Sex in Ancient Rome

In Ancient Rome, sexual culture was very present and it represents the basis of nowadays sexual culture as well, in more than one aspect. But the ancient sexuality was based on virtue more than any other characteristic. A man was obligated to respect his body and overall, control it as much as it was in his human power.

Female sexuality knew little boundaries within marriage, and it was supported in any way, however, this rule didn’t really apply outside the marriage. Ancient Rome was a society in which men had extreme superiority above their family and sometimes above other men that they were in charge of. And that led to all kinds of sexual fetishes. One of the most common practice during those times was homosexuality. Men were not only allowed to indulge in homosexual practices but they were also encouraged to do so and even praised if their role in the sexual encounter was one of a dominant male. Being a dominant man was an attribute of power and supreme control, and the ultimate level of control was not practiced above other women but above other men. The passive homosexual of that time were submissive partners, occasional ones such as slaves or entertainers and they were not to develop an intimate relationship, at least not an official one. But even so, homosexual practices were almost the norm for any Roman man and their wives accepted this behavior because they were raised not to have any form of control over their husbands. Ancient Rome’s art, music, and literature, illustrated the variety of their sexual life with pride and respect. They were indulging in a lot of fetishes and had a great level of creativity when it comes to experiencing different sexual positions. Romans didn’t hold anything back when they were out to discover their sexuality and that remained one of their qualities over centuries. Sex was not only seen as a form of offering intense pleasure to the body, or hedonistic sexual satisfaction, but also as a form of procreation which was a very important aspect in Ancient Rome. The empire needed soldiers and strong men to conquer the world and many of them were dying during battles and wars. This was the main reason for couples to want children, as many as possible, and preferable boys that will go and fight for the wealth and flourishment of the empire. Ancient Rome didn’t encourage sexual practices as forced sex or adultery but they also defined them different. Adultery was considered to be so only if the mistress of a Roman husband was also a married woman. If a married man had an affair with a woman other than his wife but that woman was not married, he was free to indulge in that affair.

But the sexual freedom of the Roman empire remained until these days, when Italians are some of the most sexually opened individuals and their culture encourages sexual pleasure and satisfaction. Any form of sex is accepted in this culture as long as it is consensual and doesn’t represent a real danger to the partners involved in the sexual scene. This rule is similar to the one BDSM community is based on, which says that any BDSM scene should be safe, sane and consensual for all partners involved in it. In Ancient Rome prostitution was legal and entertainers were of all genders and sexual orientation which created and entertained a wide sexual variety. Women used to not only tolerate that but understand it as a hobby of their men and support it. But sex was also used as a form of power. Men considered their political status before they engaged in any sexual practice. Soldiers used to enjoy the young women of different countries after the war was over and if the victory was theirs. Gladiators were also granted the best women if they won the battle. This made sex both a reward and a sign of supremacy in Ancient Rome.

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