The Ancient Egyptians believed in more than 2,000 different gods, so it stands to reason that at least a few of them would be about sex. In that vein, there was Bes, god of sexual pleasure; Hathor, goddess of love; Bastet, goddess of sexuality; and Min, god of reproduction. But Atum, the god of creation, represented far more than just sexual pleasure, love, sexuality and reproduction. Egyptians believed male masturbation was a “creative or magical act” when performed by a god, and their lore credits Atum with birthing the entire universe by spilling seed via his own hand (aka jerking off).
According to the Old Testament’s interpretation, it went a little like this:
At the moment of creation, Atum spoke:
I alone am the creator.
When I came into being, all life began to develop.
When the almighty speaks, all else comes to life.
There were no heavens and no earth
There was no dry land and there were no reptiles in the land….
When I first began to create,
When I alone was planning and designing many creatures,
I had not sneezed Shu the wind,
I had not spat Tefnut the rain.
There was not a single living creature.
I planned many living creatures;
All were in my heart, and their children and their grandchildren.
Then I copulated with my own fist.
I masturbated with my own hand.
I ejaculated into my own mouth.
From that point, he sneezed out the aforementioned wind and spat out the semen in his mouth for the aforementioned rain. Everything else — land, oceans, Furby — flowed from there.
Even if mostly allegory, Atum was a trend-setter. It’s been written — though not necessarily proved — that the Pharaoh would jerk off into the Nile as an homage to Atum and to stoke the river’s fertility. And while the science behind such beliefs is dubious, this much is definitely true: In Ancient Egypt — one of the world’s most renowned civilizations — masturbating both befitted a king and served as an act of God.