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The world's eight strangest sex remedies

The pill just celebrated its 50th birthday. You don't know the half of it.

The silhouette of a woman is seen through an inflated condom during a rally in Valparaiso, Chile, April 22, 2008. (Eliseo Fernandez/Reuters)

NEW YORK — The 50th anniversary of the birth control pill — the ultimate remedy which revolutionized the dating and mating game forever — presents a good excuse to contemplate some of the less studied, but all the more intriguing remedies people use to improve their sex lives, from Africa to China, India, Japan, Papua New Guinea and beyond.

And they do so by any means possible: conception, contraception, erection or deception.

A few described below are illegal. But then again, so is the birth control pill in many countries. This list is intended for mature audiences only and you may not want to try some of these at home.

1. Holy Footwater

At a recent healing ceremony of the Zulu tribe in South Africa, all 70 guests washed their feet in the same bucket of water before entering a traditional indlu, a circular building with a thatched rooftop.

In this area of South Africa, 40 percent of the population is estimated to be HIV positive, which makes just thinking about any possible cuts and scrapes on one's feet a high-adrenaline, divine-intervention-deserving experience. But that's not the worst of it. Read more about South Africa's battle with AIDS. 

The traditional healer, sangoma, instructs people to drink this water to cleanse themselves of their worries and their evil spirits. People line up to refill empty bottles they brought from their homes so they'll have enough of the magic foot water for later use.

Footwater ceremony. (Iva Skoch/GlobalPost)

“I know what you might be thinking,” my Zulu interpreter says. “But it really works.”

People from the villages surrounding Eshowe, the spiritual center of the Zulu tribe, come to their local sangoma with all sorts of problems — unemployment, disease, lost cattle, possession by an evil spirit, lack of money, bad grades in school.

But the most common troubles in the green hills of Kwazulu Natal — where men dress in leopard fur collars and virgins dance around them topless — have to do with sex.

As mutually exclusive as they might seem, women are most troubled by their husband's mistresses, while men battle erection issues.

But there is hardly a problem a bit of footwater can't solve. Hold the water bottle up high. Let go. Smell it and take a swig of the brown wonder drug.

Still thinking about sex?