Archive | January 2016

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Perv Paradise: Ancient Rome V

Perverted Justice When we talk today about a ‘perversion of justice’, we mean it metaphorically. It’s a way of describing how outraged we are, how unfair the trial was. In Roman times, the phrase would have been scarily literal. According to historian Vicki Leon, both the Romans and Greeks were fans of ‘unusual’ punishment. Not […]

Perv Paradise: Ancient Rome IV

Religious Sex Parties Imported from Greece, the Bacchanalia were ‘fertility festivals’ that really took hold in modern South Italy. And with good reason: they were devoted almost exclusively to shagging as many people as humanly possible. Writing about these ‘festivals’ in the Augustan era, the historian Livy breathlessly described scenes of unimaginable debauchery. These ‘festivals’ […]

Perv Paradise: Ancient Rome III

X-Rating Literature If you thought 50 Shades was dirty, wait till you hear about Roman literature. As with everything else in their lives, it revolved strictly round sex – and not just regular sex: weird, kinky, messy fetish sex. Take Sa tyricon, one of only two surviving Roman novels. The plot focuses on the adventures of […]

Perv Paradise: Ancient Rome II

Lewd Graffiti Next time you get bored and scrawl a massive dong on the wall of a public toilet, you should know that you’re simply carrying on an ancient tradition that stretches back to Roman times. That’s right: the Romans were no more high-minded about this sort of thing than you or me. When they […]

Perv Paradise: Ancient Rome

Sex Slavery It’s no secret that Roman society ran on slavery. Men and women captured during military conquests were shipped all over the Empire and auctioned off to the highest bidder – at which point they became the property of some aristocrat or other. And those aristocrats usually had one thing on their minds when […]

The Salacious Origin of Witches’ Broomsticks

Among the throngs of pop culture costumes that are sure to astound the less mundane crowd, this Halloween countless Americans will go with a fail-safe getup. “Witch” once again reigns as the No. 1 costume for adults, according to the National Retail Federation’s 2013 Halloween survey. Many of the pointy-hatted sorcerers who roam the streets […]

Bacchus cult

Roman women of the senatorial elite frequently played major roles as patrons of and participants in mystery cults. While traditional Roman, public religion offered a place for women, it did not offer them much of an active role in ritual observations and, with very few exceptions, offered them no positions of religious authority. Female worshippers […]