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Pre-Christian sex

2004-03-10 15:08:24.633113+00 by Dan Lyke 2 comments

[ related topics: Religion Sexual Culture Sociology Mark Morford ]

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#Comment Re: made: 2004-03-10 22:19:52.568006+00 by: Diane Reese [edit history]

Not terribly surprised to hear this one: I'll betcha many "pre-Christian cultures" cranked out those "sexual objects" with regularity. The story reminded me instantly of the "Secret Cabinet" at the National Archeological Museum in Naples, which I visited a few years ago. You had to sign up for a size-limited tour of the exhibit, but it was several rooms filled with erotic art of all forms. People seem to concentrate on the "Kama Sutra" frescoes, a series found on a single wall which depict a wide variety of positions and approaches to sex. (Our almost-able-to-speak-English docent told us he thought of it as the "menu" for newbies visiting the brothel.) All of these icons and pieces of art were surpressed for many years by the church, but while the Museum doesn't display the pieces in open museum space, at least they're quite up front (ahem) about their existence and your ability to view them if you'd like. (And if we'd had the kids with us and wanted to bring them into the exhibit, that would have been fine with them.)

It was pretty obvious walking around the excavated areas of Pompeii that this was one randy town. Mosaics on doorsteps, frescoes on walls, statues in fountains: nothing left to the imagination. My favorite activity was the practice of businessmen gifting a handsome little Priapus sort of figurine to their host when they'd visit for dinner. The better business was that year, the better endowed the figurine.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-03-11 03:15:15.057383+00 by: Shawn

I'll betcha many "pre-Christian cultures" cranked out those "sexual objects" with regularity.

Indeed they did - and many post(during?)-Christian as well. One of my hobbies is collecting records (books, pictures, copies, etc.) of such art. (The originals are way beyond my financial means.) There's an amazing amount that has been obscured, hidden, trivialized and vilified over the centuries. I've even heard rumors that the Vatican[Wiki] has a collection (for the purpose of removing the items from circulation).