Friday, January 11, 2008

The Moche

Wandering round the Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino in Santiago yesterday, I'm startled by a room full of pottery and small sculptures of people engaged in various sexual activities.

"These are all about death and sex!" says our guide with a slightly disapproving tone in her voice.

"Death and non-procreative sex :-)!" says boyfriend number 2 correcting her, looking up at us having read the explanatory information in one of the display cases.

Moche pottery imageAnd indeed, it seems that before the Incas, there was a civilisation based in the same region called the Moche. The death of the Moche king was apparently marked by an orgy of sexual rituals, which is what the pottery and scultpures were depicting. Death was associated with non-procreative sex, so the rituals involved anal sex, oral sex, masturbation. Then, after all the non-procreative sex, finally there was vaginal sex to symbolise rebirth and life.

In many ways, it's an obvious idea to associate death with non-procreative sex, and live with procreative sex. But this suggests to me that gay guys in such a society would be outcasts, being associated with death given that gay sex is non-procreative. I've always thought that homophobia was associated with the modern religions, especially christianity, but if this interpretation is correct it suggest that some ancient cultures were homophobic too.

But did the Moche enjoy their rituals? On one of the exhibits depicting oral sex, I spotted the following explanation:

"The look of disgust on the woman's face suggests that she's not a willing participant."

So maybe guy-on-guy would have worked better? The gaydar chat rooms in London certainly never seem to be short of guys eager and willing to engage in that activity!

8 comments:

Humming Bird in Hyde said...

Sounds like you're having a nice time. Hope the rest goes super :-)

Sir Wobin said...

Look of disgust or maybe the grimace of orgasm. Yes, some people do.

My eyes are usually closed during the money shot so I'm not bothered what they look like just then. :-)

Trevor said...

I think you might be a little bit presumptuous to assume they are homophobic from their death rituals. To have this kind of sex represented in what must be quite a powerful ritual suggests they are at least gay friendly, no? I can't imagine your local Catholic, um, Anglican minister proclaiming 'bums away' after burying a recently departed.

GB said...

Thanks for your kind wishes HBH :-).

Correct me if I'm wrong Sir Wobin, but when a woman performs fellatio on a man, isn't it the man who has the orgasm?

And I see what you mean Trevor, I guess it's possible that you're right. But I don't see why ritualised orgies of straight sex necessarily imply a tolerance of gay sex.

GB xxx

Sir Wobin said...

You didn't say which way round they were. I assumed a spot of rug munching. Now there's a thought to make one grimace! (sorry ladies)

badabing said...

Some of this Moche and Chimu (their succesors) pottery does involve homosexual couplings. The Inca's destroyed the Chimu and one of the reasons is said to be the Chimu's tolerance of homosexuality, which the Inca had a bit of a down on. But even among the Inca's it seems there was some religous inspired 'gay' activity that was tolerated. Homosexuality among the native inhabitants of South America was put forward as a justification for the Spanish conquest.

Masturbedroom said...

The woman was probably lesbian, or the man had a case of blue cheese dick. Why didn't anyone think of that?

How's your holiday GB? I'm amazed at your dedication, posting while on holiday!

GB said...

Sorry for the confusion Sir Wobin, it hadn't occurred to me that some people might think that a man-on-woman situation was depicted.

That's fascinating badabing, you sound like you know what you're talking about. I was just trying to make sensible guesses!

But looks like Masturbedroom has come up with the most interesting explanation LOL. And good to see that access to his profile has been re-instated too, now with an additional piece of saucy information :-).

Anyway, holiday going well so far guys, take care, GB xxx