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Valentines Day is a sanitised version of the ancient pagan festival of Lupercalia and was originally celebrated on the 15th of February. This lusty ancient Roman festival involved naked virile young men running through the streets with whips made from the skins of sacrificed goats and dogs. These animals were noted for their sexual rapaciousness and fertility which sadly made them suitable sacrifices for this fertility festival. Women would present their buttocks to be struck with the whip to insure fertility and easy child birth. Romans being Pagan had none of our modern scruples about nakedness and sex and so indulged lustily in this ancient celebration until the Christian Church eventually subverted the festival around 496 AD into the saccharine yuckiness that we have today.
Does this modern, sickly sweet; hearts, flowers and chocolate version of Lupercalia reflect our sophistication or is it a symbol of regression in our understanding of sex, our bodies and our need for love and the physical release and pleasure that sex gives us? Today young men running naked around our streets would violate so many so called decency laws for showing their genitals in public. We now sadly have an irrational fear of sex, our bodies and especially male genitals. We can blame this irrational fear upon monotheism and its perpetual guilt trip about sex. For centuries our societies have been told to feel ashamed about sex. There is no greater control authority can have over us than that of guilt about our bodies and our most basic impulse which is sexual desire.
This societal guilt and secrecy about sex as something naughty and punishable has done so much damage to us a humans and how we understand each other and relate to each other. If only sexual prohibitionists would understand that the more they frighten us, embarrass us and shame us about looking at and enjoying our bodies, especially our genitals and make us feel intimidated and guilty about enjoying sex then the more we as humans will crave it, need it and the more we will seek it and the more the unscrupulous will finds ways of exploiting us. Is this good for us and our society?
Now back to my champagne, chocolates and has anyone seen that whip?