In houses where several couples sleep near one another, sex has to be quick and quiet, and many married couples prefer to take the opportunity for love-making in the gardens during the day. The act is brief and without fore-play as a woman's genitals are considered polluting and men will not touch them with their hands. Males are not regarded as more eager for sex than females; after marriage, sex becomes rather perfunctory. Among the young there is more sexual activity (see below). While bodily modesty is practiced (the covering of male and female genitals but not female breasts), it is not particularly emphasized. Young children may be observed in sex play, which is discouraged but treated with mockery rather than horror. There is no homosexuality on the island; Tikopians know that other islands have such practices but they themselves evince neither interest nor shock at the idea.
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