More from Alice Raw
Three dames and a dildo.
In c.1340, a professional scribe of Shropshire copied down a fun fireside tale. Three women are off on a pilgrimage. On the road, one of them finds ‘a great huge penis, draped about with just its muzzle peeking out’ from behind a hawthorn bush. This episode considers a variety of stories of wandering genitalia, and the problems with picking up a disembodied penis off the road.
A medieval messy break-up song: On catching your man cheating, then going to the club.
In an obscure early printed song book that survives only by chance, a woman sings about seeing her lover out with a ‘mistress bastard’. Her reaction? She calls him a fuckboy and goes dancing.
Sexperts of Medieval England
Impotence was sufficient grounds for annulment, but how to prove that a man experienced erectile disfunction? In 1433, one court asked ‘seven honest women’ to ascertain whether or not the defendant was capable of an erection with that timeless method, a lapdance.
Bronach Kane, “Impotence and Virginity in the Late Medieval Ecclesiastical Court of York,” Borthwick Paper 114 (2008)