Category Archives: Sex

PHOTO GALLERY: History of the female body through art, fashion and life

The Venus of Willendorf is a 4.3-inch high statuette of a female figure estimated to have been made between 24,000 and 22,000 BCE. With a bountiful breasts and a large stomach, the figure is meant to show fertility. Her head is covered by a headdress or traditional hair style.

The ancestry of the female nude is distinct from the male, an fantastic article from the Met said. Where the latter originates in the perfect human athlete, the former embodies the divinity of procreation. Naked female figures are shown in very early prehistoric art, and in historical times, similar images represent such fertility deities as the Near Eastern Ishtar. The Greek goddess Aphrodite belongs to this family, and she too was imagined as life-giving, proud, and seductive. For many centuries, the Greeks preferred to see her clothed, unlike her Near Eastern counterparts, but in the mid-fourth century B.C., the sculptor Praxiteles made a naked Aphrodite, called the Knidian, which established a new tradition for the female nude. Lacking the bulbous and exaggerated forms of Near Eastern fertility figures, the Knidian Aphrodite, like Greek male athletic statues, had idealized proportions based on mathematical ratios. In addition, her pose, with head turned to the side and one hand covering the body, seemed to present the goddess surprised in her bath and thus fleshed the nude with narrative and erotic possibilities. The position of the goddess’ hands may be meant to show modesty or desire to shield the viewer from too full a view of her godhead. Although the Knidian statue is not preserved, its impact survives in the numerous replicas and variants of it commissioned in the Hellenistic and Roman eras. Such images of Venus, the Latin name of Aphrodite, adorned houses, bath buildings, and tombs as well as temples and outdoor sanctuaries.

The Portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and his Wife, dated 1434 by the Early Netherlandish painter Jan van Eyck,  It is considered one of the more original and complex paintings in Western art because of the iconography. One of the icons is the way she is dressed. She is not actually pregnant, but the clothing of the time and art was made to make women appear more fertile and robust.

The Birth of Venus is a 1486 painting by Sandro Botticelli. Botticelli was commissioned to paint the work by the Medici family of Florence. Venus is characterized by her slim figure and perfect “s-curve” stature which showed correct muscle contrapposto. In contrast, the women next to her was robust and possibly pregnant-looking.

Sir Peter Paul Rubens was a prolific artist. His commissioned works were mostly religious subjects, “history” paintings, which included mythological subjects, and hunt scenes. But unlike what the Greek and Roman athletic depictions might be, Rubens  painted The Three Graces, 1635, in his larger than life style. This is where the term “rubenesque” figures comes from.

An Etsy user is selling a full length cabinet photograph portrait of a Victorian era woman standing rather incongruously next to a fake boulder with a woodland background. The lady is wearing a typical dark dress ensemble from the 1880’s: corseted jacket with brooch at the throat, pleated underskirt and probably a modified bustle. The corset is only a hint at what the expectations of the female body were at the time.

Dropped waists and baggy clothing were meant to hang on the 1920s flapper like clothing on a hanger.

A stark contrast from the 1920s, a more voluptuous figure emerged. But their waists were still meant to me smaller. In some models, waist training was used to synch the waist to unnatural levels. The hips and the bust still remained full.

A resurgence of the 1920s was made when model Twiggy came on the scene. Since then, models have upheld the skinny expectation.

Like Twiggy, models like Kate Moss continue to posses the “heroin-chic” ideal. Although Moss is only 5’7, other industry models are much taller at the same weight. In essence, they are walking clothes hangers.

Companies like H&M, who have recently recruited Beyonce as a model, are starting to make larger clothing and even larger mannequins. But despite the plus size revolution, the industry standard hasn’t changed.

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Fatal attraction: the killer shoe

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Do you have an aphrodisiac in your cupboards?

Today we have Viagra and Cialis. But throughout history, our ancestors turned to the mystical workings of nature. From fruit to spices, there were food remedies to cure any problems of one of humans’ most basic instinct, sex.

Photo Credit: hemantchourasia.blogspot.com

These traditions have carried on to modern times. Some foods, such as raw oysters, have a notorious reputation for turning you on. But others are less known. Do you have an aphrodisiac in your cupboard?

Avocados
The Aztecs called the avocado tree “ahuacatl,” or “testicle tree,” according to an askmen article. Avocados “contain high levels of folic acid, which helps metabolize proteins, giving you more energy. They also contain vitamin B6 (a nutrient that increases male hormone production) and potassium (which helps regulate a woman’s thyroid gland), two elements that help increase libido in both men and women.”Cinnamon

A pinch of cinnamon in your coffee or tea everyday could result in better sex. The spice lowers high blood sugar which can restrict the flow of blood to the vagina and penis.
 
Pumpkin Seeds
You might never look at carving pumpkins again. Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc, which has a reputation for increasing fertility and sex drive. Also high in zinc; Shellfish. Shellfish includes not only oysters, but shrimp, mussels, clams, scallops and lobster among others.
 
Arugula
Who knew a salad could be so sexy. Arugula greens have been rumored to be an aphrodisiac since the 1st century. It was often combined with other ingredients such as pine nuts, also an aphrodisiac.
 
Honey
Love can be as sweet as honey. “Many medicines in Egyptian times were based on honey including cures for sterility and impotence. Medieval seducers plied their partners with Mead, a fermented drink made from honey. Lovers on their “Honeymoon” drank mead and it was thought to “sweeten” the marriage,” according to gourmetsleuth.com.
 
But not everyone believes in aphrodisiacs. Dr. Ruth Westheimer says, “researchers discovered that a man must consume nearly 50 oysters to feel their sexually intensifying effects. As for the wine, more than one glass can cause your blood vessels to constrict and put a damper on your arousal.”
 
So what are some other cures for sexual problems? Livescience.com says respect and getting in shape are better for your sex life.
 
Photo Credit: androxa.wordpress.com

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