Episode 249 – The One Where We Get Off With A Little Help From Our Friends

In This Week’s Show, episode 249, we learn that when it comes to yee-olde medicine, pigeons, penis, and pigeon-penis, are all you need.

In This Week’s Show, episode 249, we learn that when it comes to yee-olde medicine, pigeons, penis, and pigeon-penis, are all you need.

Now, grab a beer and help us test the god hypothesis — because, while Priapus (the Greek god of fruit gardens and male genitalia) hasn’t struck us down yet, we are trying his patience!

Shea’s Life Lesson

This week I learned that you can lead your horse to water. You can lead your horse behind. Because if your horse don’t dance and if he don’t dance then he ain’t no horse of mine.

Jenn’s Actual Lesson

I learned a lot of weird historical sex stuff researching this show. In fact, in 2008, while excavating the city of Amathus, on the south coast of Cyprus, archaeologists found a curse which went straight to the point: “May your penis hurt when you make love.”

Also I’m going to make Aaron embed a picture of Priapus for you all to see. Sorry not sorry.

But before we get to all that, let’s have a beer!

This Week’s Beer

Shake Chocolate Porter from Boulder Brewing
Donated By: RW

This Week’s Show

Round Table Discussion

Jenn – Rosalie taught the guys they can’t say cactus.

Steve – Aaron and I guested on Atheist Nomads this week where we had a lot of fun and had a really good conversation that, unsurprisingly, meandered a bit.

Look for Episode 316 of Atheist Nomads at https://www.atheistnomads. .follow the link in the show notes.

Patron Story

The Ivory Tower


This story comes from a land where it is illegal to blaspheme the church, not the middle East. The land of leprechauns and fairies and this one time I went there.

Back in 2017 an international collector bought a rare 19th century Irish Victorian ivory dildo… yep dildo. This really ignited Shawna Scott’s passion for Irish sexual history.

“It made my heart sink when it was sold. It just seemed like such an important part of Irish sexual history,” said Ms Scott.

Ms Scott is a sex positive busisness person who owns and runs “Ireland’s best sex shop” online, Sex Siopa (see-ah-pee) https://sexsiopa.ie/. Looking at the website it’s obvious that she fights to break taboos and help her clients enjoy themselves in healthy fun ways. Ms. Scott theorizes that “Sometimes with Irish history, unless something is tied to the famine or 1916 it gets a little forgotten or re-prioritised.”

Scott kept on the trail of the ivory dildo and was surprised to hear that it back up for auction and she had a chance to get her hands on it. Unfortunately it was once again purchased buy a private collector and Scott was crestfallen. The dildo, which is at least 130 years old, and is believed to have been owned by a wealthy Anglo-Irish household, received more than 100 bids from nearly 40 different countries when it was auctioned in April 2017.

Last weekend, a customer emailed Ms Scott that the same item was up for auction again. This caused her to have what she calls an “Indiana Jones moment. I said to myself, that belongs in a museum.”

My big question now is why the dildo keeps getting resold? It seems like a game, these wealthy buyers just sitting on their ivory towers. Or maybe it is haunted? Too big? Smells funny?

Any way, Scott had a problem; she didn’t have enough money to buy the antique cock, especially if it went for anything close to the amount it fetched years ago.

So at 3:30pm on Monday Scott took to Twitter to raise as much money as she could so she could purchase it and relocate it to a museum in Ireland. By the time the auction started at 6pm she had raised over €1,000 but in the end she only had to spend €620 to win the bidding, or around 700 freedom dollars. Her first task was to confirm that it was the same ivory dildo that left Irish coasts back in 2017 and after examining photos she was able to tell scuff marks and imperfections matched.

The long hard trip back into Ireland isn’t quite complete yet as Scott is now trying to find where to bury her bone for the final time… sorry, where to home her phallis for the long haul. Her preference is for the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin Castle or the Decorative Arts Museum in Collins Barracks. The dildo, which is described on the auction site as an “ivory companion”, is believed to have originated in China and to have been brought back to Ireland as a gift from husband to wife. The ivory dates from the 1840s.

“There was so much going in that time period. People were literally starving to death and meanwhile someone was bringing this home for their spouse,” says Scott.

As a historical artefact, it challenges myths about Irish people being repressed, she says. “I always get asked about how repressed we are in Ireland. I think we’re much more liberal than we think we are.”

So I had planned a story on Israelie intelligence officers chasing Josef Mengele in South America, but I just needed less Nazi in my life. Plus, I’m sure Steve could tell it better anyways. So thanks to a weird story Shea shared, I’ve decided to instead give you all a lesson of…

Sex Ed in History-ree-ree-ree-ree….

And since we haven’t done anything in quiz format in a while, well, let’s do that. Multiple choice, no subject is taboo and there was no effort made for chronological order.

1.)What sexually transmitted malady was Pliny the Elder attempting to prevent with his concoction of “mouse or pigeon dung, mixed with oil & wine”?

a.) syphilis b.) leprosy c.) pregnancy d.) genital warts

This was supposedly an early form of birth control, which if I catch a male partner intentionally ingesting pigeon poo, he will definitely NOT be getting me pregnant. One of the earliest gynecologists, Soranus of Ephesus, had a least the right idea. He suggested a wool plug inserted into the uterus, held in place by a “gummy substance”.

2.) Ancient Romans had a derisive term, the Latin word fricatores, for what group of sexually-non vanilla people?

a.) lesbians b.) ancient furries c.) BDSM participants d.) homosexual men

Friacatores and tribades, were the actual terms used for lesbians, and it roughly translates into ‘those women who rub’. It was used negatively in the early days of the Empire bc, even though men could fuck basically who and whatever they wanted, the act of penetration was considered strictly a man’s role, and the idea of women actually having awesome lesbian sex was considered unnatural and repugnant. This went both for the woman ‘doing the man’s job’ (eye rolling out of my fucking skull) as well as the woman who ‘submitted’.

3.) Which of these items was NOT said to be used as an ancient sex toy?

a.) a box of bees vibrator b.) a goat’s eyelid cockring c.) song bird egg anal beads d.) loaf of bread dildo

Now, I wouldn’t exactly bet money against somewhere along the way a nightingale’s nest was raided to shove up someone’s ass, but I couldn’t find a record of it. Back to Pliny the Elder, who is here to cure any performance issues with his trademark fucking bizarre voodoo: “the right lobe of a vulture’s lungs attached to the body in the skin of a crane, acts powerfully as a stimulant upon males.” But don’t worry, ladies, we’re covered, too, with “bat’s blood … received on a flock of wool and placed beneath a woman’s head.”

4.) What occupational group is generally credited with creating the first life-sized sex doll?

a.) soldiers b.) sailors c.) farmers d.) butchers

Now again, surely long before ships were sailed men were creating things very roughly woman-shaped to stick their dicks into. However, it was ocean voyagers in the 14th century who made the idea of a sex doll an expected item for the crew. Called ‘Dame de Voyage’ in French, ‘Dama De Vinje’ in Spanish, and most awesomely, ‘Seemansbraut’ in German. Now don’t go picturing the Indonesian blow up angel, this were just bundles of straw ‘dressed’ in women’s clothes.

And this is why they saw mermaids.

5.) Speaking of sex dolls, what 20th century war saw the creation of what we consider the ‘modern’ doll?

a.) World War I b.) World War II c.) Korean War d.) Vietnam

And we thought we could do an episode with nouy666 Nazis… Nope, we have head of the SS, Heinrich Himmler to thank for having the first busty, semi-proportionate love doll commissioned with artist Arthur Rink and technician Franz Tschakert. It became known as the the ‘Borghild Field Hygiene Project’ bc he was hoping to stop the loss of troops to STDs. It was also classified as ”Geheime Reichssache”, which was ”more secret than top secret” From borghild.de

“Borghild was meant to reflect the beauty-ideal of the Nazis , i. e. white skin, fair hair and blue eyes. Although the team considered a doll with brown hair , the SS- Hygiene-Institute insisted on manufacturing a ”nordish doll”. Tschakert hoped to plastercast from a living model and a number of famous female athletes were invited to come to his studios, among them Wilhelmina von Bremen and Annette Walter. In the process Tschakert realized it was the wrong way. In a letter to Mrurgowsky he came to the conclusion: ”Sometimes the legs are too short and look deformed, or the lady has a hollow back and arms like a wrestler. The overall appearance is always dreadful and I fear there is no other way than to combine….he Borghild-designer decided to build the doll’s mold in a ”modular way”. In Tschakerts view the doll should be nothing more than a” female bestform”, a ”perfect automaton of lust”, that would combine ”the best of all possible bodies.”

6.) A variety of foods have been considered aphrodisiac for millenia. Which of the following foods were NOT Eros’ little helper in ancient Greece?

a.) lettuce b.) garlic c.) beans d.) artichokes

Not only was it not helpful to your littlest Greek, lettuce was thought to actively wither an erection. But beans and garlic, the food of romance.

7.) In ancient Babylon there was a custom that all women had to perform a sacred duty to the goddess Mylitta (thought to be an early version of Aphrodite). This was a form of sexual activity involving the woman going to the sacred temple of the goddess and…

a.) engaging in sex with a temple priestess b.) serving for a year c.) performing an erotic dance d.) getting paid for sex with a stranger

This was actually considered a form of sacred prostitution. The historian Herodotus describes how women “are continually entering and leaving this place. Whenever a woman comes here and sits down, she may not return home until one of the strangers has tossed silver into her lap and has had intercourse with her outside the sanctuary”.

The earnings were dedicated to the goddess and, while beautiful women were done with their obligation quite quickly, less attractive women had to wait longer, sometimes even years.

8.) In what country’s (hopefully) long ago past was a widow expected to participate in ‘sati’, the ritual that upon the death of her husband, she must throw herself on the funeral pyre to be burned with him and all their posessions?

a.) Iceland b.) India c.) Ireland d.) Indonesia

It was originally a voluntary act, which was thought to demonstrate courage, but it became a forced rite, so yeah. Unfortunately, though banned, this Hindi practice was recorded in isolated events as recently as the late 20th century.

9.) What does ancient Mayan mythology credit their diminutive nature god, Chin, with introducing to their people?

a.) homosexuality b.) orgasms c.) monogomy d.) prostitution

Chin was said to have sodomized a demon to demonstrate to the Mayans how gay sex is done and allowed the nobles to have sex with those from a lower rank.

10.) What country has the sexual festival with the Vulcan-ish name known as Pon?

a.) Iceland b.) India c.) Ireland d.) Indonesia

Seven times a year, celebrants make a pilgrimage to Java, a sacred mountain, to perform a ceremony of good fortune through intercourse. To receive such blessings, participants must spend the night having sex with someone other than their husband or wife. However, according to tradition, their wishes will only come true if they have sex with the same person during all seven celebrations, so it would be easier to just bring your spouse.

Tie-breaker: Now we all know the term ‘hysteria’ is linked to crazy women and their crazy women uteruses, going back to ancient Greece, but why exactly did they think the womb was crazy (besides it being in a woman)?

Due to the taboo surrounding any tampering with a corpse, the Greeks had a very limited understanding of anatomy. At the time the common thought was that women’s wombs literally roamed, randomly, about the body, causing hysteria. To combat this, doctors applied bad smells and loud noises to scare wombs back into position.

Next Week’s Beer

Lake Haze by Big Lake Brewing

Donated By: Steve E.

Faith In Humanity Restored

After Decades of Federal Protection, Hawaiian Coral Reefs Are Returning to Their Former Glory

The Hawaiian-Emperor Seamount chain is an underwater mountain range in the central Pacific ocean that was a big area for trawling in the 60s-80s (trawling is fishing by dragging heavy nets along the seafloor). This practice devastated tons of deep-sea coral and destroyed much of their ecological community. In 1977, the US federal government claimed the region and part of the US Exclusive Economic Zone and prevented foreign fleets from trawling the area. In 2006 then president Bush included the area as part of an unpronounceable Marine National Monument which provided even more protection.

Florida State University Associate Professor of Oceanography Amy Baco-Taylor and a team of scientists from both Florida and Texas A&M published findings showing that despite their expectations, they found evidence that some of the species are recovering in the prior damaged areas, as well as finding more undamaged area which contributes to the recovery of the damaged areas.

While it’s too early to know if the evidence of recovery they’re seeing will lead to the return of the area to it’s formerly undamaged state in time, the results are promising and provides evidence to policymakers to show that protecting these areas is valuable.

  • The coral are 300-700 meters down
  • team used manned and unmanned submersibles
  • analyzed over 536000 images
  • new coral growing on the remnants of nets shows recovery since trawling stopped

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