A Look At Sex Throughout History With Author Delilah Marvelle

Delilah Marvelle's steamy historical romances are always fan favorites, and between books the author keeps the historical romance love going at her terrific blog A Bit O'Muslin. We love to read Delilah's in-depth posts about the history of sex and society's fascination with it. So when we were putting together the "Sex Throughout History" workshop for the upcoming RT Booklovers Convention, we knew that Deliliah was the perfect fit to run the panel. For those looking for a taste of what will be covered during the talk, we asked the author to tell us ten totally true (and totally shocking) moments in the history of sex. Here's what she said ...

Here are ten things you may not know about sex history:

1) The oldest model of the male anatomy used for the purpose of “satisfaction” is 28,000 years old.

2) Egyptians wore condoms. They were very unattractive, made out of linen and tied around the waist like a belt.

3) The Kama Sutra was written between 100-500 AD. It encompassed 64 arts. Young women and men in India were taught the Kama Sutra as part of their education before going into a marriage. It was more than a sex manual. It was a relationship manual that offered assistance in spirituality and romance.

4) The merkin (a pubic wig) appeared in the early 1400’s when prostitutes were forced to shave off their pubic hair due to lice. The merkin could be washed in boiling water and was more easily tended to than attached pubic hair. 

5) Menarche (a woman’s first period) has changed throughout history. In the 1500’s, the average age for a first period was around 20. By 1840, about 16-17. And today? Average is 11. Why? Our diets.

6) Amsterdam was the first to open up “Condom” shops in the 18th century. All of Europe and England followed suit shortly afterward. Surprisingly, women were the ones in charge of these shops.

7) Shakespeare was cleaned up throughout the ages (and especially during the Victorian period) because he was too dirty too print. Most of his plays were about sex, buggery, whores, pimps and venereal disease.

8) An anti-masturbation movement throughout Europe during the 1700’s led to the creation of an infamous sex club known as Beggar’s Bennison, where the members discussed all things related to sex (and did things all related to sex).

9) Chastity belts were created not to keep a virgin intact but to prevent masturbation. To this day, although many scholars will argue as to when the chastity belt actually appeared, there is no proof of its existence prior to the Victorian period. There were many Victorian counterfeits created to replicate medieval chastity belts, which created the illusion that they had been around since the medieval period.

10) Kellogg’s Cornflakes (yes, the same ones you eat today) were created to decrease “masturbation” tendencies in men and women.

- Delilah Marvelle

Want to learn more wild (and true) facts about the history of sex? At the 2012 RT Booklovers Convention, you can attend Delilah's specialty workshop "Sex Throughout History" to learn all sorts of details such as what is the world's oldest sex toy, which were the most outrageous sex clubs throughout history and much more! For a complete list of the panels that are scheduled for RT's upcoming convention click here.