a brief history of the orgy. | maude - sex made simple.

a brief history of the orgy.

As is the case with many things, the notion of the orgy today is a little different from its origins.

In Ancient Greece, the word orgia referred to the secret worship ceremonies of mystery cults, who celebrated the likes of Dionysus and Orpheus. Such gatherings generally included dancing in masks by torchlight, animal worship and sacrifice, and copious amounts of wine, so it was only natural that they became the perfect setting for sexual liberation and experimentation.

The Romans enjoyed a similar practice at their Bacchanalia—festivals celebrating Bacchus (the god of many enjoyable things including wine, freedom, intoxication and ecstasy). The emperor Caligula was especially known for his orgiastic fetes.

It wasn’t until about 1589 that the word orgy made its way into the English language with the meaning as we know it today. Ever considered how the dancing around the maypole is kind of like worshiping a giant phallus? Yup—afterward the dancers would often head off into the fields for some nookie. 

So really, no matter what you call it, people have long been partaking in ecstatic group sex.

Read more about the origins of the orgy here.
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