The next time your grandparents start complaining that our generation is ruining sex, show them this article
One of the most bizarre things about the ancient world, from the Greeks and Romans to the Indians and Egyptians, is the way they indulged in some of the most disgusting and revolting sexual practices.
Some of these are extremely cringe-inducing even with the open and liberated understanding of sex that we have today. Here are six weird sex habits from the Ancient World:
Honey and pepper to increase pleasure
This was a common habit between both Indians and Greeks. Both civilizations have a number of concoctions made to improve sexual performance. One of them, a mix of honey and crushed pepper, used to be smeared on the penis for a lasting erection.
The Greeks also used an Indian plant said to cause powerful erections by rubbing it on the genitals. Some Greeks claimed to have climaxed twelve times while under the influence of the plant, while some Indians claimed up to 70 times.
The peculiar role of kissing
In Ancient Greece, male-female public kissing was frowned upon by the Greek aristocrats. Husbands still made it a habit to kiss their wives upon returning home from a wild male outing, but it was for wine detection purposes rather than affection.
The act of kissing even lost more of its popularity after the bathroom habits of Romans citizens from Spain were discovered in a twisted turn of events: they brushed their teeth with human urine.
The wandering womb of the Ancient World
One of the strangest beliefs of Greeks and Egyptians alike was that the woman’s womb vagabonded about her body at will, causing her a great deal of pain and hysteria. Doctors and worried husbands would apply bad smells and loud noises to drive back the womb to its position.
This is the result of a huge death taboo that both civilizations had. They had a clear admiration for the human body, but wouldn’t dare tinker with it after death. The result of this taboo is plain ignorance of human anatomy.
The Spartan cross-dressers
Sparta was an odd Greek city, always on its own. For example, while the women in Athens were often secluded, those of Sparta received greater freedom than ever. The Spartan queen Gorgo was once asked: “Why is it that you Spartan women are the only women that lord it over your men?”, to which she replied: “because we are the only women who are mothers of men.”
The weird thing about Sparta happened during wedding nights. The Spartan girl would have her hair shaved off and would be dressed in a man’s cloak and sandals, like a soldier. This cross-dressing was to make the men comfortable, as they were used to spending more time with their brothers-in-arms and were hence very familiar with homosexuality.
Gladiators’ frivolous sex lives
Most people think that gladiators had fewer opportunities just because three out of four of them were slaves. But, the reality was nothing like that. Gladiators were always hit on by flocks of women from all walks of life and often partook in the most deranged sexual activities.
Emperor Marcus Aurelius’ wife, Faustina, for example, became aroused over one gladiator once. After she confessed her burning passion to her husband, he consulted with soothsayers for a solution.
According to them, which was what would happen eventually, Faustina was to be ordered to have sex with the gladiator who would then be killed on top of her. She then had to bathe in his blood, clean up, and have sex with her husband.
The ancient world was full of bizarre habits and rituals, be it when it comes to sex or otherwise. The assumption that the modern world is the most twisted era in history is just that: an assumption; people from ancient civilizations indulged in much worse depravations.