When I was a teenager, I had an older relative who used to like to tell any young person who crossed her path, "You kids think you invented sex! After all, hadn't sex been pretty much limited to heterosexual missionary-style couplings with the lights off until, like, ? Of course, after I took a break from having my vagina touched and decided to go read some cultural history, I learned that sexual innovation was nothing new. Not only had people been inventing and dropping sexual trends since pretty much the beginning of recorded history, but many of our most hallowed sexual and romantic traditions started as freaky sexual trends hundreds or thousands of years ago. Or, conversely, some things that we currently think of as freaky trends were considered totally vanilla and normal hundreds of years ago. So what did our ancient ancestors do when they were looking to spice things up on date night?
Aphrodisiac, eroticism, homosexuality, narcissism, nymphomania, pederasty all these terms are derived from the language of ancient Greece which tells you something about its society. The myths of Homer and Plutarch told stories such as that of Aphrodite, goddess of sexual intercourse, who emerged from the foaming semen of her father's castrated testicles. Then there were the mortal heroes such as Hercules, who it is said ravished 50 virgins in a single night, but who also had an affair with his nephew Iolaus and fell in love with "sweet Hylas, he of the curling locks". From the early 6th century to the early 4th century, the culture of pederasty flourished in Athens, with adult men taking adolescent boys to serve as their lovers although how much physical sex actually happened is a matter of some debate. Women in ancient Greece were generally the property of men and rarely enjoyed the exalted status of the young homosexual partner. But we know that there was a strong culture of female prostitution, with the most successful courtesans often wielding power and wealth and with brothels paying a state tax on their profits. Neglected wives found ways to satisfy their desires.
Here's how to inoculate ourselves against negative ones. Verified by Psychology Today. All About Sex.
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Birds do it, bees do it, humans since the dawn of time have done it. But just how much has the act really changed through the millennia and even in past decades? Are humans doing it more? Are we doing it better? Sort of, say scientists.