Caribbean Fever - Your ONLY destination to all things Caribbean and more
Sexually liberated: A relief sculpture of Aphrodite - the Greek Goddess of love, desire and fertility - sitting nude on a seashell flanked by two male figures found in the ancient Greco-Roman city of Aphrodisias
She writes on The Huffington Post: 'No one back then identified as hetero or gay or bisexual. They readily admitted to a rainbow of sensual pleasures - guilt-free.'
A new book has revealed how sex in the Greco-Roman eras was wild, weird and at times barbaric.
Dildos fashioned from breadsticks and erection-withering ointments made from mouse droppings are just some of the bizarre facts included in The Joy Of Sexus Lust Love & Longing In The Ancient World.
Its author Vicki Leon, 70, who is a self-described 'historical detective', said that she was shocked when she started investigating how people celebrated love and lust more than 2,000 years ago.
As she started researching in more detail she discovered a plethora of things that men and women in the First century A.D. were obsessed with.
On the case: Author Vicki Leon - a self-described 'historical detective' - said that she was shocked when she started investigating what love and lust involved in the First century A.D.
'Buttock worship. Aphrodisiacs. And anti-aphrodisiacs. X-rated celebrity antics. Illustrated porn by female writers. Biodegradable dildos,' Ms Leon recalls.
To get an insight into ancient Roman life Ms Leon traveled more than 6,000 miles from California to Italy where she spoke with experts, studied artifacts and visited archeological sites.
She writes in her book: 'That old adage, ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ certainly holds true with regard to Greco-Roman art.
'Studying the erotic and romantic depictions on drinking vessels, cups, mirrors, and other artifacts, including items as minute as seal rings, is revelatory.'
In her new book there are dozens of chapters touching on sexual attitudes and behaviors in times past.
On the subject of breadstick dildos she notes on The Huffington Post: 'It began in a bakery B.C., where a gal with time on her hands started fooling around with bread dough.
'While lasciviously daydreaming, she created an olisbo-kollix: the breadstick dildo, the sex industry’s first green product. From this moment on, lonely widows in Arcadia, unsatisfied moms in Athens, and partnerless gals on Lesbos had a DIY pal, discreet and disposable.
'Custom made to fit; even nutritious, should the need arise. (Think I’m making this up? If only my imagination were that good!)'
'No one back then identified as hetero or gay or bisexual... They readily admitted to a rainbow of sensual pleasures'
In another passage - also set to make readers cringe - Ms Leon explains how male adulterers were sometimes punished.
'The cuckolded husband could legally sodomize the adulterer--with an audience, if desired,' she writes.
'Rather than human-to-human penetration, the punishment sometimes took symbolic form. The injured party could inflict his revenge by inserting a radish into his rival’s bum!
Laid bare: Ms Leon's book looks at love and sex in the ancient world
'I call it an ancient 'sting' operation, since Greek radishes grew to a healthy size and had a good 'bite' to them.
'This method of anal justice was likewise practiced in Rome. How do we know about the procedure? Because it was portrayed in Greek comedies from Aristophanes and others.'
Discussing aphrodisiacs she reveals how some overly virile men actually needed reverse Viagra to 'cool their jets'.
Some of the stranger remedies included an ointment made from mouse droppings and large helpings of lettuce.
Ms Leon said the most-skin crawling sexual antics she came across were those of the Emperor Tiberius - who invited young children to entertain him at his palace on the isle of Capri.
Explaining how she first became hooked on the ancient world Ms Leon told the MailOnline: 'I’ve been a fan since childhood about life in the ancient world, from pyramids to what on earth Vestal Virgins really did.
'I really got hooked when a college professor allowed me to carry out independent studies on real-life women of ancient Greece and Rome.'
The writer, who has spent almost 40 years doing historical research, said that if she lived in ancient times she would like to have been Servilia Caepionis, the 'brilliant, glamorous 'cougar' in Julius Caesar’s life'.
Asked what today's generation could learn from the Greco-Roman world she said that people could celebrate their sexuality in a more 'joyous' way.