Ooh, Prehistoric Porn


Slate has an article about the world’s oldest (found so far) porn, a bunch of paintings and carvings found in China that are more than 3000 years old. Despite his advanced age, there appears to be no truth to the rumors that Hugh Hefner is responsible for them.

The cast of 100 figures presents what is obviously a fertility ritual (or several). They range in size from more than nine feet tall to just a few inches. All perform the same ceremonial pose, holding their arms out and bent at the elbows. The right hand points up and the left hand points down, possibly to indicate earth and sky.

The few scholars who have studied the petroglyphs think that the larger-than-life hourglass figures that begin the tableau symbolize females. They have stylized triangular torsos, shapely hips and legs, and they wear conical headdresses with wispy decorations. Male images are smaller triangles with stick legs and bare heads. Ithyphallic is archeology-talk for “erect penis,” and nearly all of the males have one. A third set of figures appear to be bisexual. Combining elements of males and females, they are ithyphallic but wear female headwear, a decoration on the chest, and sometimes a mask. They might be shamans.

The tableau is divided into four fully-developed scenes beginning at a height of 30 feet and progressing downward. In the first scene, nine huge women and two much smaller men dance in a circle, seemingly admonishing their viewers. This is the only scene without ithyphallic men—though to the side, a prone bisexual has an obvious erection. Two symbols near the center look like stallions fighting head to head.

The second scene is packed with weird happenings. Women and men dance in a frenzy around a large ithyphallic bisexual about to penetrate a small hourglass female with an explicit vulva. His breastplate depicts a female head, with a conical headdress just like his. On the left, a second bisexual in a monkey mask is about to penetrate a small, faceless female. Nearby, a pair of striped animals lies prone amid bows and arrows, while at the other end, a giant two-headed female seems to lead the ritual. Disembodied heads abound, perhaps indicating spectators.

The next scene is smaller and cruder. A chorus line of infants emerges from a small female being penetrated simultaneously by a male and a bisexual while three more ithyphallic males await their turn. Another figure holds a penis longer than he is tall, pointing it at the sole large woman in the scene. She stands in front of a platform on which a faceless body lies prone, wearing what looks like the striped animals’ fur. The body resembles the females copulating in this and the previous scene. It is the only figure shown with its arms lowered, probably indicating death in a ritual sacrifice. A small dog is also at the center.

This raises so many important questions. Were there smaller, more portable versions that teenage boys could take into the bathroom with them? Were musical instruments found nearby that could mimic the sound of a wah wah pedal? Did any of the figures resemble Ron Jeremy? Did the shamans tell everyone that they’d go to hell if they looked at the pictures? Were there men telling their wives that they only look at the wall for the articles? And where did one put in the quarter?

Comments

  1. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    Disembodied heads abound, perhaps indicating spectators.

    Or, y’know, indicating disembodied heads. Our ancestors weren’t all sweetness and light.

  2. anubisprime says

    Nothing new under this sun or any other!

    Paaaaaaaarrrrrtaaay!!!!…..same in any language…at least their priests had the best of both worlds!

  3. Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Yet another moment for Inigo’s wisdom:

    Author: “…Bisexual…”
    Inigo: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

  4. martinrundkvist says

    One niggle: “prehistoric” means “older than written sources for that particular area”. Chinese script has been around for more than 3000 years.

  5. says

    Is this really the oldest known pornography?

    It’s older than Ancient Greek and Roman pieces, but Wikipedia informs me that there are some Egyptian pieces of a similar age (something called the “Turin Erotic Papyrus” from c. 1150 BCE).

    And then it references 7000- and 12000-year-old cave paintings, and then the so-called Venus figurines that are up to 35000-years old.

    Apparently, every new media is used for porn.

  6. lofgren says

    there are representations of naked people that are older than this by an order of magnitude. since the actual function of prehistoric art is entirely conjecture, it is entirely possible that one of the functions of such art was pornographic. In fact, given human proclivities, i strongly doubt that the venus of willendorf didn’t serve this function for at least a few hundred men over the centuries. the claim that the “oldest” porn could be 3000 years old is laughable.

  7. Moggie says

    The right hand points up and the left hand points down, possibly to indicate earth and sky.

    Or possibly to indicate disco.

  8. andrewlephong says

    I can totally imagine a bunch of bored prehistoric teenage boys snickering and giggling while chiseling these out and leaving behind what we now consider to be a great human cultural legacy.

  9. frog says

    Once again demonstrating that Rule 34 not only applies to “what someone makes porn of” but also “where and when someone makes porn.”

  10. jameshanley says

    Another figure holds a penis longer than he is tall,

    Huh, and I thought the “my 14″ ramrod of love” was invented by Penthouse Forum.

  11. Rick Pikul says

    I was actually hoping for some hot, man on dinosaur porn, myself.

    FurAffinity is that way ===>

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