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The History of Kink

    We love kink. If you don't find us thinking about it, you might find us getting a little freaky on Freaky Friday. What better way to show our admiration than define where kink came from in the first place? The first in a series on the history of kink, GetLusty's Ms. CherriesJubalie is here to present the history of kink. Today's episode: the ancient world. You don't know where kink came from? Join us and read on.


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    My definition

    My definition of kink is that it is an unconventional sexual preference or a person who has an unconventional sexual preference.  Kink is a broad term that covers the lifestyle, concepts and aspects of BDSM or Bondage and Domination/Sado-Masochism. In short “kink” is anything sexual you want it to be. Kink is such a broad subject and a term that really covers far more possible variations than any one person could imagine. That said--let’s presume that as long as there have been humans, there has been something that has been considered kinky throughout history.

    Since kink can range from Anal Sex and Animal Play to Bondage, Flagellation, Spanking, and things not everyone is able to view without wincing or turning away--kink can almost be documented from the beginning of human history.  Cave paintings have images of humans running around with animal heads hunting or performing some form of ritual and having an erect penis.  Contrast that with putting a leather dog head muzzle on my submissive and making him masturbate by humping my leg—I can see “kink” pretty much anywhere.  Kink is cross-cultural and embedded in the history of human kind.

    Kink historically

    Ancient history is ripe with stories of Gods taking the shape of animals and ravishing human women.  Zeus abducted Europa in the shape of a white bull and had sex with her.

    Homer documented this story in the Iliad along with countless other activities.  The witch-Goddess of Circe turned men into pigs in the Odyssey.  Sappho, the lyricist/poetess from the island of Lesbos in the 7th Century B.C. writes about loving other females.  It wasn’t until the 19th century when Victorian writers attributed the term Lesbian to female homosexuality.  We do have to ask ourselves though if we consider it kinky if that was the cultural standard. 

    The Greeks encouraged men to love each other and have sexual relations with them in addition to sex with their wives.  Sex was seen as an artistic expression of pleasure.  Sparta thought you would be a fiercer soldier if you had a lover in the trenches with you.  Having sexual relations outside of marriage was considered the usual practice.  Even today in Europe it is not uncommon to have both a wife and mistress.  So do we call that kinky simply because it is not our contemporary cultural standard sex relationship?

    The Romans made a whole new chapter in kink history.  They too had informal sex practices and through legal Roman documents we know that it was a crime to have sex with a Free-born citizen if you didn’t pay them.  Prostitutes had a specific social status and often got very involved in politics and were a protected class.

    The writer Theopompus of Chios in the 4th century B.C. writes about an Etruscan feast where everyone got so drunk it ended in a public orgy. Hell yeah! [that, was my reptile brain talking.]  According to his writings, after the drinking stopped courtesans and boys were brought in for the males to make use of and their wives were serviced by “lusty young men.”  To top it off, artwork depicts shaved women having sex with men in positions that would make Olympic gymnasts look stiff though it was the men nude and the women wearing clothes. 

    In Roman culture the intimacy of having a meal with someone socially was more important than having sexual relations, though being publicly seen to have a lot of sex regardless of what kind was disreputable and seen as a pitfall.  Be perverse as you want but within moderation apparently was the M.O. 

    Roman culture included what we would be considered pretty kinky in their wartime activities.  A topless woman would ride at the front of the army as the symbol of the Venus Victrix [Goddess of Victory].  Personally, might be a distraction to see boobs bouncing on horseback if I were facing an army, but not for long.

    Apparently, the Roman Army often had issues went it went on the march.  After a campaign that included crossing the Alps with elephants, Hannibal’s army wintered troops in Capua and spent so much time drinking and debauching in the town the troops had to withdraw from attacking Carthage.  On the other hand, it was common practice of Roman soldiers to face fuck their opponents as a form of Domination. The honor code of the soldier required him to be the penetrator of the oral rape; it was the ultimate in humiliation play.

    Early Roman wedding rituals were pretty kinky and some included the bride having to publicly penetrate with a wooden phallus.  Some regions also had the potential bride be used by the groom’s friends prior to the wedding.

    Other contemporary cultures also had erotic artwork depicting unusual sex acts.  The Egyptians had men and women cavorting in various sexual poses.  Depictions of homosexual intimacy were found on tomb carvings.  Animals of two different breeds were carved in the act of sex with large phallus.  The kings and queens of Egypt intermarried with each other in incestuous relationships and sodomy was depicted with not just humans, but also bulls and goats.  While the Romans practiced fellatio—the Egyptians had no records of sucking cock except an extremely acrobatic self-fellatio. 

    One practice that was more out of necessity than perhaps fetish, was Necrophilia.  The embalmers of Ancient Egypt smelled so strongly of their materials that prostitutes refused their business.  I suppose if a good-looking corpse came along they used the opportunity.

    The ancient world had a myriad of cultures and humankind has had an active and kinky sex life. Various cultures treated sexuality in different ways, which makes the concept of kink difficult to define.  Today kink covers a vast connection of sexual activities many of them have been performed throughout history.  We will discover more kinky cultures, activities, and toys in the next segment. Do stay tuned to GetLusty.com for more!

    Ms. CherriesJubalie is a unique Burlesque performance artist and active member of the Chicago Leather Community. She is a sex-positive educator and travels to local and national lifestyle events, art shows, and charity fundraisers. An enigma, she has appeared on NBC's America's Got Talent where censors determined her "ass is too dangerous for Prime Time TV." She has appeared in independent films and is a featured performer on Kink.com's HogTied. An internationally known Shibari Rope Artist and fetish model, you can see her in the pages of Germany's Bondage Magazine and on the cover of numerous books and novels. Follow Ms. Cherries on Twitter or e-mail her at cherry@getlusty.com.
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