View Full Version : Origin of 'Missionary' position?

05-30-2002, 08:10 AM
Just having a chat this morning with a couple collegues and was wondering this one.

Where did 'Missionary position' come from?

Seems this may have been covered but I am coming up short on my search through the archives....

05-30-2002, 08:51 AM
I don't know if this is a UL or not but I've heard that is was names that due to missionaries going out to the far reaches of the earth and trying to convert the masses to Christanity. Some of these people did it 'doggie' style and the missionaries 'taught' them the 'correct' way to do it.

05-30-2002, 11:47 AM
The Word (http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a3_215.html) according to Cecil.

Wendell Wagner
05-30-2002, 12:02 PM
A couple of sources that I've checked say that the first mention of the term in print was in 1969 (and in the U.S.). The folk etymology that goes along with the term is that various non-Christian people who had a Christian missionary come to evangelize them observed that the missionary and his wife only used that position when having sex. This story is very suspicious. How could the name that these non-Christian peoples give to the sexual position be brought back to the U.S.? Are we supposed to believe that missionaries who come back to the U.S. sit around with other former missionaries and swap stories about how the people that they preached to would make fun of them? It seems more likely that the term originated in the U.S. in the '60's as a joke. Someone in the US. conjectured (probably just jokingly) that the non-Christian peoples who were being evangelized by missionaries would make fun of the missionaries' sexual puritanism by noting that they only used one sexual position. As the term spread in the U.S., the fact that this story was only intended as a joke got lost and the common etymology became that some non-Christian peoples actually used this term.

Wendell Wagner
05-30-2002, 12:08 PM
Sorry, dtilque and I did a simul-post. Cecil has made the point more clearly than I did.