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Melissophilia – the truth behind a weird sex legend

There is a possibility that in the last few days you read or heard the news about theDarwin award-worth death of “Hasse”, the otherwise unidentified Swedish man whose bloated cadaver was found nude beside a hornets nest… showing traces of sperm. In fact, the story of someone so stupid to actually fuck a nest of venomous insects was so juicy to get it reported by all sorts of media worldwide – except the part where it turns out it was just an urban legend.
This tall tale actually originated last September in a satirical newspaper piece joking about the protests of animal rights activists worried about the well-being of hornets. As it often happens with urban legends, the element of moral parable against perverts fit prejudices so well that the joke mutated into a “legitimate” story, and many journalists didn’t perform even a basic fact-checking. Shame on them. Especially because the legend is actually – almost – true.

Among the hundreds of unusual sex practices I researched in my XXX – The dictionary of unusual sex there is in fact melissophilia, whose latin etymology connects it to ‘honey’ and more importantly to ‘melittin’. The latter is the main component in a hornet’s venom, whose effects include swelling, hypersensitivity and vasodilating properties. This means that – if you manage to overlook the excruciating pain – to be stung by hymenopters like hornets, bees, mosquitos and some ants puts a Viagra pill to shame. Both male and female melissophiles exist.
So yes, there really are people who actively seek out to be stung by hornets right on their genitals. And no, they don’t really fuck beehives: the animals (one or two at the most) are usually carefully applied by holding them with tweezers, or trapped in a glass that is then placed on the bare skin to enjoy the mounting tension leading to the sting. I would recommend those readers who are rushing out to try this experience to keep an antiallergy kit close, as 1% of the world population is severely allergic to bee and wasp stings, and has the inconvenient habit of dying within one hour after having been stung.

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