Sex in the time of cholera: about sexual life during the "Black death"

"Black death" — the second plague pandemic, which occurred in the middle of the XIV century and claimed the lives of tens of millions of people. According to various estimates, from this terrible disease killed 30 to 60% of the total population of Europe. Count the exact number of victims is impossible, but some historians claim that it could reach 200 million people.

Think that talking about sex in this context — a kind of savagery. But sex in those days really was, and due to the extreme living conditions of its intimate side was so difficult. Read more about this in our material.

Sex in the time of cholera: about sexual life during the

Prostitution during the plague miraculously bloomed, and working conditions for workers of this sphere have become much better. In the book "Sex, dissidence and damnation: minority in the middle Ages" (Sex, Dissidence and Damnation: Minority Groups in the Middle Ages), the historian Jeffrey Richards writes that this has resulted in "labor shortage".

Sex in the time of cholera: about sexual life during the

As soon as the plague began to wane, for prostitutes built municipal brothels with good conditions and reliable protection. However, as people began to get sick less frequently, the demand for the services of "priestesses of love" has decreased significantly.

But in some places prostitution didn't even become popular. On the contrary, people thought the Black death was God's punishment for various sins, including adultery. Therefore, the "priestesses of love" was literally thrown out of town and would not let them back, even when the plague stopped.

Sex in the time of cholera: about sexual life during the

And in some places "immorality" were officially considered illegal phenomenon. Gay, who lived in those times, was also subjected to attacks and harassment.

In the book "the Black death and the transformation of the West" (Black Death and the Transformation of the West) historian David Herlihy writes that desperate people would literally set up orgies in cemeteries. Thus, they wanted to experience his victory over death, to feel alive.

Sex in the time of cholera: about sexual life during the

This led to the fact that soon the Pope had to issue an official ban on indecent acts on the graves. In fairness I must say that in those days people not only had sex in cemeteries, but also danced, sang and drank alcohol. Perhaps so they tried to convinced themselves that lying near dead not so scary.

At the same time, medieval doctors urged people to avoid any intimate contact with other people. The doctors were sure that sex was too warms the body, and that it better penetrates "bad air", which increases the risk of Contracting plague.

Sex in the time of cholera: about sexual life during the

The same thing is happening due to active respiration, as you know, during sex people hard to breathe. In view of this, a German doctor advised against any physical activity — running, jumping, sex, heavy lifting... in addition, according to the doctor, people cost less than expose themselves to feelings, to listen to more pleasant music, to avoid jealousy, anger, resentment and other negative emotions.

During the plague the streets walked people who punish themselves with whips "in the name of saving society from the Black death". People thought that the way Lord have mercy and turn away the terrible disease from other residents. The Church, these lessons are not encouraged, but others in the hope of salvation, even paid flagellants money to those they themselves were tortured.

Sex in the time of cholera: about sexual life during the

But soon after flagellants appeared pseudopapillary that, on the contrary, stated that they will continue to enjoy life until the last second. These people paid money to those they entertained the crowd, and one of the most common views was an unusual public sex. Their activities the Church also banned, but that interest in pseudoparallel only increased.

Incest at that time was something amazing. And this can be explained with simple arithmetic. The plague destroyed about one third of the entire population, including someone's wives, husbands and potential lovers. Therefore, the ban on sexual relations between relatives soon ceased to exist.

Sex in the time of cholera: about sexual life during the

The incestuous connection was particularly common among representatives of noble families, in which the bride and groom had to meet each other on the status.

That's how things were intimate Affairs during the terrible pandemic that killed millions of people.

Keywords: Illness | Disease | Sexual life | Death | Middle ages | Plague | Epidemic

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