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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Valentine's Special: 13 Moments from the History of Sex

Thursday Thirteen for 02/01/2007

Hello February, the month of loooooove! Several years ago I bought my husband a wonderful little book called Great Moments in Sex by Cheryl Rilly. It's a fabulous book filled with interesting tidbits. I also called up my mother and recommended that she buy it as a gift for my father. If you are looking for something a little different to get your Valentine, this might be a good option. Here are 13 moments from the book that I wanted to share with you.
*The content may be mature in nature or include mature terms - so if you know you shouldn't be reading it - please move along.

1. Circa 1850 B.C. Cervical caps, diaphragms, and jellies to prevent the little swimmers from doing their job are mentioned in the Egyptian Kahun Papyrus.

2. C 500 B.C. The Pythagoreans define sperm as a "clot of brain containing hot vapor within it." With every ejaculation, man loses more of his gray matter.

3. C. 1200 B.C. The custom of veiling a woman's face originates in Assyria. Only "respectable" women are allowed to do so. Failing to wear a veil or a woman of lesser rank wearing one both merit the same punishment: flogging.

4. C. 450 B.C. After centuries of being sequestered in the back of the house and shunned by men in general, Greek women begin their revolt against the men's club Greece has become. Taking a cue from the hetairai, women are educated and put more emphasis on their physical attributes than on their broodmare capabilities.

5. C 500 B.C. The hetairai of Greece take center stage. Known for their beauty and intelligence, many of them become famous. There's Clepsydra, given the name of a Greek hourglass because she's so much in demand that she uses it to time her sessions with lovers. The line forms at Cyrene's door because she knows 12 ways of having sex.

6. C. 50 Mark Antony is remembered for his liaison with Cleopatra. But before his marriage to the Queen of the Nile, Antony does enough romping to earn a reputation. His sex drive is so strong that he outdoes and scandalizes Caesar by keeping a harem of both sexes in Rome.

7. 77 In Natural History, Pliny sends out the alarm against menstruating women. Wine turns to vinegar, seed becomes sterile, and fruit falls from trees under which she stands. She'll blunt razors, rust metal, and take the polish off ivory and mirrors. With just one look, swarming bees die at once. (Yeah, even then they were scared of the PMS)

8. 1570 Chinese erotic art reaches a pinnacle with the production of printed color albums. Every elegant page is folded in an accordion pleat measuring about ten inches square and is accompanied by a poem to complement the picture.

9. 1722 Daniel Defoe's classic Moll Flanders is added to the list of immoral immortals.

10. 1844 Goodyear develops the vulcanization process for rubber and puts an end to animal-skin condoms.

11. 1966 Twiggy, the first fashion model to achieve international celebrity, drastically changes the ideal female body type. Gone are the curves of Marilyn Monroe.

12. Chocolate was once considered an aphrodisiac. Today there's proof that it may be true. The treat contains phenylethylamine, a stimulant that is similar to the chemicals released by the body during sex. The Aztecs allow only members of the court to drink the liquid because of the power it imparts.

13. Forget aphrodisiacs, love potions, and wishing on a star. If you really want to know whether you'll meet your true love, follow the Valentine's Day advice offered in Poor Robin's Almanac in 1729 - if you dare: "... In the Evening of Valentine's Day, do take two White Oak Leaves, and lay them across your Pillow, when you go to bed, putting on a clean Shift or Shirt, and turning it the wrong Side outwards, lay down and say these words aloud, Good Valentine be kind to me, in Dreams let me my true Love see. So carefully drawing your right Leg behind you, put it over your left Shoulder. In like manner put your left Leg behind you, laying it across your right Shoulder; and be sure take Care that the Soles of your Feet meet under your Chin. Then go to Sleep as soon as you can. And if you dream you see two Moons touching each other, you will certainly be marry'd very speedily, when you be a young Man, Maid or Widow."

Ok... I have no idea what kind of pretzel twisting they did in 1729 to come up with these crazy ideas.

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Blogger Wylie Kinson said...

Cool list! It's incredible how naive our ancestors were... The only thing they got right is #2!

9:37 PM  
Anonymous Laughing Muse said...

You mean we have Twiggy for kicking the era of the anorexic into high gear?

Yeah. Thanks, Twiggy. Go eat a sandwich.

9:39 PM  
Blogger Susan Helene Gottfried said...

you didn't know that, Muse??? Where have you been?

Rash, this was most excellent. Awesome job!

9:45 PM  
Blogger Joely Sue Burkhart said...

Oh, what a great list!!! Happy TT!

9:49 PM  
Anonymous Missy said...

Awesome list!

Thanks for visiting my TT!

9:59 PM  
Blogger Christie said...

#2 sounds about right!!! hahahaha
great list! happy tt, thanks for stopping by!!

10:05 PM  
Blogger DK said...

Thanks for the fun and enlightening list! Sure beats the heck out of "13 Things I've Read On Candy Hearts". :)
Have a very Happy Thursday!

10:09 PM  
Blogger Rashenbo said...

Yeah - I snort out loud every time I read #2 :)

10:25 PM  
Blogger Sanni said...

Great fun! Still laughing at #2 and thanks for #12 - a good excuse for eating chocolate =)

10:29 PM  
Blogger Vicky said...

Great TT! I can't even imagine 13... when I picture it in my head I wonder just how quickly someone would be able to fall asleep. Umm.. probably not very likely. LOL!

10:40 PM  
Anonymous beth said...

What a great list!! It's so interesting. I thought the description of PMS was right on target and hilarious!

11:03 PM  
Anonymous ancsweetnsassygal said...

I was thinking about #13 until I got to the pretzel thing. Guess I'll go back to wishing on a star. lol

My Tt is up also.

11:03 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

What a riot of a list! Thanks for sharing it.

Happy TT!

11:11 PM  
Blogger crse said...

heeheehee...im blushing...although i do curse twiggy....this is an awesome list idea! (and thanks for coming to dorkblogger! that made me giggle too)

11:38 PM  
Blogger Nancy J. Bond said...

A very interesting and informative list! Happy TT!

11:41 PM  
Blogger scribbit said...

They were creative back then evidently.

11:41 PM  
Blogger Heather in Beautiful British Columbia said...

Great list - I really enjoyed reading. Thanks :)

11:59 PM  
Blogger amy said...

very neat list..I learned something!

12:06 AM  
Blogger JohnH985 said...

Very cool list.

My 13 are up.

12:25 AM  
Anonymous practical chick said...

I am willing to bet that number 2 is still true. ;) Also, my husband's grandfather is almost senile. I know more about his and his late wife's sex life and sheep skin condoms than any God fearing 28 year old woman should ever know...

Thanks for stopping by my TT!

12:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a nifty list! Fascinating reading -- thanks. :) And Happy TT!

6:03 AM  
Blogger Jill said...

I think the people that I,ve written #13 should have just discover the Karma Sutra...

8:29 AM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

Wow....those are really interesting!! I had no idea!

9:55 AM  
Blogger Mitch said...

Well, I'll have to say that is more intertesting facts than my list was. :)

Thanks for the Read Mitch

10:25 AM  
Anonymous scooper said...

Damn that is an interesting list. I'll have to copy some of the info. to retain it.

10:57 AM  
Anonymous scooper said...

Damn that is an interesting list. I'll have to copy some of the info. to retain it.

10:57 AM  
Blogger Amy Ruttan said...

OMG, so funny. Especially #2 and #7 LOL!

And with respect to #13, is it weird I can do that?

Happy TT, thanks for dropping by mine.

11:15 AM  
Anonymous nancy said...

I did not know any of that.

Animal skin condoms?!?! Ewwwwww!

12:23 PM  
Blogger BeckyD said...

Pretty cool list.

Mine is posted too.

12:56 PM  
Anonymous spyscribbler said...

I love Moll Flanders! What a fascinating list. Thanks!

1:07 PM  
Anonymous Janet said...

HAHAHA!!! I know 12 ways to have sex, but alas, there's no line at my door ;-)

I just got an Imp of scented oil from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab; it's called Hetairai and here is it's description: "The sublimely beautiful, fiercely independent, impeccably cultured, fascinatingly worldly and witty courtesans of ancient Greece. A seductive and dazzling blend of golden honey, fiery patchouli, sweet fig and clove, and a blushing touch of ylang ylang."

1:17 PM  
Blogger Sparky Duck said...

what a great list! more chocolate for everyone

1:48 PM  
Anonymous Cheryl said...

Well #2 explains a whole lot.

2:10 PM  
Blogger Tink said...

Thanks for educating me, great list! :-)
My TT is about some past and present music preferences.

2:20 PM  
Blogger The Mistress of the Dark said...

Wow at number 6 is all I can say :)

Happy TT

3:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

great list and very informative! These are things you don't really think about.

3:44 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Very interesting list! Hmm. A lot to think about, given the upcoming holiday.

4:02 PM  
Blogger Rene said...

I love the one about men thinking they lose gray matter from sex.

4:05 PM  
Blogger Rene said...

I love the one about men thinking they lose gray matter from sex.

4:05 PM  
Blogger Delena said...

Wow, now I'm going to have to get that book! And the Pythagoreans have solved the mystery with #2, haha. I love it.

This was a great list, and the most fun to read so far. Happy TT!

5:01 PM  
Blogger AnnaMary said...

Cool list! Number 2 is pretty funny! Happy TT!

6:50 PM  
Blogger AnnaMary said...

Cool list! Number 2 is pretty funny! Happy TT!

6:50 PM  
Blogger Shesawriter said...

Wow, what a walk through time!

7:24 PM  
Blogger Caryle said...

#2 is cracking me up, and TWO harems?? Whoah. :)

Thanks for stopping by earlier today!

8:03 PM  
Blogger Haley-O said...

HoTT list! I didn't know a lot of those! Thanks! :)

10:20 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

Great TT. Interesting stuff about the way our ancestors thought. Ilove the one about men losing there brains! HAHAH

12:35 AM  
Blogger bernie said...

Things haven't changed in thousands of years, the world still doesn't know beans about sex.

I linked to you from my TT 13 Mailboxes

8:56 AM  
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