Remember This? It encouraged couples to experiment, be imaginative, open, offer feedback, and to be creative together. So are you ready for your Advanced Lovemaking class? Or at least, to enjoy sex more?
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Like many books in this style it tries to be quippy and fun and above all brief. So for a writer this would be a nice entry level research place for things often ignored in the history books.
In her latest collection of the obscure, she has assembled anecdotes about ancient aphrodisiacs, wandering wombs, practitioners of erotic mysteries and victims of doomed love.
I think my favorite passage from the book, though, was a retelling of the story of Pherenike of Rhodes. I have not studied ancient Greece as extensively as I have studied Republican Rome so, although I knew that the ancient Greek Olympics were conducted in the nude and that women were not allowed to attend, I had never read any background material to explain why.
It seems that Pherenike was a young woman born into a family of Olympic victors. Apparently, young virgins were allowed to watch the games - just not married matrons! So, secretly Pherenike took up the mantle and resumed training her son dressed in the male garb of an official trainer.
When his time came to report for the BCE Olympics, his mother went with him disguised in the full length robe of a trainer and carrying the traditional wooden staff.
When her son was ultimately victorious, Pherenike, forgetting her precarious situation since a woman attending the forbidden event faced the death penalty of being thrown from the Typaeum cliffs, let out a high-pitched whoop and jumped over the fence to run and kiss her son.
So now I know why athletes are always depicted in the nude on all of those red and black-figure vases! I also learned about Koan silk, a sheer see-through fabric. Unlike the Chinese, who killed the worm to harvest the silk from their cocoons, the Greeks let the worm emerge naturally, breaking the threads as it went. Then, using the same method they used with flax known as hackling, the women produced a gossamer silk that commanded a premium price.
The silk was so popular that Aristophanes referred to it in his play Lysistrata where women go on a sex strike to keep their men from going to war and sexually tease their husbands by prancing around "naked in their Amorgian chitons.
The Joy of Sexus: Lust, Love, and Longing in the Ancient World
Remember This? The Joy Of Sex – The Iconic 70’s Sex Manual
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