Sex is an intimate act between two people … except for when government is also involved.
Some of the strangest laws of the land relating to the horizontal tango:
- In New Hampshire, it’s illegal to cheat on your spouse—adultery being defined there, since the early 1800s, as “intercourse from which spurious issue [a child born out of wedlock] may arise.” But lawmakers last month voted to scrap the law, which could vanish from the books Jan. 1.
- In Utah, it can be illegal to act too “sexy.” A law aimed at curbing solicitation was broadened in 2011, so “lewd acts” that simply imply you want to trade sex for money, like exposing or touching yourself, are banned. Three escort services tried to fight it, but it was upheld in September.
- In Hawaii, it just recently became illegal for police officers to have sex with prostitutes.
- In Florida, it’s illegal for unmarried couples to live together in sin. Adultery is also illegal there, and one woman actually got her husband arrested for cheating in 2006. But lawmakers moved to get rid of the laws earlier this year.
- Another state where adultery is illegal: New York, where a woman was arrested in 2010 after having sex on a picnic table in a park. The arresting officer happened to know she was married, so she ended up getting charged with adultery in addition to public lewdness.
- In Nebraska, you can’t get married if you have gonorrhea, according to this handy roundup of state-by-state sex laws.
- Gawker reports there are four states (Louisiana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Kansas) that have banned sodomy “in some way”—but technically allow necrophilia (sex with corpses).
- Ladies, if you lose a game of pool in Anniston, Alabama, you may not legally settle your tab with sex, Marie Claire reports.
- Newcastle, Wyoming: Couples are banned from having sex while standing inside a store’s walk-in meat freezer.
- Oblong, Illinois: It’s punishable by law to have sex while hunting or fishing on your wedding day.
Click for even more weird sex laws, including a ban on sex with rodeo clowns (but only if horses are present).
Weird sex laws by State
Incestuous marriages are legal.
Moose are banned from having sex on city streets (in Fairbanks).
You may not have more than two dildos in the same house.
Flirtation and “lascivious banter” between men and women on the streets may result in a 30-day jailterm. (in Little Rock.)
It’s illegal to sell stuffed items resembling breasts (“boobie pillows”) within 1000 feet of a highway. No man shall dress as a woman without the written permission of the sheriff. (In Walnut, CA)
Married couples (as well as singles) cannot engage in open “lewdness or lascivious behavior”
The term “sadomasochistic abuse” is defined so broadly, that it could possibly be applied to a person handcuffing another in a clown suit. All sex toys are banned.
If you sell a reptile, you must give a written warning not to “nuzzle or kiss” them. It’s prohibited by law to “suffer any bitch or slut” (referring to dogs) (in Minooka.)
It is illegal for a man to be sexually aroused in public.
Kisses may last for no more than five minutes.
Illegal “sodomy” includes oral sex, but anal penetration with a finger is allowed under specified circumstances.
Dogs must not molest property or people. Until 1975, people wearing bathing suits on any city street were required have a police escort.
Necrophilia is legal. It’s illegal to use fortune-telling, astrology or palmistry to “settle lovers quarrels.” (In New Orleans.)
Making noise in a public library is a crime against “chastity, morality, decency and good order.”
A man who seduces or corrupts an unmarried woman faces five years in prison. Low-riding pants that expose underwear are a Class B offense. But if they expose butt cleavage, they’re a Class A offense. (In Flint.)
It’s illegal to teach others what polygamy is. Adultery or premarital sex results in a fine of $500 or 6 months in prison.
Prostitution is a “crime against the family.”
You can’t get married if you have gonorrhea
Sale of sex toys is illegal.
Lingerie must not be hung on a clothesline at the airport, unless there’s a screen concealing it. (In Kidderville.)
Flirting is illegal. (In Haddon Township, NJ)
Nudity is allowed as long as genitals and female nipples are covered.
Adultery is illegal.
Adultery is illegal. And so is pretending to be married in order to share a hotel room.
It was illegal to swim naked in the Red River between 8 AM and 8 PM. (In Fargo.) It’s against the law to fail to confine a dog or cat in heat. (In Grand Forks.)
No person shall solicit sex from another of the same gender if it offends the second person.
It is illegal for the owner of a bar to allow anyone inside to engage in “acts, or simulated acts, of sexual intercourse, masturbation, sodomy, bestiality, oral copulation, flagellation, or any sexual acts which are otherwise prohibited by law.” So, no simulated intercourse or animal sex.
It’s illegal to lie down in a public restroom, or for two people to share a stall meant for one.
If a man promises to marry a woman and she sleeps with him, the marriage must take place.
Public erections are illegal.
Students may not hold hands in school.
It’s illegal to own more than six dildos.
It’s illegal to marry your first cousin before the age of 65 — or 55 if you can prove both parties are infertile. An adult cannot show sex paraphernalia to a minor, unless they’re your own child. (In Salt Lake City.)
Adultery is a misdemeanor.
Obscenity is a bigger crime if you use a computer.
If you give a sex worker a ride to work, your car can be confiscated.
An unmarried couple who lived together and “lewdly associated” could face up to a year in jail. (Recently repealed.)