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Why the Ancient Egyptians (Maybe) Masturbated Into the Nile

Some historians believe the ancient Egyptians held a whole festival about jerking off into their most famous body of water, and maybe we should do the same

Before the creation of existence, as one early Egyptian myth goes, the god Atum emerged from the primordial mound. And lo, Atum was horny. 

What happens next is a matter of translational dispute. Some say Atum simply masturbated, and from his semen emerged his two children, the god of air and the goddess of moisture. Kinkier readings claim Atum in fact ejaculated into his own mouth, then spit out the children from this saliva-semen concoction. 

Regardless of the specifics, the theme of masturbation was enough to potentially have encouraged a public ceremony in its honor. With the Nile River essential to the life of the region, much ritual significance was given to ensuring its abundance would continue. As some historians believe, one of these rituals involved a “fertility festival” held on the river’s banks. Crowds would wait upon the shore for the pharaoh to arrive, who would then disrobe. With his people surrounding him, he would masturbate above the water, allowing the semen he released to flow into the river. Upon completion, the other men at the festival would do the same in hopes that their token of fertility would enhance that of the Nile itself. 

Again, this is a story that just some historians believe, and the evidence for it remains slim. Surely, some men did indeed jack off into the Nile (who wouldn’t?), but it’s a historical mystery as to whether there were truly some mass-masturbation ceremonies occurring. Let’s consider for a moment, though, that we all collectively decided that masturbating into rivers would become our new thing. Is it like peeing in the ocean and truly inconsequential? Or would all that semen add up, infusing our crops and tainting our water supplies with sexually-transmitted illnesses? Would it even be any different than the masturbating in the shower many people do now? 

These are the questions I am afraid to ask a water-cleanliness professional. 

Nevertheless, I do think incorporating some ritual masturbation into our lives would do us all some good by adding a little magic and meditation to our routines. Perhaps we don’t need to watch our elected officials cum into the Mississippi before we gather ‘round to do so ourselves, but a quiet jack session on some tucked-away, isolated riverbank actually sounds quite lovely.