The History of Sex: Venice and Florence -- And Man (Re)Discovered Flesh -- (Chap. IV, Pt. 1)

Chapter Four 


Waving Hello! to the Flesh in Venereal Venice and Syphilitic Florence 

Let's make love, my beloved,
If you adore my cock,
I love your pussy,
And the world wouldn't be worth a fuck without this.

--The 'Divine' Pietro Aretino, c1527 

The Renaissance produced not one but two great explorers named Columbus: the first, a discoverer who spread syphilis; the other, an anatomist who 'discovered' the clitoris… and died shortly thereafter. 

The latter Colombo was a professor in his forties when he published his text On Things Anatomical in Venice in 1559, claiming to have found something that everyone in the history of medicine had somehow overlooked—the very 'seat of woman's delight:' 

'It should be called the love or sweetness of Venus,' declared Renaldus Columbus. 'If you rub it vigorously with a penis, or even touch it with a little finger, the pleasure causes women's semen to fly this way and that, swifter than air, even if they don't want it to.' 

Tragically, the cocksure prof died later that year—I blame the flying female semen—and his successor at the university promptly accused him of plagiarism.

The Columbus of the Nether Regions: 
Renaldus Columbus

Gabriel Fallopius claimed he'd already had a good look under the hood years earlier; ultimately, though, he had to make do with being immortalized for his less-sexy discovery of the egg tubes connecting the uterus with the ovaries. 

It took centuries before a Dane pointed out that, like Christopher Columbus' 'discovery' of the New World, both the Italian anatomists had got it wrong: the great guru of Western medicine had caught sight of the clitoris way back in the second century AD. 

Sadly for women, though, Galen had thought the clit simply protected the vagina. 

He'd even compared it to the thingamabob at the back of the throat—nearly eighteen centuries before a porn-flick doctor informed a would-be nymph that her clitoris was lodged deep in her Deep Throat.

Would you pierce your uvula? 

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