When it comes to religion and erotica, you could be forgiven for thinking that the two are mutually exclusive. When Christian clergy talk about sex it’s almost always to tell people what they shouldn’t be doing (almost everything) and when they shouldn’t be doing it (outside of marriage, with the lights on). But the caricature of repressed pilgrims masks the fact that for much of human history, and among non-monotheistic religions in particular, sexually explicit artwork was so common it was hum-drum.
Of course, everyone knows about India. Arguably the most famous examples of religious erotica come from the carved reliefs that adorn the Khajuraho temples. These sculptures feature group sex and some extremely limber participants engaged in what some scholars have hypothesized is tantric sex. The fact that it’s a UNESCO site means that you can pass the visit off as high culture to your relatives.
But it would be a mistake—an orientalist one at that—to think that erotica features in the religious life only of the Indian subcontinent. Some 1,500 years before the Kama Sutra was written, Mesopotamian artwork was putting the fertile in the Fertile Crescent.
As reported in the Times of Israel, the Israel Museum’s Archeology Section is currently exhibiting some very NSFW artwork. The two Old Babylonian terra cotta plaques depict a variety of different kinds of sexual encounter, but most of it is rather racy. Laura A. Peri, curator of Antiquities at the museum, told the Times, “It’s not all, you know, missionary and that’s it.”
The way women experience sexual pleasure is hard to deconstruct. Our genitalia are located on the insides of our bodies and we don’t regularly experience the same physical proof of orgasm that men do. It’s precisely what makes faking it so easy.
Men, on the other hand, aren’t (typically) afforded that same ability. For guys, climax is usually linked to ejaculation. And these explosive orgasms are often understood to be unique to the male sexual experience. But maybe it’s time to revisit that conversation. Maybe men and women aren’t as different as we thought. Because as international sex educator Deborah Sundahl told me, “Men don’t own ejaculation, it’s just been taken from women.”
The world of female ejaculation is ripe with mystery and magic, and those who have experienced it will attest to the latter.
But a great deal of skepticism still revolves around the act. Younger generations may think it’s a stunt invented by the porn industry, and in a way, that makes sense. But there’s a very big difference between what the porn industry calls “squirting” and what sex educators know as “female ejaculation.” Namely because not everyone is built to “hit the wall,” so to speak. But As Sundahl explained to me, every woman is anatomically able to ejaculate.
Sundahl specializes in teaching women and couples about the G-spot and female ejaculation.
Despite claims that the G-spot doesn’t exist, the region, named for Ernst Gräfenberg, has been recognized as a “functioning female organ,” and is known within wider academic circles as “the female prostate." So yes, the G-spot is real. For any and all woman who have experienced a G-spot orgasm, it’s very real. And for the women who haven’t experienced this kind of orgasm, it’s there.