History of Sexuality

Masturbation in Ancient Cultures

Articles / Pre History
Date: Jan 26, 2006 - 08:44 AM

The act of masturbation was viewed under so many different prospects by the ancient cultures. It is a natural habit that has been practiced by the human society since time immemorial.

According to some interpreters, there are even drawings of male masturbation in prehistoric rock paintings around the world. Masturbation in ancient cultures was commonly allowed and now it is reminded in legends and tales. Some old pictures depict men and woman masturbating, and other parts of the world have the auto-stimulation in monuments. A Neolithic cemetery in Greece, for example, has a figure of a man masturbating.

Some ancient cultures also used to consider masturbation as an empowering and creative sexual activity. There's a legend which says that the Egyptian god Osiris created the world by an act of masturbation. Other Egyptian myth says that the sun god, Atom, created the first two human beings of earth through a sleight of masturbation. That's why the male masturbation became important in this ancient culture regarded as magical or creative an act. A similar Greek myth also involves their gods. In this tale, Hermes taught Pan to masturbate.

In ancient Greece, masturbation was a natural, normal and healthy attitude to substitute other forms of sexual activity. It was considered a safety valve against destructive sexual frustration. For this reason, there are many Greek art and writings of female masturbation and paintings that show male masturbation as a part of the daily life, and not a vice or a virtue. It started to be judged when the Roman Empire took place, because the Romans used to distinguish vice from virtue and associated masturbation to defilement and disturbance.

The ancient culture of the Sumerians, who invented the first written language, has references to their god Enki masturbating and his ejaculation filling up the Tigris River as fluid. With the growing influence of the Christian Church and other religions, however, masturbation started to be condemned and judged as a sinful practice, as a sign of weakness and decay. Religion still plays major influence nowadays, but the practice of masturbation today was demystified by the medicine, which proved it as healthy as harmless.

This article comes from History of Sexuality

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