April 2, 2000
12:34 PM   Subscribe

Ancient Roman erotica to be unveiled, "once thought too scandalous for mere mortals to view."
posted by veruca (6 comments total)
Yeah, I took a trip to Italy a couple years back and passed through Pompeii. There was this one building that had a surprising number of erotic frescoes. The guide told us they used to have all the frescoes behind a door, and they'd only let men peek inside. Now they're hanging out for all to see. I guess we have finally achieved an equality of the sexes.
posted by geoff at 2:26 PM on April 2, 2000

Yeah, I've been there too.
Ever see the erect penises there, coming out of the walls? That's how they advertised brothels :-)
posted by tomcosgrave at 2:54 PM on April 2, 2000

By the way, it's interesting to observe that MSNBC didn't show a picture :-)
posted by tomcosgrave at 2:59 PM on April 2, 2000

Once it was assumed that Pompeii was some hotbed of sensualism, but now we know that this kind of art was common throughout Roman society. It's just that most of it was destroyed and censored by the cultures that later inhabited those areas (e.g. Muslim and Catholic). Ironically, the volcanic eruption at Pompeii preserved these artifacts for all time.

Romans just had different standards. NOVA recently showed its project to reconstruct a Roman bath, including the coed toilet where not only was there no privacy, but you sat cheek to cheek as it were with your neighbor. Of course, the toga allowed this to occur without much display, but can you imagine the kinds of bathroom sounds and other side effects going on with a friend, neighbor, or relative right next to you?!
posted by dhartung at 8:40 PM on April 2, 2000

They aren't that far off when you think about it... My grandparents had a three holer that was still in use when I was a kid, I used a public toilet in China that was basically a room full of holes in the ground, and they sell partner toilets where the two seats are side by side facing each other... presumeably so that you can catch the expression that goes with the sound...
Hey, it's not *my* style, but I know at least one couple that expressed interest in that one. I chose not to investigate their reasons.
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 9:14 PM on April 2, 2000

>and they sell partner toilets where the
>two seats are side by side facing each other

Wasn't that an SNL gag ad from a few years back?
posted by alan at 9:51 PM on April 2, 2000

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