‘Thus the Queen of Ulster and all the ladies of the Court, to the number of 610, came to meet Cuchulainn, naked above the waist, and raising their skirt “so as to expose their private parts”, by which they showed how greatly they honoured him.’
There was a time way back in history when sexual freedom was the norm. Virginity wasn’t prized, marriages were often on a trial or temporary basis, nudity was the custom and women took more than one lover at a time.
This was an era when it was a mark of distinction, rather than shame, to be labelled a bastard, because of the implication that a valiant knight had slept with your mother, and a time when incest and bestiality were rife.
Then along came the christian missionaries, decided that this was immoral behaviour, and wrote their own rules regarding sex. They decreed who you were allowed to have sex with and even which position you were allowed to do it in. Anything other than the missionary position was now believed to be unnatural, and engaging in any sexual act that was not specifically for the purpose of procreation was now a sin – which put both anal and oral sex strictly off the menu.
Harsh punishments were handed out to those who fornicated or committed adultery, but as time went on and people were still engaging in unsavoury sexual positions, one progressive theologian came up with a list of acceptable ones and ranked them in order of respectability:
5. From the rear
The church, albeit under the guise of disapproval, took a great deal of interest in the subject and went to a lot of trouble to write lengthy and detailed descriptions on all of the sex acts they forbade, which could very well make the church the first writers of erotica.
Then came the Victorians, who were supposedly so sexually repressed that they covered up their table legs, but in this period, when electricity was new and people were deciding what devices should get electrical power first, someone thought that the dildo should come before both the vacuum cleaner and the electric iron…It surely must have been a woman.
Everything in life has a cycle, including our sexual tastes. What’s considered repugnant in this day and age may well become the norm again in a hundred years time. I just hope I’m not still around if flashing your lady bits to visiting dignitaries comes back into fashion.