Bodily fluids listed below are found in the bodies of men and/or women. Some may be found in animals as well. They include fluids that are excreted or secreted from the body as well as fluids that normally are not. These respective fluids would include:
- Amniotic fluid surrounding a fetus
- Aqueous humour
- Blood and blood plasma
- Cerumen also known as earwax
- Cowper's fluid or pre-ejaculatory fluid
- Female ejaculate
- Interstitial fluid
- Breast milk
- Mucus (including snot and phlegm)
- Pleural fluid
- Sebum (skin oil)
- Vaginal lubrication
Feces, while not generally classed as a body fluid, are often treated similarly to body fluids, and are sometimes fluid or semi-fluid in nature.
Internal body fluids, which are not usually leaked or excreted to the outside world, include:
- cerebrospinal fluid surrounding the brain and the spinal cord
- synovial fluid surrounding bone joints
- intracellular fluid is the fluid inside cells
- aqueous humour and vitreous humour the fluids in the eyeball.
Bodily fluids in religion and history
Bodily fluids are regarded with varying levels of disgust among world cultures, including the Abrahamic faiths (Christianity, Islam, Judaism) and Hinduism. In Hinduism substances that have left the body are considered unclean, although there are some sects which smear cremated body ash on their foreheads as symbolic gestures.
Feces and urine have been used by religions on every continent for atonement, rites of passage, and funerary rites.
One interesting example is the alleged consumption of some ancient sects of the urine of people intoxicated with hallucinogenic mushrooms or creepers, as the urine contained high concentrations of the drug and could be "re-used."
Attitudes concerning bodily fluids aside, there is a long human history of their use in religion, medicine, art, sex, and folklore. Some believe that the tradition of shaking hands with the right hand stems from using the left hand to clean up after defecation, as a result, shaking hands with the left hand is considered insulting in many cultures.
Body fluids and health
Modern medical hygiene and public health practices also treat body fluids as unclean. This is because they can be vectors for infectious diseases, such as sexually transmitted diseases or blood-borne diseases.
Safer sex practices try to avoid exchanges of body fluids.
- Paul Spinrad. (1999) The RE/Search Guide to Bodily Fluids. Juno Books. ISBN 1-890451-04-5
- John Bourke. (1891) Scatologic Rites of All Nations. Washington, D.C.: W.H. Lowdermilk.