29 Pieces Of Erotic Art That Prove People Have Always Loved Sex
Modern art, architecture, politics, science, philosophy, literature — virtually ever aspect of western civilization has its roots in the Roman empire. An argument can even be made that our current understanding of beauty can be traced to nude forms chipped into marble by Roman artists. However, for as much as our society has been influenced by this lost civilization, what we consider taboo in terms of sexuality has shifted dramatically. While touring the National Archeological Museum in Naples, Italy, I stumbled into a "secret room" featuring a gallery of ancient erotica. In addition to an abundance of penis amulets which will be featured in a later blog , these works of art "celebrate" everything from prostitution to bestiality. When scrolling through the images below, note how the sex scenes compare to modern pornography.
Since the beginning of civilization, humans have incorporated sexuality into erotic art, worship, and daily life. There have been cultures and times were explicit references to sexuality were more accepted by societal norms, and times when there have not. However, the repressive view of sexuality espoused by the Church in the Middle Ages, and then the repressed sexuality of the Victorian era have left many in the Western world believing that few if any in the past were willing and able to accept and even revel in their sexuality.
Craig Barker does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. In our sexual histories series, authors explore changing sexual mores from antiquity to today. Rarely does L. Erotic images and depictions of genitalia, the phallus in particular, were incredibly popular motifs across a wide range of media in ancient Greece and Rome.