Sex Attitudes: Christianity
If Greco-Roman sexual attitudes were promiscuous compared to today’s mainstream practices, Christianity, especially Catholicism, might well be seen as the other extreme, condoning sexual relations only as a means for procreation and using sacred texts to tamp down lustful feelings. In many ways Catholic prohibitions applied to sex mirrored Judaic law. In respect to various sexual proclivities, especially adultery, incest, male homosexuality and bestiality, Christians turn to the Bible, particularly passages of Leviticus, as proof that such aspects of human sexuality are considered sins and are therefore immoral.
Sex Attitudes: Bestiality
Meanwhile, bestiality probably dates back to prehistoric times. Depictions of humans and animals in sexual congress appear in rock art in Europe beginning around the onset of the Neolithic era, when the domestication of animals began. Bestiality is a common theme in mythology and folklore through the classical period and into the Middle Ages. Today, the Internet has brought practitioners of many paraphilias, including zoophilia, together and some have begun to advocate for the legalization of bestiality, which remains illegal in most countries.
Sex Attitudes: Fellatio
In 2000, Salon writer Annie Auguste wrote a very frank and personal account exploring the history of a particular sexual act—fellatio—in the context of an interview with French writer Thierry Leguay, who had published a book about its history. While it may also date back to prehistoric times, the first clear references to fellatio are from ancient Egypt and may stem from the famous myth of Osiris and Iris: Osiris was killed by his brother and cut into pieces. His sister Isis put the pieces together but the final product was missing a penis. An artificial penis was made out of clay, the legend goes, and Isis “blew” life back into Osiris by sucking it. Another point Leguay makes in the interview is that human beings may well be the only creatures in the animal kingdom that perform fellatio.