According to legend, a succubus is a malevolent demon that adopts the form of an irresistibly seductive human female in order to take advantage of male victims while they are in bed at night. This is normally achieved through an intimate sexual act such as intercourse or fellatio. Traditionally, a visit from a succubus was assumed to be the reason why men sometimes get erections and ejaculate spontaneously in their sleep.
Archive for the Mythology Category
Sappho was one of the greatest poets of the ancient world. She was born on the Greek island of Lesbos in the 7th century BC. A native of Lesbos is known as a Lesbian, and in English this word has come to mean a homosexual female due to the homoerotic nature of some of Sappho’s poems. The word “Sapphic” is sometimes used as a synonym of Lesbian.
The picture above is adapted from the painting “Sappho’s bedtime” by Charles Gleyre (1806 – 1874). The one below is from Édouard-Henri Avril (1849 –1928). Both scenes include a lyre, which was a harp-like musical instrument used to accompany poetry in ancient times.
Juno was one of the most powerful deities in ancient Roman Mythology. Alongside Minerva, she was one of the top two Goddesses of the Roman Pantheon. But whereas Minerva was a virgin Goddess, Juno was an expert in sex. She was married to Jupiter, but like Jupiter she often had sexual intercourse with mortals. Juno symbolized feminine power and sexual liberation, and the word “Junoesque” is used to this day to refer to a tall, powerfully built woman.
In the Missionary Position of sexual intercourse, the woman lies passively on her back with her legs apart, and the man thrusts his penis in and out of her vagina. The Amazon Position, illustrated here, is the exact opposite of this. It is named after the ruthless female warriors of ancient Greek mythology, the Amazons, who required complete control over their submissive male partners. To this end, the man lies passively on his back with his legs apart, while the woman grips his penis with her powerful vaginal muscles and thrusts energetically back and forth, mimicking the traditional “fucking” action of the male.
The erect penis is a powerful symbol in art, mythology and religion, and its size is often exaggerated for greater effect. However, if it is exaggerated too much the effect becomes comic, as in this image based on a book illustration by Aubrey Beardsley. The original drawing, dating from 1896, depicts a scene from a classic Greek drama called Lysistrata. It reflects the ancient Greek theatrical tradition whereby the actors in comedies wore enormous stage-prop phalluses.
A number of ancient deities combine male and female characteristics. Perhaps the most archetypal is Hermaphroditus, from whose name we get the word hermaphrodite. In Greek mythology, Hermaphroditus was the offspring of the Goddess Aphrodite and the God Hermes. Originally a boy, he was transformed into a male-female hybrid through union with a water nymph. The cult of Hermaphroditus was popular in ancient Rome, where he was worshipped as the deity of bisexuality and effeminacy. The statue shown here is from Monte Porzio in Italy, and dates from the 2nd century AD. It is now in the Louvre Museum in Paris.
In Greek mythology, the God Zeus (a.k.a. Jupiter in Roman mythology) had a huge number of lovers, including Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto, who gave their names to the four largest moons of the planet Jupiter. As mentioned in a previous post, Ganymede was the only male among them. But surprisingly there was another same-sex relationship as well. Callisto was a female follower of the Goddess Diana (also known as Artemis). In order to seduce her, Zeus shape-shifted into female form, posing as Diana herself in order to copulate with Callisto.