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A tour through the wildest, most absurd sex laws in America

Konstantin Stepanov

How many have you broken?

Have you ever had unmarried sex in Idaho, or seduced a woman in Michigan? Don’t answer that question. You could incriminate yourself because both of those things are technically still illegal. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the pious nation of the United States is full of weird sex laws. While many of them are archaic and haven’t actually been enforced in many years, some are still in use today (or, in one case in Ohio, very selectively in use).

While you probably won’t be arrested for most of these, we wouldn’t recommend making a bucket list inspired by them either, just to be safe (although you’ve likely already broken a few). Without further ado, we present the weirdest sex laws in the United States.

Sex laws by state

Alabama

Anal and oral sex is illegal between unmarried people.

sex laws

Arizona

Adultery is still a class three misdemeanor. However, suspects can’t be prosecuted unless the spouse is willing to press charges.

Arkansas

Spouses can sue if their partner gets an abortion without their consent.

arkansas sex laws University of Toronto Students for Life/Flickr (CC-BY-SA)

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California

Stuffed articles made to look like breasts, also known as boob pillows, can’t be sold within 1,000 feet of a highway.

Colorado

In Cattle Creek, it’s against the law to have sex with your spouse while bathing in a river or stream.

weird sex laws Pixabay

Georgia

Anal and oral sex are prohibited regardless of marital status.

Hawaii

There are no laws on the books which prohibit bestiality.

Idaho

Unmarried sex can result in a $300 fine or six months in jail.

Illinois

When someone sells a reptile they are legally required to give the purchaser a written warning telling them not to kiss the reptile.

us sex laws Wikimedia Commons

Indiana

Noticeable boners, or as the law calls it, “covered male genitals in a discernibly turgid state,” are illegal in public.

Kansas

It is illegal to knowingly drive a prostitute to their sex work.

Louisiana

Streaking is totally legal, as long as it isn’t done with “lascivious intent.”

sex laws by state Wikimedia Commons/Flickr

Maine

In Buckfield, cab drivers cannot charge a fare to passengers who perform sexual favors in exchange for a ride from a place that serves alcohol.

Maryland 

Condoms cannot be sold in vending machines, except in places where liquor is sold.

Massachusetts

Sodomy is still on the books as illegal.

Michigan

Seducing and “debauching” an unmarried woman is a felony, with a punishment of up to five years in jail.

us sex laws Pixabay

Minnesota

Grabbing someone’s clothed buttocks is not considered sexual assault (though lawmakers are working to change that).

Mississippi

In sex education classes, you are allowed to teach about contraceptives, but condom demonstrations are explicitly forbidden.

most ridiculous laws Pixabay

Missouri

Springfield has tragically banned sideboob and underboob in public.

Nebraska

No one who is “afflicted with a venereal disease” is legally allowed to marry.

Nevada

While prostitution within licensed brothels is legal, those brothels cannot legally be within 400 yards of a place of worship.

sex laws Wikimedia Commons

New Mexico

Topless bars are a no-go, as “indecent waitering” is illegal.

New York

Adult businesses must devote no more than 40 percent of their square footage to adult entertainment.

North Carolina

There is a real city called Horneytown, and massage parlors are hilariously illegal there.

weird sex laws Tony Webster/Wikimedia Commons

North Dakota

In Fargo, skinny dipping in the Red River is illegal between 8am—9pm, and presumably legal from 9:01pm—7:59am.

Ohio

It is illegal for a stripper to touch a patron. Stormy Daniels was arrested for this just last month.

Oklahoma

Sex education instructors must, against scientific evidence, teach students that “engaging in homosexual activity is primarily responsible for contact with the AIDS virus.”

Pennsylvania

Condoms cannot legally be sold in vending machines ever.

South Carolina

It is illegal to seduce someone using the promise of marriage.

sex laws Pixabay

South Dakota

It is illegal to use a covered wagon in any way for the purposes of prostitution.

Tennessee

In Skullbone, a woman may not “pleasure a man” who is operating a motor vehicle.

Texas

Anyone who has six or more “obscene devices” (dildos) “is presumed to possess them with intent to promote”—and promoting obscenity is illegal.

sex laws texas Photo via Tess Cagle

Utah

In Tremonton, you cannot legally have sex while riding in an ambulance.

Vermont

In Beanville, it is illegal to sell or distribute roadmaps which have ads of a “lewd or lascivious nature.”

Virginia

You cannot have sex in your car, no matter where you park it.

Washington

Strippers are not legally allowed to wear devices which simulate pubic hair.

us sex laws Gogirl18/Wikimedia Commons

West Virginia

It is illegal to transport anyone, sex worker or client, to a place of prostitution.

Wisconsin

In Connersville, it is illegal for a man to fire a gun while his partner is climaxing.


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Wyoming

In Newcastle, it is illegal to have sex in a walk-in freezer.

Bonus: Federal Level

There is no federal regulation of the materials allowed in sex toys.

sex laws Morderska/Wikimedia Commons

Editor’s note: This article is regularly updated for relevance. 

Alex Dalbey

Alex Dalbey

Alex Dalbey is a writer and zinester currently working out of St. Paul, Minnesota. They have bylines at The Daily Dot, Kill Screen, and Bullet Points. Follow them on Twitter @thedialogtree