The Pompeii Man Would’ve Been a Lonely Masturbator

Precisely because sex was so cheap, masturbation seems to have been relatively uncommon in the ancient world. As Kyle Harper has written in From Shame to Sin “the ubiquity of slaves meant pervasive sexual availability…slaves played something like the part that masturbation has played in most cultures.” Brothels were for those who weren’t rich enough to have a personal sex slaves. Harper quotes the following ancient advice, “If your loins are swollen, and there’s some homeborn slave boy or girl around where

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