Sex and the Polis - Masturbation Nation

When it came to sex and the Greeks there’s a lot to talk about but what better topic to start with than the sex act most people start with. Masturbation.

There isn’t a whole lot of writing on the topic and that’s because this was very common. The reason why this was common though was probably because of two reasons.

One reason was most likely because naturally people explore their bodies an discover how they work. The other reason is also because a sexually frustrated person was thought to have built up frustration.

This frustration could result to destructive acts and the Greek public preferred you masturbate instead of go nuts and get violent. One term for masturbation was anaphlao which meant to send the fire up which makes sense if you either had to masturbate and release such powerful attitudes.

A great example comes from a man who Alexander the Great admired. He admired him so much that if he weren’t Alexander he would be him. This is none other than Cynic philosopher himself, Diogenes of Sinope.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

He was known to masturbate in public and the way he excused his actions was by his famous saying. “I wish it were as easy to banish hunger by rubbing the belly”.

Maybe one of the reasons Alexander the Great admired Diogenes so much was because out of everything he conquered Alexander couldn’t conquer masturbating in public?

It makes one wonder.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

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