At the time of the Hungarian Conquest, the nomadic Hungarians presented a laidback and open-minded attitude towards personal life and intimacy. For them, sex was the most natural thing in the world, something that was not kept secret and taboo even from their children.
Hungarian families at the time of the Conquest lived in yurts with their servants and sometimes other family members too. In these dwellings, the husband and wife slept on a 2-2.5 metres long and wide bed with their children (up to the age of 6-8), which, at night-time, was separated from the rest of the yurt with just a curtain. Consequently, the husband and wife’s intimate relations were not so intimate, as the occupants of the yurt could overhear everything.
Thus, children grew accustomed to hearing and sometimes even seeing adults having sex. Because of this, there was no need to have awkward sex-talk with them when they were older.
Nudity was natural for Hungarians and their children too, as our ancestors at the time of the Conquest bathed regularly; they had portable, foldable tubs made from leather. Since these baths were a community activity, small children of both sexes took baths together.
Boys became adults and full members of the family at the age of 11, while girls at 11-12, and as soon as they reached puberty at the age of 13-14 they have started having sex. Since they only married at 16 or 18, they were allowed to have sex with anyone for years.
Hungarians had an interesting custom when it came to choosing their wives: in the story of the Huns and Magyars, it is said that Hunor and Magor abducted their wives. Later this custom was only played out: men asked for the approval of the parents and the consent of the girl and then acted out the abduction, only to show respect for traditions.
For the ancient Hungarian man, his wife was his partner, the other half of his life, with whom he shared his joys and sorrows, but at the same time, the husband ruled over the wife.
Despite the wife occupying a vital role in a man’s life, husbands had the freedom to have mistresses who could be free women or slaves. In either case, the mistresses depended on the husband financially. There was one strict rule: no man could have sex with the slave or servant of another man, nor could a servant have sex with a servant belonging to another household
Because of this agreement, sexual relations with mistresses, servants and slaves were not considered adultery. Furthermore, if the husband went away for war, nor the husband or the wife was expected to stay abstinent. The article argues that the first laws restricting adultery were introduced at the end of the 11th century by Saint Ladislaus.
Referring back to the question of nudity, it is highly probable that Hungarians until the 13th century had sex naked – or at least women were half-naked. Between the 7th and 10th century, women and men wore similar attires: both sexes wore long, loose pants. As these pants were made from hard wool cloth; underpants made from soft material were worn under them. Since women cannot really have sex with their pants on, the underwear and the wool pants were taken off. Up until the 16th-17th century, Hungarians most likely slept and had sex naked.
Featured image: Wiki Commons By Vinzenz Katzler