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Masturbating Man: a 2000-year-old Hero?

by Beth Divine 14 Oct 2018

The volcano near your home has erupted – correction, it has exploded with the force of a thousand angry gods – and you are certain that your end is imminent. What do you do? Well, if you’re one particular man, recently uncovered, you whip out your willy for a final masturbation session, and when the pyroclastic flow hits, you are so deeply absorbed in your act of self-pleasuring that you are preserved, hand on cock, for posterity – or until 2018 when you are uncovered, that is.

The recent discovery of a perfectly preserved man, apparently clutching his manhood, was assumed to have been doing just that, having a last wank as the sun went down on his world. The truth is a bit more complicated, but before we get to that, let’s have a look at what Pompeii and its surroundings were like before Vesuvius decided to rain lava down on them.

Pompeii, in 79AD, the year of the eruption, was a thriving town, with a strong economy and excellent soils for growing food crops and grapes for wine. There was forum where the people would gather to meet and exchange news and make deals, and there were a number of brothels too.

These establishments had a practical method of advertising their services, with one brothel featuring rooms dedicated to each sex act. Customers were alerted to this by the delicate murals over each doorway – each depicting, in tremendous detail, the wonders that waited within! Graffiti uncovered on the brothel’s walls include boasting and also some instructions for the uninitiated – ‘thrust slowly’ being one such piece of advice – as, indeed, the pictorial menu did too. One can imagine a wide-eyed young merchant, away from home for the first time, girding his loins and visiting the brothel, determined not to return home in exactly the same condition as he left it. He could choose from regular sex, a blowjob, cunnilingus, anal sex (as penetrator or penetratee according to his preferences). Once he makes his choice, presumably he pays over his coins and goes into the relevant room, to await the services of one of the brothel’s ladies – usually a slave, unfortunately. It is believed that the town’s healthy economy and fortunate location, close to the sea and trading ports, would have made it an ideal location for a bustling sex trade.

The town now is preserved as a UNESCO heritage site, and archaeologists are continuing their careful and painstaking work. The town has been a popular tourist destination for over 250 years, and its popularity shows no sign of waning – latest estimates have 2.5 million visitors per year making the trip to visit the site.

But back to our fun-loving man – unfortunately, it seems that he wasn’t seeing himself off and out at the same time. The intense heat of the pyroclastic flow would have wreaked havoc on the human body, forcing limbs into contorted and tormented positions. It seems that it is a mere unfortunate coincidence that his arm ended up over his genitals, and that it is very unlikely that he was indulging in a little self-release in the moments before his death. Sorry.