthy’s hoard for the afterlife. This person wanted to be prepared for anything and do it in style.


Most of the penises and phallic jade being sold appear to be from the Hongshan Culture- dating from 4700 to 2900 BC like the turquoise ones above. The larger exaggerated eyes of the creatures are one of the distinctive features of their art. Also most seem to be sets which were probably buried all at once in an important person’s tomb. Most of the turquoise penises above are probably from just one or two people’s graves.




“But, what is it?” In the immortal words of Cat from Red Dwarf, and something you should ask anytime you land on a new planet inhabited by little people who made synthetic turquoise dildos 4,000 years ago. Not sure what this animal is, both above and below, but it is clear that it was a multitude of species that were recognized by people to be important, not just one single one or a few. What is short nosed and has short ears? Let me know what animal you think this might be in the comments below.



Many of the neolithic penises have signs of wear and use, indicating they were not just made for the grave, but had everyday use. Larger penises with special animals attached may have been used in fertility rites to bring good luck to a potential mother. Perhaps these were even held by a shaman as part of their tool kit and would be used upon someone with previous difficulties in conceiving.


  • Buy It Now page ($91.00): no longer listed for sale by 05/2017, unclear if sold or? by yulin15117

The hawk and the “beast” are represented time and again in Hongshan art- these may be man’s first hunting partners- the falcon and a dog.


  • Buy It Now page (was $189.00, price reduced to $160.65 by 10/2016): no longer listed for sale by 05/2017, unclear if sold or? by smile-shop99

Goats were also particularly important to early culture, and was one of the first domesticated animals for livestock, instead of just hunting purposes. To early man food was fertility.


  • See this auction: sold 09/24/2016 for $18.90 by qing*206219

The pig dragon penis above is made from agate (carnelian), demonstrating that there were a diversity of materials they carved and valued at the time- not just jade. There are complete sets of these little pendants that people apparently wore and went to the grave with- perhaps they only would bring out certain ones during certain years or times of the year as zodiac pendants are worn today- and they were probably purchased/given out and produced as entire sets of a particular stone, not just individual pieces that people picked up along the way that could be a diversity of materials. Different materials show different stylistic characteristics- the turquoise carvings are different than this older type lower quality jade shown below- and may reflect the local availability of stone, as well as local carving styles, and class differences. Tibetans have always had a lot of agate- a fact demonstrated well in their dzi beads and massage stones, as well as other pendants, and may be another clue this is the Tibetan’s past (and/or western China’s) being looted, not Han Chinese who are selling it and taking credit for it in history books.

Hongshan Carving- Woman on Penis

These penises with people on them, very ancient from the Hongshan, are very similar to phallic pendants sold and made today in Thailand. This ancient Chinese culture may be where the Thai practice of making and believing in paladkik pendants came from, but the world might never know since the evidence is being sold before any scientists could examine the Chinese artifacts or even see them, since most don’t peruse Ebay for their scientific discoveries, nor can they take what they see there very seriously.

Love charm or paladkik from Thailand

Here is a paladkik from a Chinese seller who mainly seems to be selling Western Chinese goods, which indicates where were at least trading ties across the border into Thailand for this sort of thing to show up in China during more recent times, but may also indicate the paladkik has origins that are Chinese-Tibetan. For which came from where? There are many groups of people from China that have dispersed to other regions over the centuries, mainly because of conflict, could the paladkik be a tradition brought into Thailand to begin with? The ancient stone artifacts for sale by the Chinese certainly seem to suggest so.


I suspect some of the charms being sold by sellers in Thailand on Ebay are in fact taken from people on the Chinese side of the border who are very, very close to Thai’s culturally speaking but it would be tough to prove.

This appears to be a very early representation in stone of “Penis Man” who is also depicted time and again in metal in later years seen below. Because people just kept copying the same designs over and over again throughout the millennia, it is really difficult without dating things by what else is in the ground with them, to tell how old this Mr. Penis Man really might be. There is some obvious whitish rind to the jade (not very good quality to begin with- and perhaps this is part of the reason the Chinese are selling it)- as well as aging and discoloration as you can see from the backside, but that is not to say anything much really. It could be 700 years old or it could be 6,000, we just don’t know.





Often these pieces are not individual pieces but parts of complete sets which were buried with their owners to perhaps be used in the afterlife. Crystal like this would have not been owned by commoners by only the highest of the high who were apparently a bit over indulgent with each over 9″ long- huge by Asian standards 3,000 years ago- and had at least 8 of them.

The prehistoric Chinese-Tibetans apparently loved bugs of many sorts and kinds, though later the art only depicts what is called “cicadas”- early art has many species. The one above seems to be a beetle. Though to most people, having a fascination with insects is a bit weird, they must have seemed magical to seemingly come from nowhere and be able to fly, as well as completely die, and be reborn from things too small to see with the naked eye. This prehistoric fascination with bugs may have paved the way for the silk worm to be coddled and fed, venerated and eventually harvested of the threads from its cocoon. The invention of silk happened around the time these items were carved, but imaginably perhaps they had many trials with breeding bugs that didn’t end in such success.

An analysis of the “bugs” on these sexual devices of long ago might yield some interesting insights into the origin of sexually transmitted diseases, and perhaps finding more cures, but they are all being sold before any scientist can analyze any viruses and bacteria on the surface as well as DNA. And what is the first thing you would do with such an object if you purchased it? Ewww…. and That’s right- wash it! And there went much of what we could have learned scientifically, all lost and destroyed, while the objects may still remain.


Penis with a stylized sheep head.


Though this may look a bit like Mickey Mouse above, it is probably a stylized goat- a very, very important animal to prehistoric people and the second to be domesticated after dogs. This series of crystal penises probably all came out of the same tomb- of the highest and mightiest of the time period, but unfortunately their full story is being completely lost as the Chinese communists liquidate everything, and trying to get more information out of them is impossible.


  • Buy It Now page ($199.00): no longer listed by 05/2017, unclear if sold or? by smile-shop99





As time went on sex became a thing that was put into closets and pockets instead of out there on the mantle (so to speak) or being worn around one’s neck or waist for all to see. Penis pendants apparently were made long after the Hongshan culture supposedly disappeared, and the Imperial Palace was rumored to have over 1,000 “sexual” devices- what these were exactly, we can only guess from what is being sold on Ebay by the Chinese currently.

The most common relatively modern items having to do with sex are pornography on scrolls or snuff bottles, both are depictions somewhere easily tucked away and hidden. I say, relatively modern, because these depictions are in most cases over 100 years old.


An example of pornography above showing heavy Japanese influence of Shunga- with an exaggerated penis size and more fluid and space filling style, but probably done by a Chinese artist trying to replicate Japanese since the quality is lacking as well as detail like the patterns of the cloth.


This book is thought to have been painted by a master artist, who may have been commissioned to paint such things for aristocrats or even the Emperor at the time. Notice the fine design on the woman’s robe and the attention given to different shades of grey on the tree she leans against.


Another taste of the exotic with an entire book that is devoted to the lovemaking of Europeans, a thing which must have had fascination for Chinese who had hardly seen a white person at the time, and helps to aid date how old these books are. Just like they rolled off the Mayflower!

Though hand painted, most of the books being sold have been copied dozens if not hundreds and thousands of times. Its interesting to think about when contemplating how many people were fascinated by the inner court of the Emperor, perhaps these were best sellers for centuries (unbeknownst to the emperors at the time who were depicted)?





Please also see the page Getting Snuffed for more snuff bottles currently being sold en masse by Chinese communists and their business partners.

Sex scenes out of pottery also go way back probably as far as pottery has been made, however below is a more recent example where the scene remains hidden until the lid is lifted for the privacy of the lovers. The outside is a peach which is a symbol of longevity.




One thought on “Sex in Ancient China

  1. MickSD says:

    zhanglihua73513 not only sells fake items on eBay, and bids on his own items but if he forgets to bid higher and is unhappy with the winning price, then he will pretend to send the item. I won two items, the second of which was a 15 inch replica bronze censer which alone would have weighed at 3+ pounds but the shipping weight on the box was 1 pound. The mail forwarder said the each box requires a different tracking number which meant the seller only sent one box (both items had the same tracking number) so he never sent the censer because he would have lost money on it. He doesn’t set a reserve price because the listing fees are more expensive. He can no longer shill bid his own items (eBay has made him list everything as “buy now”) which may have been because I bid on multiple items in his shop and received 12 bid retractions in the space of a couple of minutes. I would love if you have any additional information on this seller so I can report him to the authorities in China.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s