So I’m reading “Bonk” by Mary Roach, which is brilliant. It’s about the weird world of sex research. It’s hysterical. I have learned disturbing things about what people used to think the cervix did, about sex in MRI machines, the apparently excessively lengthy debate about vaginal vs. clittoral orgasms* and so on and so forth.
This image, however, stopped me dead in my tracks…she talks about the (weirdly common, actually, still occurs today in some parts of the world) phenomenon of men believing that witches have stolen their penises, and quotes the author of that great work of lunacy, the Malleus Maleficarium:
“What, then, is to be thought of those witches who . . . sometimes collect male organs in great numbers, as many as twenty or thirty members together, and put them in a bird’s nest or shut them up in a box, where they move themselves like living members, and eat oats and corn, as has been seen by many and is a matter of common report?”
My first thought was, of course, “Exactly how much ergot was on the rye back then?” but if, dear reader, you think that my second thought was a mad urge to draw a bird’s nest full of penises, you’re absolutely right. Go help yourself to a cookie.
No, I’m not going to DO it. Probably. I mean, sheesh. We run a respectable operation here.
Still, what an image…
*I myself am of the opinion that however you get off, it’s all good.