Archeologists have uncovered what is believed to be the world’s oldest erotic graffiti, and guess what? …It’s gay!
Dr. Andreas Vlachopoulos, a specialist in prehistoric archaeology, made the very sexy discovery on the Greek island of Astypalaia. The graffiti dates back to the 5th and 6th centuries B.C. and is described as “monumental in scale” and “tantalizingly clear” despite thousands of years of exposure to the erosive effects of the sun, wind, and sea.
“Few Greek islands have been properly explored or excavated,” Vlachopoulos to the Guardian. “These findings are testimony to why it is so important that they are.”
Two carvings have so far been discovered. Both are chiseled into slabs of dolomite limestone. The first features two penises beneath the name “Dion” and is believed to be from the 5th century B.C. The second is an inscription that reads: “Nikasitimos was here mounting Timiona.” It is believed to be from the 6th century B.C.
(Turns out gay men have been bragging about their bedroom conquests for longer than we ever imagined.)
“We know that in ancient Greece sexual desire between men was not a taboo,” Vlachopoulos said. “But this graffiti … is not just among the earliest ever discovered. By using the verb in the past continuous [tense], it clearly says that these two men were making love over a long period of time, emphasizing the sexual act in a way that is highly unusual in erotic artwork.”
Vlachopoulos says other rock art was found at the site, including carvings of oared ships, daggers, and spirals. But, honestly, we just care about the penises and men mounting one another.
Check out more erotic gay artwork from centuries ago below.
Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep
In 1964, an Egyptian tomb from 2400 B.C. was discovered in the necropolis at Saqqara, Egypt. It belonged to Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep, two men who had worked as royal manicurists in the palace of the king. The artwork decorating their tomb is believed to be some of the earliest portrayals of homosexual love, with pictures of the men holding hands, embracing, and even kissing.
Bi Yuan and Li Guiguan
This painting depicts Qing-dynasty scholar and bureaucrat Bi Yuan and his male lover Li Guiguan. Yuan was born in China in 1730. When he was still a struggling student, Bi Yuan met successful opera singer Li Guiguan. Li Guiguan supported Bi Yuan financially as he finished school and worked his way up in the government sector. The two men lived as a married couple for many years and were the basis for Chen Sen’s 1857 novel Precious Mirror for Ranking Flowers, the first gay novel in China.
These ancient Greek plates pretty much speak for themselves.
This ancient Roman coin, called a “spintria“, is from 22-37 A.D. and depicts a man with an erect penis lying on his belly while another man penetrates him behind. The two lovers stare passionately into one another’s eyes. Spintria were small bronze or brass tokens that typically featured sexy pictures and were used to pay prostitutes. We’re pretty sure a coin like this wouldn’t fly today.
Ancient phallus shaped “tool”
This 8-inch stone object was discovered in the famous Hohle Fels Cave in Swabian Alps in 2005. Scientists believe it is about 28,000 years old and may have been used as a “sex aide” during the Ice Age. Either that or a flint. You know, to start a fire. Or maybe both? You decide.
The Very Erotic Art of Pompeii
The eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. completely destroyed the Roman city of Pompeii. Residents were buried under 20 feet of ash and over time the ruins were preserved and turned to stone. That’s the story must of us know anyway. But few people know that underneath all that ash and dirt were loads of kinky erotic art featuring gay sex, straight sex, penises, threesomes, you name it. It was everywhere, which really isn’t all that surprising considering that Pompeii had a reputation for being a party town. (A prostitute there made three times more than the average laborer or worker in the city.) When the artwork was first discovered, people found it so scandalous that much of it was either destroyed or locked away in the National Museum of Naples, where it remained hidden from view for over 100 years. In 2000, the art was finally made viewable to the public, but minors must be accompanied by an adult.