Erotica at Pompeii

Erotic images at Pompeii concentrate on two things. First, what is usually described as a 'cult' of the phallus - such symbolism is said to ward off evil but may well have had a more sexual nature. Very large, erect penises feature on statues and decorations, such as the man on the right, apparently weighing his oversize penis in a scale, with a bag, possibly of flour, on the opposite pan.

Secondly, there are some images of couples, men and women and also men with men, engaging in various sexual acts. Most of these images are seldom on show. Until the 1970s only men were ever allowed by the guides to see them.

Image in the doorway of the House of the Vetti, Pompeii. 


All material on these pages is Paul Lewis 1997-2001