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May 13, 2016

History of Dildoes

A dildo is a sex toy, often explicitly phallic in appearance, intended for sexual penetration or other sexual activity during masturbation or with sex partners. Some expand this definition to include vibrators. Others exclude penis prosthetic aids, which are known as "extensions". Some include penis-shaped items clearly designed with vaginal penetration in mind, even if they are not true approximations of a penis. Some people include devices designed for anal penetration (butt plugs), while others do not. These devices are often used by people of all genders and sexual orientations, for masturbation or for other sexual activity.
Conventionally, many dildos are shaped like a human penis with varying degrees of detail; others are made to resemble the phallus of male animals. Not all, however, are fashioned to reproduce the male anatomy meticulously, and dildos come in a wide variety of shapes. These may resemble figures, or simply be practical creations which stimulate more easily than conventional designs. In Japan, many dildos are created to resemble animals or cartoon characters, such as Hello Kitty, so that they may be sold as toys, thus avoiding obscenity laws. Some dildos have textured surfaces to enhance sexual pleasure.
Most dildos are intended for vaginal or anal penetration and stimulation, whether masturbation or with a sexual partner. Dildos have fetishistic value as well, and may be used in other ways, such as touching one's own or another's skin in various places, often during foreplay or as an act of dominance and submission. If of appropriate sizes, they can be used as gags, for oral penetration for a sort of artificial fellatio. Dildos, especially specially designed ones, may be used to stimulate the G-spot area.
A dildo designed to be inserted in the anus and remain in place for a period of time is usually referred to as a butt plug. A dildo intended for repeated anal penetration (thrusting) is typically referred to as an anal dildo or simply "dildo". Anal dildos and butt plugs generally have a large base to avoid becoming accidentally completely inserted into the rectum, which may require medical attention to remove. There are also double-ended dildos, with different-sized shafts pointing in the same direction, used by women to accomplish vaginal and anal penetration at once, or for two partners to share a single dildo. In this case, the dildo acts as a sort of "see-saw"; each partner takes an end and receives stimulation.
Other types of dildos include those designed to be fitted to the face of one party, inflatable dildos, and dildos with suction cups attached to the base (sometimes referred to as a wall mount). Other types of harness mounts for dildos (besides strapping to the groin) include thigh mount, face mount, or furniture mounting straps.
Ancient History
The dildo may well be humanity’s most durable invention. Only fire, weapons, clothing and beads seem to have been around longer. In the history of sex toys we will start our quest during the earlier Paleolithic era. Archaeologists have found figurines from this period in caves, some of which have been understood as fertility goddesses, but others have suggested that these instruments served other purposes. The devices in the photo are approximately 26,000 to 30,000 years old!  They were discovered in a cave by a team from Tübingen University in Germany, and measured approximately 20 cm and are made of polished stone. It is very clear that the artifacts themselves are deliberate representations of male genitals, or what may be called 'dildos' today, the figures are clearly shaped like a male penis. The shape is so evocative that scholars like Prof. Nicholas Conrad, have suggested that these life-size replicas may have been used as a type of prehistoric adult toy given the fact that they are highly polished and rounded at the end. Archaeologists find them all the time; it’s almost as if people in the prehistoric era found sex a natural, enjoyable thing they didn’t have to be ashamed of.
Excavations of many ancient civilizations have revealed stone objects that are clearly sculptures of penises. The archeologists who made the discoveries (and the historians who wrote about them) tell us that they were used symbolically in religious or fertility rituals. Chances are the archeologists (many of whom lived during the ultra-conservative Victorian era) were just a little too embarrassed to report back to the scientific community that they had discovered the world's first sex toys.
Historians can’t put a finger on the ingenious and probably hoary person that invented the dildo, but the popularity of them is owed to the Greek port city of Miletus. Miletan dealers traded olisbos (classical term for dildo), a hot commodity for lonely women, around the Mediterranean. Women (and surely some men) in Ancient Greece enjoyed using olisbos, which were phallic shaped objects made of wood or leather. Back in those days, olive oil wasn't just a staple of the Greek diet — it doubled as the best lube available.
The Greeks believed that a lack of sperm caused "hysteria," or a wandering uterus, in women. Greek men who left home for long periods of time to fight in wars often gave their wives olisbos to prevent hysteria (the link between hysteria and sex toys would last well into the 20th century more on this later ;) ).
Historically, the connection between female hysteria and dildos was something male doctors had a hard time letting go of. Romans are also thought to have invented double dildos for use in ceremony, or with a friend. The Greeks are responsible for the first use of leather or animal intestine to cover a carved penis, adding a more natural feel and a complexity of texture.

Modern Times
The possession and sale of dildos is illegal in some jurisdictions, including India. Until recently, many southern states and some Great Plains states in the United States banned the sale of dildos completely, either directly or through laws regulating "obscene devices". In 2007, a federal appeals court upheld Alabama's law prohibiting the sale of sex toys. The law, the Anti-Obscenity Enforcement Act of 1998, was also upheld by the Supreme Court of Alabama on September 11, 2009.
In February 2008, a federal appeals court overturned a Texas statute banning the sales of dildos and other sexual toys, deeming such a statute as violating the Constitution's 14th Amendment on the right to privacy. The appeals court cited Lawrence v. Texas, where the Supreme Court of the United States in 2003 struck down bans on consensual sex between gay couples, as unconstitutionally aiming at "enforcing a public moral code by restricting private intimate conduct." Similar statutes have been struck down in Kansas and Colorado. Alabama is the only state where a law prohibiting the sale of sex toys remains on the books is it enforce I don’t know.
Recent social acceptance and popularity has resulted in the emergence of highly adorned dildos. These are often made of expensive materials and may also be jeweled.

May 7, 2016

May – International Masturbation Month

Ah, the month of May. The weather heats up, the clothes come off and society encourages everyone to masturbate themselves silly. You read that right — May is National Masturbation Month. So take a guilt-free break from trying to win over the girl or guy of your dreams and focus on yourself for a little instead with the knowledge that everyone’s cool with it.
Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders was fired by Bill Clinton for responding to a question about masturbation at a UN conference. She answered, “I think it is something that is part of human sexuality and a part of something that perhaps should be taught” in the context of sex education classes. Ironically, the president never had intercourse with Monica Lewinsky, but rather, she testified, after she performed incomplete fellatio, he would masturbate into the sink in the Oval Office bathroom, not to mention ejaculating onto her blue dress. Sound like the pot calling the kettle black.
That was the end of the first black Surgeon General’s Washington career, but the beginning of National Masturbation Month. The founders of San Francisco based sex toy and education shop Good Vibrations said, "Enough is enough!" They wanted to do two things: keep up the conversation about Elders unjust firing and make people talk about masturbation.
Good Vibrations recognized many people needed support and advice about the very act of masturbating. One of the first things they had to do is provide reassurance. They made sure people knew it was okay to masturbate in the first place. For so long, shame and stigma have been attached to masturbating thanks to conservative groups and the sex police. Yet the truth is it is an activity so commonplace, natural, pleasurable and healthy it is said "ninety-eight percent of us masturbate, and the other two percent are liars."
Masturbation is the foundation for human sexuality, for both men and women, but only a few of us admit doing it or even discuss it because it's considered a taboo subject. This is a real pity because it's not generally known how healthy masturbation is and the many benefits it may provide. For example, it reduce you chance of developing prostate.

April 7, 2016

Praise the Beers: Ninkasi

Perhaps the earliest goddess associated with beer was Ninkasi, from the Sumerian civilization. Sumer was located in southern Mesopotamia, and was one of the earliest civilizations we know about. Though there are a few older, Sumer was most likely the first to start farming, as early as 5300 BCE, and probably even sooner than that, but because writing wasn’t invented until the start of the Bronze Age—during the latter half of the 4th millennium BCE—that is the earliest definitive record we have. According to Sumerian mythology, Ninkasi was the daughter of Enki, the chief Sumerian god (Enki means “Lord of the Earth”). She was born from “sparkling fresh water” and created to “satisfy the desire” and “sate the heart.” Though references can be found to Ninkasi as long ago as 2800 BCE, the first nearly complete text is a tablet dated to around 1800 BCE and known as “The Hymn to Ninkasi.”
The Hymn to Ninkasi is the oldest record of a direct correlation between the importance of brewing, and the responsibility that women had with regards to supplying both bread and beer to the household. The Hymn essentially contains the first written recipe for Sumerian beer (which they called “sikaru”) and sings he praises of the beer goddess Ninkasi. The finished beer is described in the Hymn’s last lines. “Ninkasi, you are the one who pours out the filtered beer of the collector vat, it is [like] the onrush of Tigris and Euphrates.” In ancient Mesopotamia, beer was both a staple of the diet and used in religious offerings and events.
No imagery of Ninkasi is thought to have survived the centuries but many Sumerian carvings depict beer drinkers and drinking beer – often through a straw.
Her legacy currently lives on at Ninkasi Brewing Co. in Eugene, Oregon, which apparently shares “the ancient Sumerian belief that beer is an important and valued part of civilization.”

April 1, 2016

Beware the Tricks of Loki

God of Mischief, Chaos and Change
Master of Magic and adept Shapeshifter 
Harbinger of Ragnarok and Rebirth of the Worlds
What is it about Loki that has made him so very popular within Western culture when we want to be entertained by a troublemaker within our books and movies? Of all of the gods from the various pantheons that are out there, he seems to be one that has captured people’s imagination the most, and it started before Tom Hiddleston played him in Thor and The Avengers. Possibly it has a little bit to do with the fact that he is someone who is so closely associated with mischief and causing trouble. There are other figures that perform that function as well (like Puck, Anansi, or Coyote), but none of them seem to have latched onto our collective consciousness the same way that Loki has. But there also may be a bit of the fact that he is able to help people get out of trouble as well (though, he’s usually helping them get out of whatever sticky situation that he got them into in the first place).
Like Tom Hiddleston’s version of the character, the mythological Loki is a complicated guy, whose allegiances are hard to pin down — but the similarities are pretty limited after that. Loki is sly, manipulative, charming, humorous, mischievous, quick to anger, and cruel. The Norse version of Loki is not Thor’s adopted brother but his friend, travel companion and maybe his fuck buddy. Also, while in early stages of Loki’s story he’s more mischievous than straight-up bad, his transition from puckish to evil takes place over time.
A sly, vengeful trickster who is always causing trouble among the gods, he is tolerated in Asgard only because of the great services he has performed in the past, such as helping to create Midgard and the wall guarding Asgard. He has mixed freely with the gods for a long time, even becoming Odin's blood brother. In his true form, Loki is a handsome young man who is always dressed in some combination of red and black.
Loki:  He is everyone’s favorite now days, thanks to the more than stunning Tom Hiddleston, but I even like the real god.  He really is not bad, per say.  It is his job to mess stuff up and in any effect, he bails the gods out of so many issues its not even funny.  He had sex with a horse for them!!!  I mean, he killed Balder, but that legend taught a valuable lesson.  Loki taught us beauty fades and even death will get those who are so dear and one can’t avoid or change their fate not even the gods.  He showed us that even the mighty Thor knows humility when it comes to the safety of others.  He also has to be the role model for lawyers.  So, no I do not care, Loki rocks! Is Tom sexy?  Hell yes he is.  BUT Loki is supposed to be handsome, too.  Also, Norse Loki is a redhead.
The whole thing sounds kind of bleak, but it has always seemed to me that figures like Loki have provided a necessary function. Without tricksters such as him, the world would become static and unchanging. I can hear you saying that there are innovators and revolutionaries, who serve much the same purpose, and they do so without causing all kinds of trouble or destruction, but that probably depends greatly on who you ask (and how their worldview is on who the “troublemakers” and “tricksters” really are).

Nature
The trickster character is a complex character, a master of guile and deception. Loki was not so much a figure of unmitigated badness as a kind of celestial con man. He would often bail out the gods after playing tricks on them, as illustrated by the myth in which he shears Sif's hair and then replaces it, or when he is responsible for the loss of Idunn's apples of youth and then retrieves them again. Loki is an adept shape-shifter, with the ability to change both form (examples include transmogrification to a salmon, horse, bird, flea, etc.) and sex.

His Children

Loki's children are powerful being that have power to aid or hinder the gods and mortals alike.

Sleipnir

Fenrir 

Jörmungandr

Hel

March 27, 2016

Origins of Easter

Easter, the principal festival of the Christian church year, celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his Crucifixion. The origins of Easter date to the beginnings of Christianity, and it is probably the oldest Christian observance after the Sabbath (observed on Saturday). Later, the Sabbath subsequently came to be regarded as the weekly celebration of the Resurrection.
Meanwhile, many of the cultural historians find, in the celebration of Easter, a convergence of the three traditions - Pagan, Hebrew and Christian. The origins of the word "Easter" are not certain. The name "Easter" originated with the names of an ancient Goddess and God. The Venerable Bede, (672-735 CE), a Christian scholar, first asserted in his book De Ratione Temporum that Easter was named after Eostre (a.k.a. Eastre). She was the Great Mother Goddess of the Saxon people in Northern Europe. Similarly, the "Teutonic dawn goddess of fertility [was] known variously as Ostare, Ostara, Ostern, Eostra, Eostre, Eostur, Eastra, Eastur, Austron and Ausos." 1 Her name was derived from the ancient word for spring: "eastre."  But probably derive from Estre, an Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring. The German word Ostern has the same derivation, but most other languages follow the Greek term used by the early Christians: pascha, from the Hebrew pesach (Passover).
 Similar Goddesses were known by other names in ancient cultures around the Mediterranean, and were celebrated in the springtime. Some were:
  • Aphrodite: Lady of Cythera and Cyprus and Goddess of Love and Beauty
  • Ashtoreth from ancient Israel, Phoenicia and Sumeria: Queen of Heaven, Mother Goddess
  • Astarte ancient Israel, Phoenicia and Sumeria: Goddess of Love and War
  • Demeter and Persephone from Greece:  The Return of Persephone
  • Hathor from ancient Egypt: Goddess of Love and Beauty
  • Ishtar from Babylonia: Goddess of Love and War
  • Kali, from India: Goddess of Time, Change, Power, Creation, Preservation, and Destruction.
An alternative explanation has been suggested. The name given by the Frankish church to Jesus' resurrection festival included the Latin word "alba" which means "white." (This was a reference to the white robes that were worn during the festival.) "Alba" also has a second meaning: "sunrise." When the name of the festival was translated into German, the "sunrise" meaning was selected in error. This became "ostern" in German. Ostern has been proposed as the origin of the word "Easter". 
In Latin, Easter is Festa Paschalia (plural because it is a seven-day feast), which became the basis for the French Pâques, the Italian Pasqua, and the Spanish Pascua. Also related are the Scottish Pask, the Dutch Paschen, the Danish Paaske, and the Swedish Pask.
The English name "Easter" is much newer. When the early English Christians wanted others to accept Christianity, they decided to use the name Easter for this holiday so that it would match the name of the old spring celebration. This made it more comfortable for other people to accept Christianity.
But it is pointed out by some that the Easter festival, as celebrated today, is related with the Hebrew tradition, the Jewish Passover. This is being celebrated during Nisan, the first month of the Hebrew lunar year. The Jewish Passover under Moses commemorates Israel's deliverance from about 300 years of bondage in Egypt.
It was in during this Passover in 30 AD Christ was crucified under the order of the Roman governor of Judea, Pontius Pilate, as the then Jewish high priests accused Jesus of "blasphemy" and for Romans:  the crimes of “sedition and treason”. The resurrection came three days later, on the Easter Sunday. The early Christians, many of them being brought up in Jewish tradition regarded Easter as a new feature of the Pascha (Passover). It was observed in memory of the advent of the Messiah, as foretold by the prophets. Thus the early Christian Passover turned out to be a unitive celebration in memory of the life-death-resurrection of Jesus. However, by the 4th century, Good Friday came to be observed as a separate occasion. And the Pascha Sunday had been devoted exclusively to the honor of the glorious resurrection.
Throughout the Christian nations the Sunday of Pascha had become a holiday to honor Christ. At the same time many of the pagan (ancient and modern) spring rites came to be a part of its celebration. May be it was the increasing number of new converts who could not totally break free of the influence of pagan culture of their forefathers.
But despite all the influence there was an important shift in the spirit. No more veneration of the physical return of the Sun God. Instead the emphasis was shifted to the Sun of Righteousness and Hope who had won banishing the horrors of death for ever.

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