Sex – Roman Style

Sharing a meal with someone in Roman times created an intimate bond with them – but having sex did not.

A fun concept for modern minds to get your head around – and one that led to an openness towards sex and to having multiple sexual partners in Roman society.

Men, of course, came off the best.

For the man, sex with a slave was not adulterous, and sex with a free-born man or woman was only adultery if they were not doing it for money.

Women could risk extra-marital activity too but at the risk of pregnancy and disgrace.Roman Sex - Pompeii

But, then as now, women found cunning ways to find pleasure.

Author Vicki Leon wrote in ‘The Joy of Sexus: Lust, Love & Longing in the Ancient World’  that the men and women of the 1st Century AD had some fascinating obsessions:

“Buttock worship. Aphrodisiacs. And anti-aphrodisiacs. X-rated celebrity antics. Illustrated porn by female writers. Biodegradable dildos.”

Er, yes, biodegradable dildos… or breadsticks.

Vicki wrote on The Huffington Post: “It began in a bakery B.C., where a gal with time on her hands started fooling around with bread dough.

“While lasciviously daydreaming, she created an olisbo-kollix: the breadstick dildo, the sex industry’s first green product. From this moment on, lonely widows in Arcadia, unsatisfied moms in Athens, and partnerless gals on Lesbos had a DIY pal, discreet and disposable.

“Custom made to fit; even nutritious, should the need arise. (Think I’m making this up? If only my imagination were that good!).”

Ah, bread, the stiff staff of life!

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