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It was the classic high-school party scene; someone’s parents had left them home alone for the weekend and we had decided it would be a great time to throw a party. The neighbours raised their eyebrows as the cars started parking on the lawn. I pulled up, fashionably late like usual, and dropped my keys in the designated box for the night. The shed in the yard became a makeshift club, with a plastic folding table for the drinks. There were buckets of ice with stubbies poking out against the wall, and we repurposed someone’s guitar amp for the music. We were lucky enough to have a bonfire in a 44-gallon drum and a hundred bucks worth of marshmallows.

The night wore on and the sweet and ashy taste of marshmallows blended with the smoke in the air. Suddenly, I caught the faintest scent of something refreshing but I couldn’t place it. The guy in front of me turned around and flashed a smile and we struck up a conversation. He was newly single and I remember his mate joking that I was a step up from his ex. The wind changed direction and carried smoke and cheap alcohol across the air. Every so often I would catch that sweet, refreshing scent again and imagine it across my tongue. Amidst snatches of conversation, I would find myself daydreaming about that flavour. To my inebriated self, nothing in the world could have smelled or tasted so unbelievably wonderful.

I was still flirting with that guy when his mate came back and said something about his ex being in another relationship already. Naturally, my role in this little scandal was clear. I was all dolled up and we decided to take a photo proving he had moved on too. So, in a dress shorter than my mother’s temper, we struck a pose worthy of a centrefold.

It was while I was draped around this guy that I realised where that intoxicating scent was coming from; bubblemint gum. While his friend found the perfect photo angle, I blurted out that I love that flavour of gum and jokingly he asked if I wanted a taste. And I, never one to pass up such an opportunity, kissed him to enjoy that refreshing sweet flavour. The photo was iconic and I had the pleasure of enjoying that flavour all night long…

While statues are now found mostly in museums and art galleries, sculpture has played an important role in artistic history. Ancient Greek or Roman gods and goddesses probably come to mind but statues are popular in many cultures. Despite its traditionally conservative beliefs, the Catholic church incidentally commissioned not one but two stunning statues of the devil. Their reason for the second one? The first was “too sublime” and would distract churchgoers. 

Context

Whether he goes by the devil, satan or Lucifer, the majority of Christian faiths agree that he was quite the looker. Described as ‘the fallen angel,’ the devil’s good looks were part of his devious charm. He represented the ultimate sinful indulgence; cunning, manipulative and, well, hot as hell!

Rock Hard

St. Paul’s Cathedral in Belgium first commissioned Joseph Geefs in 1837 to create a statue depicting a downtrodden Lucifer having lost to the goodness of the church. Upon receiving the statue, the church declared that “this devil is too sublime.” With his near-complete nudity, boyish handsomeness and lean abs, it violated the sanctity of their space. Fearing it would distract young women from their religious obligations, the church deemed it unacceptable for display. They soon sought a replacement from Joseph’s older brother, Guillaume.

Chiselled, Literally

While no one can attest to Guillaume’s intentions at the time, his response to the commission gives many historians a chuckle. The statue he produced in 1848 to replace his brothers is widely considered far more “sublime” than the original. With his roguishly handsome face, thick hair and yes, literally chiselled abs, Guillaume’s Lucifer wouldn’t look out of place in a Sexy Sinners Calander. 

The Irony

By removing the seductive stone statue, the church inadvertently conceded that their words were no match for a good-looking marble man. Despite the church’s goal to minimise distraction, they reinforced the power of physical attractiveness as a sinful temptation.

While these two charming sinners may not have altered the course of history, they are still phenomenal works of art that tell a story. The original statue by Joseph now resides with the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium. Guillaume’s rendition has remained at St. Paul’s Cathedral. The (not so) subtle sexuality that underpins both pieces speaks volumes about the pertinence of attraction in art, religion and life. Overall, however, we are just grateful the church gave us two drool-worthy devils to think about next time we’re feeling naughty.

While the XXX magazine industry blossomed in the 1960s and boomed over the ’70s and ’80s, it soon gave way to DVD and late-night Gone Wild commercials. Now, the overwhelming majority of explicit material is available online and most young men have never known the panic of hurriedly stashing their centrefold under the bed. Despite the cultural waves of celebrating or repressing sexually explicit media, every culture has had some form of erotic media.

The Kama Sutra

Perhaps the most renowned piece of erotic literature is the Kama Sutra. Believed to have been written by Vatsyayana Mallanaga, the Kama Sutra takes a holistic approach to human sexuality and fulfilment. It is divided into seven parts. Those parts discuss everything from the basics of loving someone to the ethical implications of having an affair.

Sexual Union

The second instalment, titled Sexual Union, is usually what comes to mind when someone mentions the Kama Sutra. It features explicit positions and techniques in bed, many of which are familiar to the modern reader. However, there are plenty of variations that can help spice things up!

Consider the Bull Position or ‘Virsha’ which takes reverse cowgirl to a whole new level. Men get to lay back and enjoy the view, while the receiving partner leans forward to grab their partner’s shins or ankles for more control when riding.

If you feel like getting literally tangled in the sheets, try out the Lotus or ‘Padmasana’ position. Sit cross-legged and have the receiving partner sit in your lap facing you, their legs wrapping around your lower back. Then, explore the range of rocking, grinding and gyrating motions available to you in this intimate entanglement.

The Kama Sutra has inspired countless drawings, paintings and sculptures, often in places of worship and art galleries. Many modern reprints of the Kama Sutra come with their own interpretations and illustrations of the poses. 

Insightful & Culturally Intriguing

When it isn’t serving as a how-to for up-and-coming porn stars, the Kama Sutra is among the most culturally significant texts, especially given the insight it offers into the cultural and philosophical attitudes of the time. It discusses key pillars of attraction and compatibility and examines in detail the role of courtesans and wifely duties. The Kama Sutra offers a unique perspective on the most desirable attributes at that time. It’s interesting to see how our understanding of relationships and sex has changed over time.

While many of the beliefs in the Kama Sutra don’t align with modern views, the historical value of the text is undeniable. History often focuses on trade, war and religion so understanding how ancient cultures viewed sex and relationships is important too. Aside from earning a place in museums and galleries, it’s a pretty interesting read to spice up your repertoire.