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Dildos in Ancient Rome

September 18, 2022 2 min read

Did Ancient Rome have dildos?

A small metal dildo that would have been worn around the neck of a soldier battling Julius Caesar's army was recently found by a treasure seeker in Lincolnshire, shocking him. The Lincolnshire County Council received it from him, and Adam Daubney has been looking at it ever since. The inch-long penis and testicle necklace, discovered in Horncastle of all places, would have been worn to wow females. There is no polite way to say that object is a little dildo. After finding a bronze necklace depicting a penis and testicles at the appropriately named Horncastle, historians came to that conclusion.

They were extremely popular among the Roman troops. They were worn as a sign of masculinity, power, and strength, as well as to invoke Zeus and other Roman gods' protection for troops heading into war. Phallic pendants were also fashioned of silver and gold, but they all represented the same thing.

Related: The Birth of The Sex Toy

What We Know

It's vital to bear in mind that the Greeks and Romans were polytheists who revered a variety of Dionysus, the god of wine and fertility, to get a sense of the period. Worship to the sex god, sometimes known as Bacchus or Liber, involved marches through the streets where enormous phalluses were hauled up like protest banners. A maiden would emerge at the conclusion of a marital fertility procession and dress the holy phallus in a floral wreath.

We also know that dildos were used for pleasure by both male and female Romans and Greeks. Women discuss using and sharing dildos while withholding sex from their lovers in Aristophanes' anti-war play "Lysistrata." Men who went to battle also gave their wives "olisbos" to prevent "hysteria," which was considered to be caused by a shortage of sperm at the time. I'm not sure they thought that one through because this olisbos didn't really contain sperm.

Double dildos, which are used in rituals or with a buddy, are also believed to have been created by the Romans. The first time leather or animal intestine was used to cover a carved penis was by the Greeks, creating a more organic feel and complicated texture.

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