A naughty bathroom secret. A deep longing to do lecherous things to someone or something that perhaps you shouldn’t (or should you?). Such wanton behaviour can provide a fascinating insight into the carnal cosmos, as Vicki Leon recently discovered upon peering into the ancient window of Greco-Roman sex.
The 70-year-old author, who says she wished she was Servilia Caepionis, “the brilliant, glamorous cougar in Julius Caesar’s life”, flew from California to Italy to speak with experts and examine erotic archaeological evidence on the subject.
Here she discovered a licentious world of buttocks worship, an anti-aphrodisiac (used on overly virile men to “cool their jets”), and biodegradable dildos.
The latter were apparently large breadsticks, which Leon labels “the industry’s first green product”. These were moulded in possibly the earliest Greco-Roman sex bakery, sometime before the birth of Christ.
The anti-aphrodisiac, she discovered, was an ointment made from “mouse droppings and large helpings of lettuce”, which was rubbed on the member of any ridiculously randy Roman to restore carnal order.
However, possibly the most biting of rewards, at least for any victim of adultery, was the afflicted husband could shove a radish up the adulterer’s bottom (often in front of a large audience). This was a particularly piercing punishment, as Greek radishes were larger and considerably more peppery than they are today.
How was such Classical crevice crime uncovered? The answer lies in Greek comedies such as Aristophanes, where the event was reenacted to often riotous approval.
Leon’s research, which is the result of years of historical penetration, has led many to believe this era of Greco-Roman sex was the true golden age. “No one back then identified as hetero or gay or bisexual. They readily admitted to a rainbow of sensual pleasures – guilt-free”, she says.
However, rumour has reached The Fox Gazette that in a glade within the deepest wood, between forest-clad hills and a windy, scabrous bluff, sparkles of this golden age glimmer once more.