Sometimes you read something and it literally takes your breath away.

The reported (although not yet confirmed) discovery in Madagascar this week of Captain Kidd’s treasure… that is, ye-oldie-hung-for-being-a pirate-not-once-but-three-times-in-1701 Pirate Captain Kidd….reminded me of another treasure, a giant dildo, they found earlier this year in Gdansk in Poland, said to have been dropped into a privy in a school about 250 years ago.

Kidd’s treasure (if it IS Kidd’s treasure) is a 50kg bar of silver. Back in the day, that would have been a very, very valuable bit of kit.

Equally, the 10 inch sex toy, made from leather and slightly terrifying, has also been identified as a very valuable item even then. It is thought to have been so expensive back in the day that the owner likely accidently dropped it, and was unable to retrieve it because of the whole ‘shit, dropped my dildo in a cesspit’ thing. Pardon the pun. You can well imagine the scene, going at it (and here we have no idea the gender of the owner so choose your imagined genitals at will) in the privacy of your schools lavatory when….damn. Talk about buzz kill.

From the dildo story, came the thought “have they found other ancient bedroom-ish things?”and from there came the history of the condom. And from Wiki, this. “Historians also cite the legend of Minos, related by Antoninus Liberalis in 150 AD, as suggestive of condom use in ancient societies. This legend describes a curse that caused Minos’ semen to contain serpents and scorpions. To protect his sexual partner from these animals, Minos used a goat’s bladder as a female condom”.

Taa daa!!! Ladies and gentlemen, my breath has left the building.

Other forms of ancient contraception, according to ancient Islamic and Jewish texts, include covering the penis in tar or soaking it in onion juice.

Egyptian and Greek labours, not very wealthy, wore such tiny loin cloths (and here we mean only enough material to cover the glans of the penis) that there is speculation that the fabric was used as a sheath during intercourse.

“Don’t mind me whilst I shove this filthy rag up your lady parts and, oh my, try not to die before 30 or during childbirth, there’s a love….”

Some women dread menopause. Women of old, if they did manage to live beyond their 20’s, were probably desperate for it to hit in ways todays women will never understand. Of course, male contraception is most valued for its ability to not pass on disease, but what they knew about disease way back when could have been written on the back of a postage stamp and would have still left room for a shopping list.

It is widely believed that Henry the Eighth was so badly riddled by syphilis by the time he died, that that is reason most of his wives couldn’t produce living children, and his poor daughter Mary (The bloody one, not the queen of Scots one, that’s a different Mary) was said to have had dental and sinus problems so severe that syphilitic pus ran down her face…eeeeeeeeeeeeeew…

Dental malformation is a sign of congenital syphilis. Poor thing. No wonder she wanted to kill everyone.

And no wonder obtaining pleasure from a fake willy was popular long before batteries came into play. So to speak.

As if the thought of scorpions and serpents in your cuddle buddies semen wasn’t bad enough, the fact that every sperm could be fatal- as opposed to sacred, thank you Monty Python team- would have had every sexual active adult on the planet praying to God in more ways than one at the point of entry….and exit…as it were.

It’s a delicate subject. But not so for the finders of old and valuable things. As we have no word as to whether or not Captain Kidd was a masterful swordsman, though as a pirate, I’m sure he was. We shall simply have to marvel at his ability to save up 50 kilos of silver when most of us cannot save enough cash to buy 5 kilos of silver and just leave it lying around the house.

The good news is, we can probably all afford a fake penis to leave out as a dust collector to impress our friends, but for many having more than one inactive prick in the home may seem like an indulgence.



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