Warning — I’m about to be nit-picky: I would never refer to the Venus of Willendorf and other similar statues as pornography. They are neither vulgar nor for the purposes of titillation or objectification of women. And while I’m being nit-picky, I would have also preferred to see a greater distinction between Roman orgies, Middle Ages masquerades and the like and the sacred sex of Mesopotamia and other cultures. I know you did some, and that this is a survey piece. Maybe that means it’s a story prompt for me 😁, but the sacred intimates (my preferred term over “temple prostitute”) of Ishtar and others were engaged in something that was very, very different from the hedonistic orgies of later times. It was not only a way to commune with the Goddess through her priestess, but was also often for the purposes of healing, particularly of soldiers returning from war.

Otherwise, an interesting and enjoyable piece.

If you are looking for something interesting to read, check out Sacred Pleasure: Sex, Myth and the Politics of the Body by Riane Eisler. I think you might enjoy it. Also, here’s a couple of related pieces that I’ve written, published I think before I got to know you.

Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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