Duty Or Lovemaking

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WORDS | Claire Catacouzinos

If you guys have watched the TV shows Spartacus, Rome, and Game of Thrones, then you will know history has never been bashful about sex, whether that be sexual intercourse or sexuality – unless modesty comes into play. Ancient Greece and Rome were patriarchal societies, and Page Dubois in Sowing the Body states that the metaphor, “there is a bun in the oven,” represents the male desire for ownership of the female body and fertility. The man has his seed, mounts, and begets; the woman is just an oven, and ‘cooking’ just means sexual intercourse to get the loaf in there. Women were only seen for reproduction and sexual enticing, the word marriage ‘gamos’ in Greek, literally means ‘to fuck’.

Homosexuality was very common in the Ancient World. Although, there was never a name given to people who engaged in same sex union, you didn’t define a person by their sexuality. They were just a person, and this was the norm. It was all about sexual gratification, about who was doing the action, and who was having it done to them. It wasn’t about the gender of the partners, but the way they sexually engaged with each other – being the active, ‘dominant male role,’ and the passive, ‘submissive female role’.

However, during the Hellenistic Age there was a shift in Greek attitude from Classical literature glorifying homosexual relations, to Post-Classical literature idealising heterosexual couples. Examples are found in the Ancient Greek Novels, which are considered to be the equivalents of Mills and Boons books – minus the erotic sex!

If you want details of erotic sex in the Ancient World, look no further than Ancient India’s Kama Sutra on tantric sex. They regarded the love of sexual union as a divine experience, and orgasms as glimpses into divinity. And everyone knows Ancient China’s famous concept of Yin and Yang in Taoism – the equal and complementary opposites. When two people come together for sexual intimacy, they come together as complementary equals; their sexual play is active and receptive, intense and subtle, commanding and submissive. History reveals our modern attitudes towards sex, and its development.

 

For more information about the Ancient Greek Novels, visit Claire’s website:

www.clairecatacouzinos.wordpress.com

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dutyorlovemaking