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Old August 12th, 2017, 06:43 PM   #1

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SEX!!!


Why are various forms of sex and/or nudity, taboo or restricted in so many different cultures?
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Old August 12th, 2017, 07:17 PM   #2

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Why are various forms of sex and/or nudity, taboo or restricted in so many different cultures?
A lot of A ancient cultures had a different view of sexuality than we do today; look at ancient art. Even today there are different sexual norms from one country to another. so it's relative, but I suspect that it had something to do with the treating of women as commodities In male-dominated cultures in the past.
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Old August 12th, 2017, 07:20 PM   #3

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A lot of A ancient cultures had a different view of sexuality than we do today; look at ancient art. Even today there are different sexual norms from one country to another. so it's relative, but I suspect that it had something to do with the treating of women as commodities In male-dominated cultures in the past.
Good post. Weren't lower-class males were often treated as commodities in terms of soldiers and menial labor?
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Old August 12th, 2017, 07:33 PM   #4

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Good post. Weren't lower-class males were often treated as commodities in terms of soldiers and menial labor?
I suppose they were in some ancient cultures, especially those with slavery and subjugated peoples. Everyone has some kind of value. Ancient Rome might be a good place to look..
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Old August 12th, 2017, 11:28 PM   #5

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Ancient Rome , Greece and European tribes in general were very free and permissive about sex and female male nudity , the problems arrived with the imposition of the Abrhamitic eastern religions.
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Old August 12th, 2017, 11:50 PM   #6

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Yes, I would say that the Abrahamin monotheism imposed a remarkable change in how Christian, Muslim and Jewish societies consider nudity and sexuality.

Sexuality has become private, and nudity in some way obscene [in public] when not a real sin ...

Anyway, we should pay attention to the Tanakh and to the approach of the Jewish authors to courting.

The Song of Solomon [שיר השירים, shėr hasshirėm, Sublime Song] is a book of the Tanakh [Old Testament] in which we read a dialogue between Solomon and Sulammita.

We can read passages like

Quote:
Let him give me the kisses of his mouth: for his love is better than wine.
Quote:
Take me to you, and we will go after you: the king has taken me into his house. We will be glad and full of joy in you, we will give more thought to your love than to wine: rightly are they your lovers.
Quote:
As a bag of myrrh is my well-loved one to me, when he is at rest all night between my breasts.
And so on ...
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Old August 12th, 2017, 11:56 PM   #7

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Probably, the monotheist new religion [until the expansion of Christianity the Abrahamic religion was one a with a very limited influence in a limited geographical area] had to differentiate itself from the "Pagan" cults which often saw sexuality and real sex as part of their "liturgies".

The pleasure of the flesh was a temptation for all and the non Christian cults used it also as a form of marketing and advertising [if you venerate and worship this God you will have sex in the temple during the celebrations ... think to the "Bacchanalia"].

Christians had to offer something different, something for all, not only for initiated to this or that cult ...

The purity, the spirituality and the chastity of the message of the Christ was really totally different and it was for all.

And Jesus himself about this didn't help [at least the Gospels which tell his life don't help]: he always had women with him while he was traveling to preach, but he never showed [if not in apocryphal Gospels] a clear and direct expression of sexuality, erotic behaviors ...

There is only a passage in which he accepts something a bit private by a woman [when she uses her hairs to dry his feet].

Luke 7
Quote:
Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet.

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Old August 12th, 2017, 11:58 PM   #8

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Ancient Rome , Greece and European tribes in general were very free and permissive about sex and female male nudity , the problems arrived with the imposition of the Abrhamitic eastern religions.
Actually, Rome was astonishingly conservative about sex. Homosexuality was expliclity illegal (example given by Tacitus), and the penalty in the legions was death by strangulation (source: Polybius).

Similarly, the pentaly in Sparta for lusting after a boy was loss of citizenship (from Xenophon, who led Spartan troops and sponsored his sons though the agoge).

In Athens, things were bit more confused. They seemed to realize that a man might lust after his eromenos, and things might go that way, but that it was best if they did not. There was no "Greek" attitude towards sex, and things were different according to local custom city to city (source, Plato's Republic and Symposium, though I have not fully read the Symposium).

Alexander the Great, by the way, despised homosexuality (source, Plutarch) and much of of Caesar's alleged bi-sexuality was the result of baseless rumors intended to be nasty, (source: Suetonius), although the situatlon is bit more ambiguous as he indeed might have "done some favors."

I have read now all of Homer, some of Hesiod, All of Herodotus, all of Thucidydes, both major works of Xenophon, all of Polybius, all extant Livy, all of Plutarch, all of Suetonius, all extant Tacitus, Arrian's work on Alexander, the Jewish War of Josephus, all of Sallust, both works of Caesar, many of the speeches of Cicero, all of the Augustine scribe, what I can find of Dio, an abridged copy of Ammianus, Apuleius, Quintus of Smyrna, Ovid, Virgil, the Thebian plays of Sophocles, some Euripides, one of Aeschylus, two major works of Plato, and Precopius...

Most of these authors mention homosexuality negatively. From Cicero's denunciations of Clodius and Cataline, to the denunciation of Caesar in Suetonius as "the queen of Bithynia," to Octavian accusing Antonius of being weak from homosexuality in Dio, to a long passage of the Golden Ass in which the main character is forced to watch homosexual acts in horror after being transformed into a donkey, to every villain in Rome being cast as homosexual or bi-sexual inlcluding Caligula, Nero, Tiberius, Commodus, and Heliogalbus. Ammianus, the last of the western historians, calls homosexuality "unnatural lust," and "lewd intercourse." Cicero even found it honorable to murder one's military officer if he tried to take sexual advantage.


The number of positive references to homsexuality I have unncovered in these tens of thousands of pages of reading: 0.

Not a single one. Although I understand that Plato is a bit ambiguous in The Symposium.

It is a complete and utter myth that ancient societies were sexually tolerant and Christianity screwed it up.

Last edited by cachibatches; August 13th, 2017 at 12:37 AM.
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Old August 13th, 2017, 12:11 AM   #9

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Sexuality was disciplined [the censor had the possibility to expel even a Senator because of bad sexual behavior] and the sense of "pudor" [modesty] was present in the ancient Roman society as well.

But here we are discussing how sexuality [nudity is an aspect of sexuality] was considered in itself. A society which accepted cults like the one of Baccus [the cult had fought by the authorities because of some of his aspects, it didn't recognize the official religion of Rome, but the sexual orgies survived to the cult and they remained in the "Bacchanalia"] with its sexual liturgies was clearly a society which didn't consider sexuality in some way a sin, if not private and finalized to the procreation.
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Old August 13th, 2017, 12:17 AM   #10

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An interesting aspect of the effects of the "senatus consultus de Bacchanalibus" was that the cities where there were the greatest protests against it were the cities of the former Magna Grecia [the Bacchanalia had copied from Greek rituals ... the orgies in honor of Dionysus]. From that moment on, the Bacchanalia had to be permitted by the authorities and they had limited to 5 persons: 2 men and 3 women.
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