Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Focus: Sexuality "Lupercalian Valentine's Day"

Dr. Block is an internationally renowned LA sex therapist who believes, "real-life love rarely measures up to the Valentine ideal—at least not in that gauzy goody-goody eternally youthful way, plus all that candy just puts on weight".

I know, I know, Valentines day shouldn't really be spoken of or referred to unless it's in and around February 14th. However, this engaging article is one of intrigue for readers! Valentine's day was invented in the 19th Century by Hallmark Cards in order to increase their revenue in card sales. That being said, there is a fantastical, ideally romantic story that goes along with this day and Dr. Block describes the tale (see article for full fictional story).

Dr. Block goes on to describe the association of Valentine's day with sex, and lust. She states that it is rooted in, "Ancient Romans celebrated the Lupercalia, an archaic festival of the now obscure old shepherd god Lupercus (or perhaps Faunus, the Roman Pan), and a celebration of communal sexuality, purification, fertility, the rush of hormones, the howl of the wolf, the crack of the whip and the coming of Spring". Therefore, it is not a new idea that natural desire goes hand in hand with valentine's day.

The next story that is shared in relation to valentine's day is the one of Romulus, Remus, and the she-wolf Lupe. Romulus, and Remus' uncle had tossed them in the Tiber where they were seducted under Lupe's will. It is said that, "The priests would sacrifice a goat or two and anoint the foreheads of several of the community’s most virile young men, the Lupercii, with goat’s blood and milk, at which the young men were expected to laugh uproariously. Then it appears that they all stripped naked, cut leather thongs from the goat’s skin, used one thong to gird their loins and made whips with the other pieces. At this point, they got very drunk and ran through the streets, joyously brandishing their Lupercalian leather thongs, whipping the young ladies who were also probably quite drunk, and would gladly offer up their behinds for the “blessing” of being lightly flogged, often accompanied by 'much rowdiness and horseplay'”. Ironically it is more traditional for people to include whips in their festivities rather than flowers and chocolate. The Roman belief was that whips gave birth to fertility.

Dr. Block's historical tales of what valentine's day really consisted of is both interesting, and humorous. You should really take a look, and begin planning your authentic valentine's day celebrations...


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