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Roman Orgies

 
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 347900
Canada
03/31/2008 12:39 AM
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Roman Orgies
Orgies


Before the advent of Greek and Roman civilizations, there were no orgies: there were just groups of people wantonly having sex willy-nilly in a big pile or some other such unsophisticated clustering. Early and tribal cultures appear to have had some group sex rituals associated with fertility and spring, but these are not especially well-documented. It took right up until the Age of Empires and Alphabets for people to invent a word for it (orgia, in both Latin and Greek) and to twist the childlike fun of random group sex into a constrictive societal institution.
The Romans and Greeks were obsessed with sex. When they weren't busy writing Illiads, waging war, or inventing architecture and indoor plumbing, they were screwing each others' brains out. Given their obsession with sex and sensuality, it's actually kind of amazing they got anything done at all.

Although the Greeks and Romans were sex-crazed, their orgia were not what modern folk imagine when the word "orgy" is used, with a few exceptions. The original orgies were associated with the Greek cults of Orpheus and Dionysus, who was literally the god of sex, drugs and rock-n-roll (or as they were known then, sex, wine and ritual dance). A fertility icon, Dionysus was attended by mythical creatures known as satyrs and nymphs, who later lent their names to the Freudian complexes that house sex-crazed quacks. Strangely, all extant evidence indicates that Dionysian rituals (also called orgia) were sterile and regimented, largely free from profane indulgence.

The Romans also had sex and wine deities, but being somewhat less pious than the Greeks, they re-invented the orgy as a social ritual. The Latin orgia usually referred to extravagant dinners staged by the wealthy and powerful, where gluttonous eating and binge drinking were broken up by visits to the vomitorium. Nothing says "sexy" like group vomiting, and the guests at the orgia would often indulge in some strictly softcore heavy petting. Sometimes they would adjourn to another room with each other or with sex slaves provided by the host, where things got a little more hardcore.

Of course, in the final days of the empire, there were a few brave pioneers such as Caligula, whose legendary sexual excesses helped give the orgy its good name (or bad name, depending on your moral stance). Outside of the cradle of the classics, there were mostly inconsistent sexual practices that varied pretty substantially from region to region. Of these, India was another early pioneer in sexual adventurism, and ancient Indian temples contain numerous depictions of almost every conceivable sexual configuration, with participants coming in duets, trios, quartets and more.

The fall of the Romans and the rise of the Christians put a damper on all this hot action. As the Roman emperors became increasingly sexually prolific, they also became notably corrupt and insane. (This may not be a total coincidence.) When the Christians rose to power over the rotting tenements of the Imperial sex machine, there was an implication that the relative values of chastity vs. intemperance might have had something to do with it. The Christian attitude toward sex was extremely repressive, especially as it related to the unwashed masses (as opposed to priests, who pretty much did what they wanted for the first 2,000 years). Things deteriorated further during the Middle Ages, when group sex was explicitly linked to Satanism and witchcraft, and those in power sublimated their sexual impulses into violence.

With the American and French revolutions stirring the pot, the word "orgy" finally debuted with its modern meaning sometime in the 18th century. By the 19th century, however, the sex-is-filthy paradigm was beginning to crumble, and virulent outbreaks of carnal fun were reported all over Europe. While prospective brides were told to lie back and think of England, members of society's fringe were living it up. The rise in occultism at the end of the 19th century provided a sex-magick pretext for those who wanted one; the rest just got busy.

Nevertheless, orgies were still considered shameful and depraved well into the 20th century. The rise of "free love" in the '60s helped destigmatize the idea of wild group sex, and major events like Woodstock introduced the idea to numberless baby boomers.

Unfortunately the '60s ended in 1973, and shame slowly took root once more in Western civilization. On the bright side, the cat was now well and truly out of the bag, which means you can in fact attend orgies today with relatively little difficulty. Orgy-seekers today are thankfully spared the necessity of having to join secret societies, biker gangs or other dens of iniquity.

No, this is the consumer-driven 21st century. Today you can instead sign up for brightly lit resorts and annual events such as Hedonism and San Francisco's Exotic Erotic ball. Vacation packages come with all amenities included, such as "like minded" people, nudist resorts, social events in which you can rub elbows (or whatever) with real-life porn stars, and even a continental breakfast.

The Vomitorium, alas, will cost you extra.
Nero

User ID: 403551
03/31/2008 12:40 AM
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Re: Roman Orgies
Hey there . . !
'You will know them by their fruit . . ' Beware Imposters ..
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 403906
United States
03/31/2008 12:42 AM
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Re: Roman Orgies
unsophisticated clustering

lol
Amazing Times
User ID: 401877
Canada
03/31/2008 01:24 AM
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Re: Roman Orgies
Those must have been amazing times. Amazing times.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 404334
Japan
03/31/2008 01:41 AM
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Re: Roman Orgies
There was nothing I liked or found interesting about the above article.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 404343
Canada
03/31/2008 01:59 AM
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Re: Roman Orgies
There was nothing I liked or found interesting about the above article.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 404334

Prude.
Washington
User ID: 405012
Canada
03/31/2008 08:18 PM
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Re: Roman Orgies
I watched a movie about this once.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 405041
United States
03/31/2008 08:23 PM
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Re: Roman Orgies
Good times. Good times.
pretty gross
User ID: 383929
United States
03/31/2008 08:24 PM
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Re: Roman Orgies
If the romans and the greeks didn't have so many little boy fuck fests we might not have herpes or the clap today.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 444034
United States
06/02/2008 04:13 PM
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Re: Roman Orgies
If the romans and the greeks didn't have so many little boy fuck fests we might not have herpes or the clap today.
 Quoting: pretty gross 383929



yep
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 818684
United States
11/14/2009 10:11 PM
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Re: Roman Orgies
If the romans and the greeks didn't have so many little boy fuck fests we might not have herpes or the clap today.
 Quoting: pretty gross 383929


STD's are only transmitted when sex doesn't conform to your liking? A ridiculous idea to be sure. It doesn't conform to my liking either but I don't expect that to significantly impact the existence of a disease that can be spread any number of ways.
neteru<>

User ID: 815206
United States
11/14/2009 10:14 PM
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Re: Roman Orgies
Rome, an HBO show, watch it. ; )
We have finally come back to the pre-Socratic philosopher Heraclitus, who said everything is flow, flux, process. There are no "things." Bruce Lee

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