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The Ancient Erotic: Egypt


It was nice running across these three erotic poems from ancient Egypt. Some of them are even a little kinky. It goes without saying that people have always longed for voluptuous, fertile beauty, celebrated the joys of intimacy, and enjoyed a little (or a lot) of the joyously weird.

From a 3,000 year-old papyrus:

She is one girl, there is no one like her.
She is more beautiful than any other.
Look, she is like a star goddess arising
at the beginning of a happy new year;
brilliantly white, bright skinned;
with beautiful eyes for looking,
with sweet lips for speaking;
she has not one phrase too many.
With a long neck and white breast,
her hair of genuine lapis lazuli;
her arm more brilliant than gold;
her fingers like lotus flowers,
with heavy buttocks and girt waist.
Her thighs offer her beauty,
with a brisk step she treads on ground.
She has captured my heart in her embrace.
She makes all men turn their necks
to look at her.
One looks at her passing by,
this one, the unique one.

Lapis lazuli is an intensely deep blue semi-precious stone. Curiously, it’s mined in Afghanistan and even further north, in Siberia. I wonder if any is mined closer to Egypt, or if Egyptian royalty obtained it from well-travelled merchants.

For you oil-lovers, foot-fetishists and crush fetishists, and other conneseuirs out there (you know who you are, no need to wave), some talented Egyptian poet longed to be his lover’s shoe and more:

I wish I were the unguent, O woman,
that I could annoit you.
And the band around your breasts,
and the beads around your neck.
I wish I were your sandal
that you would step on me!

Whew. Pretty sure we all know that guy.

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About Matt J. Stannard

Policy Director for Commonomics USA, longtime writer, speaker, and legal & policy consultant on economic justice and public deliberation.