Since the middle of the 1st century BC, a period of degradation was in full force, and along with it, came an epoch of limitless sexual freedom.
The reasons for this degradation were civil wars that hit the economy hard. Necessity lowered the Puritan ways of the Romans, especially of those of higher rank, and they all went on to make a living any way possible. Historians speak of incredible debauchery even out on the streets. People would dance and make love anywhere, anytime until complete exhaustion.
Half of the young adults entirely gave up on all morals and innocence on such occasions. Even during an epoch of such debauchery – with its sexual freedom, such festivals turned out to be way too “progressive”, so they were soon banned.
Slaves in ancient Rome had virtually no rights, and they were seen as furniture rather than people, so sex with a slave wasn’t even perceived as sex with a human being. This loophole in the Roman law system was welcomed by aristocrats when Emperor Augustus banned adultery in 31 BC.
Men and women, who had been captured from numerous wars, were being traded by nymphomaniacs of higher ranks to be used for carnal satisfaction. Sexual slavery was significantly better than other types of slavery, so not all of the slaves were against the idea.
Some information of the sexual energy of ancient Romans has been revealed to us by a first-hand sources. The walls of Pompeii have preserved hundreds of frank inscriptions and illustrations. A typical inscription on the wall would be something like this: “A soldier from the 7th legion was here. Tonight he satisfied 6 women, and even that is not much for such a stallion”.
Most similar signs were left behind on the walls of ancient lupanare (public brothels). Among them, one can find not only frivolous drawings, but also important information, such as names of clients and a price list.
Almost every object from that period had an illustration of penis on it. The male attribute decorated numerous frescos, murals, coins, kitchenware and other unexpected surfaces. Even some bell clappers were made to look like a phallus.
Romans even loved decorating their homes with paintings of the God of fertility, Priapus, who proudly demonstrated his large penis. The painting would be hung in the most visible place, or luck would stray from the home.
Literature of that time was also full of erotic stories. Not a lot of works have reached us today, but even those who have, give us insight into the atmosphere of that period.
Rulers of ancient Rome (from the period of degradation) were a peculiar caste who dictated the overall mood of the country. Nero, for example, loved spending his time with virgins – priestesses of the Goddess Vesta. In the morning he would put them on trial for debauchery. He even castrated one of his lovers and tried to turn him into a woman.
Marcus Aurelius Heliogabalus (or Elagabalus) went even further. He preferred going to social parties with chariots pulled by naked virgins. His religious reforms are very well-known. It was his decision that the main deity in the pantheon was depicted as a meteorite with a phallic shape.
Ancient Romans even turned their own graves into erotic monuments. Мen wished for full stories of their sexual conquests to be inscribed on their headstones. On some headstones, there are very detailed descriptions of sexual encounters and enthusiastic comments about women’s breasts.
After all, it turns out that Romans lived by the wisdom of the inscription on another well-preserved monument: “Have fun and do not turn down sex with pretty women. Once you die, you will not have another chance like that.”