Where did “spin the bottle” come from? Was it an ancient right of passage, ritual, or just horny kids finding a game? Is it an American thing or somewhere in Sweden is the something going on?
Horny teens and preteens, is my guess. At a party you got empty bottles and spare time on your hand. It’s not hard to imagine how this started. In terms of exploratioon of hopes and feelings, it’s on a par with games like trying to scry your future husband/wife by looking in a glass iof water or egg white, or sticking a key in the bible and reading the verse it pioints to – things done back in the 17th century in America. I don’t know how far back “spin the bottle” goes, but someone with access to an Oxford English Dictionary or something will be here soonm to tell us.
Well, also consider this: it’s often played at an age when kids are just getting over the “girls/boys are yucky” phase. They’re curious, but nobody wants to go first and face the opprobium of his peers in case it’s not “cool” yet. What the bottle does is (a) get everyone together and equally involved at once, and (b) “remove” the choice involved. “My friends can’t make fun of me for kissing her, the bottle made me do it”. Together, these two factors ease the social tension and the transition into a new phase of social behavior.