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Erotic Cliterature: Kinky Love, a journey into Erotic Literature from ancient Greece to Modern Age

Erotic Cliterature: Kinky Love, a journey into Erotic Literature from ancient Greece to Modern Age
If you think that 50 shades of Grey is the best erotic literature you’ve ever read, you’ll be pleased to hear that history is full of kinky and fun reading to dig into and appreciate.
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Erotic art and literature has been present since 20 century BC (the first known example is an erotic monologue written by an unknown female speaker to the Sumer king, Shu-sin) and has seen a wild evolution over time.
Writings from Ancient Greece and Rome are full of lyrical poems and prose about sex, without any shame: from the exaltation of queer love by the poetess Sappho, to the most obscene (and funny) erotic imagery by Apuleio and Luciano.
Jumping over to the period that everyone considers obscure and dark in terms of  knowledge and creation, the Middle Ages; we see so many examples of sex-positivity. Spoiler alert: it’s kinky and funny. Especially in France; the fabliaux were amusing stories featuring priests or betrayed husbands as the main protagonists and followed their adventures with women. We find that sex was considered part of life as well as a duty, which interested both man and woman (I know, sounds crazy). One of my favourite stories is the one about a noble woman whose lover is a bishop; before getting down and dirty, she asked him to give the holy benediction to her “pussy”. And he did.
erotic cliterature
Another story is set in Italy, where a popular man marries a red haired woman, however everyone in town knows that he is more interested in men, and for this reason he did not sleep with his new wife. She was quite annoyed about this situation, choosing to have a lover for herself. One night, they were enjoying some time in bed together when the husband arrived. Did a big fight ensue? Nope, they all had some fun! These stories are quite fascinating because they depict a portrait of sex, homosexuality and pleasure as common  thrills rather than hideously taboo. Punishment for “deviant behaviour” involved fasts or prayers, but not killing. Sadly, that will come later on.
erotic cliterature
During the XVII century, erotic literature was considered shameful and forbidden books circulated as contraband. In this era of licentious stories, when young girls are initiated into the Ars Amatoria, the Marquis de Sade arrives and creates what is defined as the libertine literature of his century. These texts are not only fueled by a strong, erotically driven narrative, but also by the enlightenment that overwhelms the whole of Europe. Thus, we see one scene of seduction and another of anti-religious polemic and a defence of reason as a tool for disciplining the masses.
erotic cliterature
During this movement we also see the first novel that involved fairies, an intriguing topic, which sees once again France as quite avant garde in terms of creativity. We can read the story of a man abducted by fairies, forced to have sex with the fairy Queen. Unsurprisingly, his performance was not great, leaving the Queen disappointed. She cursed him, transforming him into a sofa (this detail made me ecstatic). He will have to remain a sofa until another person commits the same unbecoming performance, only then can he regain his human form.  We follow the story of this sofa around France, and all the sexual adventures performed upon it. Until the day that finally the curse was broken and the man was returned to his human form. The Queen also decided that he had to satisfy her for all the years he was a sofa; he did not complain.
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Jumping forward to the past century, I could talk about Anais Nin and how her anonymous collector asked her to write an erotic novel for one dollar per page, or how Henry Miller and his “Tropic of Cancer” led to an obscenity trial that prompted the enforcement and/or revision of the US pornography laws of the 1960s. But these are stories for another time.
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While I was doing my research into the history of erotic literature I came across stories of extraordinary creativity for the time. Witty, funny and intense writings that are hardly known or even mentioned. The modern impression of sex-positivity being a relatively new invention isn’t necessarily true, although the definition of what is taboo has been in flux over time. One thing is for sure; erotic literature has been around for centuries and is still going strong.