The Armadillo and the Missionary position….

 

All through the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church through its priests and bishops consistently preached that there was only one form of marital sex: husband above and wife below; and it was only for procreation. But what about the armadillo`s I hear you ask? Read on and all will be revealed.

Meanwhile back in the Middle Ages foreplay was generally forbidden, as was oral sex, and it appears anything else. There were a number of Medieval “how to do it properly in the eyes of the Lord” handbooks which gave priests advice on what penance to give out when a couple strayed from “the missionary position”. Hands to naughty bits was generally the most minor offence, while oral sex was more taboo, and a guaranteed first-class ticket to hell was anal sex  “from behind like beasts” which over time  evolved into a capital offence.

On the subject of handbooks, it is generally believed that the first European sex manual was Speculum al foderi known as The Mirror of coitus or “a mirror for fuckers”. This was a fifteenth century Catalan text which was discovered with great excitement by sweaty handed academics in the 1970`s.

In Pierre Payer`s 1985 book Sex and the Penitentials , he produces a wonderful chart showing when sex was technically allowed in the Middle Ages. You were not allowed to have intercourse when the wife was menstruating, pregnant, nursing, during holidays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays.  In daylight , naked or in church. Most importantly of all, not for fun and only to conceive a child; and absolutely no kissing.

The missionary position, despite its image of prudery, has been used since time began. The missionary position’s use appears in ancient pottery and  in the art of Early Greeks, Romans, Indians ,Chinese and Japanese. The majority of the positions described in the Kama Sutra involve the woman lying on her back with her legs in a variety of positions.

Apparently the ancient Chinese preferred male-on-top because of their belief that males are born face down and women face up.  Kagaba natives in Colombia preferred the missionary position because if the woman moved during intercourse, the earth would slip off the shoulders of the four giants who held it.

In Greece, the missionary position was very rarely used. As men tended to marry very young girls typically only14 or 15 years of age, there tended to be a significant difference in height. Therefore, as illustrations on pottery of the time suggest, the rear-entry standing position was the way to do go. However, during the second century, the second century Greek philosopher and interpreter of dreams, Artemidos, praised the missionary position declaring it “the only proper and natural” position due to the flow of semen as well as affirming the domination of men over women.

Others who were adamant  that the “missionary” way was the only way included  Alexander of Hales (1185- 1245) a medieval scholastic and theologian who suggested in his De secretis mulierum ,that non missionary positions would result in birth defects and[ Nicholas Venette, author of a late eighteenth century sex manual praised the missionary position as the “common posture…which is most allowable and most voluptuous.

And it also appears that the missionary position is the one favoured by armadillos

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