20 Bizarre Laws Related to Love and Marriage That Are Still On The Books

No PDA in Iowa. Not much, anyway. You’ve got a five-minute time limit to make out. But that’s forever when you consider that it’s illegal to smooch for more than one second if you’re in Halethorpe, Maryland. I don’t know about you, but after some of the stuff I’ve seen in public, that’s a law I can get behind.

If you’re in Idaho, you’re not allowed to engage in any type of public display of affection for more than 18 minutes.

And just in case you’re planning a vacation to Disney World anytime soon, you better cross “becoming intimate with a porcupine” off your to-do list — it’s against the law.

That’s right, at some point someone, several someones, thought it necessary to craft a law prohibiting relations with porcupines. Apparently it was a problem.

While porcupine love is surprising, it certainly isn’t the most shocking item on this list. Far from it. In fact, according Fox News, “The U.S. has more laws regulating sexual behavior than all the European countries combined.” Go ahead, school yourself in some of the craziest laws relating to love and marriage that are still on the books. You know, just in case you happen to be in Iowa and tell your husband you have a headache so there will be no hanky panky. That’ll earn you a quick trip to the slammer.

Don’t believe me? Read on, my friends. Read on.

  • Headache Equals Prison 1 of 20

    Up until 1884, a woman could be sent to prison for denying a husband sex. As notes, Victorian women had to do it when the men wanted it, or face consequences. Good thing that's no longer happening, or else I'd be serving a life sentence.

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  • Monthly Beatings Okay 2 of 20

    In Arkansas, men have the law on their side if they want to teach their little lady a lesson by way of their fists. According to, for some reason, there is still a law on the books that husbands can beat their wives, just as long as it's no more than once a month. It was "put in place back in the 1800s, during a time when wife beating was not only accepted, but encouraged."

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  • No Porcupine Relations 3 of 20

    In Florida, having sexual relations with a porcupine is illegal. Just so you know. In fact, a look around the entire Florida Code of Law can be a pretty good time, according to NBC 2.


    In Jacksonville, there is an old law that says no unmarried woman can parachute on Sundays. Also, just in case you plan on taking your pet elephant to the Sunshine State, you should know that if an elephant is left at a parking meter, the owner is not exempt from the fees and will be ticketed at an expired meter.

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  • Kissing Cousins 4 of 20
    Their love knows no boundries

    First cousins can marry if both are at least 65 years old. Not only can first cousins over the age of 65 legally marry in Utah, but first cousins over the age of 55 can marry, too -- if neither is able to reproduce. Really, it's on the books.

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  • No Seducing With Marriage 5 of 20
    Happy smiling couple piggyback arms outstretched

    For all of you playas in South Carolina, don't even think about seducing a woman by promising to marry her. If you do, go directly to jail. To quote the law, "A male over the age of sixteen years who by means of deception and promise of marriage seduces an unmarried woman in this State is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined at the discretion of the court or imprisoned not more than one year. There must not be a conviction under this section on the uncorroborated testimony of the woman upon whom the seduction is charged, and no conviction if at trial it is proved that the woman was at the time of the alleged offense lewd and unchaste. If the defendant in any action brought under this section contracts marriage with the woman, either before or after the conviction, further proceedings of this section are stayed."

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  • Shave It Or Else… 6 of 20

    Look, Mr. Selleck. I know who you are, and yes, it's still illegal for you to kiss your wife here at Applebees. That's because in Iowa, it's illegal for mustached men to kiss women in public. In fact, according to Guy Speed, "While the origins of this marital law are sketchy, it is believed that this bizarre piece of legislation served the citizens as blanket protection against those men who dared tickle their wife's lips anywhere but in the privacy of their own home."

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  • Call Me Master 7 of 20
    Cheerful man giving his girlfriend a piggyback ride.

    A state law in Iowa mandates that all bachelors should be called master, not mister, when addressed by their female counterparts. So as far as the above couple goes, I hope she hit him up with "Master" before pointing out whatever amazing thing she appears to have spotted in the sky.

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  • Absentee Marriage 8 of 20

    If you live in Montana and you want to get married but there is also a really good episode of The Walking Dead on you can get someone to get married for you. Yup, the bride and groom do not have to be present during the wedding. But only if they're in the Army. "Double proxy" marriages allow a couple to be married using someone the couple authorized to stand in for them during the ceremony. According to The New York Times, while other states allow "single proxy" marriages, Montana is the only to allow both the bride and the groom to be absent during the ceremony.

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  • Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays Are Out 9 of 20

    According to, the early Christian church forbade couples from doing what couples do on Wednesdays, Fridays and of course, Sundays.

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  • Rose Water Necessary 10 of 20

    In Riverside, CA kissing on the lips, unless both parties wipe their lips with carbonized rose water, is against the local health ordinance.

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  • Meat Freezer Lovin’ A No-No 11 of 20

    According to Marie Claire, an ordinance in Newcastle, Wyoming, specifically bans couples from having a conjugal visit, shall we say, while standing inside a store's walk-in meat freezer! On a good note, it's also illegal to charge for use of a toilet. Maybe you should take your shenanigans to the loo?

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  • Drop. That. Fish. 12 of 20

    According to "If you're a guy in Minnesota, you can`t have sex with a live fish. But there's apparently nothing wrong with doing it with a dead one. And apparently there is no prohibition against women having sex with fish, alive or dead." It's also illegal to sleep naked in Minnesota, by the way.

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  • Permission for False Teeth 13 of 20
    losing yourself

    In Vermont women need their husband's permission to wear false teeth. Although I assume it's yet another law based in sexism I can't, for the life of me, figure out the basis for this law. And I'm not the only one...

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  • Get A Room! 14 of 20

    All hanky panky between members of the opposite sex in the front yard of a home in Bozeman, Montana after sundown is illegal. But, according to Skrause, only if they're nude. Keep your skivvies on and you're all good, apparently.

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  • No Ambulance Hanky Panky 15 of 20

    In Tremonton Utah you can't have sex with a man while riding in an ambulance. According to, in addition to being charged, the woman's name will be published in the local newspaper. By the way, if you happen to be in Utah you should also know that Utah state legislation outlaws all sex with anyone but your spouse. Everyone to jail!

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  • Wait, WHAT? 16 of 20
    The hunter

    It's punishable by law to engage in the naughty while hunting or fishing on your wedding day in Illinois. Wait, what? Let's break this one down. You can hunt and fish on your wedding day, which I actually think should be against the law, but you can't do It while hunting or fishing? Was this a huge problem there? I'm so confused.

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  • Wait Your Turn! 17 of 20

    It's tricky, but makes a lot of sense: in California it's illegal for either partner to reach climax before the other during foreplay. Don't believe me? Check it out.

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  • Showering Suit 18 of 20
    Young woman singing under shower

    Florida seems to take the cake in the crazy law bakery... In addition to loving porcupines a little too much, it's also an offense to shower in the nude. You can read more about it and other strange laws on the Digital Journal.

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  • No Dirty Talk! 19 of 20
    Feeling the romance

    If you're someone who enjoys a little dirty talking during fun times, keep it clean in Willowdale, Oregon. According to Guy Speed,  "What isn't clear is exactly what level of filth would warrant criminal action..."

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  • Honey, Pull The Shades! 20 of 20
    Hand open the jalousie

    Hanky panky with your spouse is A-okay in North Carolina just so long as you do it in the missionary position with the shades pulled. So take your action indoors, people!

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