Back in the 1700s, U.S. law wasn’t too kind to people who
were guilty of sodomy. The illegal act carried a maximum sentence of
But in 1778, Thomas Jefferson rewrote the law to save
people’s lives and, instead of death, the maximum sentence was
castration. Up until 1962, sodomy was considered a felony and, in some
states, oral sex, adultery and masturbation fell under the sodomy laws.
In 2003, however, a Supreme Court ruling invalidated all
sodomy laws nationwide, upholding a citizen’s right to privacy. But even
with that invalidation, there are still some strange sex laws across
• Adultery is still illegal in many states, including Colorado.
• In Idaho, fornication (defined as sex between unmarried
people) is illegal, and those guilty of it can pay a fine of up to $300
or serve a six-month prison sentence.
• Colorado has a law saying it’s even illegal for an
innkeeper to knowingly rent a room to unmarried couples if their intent
is to have sex. It’s a class 2 misdemeanor. North Carolina has a similar
• In Oklahoma, if a man takes a woman’s virginity and
doesn’t marry her, it is considered a felony, and the man can face up to
five years in prison.
• Under a noise ordinance in Kalamazoo,
Mich., you can’t sing in public. So serenading your lover on the banks
of the river at Sutherland Park is a no-go.
• In some states, it is illegal for six or more women to live together because it would constitute a brothel.
• The sale of sex toys, specifically, vibrators, is
illegal in Alabama and Mississippi. It was illegal in Texas until 2008.
Apparently, there aren’t any laws against owning or using one.
• In Utah, first cousins can only marry
each other if they’re both over the age of 65. If they can prove they
can’t have children, the age drops to 55.