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Sex & History – from cavemen to emojis

by Beth Divine 5 Jul 2018

People like drawing willies. From cavemen giving themselves improbably large members (and their lady-folk obscenely large booties and boobies) to schoolboys with a pen and five minutes to spare, there is something childishly satisfying about a penis portrait! Even a fighter pilot got into trouble a few months ago, drawing a big willy in the sky with his contrails!

Even the super cultured Greeks and Romans were obsessed with sex and sex organs. From frescoes at Pompeii, which have turned out to be something like a menu in a brothel: ‘Pick this room for these particular delights to be perpetrated upon you’, style of thing, to bowls, urns and amphorae with very detailed, very explicit sexual scenes depicted upon them, men throughout the ages have long documented their fascination with nookie.

Even cultures without a written language had no problem telling sexual stories, using hieroglyphs, symbols and even little pictures of titillating scenes.

And modern man is no different. Despite access to more words than ever before we are still remarkably coy about speaking plainly about what we want from our partners. Smartphones – specifically the emoji keyboard found in most smartphones – have come to the rescue, performing a task that it’s inventors never considered. It is entirely possible to have whole conversations using just emojis, and sexy emojis are now a thing. For example, curious eyes teamed with an aubergine, water droplets and a peach could form a request for anal sex – one that is inoffensive, easy to refuse without offense, but also a great way to open up a conversation.

Cherries and peaches, ring doughnuts, even a honey pot can all refer to female genitalia, while the aubergine is the go to emoji equivalent of a dick pic. But a penis can be represented by any phallic shaped fruit or veg, from a banana, to a cucumber to any long hard thing!

It is even possible to create lightly cryptic rebuses using traditional text, either making drawings using letters in the right shape, or by combining letters and symbols in such a way that the message is legible.

One thing is very clear: as long as people seek to communicate with each other, they will write and draw about their genitalia and what they want to do with it. And a very good thing too – the human race would not survive without this very natural urge!