Back in the Middle Ages, sex was frowned upon. “Carnal relations,” even with one’s wife, were considered filthy.
Intercourse for procreation was tolerable, the holy fathers begrudgingly admitted, but anyone who indulged in sex because they were in love or seeking physical pleasure was on a fast track to damnation. In fact, this attitude eventually led the Church to legislate on the most intimate details of married life: In 1215, the cleric Johannes Teutonicus was the first to announce that there was only one “natural” coital position — what we today call “the missionary position,” a term that was coined in the 1960s — which was also optimal for conception. Attempting any other position was a mortal sin, Johannes opined, involving exotic and unnecessary forms of stimulation.
This led theologians of the time to consider various non-missionary sexual positions and the penance for each one.
St. Albert The Great helped write a handbook for clerics listing the lengths of punishments — how long you had to live on bread, water, and abstinence — for each type of “pleasure” undertaken.
Let’s play a game.
I’ll list a few positions.
You guess the order of punishment, from mildest to harshest.
- Mutual masturbation
- Coitus in terga — anal sex (with a cleric)
- Semenem in ore — oral sex
- Masturbation (men)
- Coitus retro — rear entry
- Women who use sex toys
- Dorsal sex (woman on top)
All done guessing?
|Masturbation (men)||10 Days|
|Mutual masturbation||30 Days|
|Coitus retro — rear entry||40 Days|
|Women who use sex toys||1 Year|
|Dorsal sex (woman on top)||3 Years|
|Coitus in terga — anal sex (with a cleric)||10 Years|
|Semenem in ore — oral sex||Up to 15 years|
By the way, this quote was particularly creepy:
(Curiously, sodomy at this time was considered no worse if performed with a boy than a woman; it was not until 1533 in England that male-on-male “buggery” became a criminal offense).
(via The Daily Dish)