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He found that he had to make subdivisions in each class according to the nature of the subject, to note particularities, individualities; and the contrast between this scientific apparatus, and the facetious matters subjected to the rigorous laws of deduction and demonstration is not the least amusing feature of the book.
Probably no one but a German savant could have conceived the idea of thus classifying by categories, groups, genera, variations, species and sub-species all known forms of natural and unnatural lusts, according to the most trustworthy authors.
But Forberg pursued another aim besides. In the course of his researches he had noticed how reticent the annotators and expounders generally are in clearing up matters which would seem to require it the most, some in consequence of a false reserve, others for fear of appearing too knowing, and others again from ignorance; also how many mistakes and gross blunders they have fallen into, by reason of their not understanding the language of erotics and failing to grasp its infinite shades of meaning.
It is precisely on those obscure and difficult passages of the Ancient poets, on those expressions purposely chosen for their ambiguity, which have been the torment of the critics and the puzzle of the most erudite commentators, that our learned Humanist has concentrated his most convincing observations. The number of authors, Greek, Latin, French, German, English, Dutch, whom he has laid under contribution in order to formulate his exact and judicious classifications, mounts up to a formidable total.
There are to be found in the Manual of Erotology something like five hundred passages, culled from more than one hundred and fifty works, all classified, explained, commented upon, and in most cases, enveloped in darkness as they had been, made plain as light itself by the mere fact of juxtaposition.
With Forberg for a guide no one need henceforth fear to go astray,—to believe, for instance, like M. Forberg, a philosopher, has treated these delicate subjects like a philosopher, namely, in a purely speculative manner, as a man quite above and beyond terrestrial matters, and particularly so with respect to the lubricities which he has made it his task to examine so closely.
He declares he knows nothing of them personally, has never thought of making experimental investigations on them, but derives all his knowledge, from books. His candour is beyond suspicion. Joviani Pontani; Io. See below pp. For how is it possible to specify the thousand modes  , the thousand forms of Love, on which the inventive satiety of pleasure ventures? But at any rate such as fall into distinct and definite kinds admit of being easily and methodically classified.
Do not, inquisitive reader, hope for more than this. We are not of those who seek after a petty personal glory by unveiling the results of their own experience or by describing novel tours de force in the wrestling-school; we are not so much as raw recruits at this game. Nor yet is it our intention to reveal things we have seen or heard in this connexion. If we would, we could not,—to your satisfaction, for books are our only authorities.
We are solely and entirely bookmen, and scarce frequent our fellow creatures at all. These trifles engaged our attention first as a mere pastime. We were led to them accidentally, as we roamed from subject to subject for Philosophy, the garden we had hoped to set up our tent in for life, lies desolate.
How can Philosophy flourish in times like ours, when almost every new day sees new systems sprout forth, to die down again tomorrow; when there are as many philosophers as philosophies, when schools have ceased to exist, when instead of groups only individuals are to be met with?
Our second motive was to provide some satisfaction, however little, to the claims of those readers who very often find themselves disconcerted by the unconventional raciness of Ancient authors and their out-spoken witticisms, and justly complain of the prudish brevity or entire silence of the Commentators who leave their difficulties unexplained.
Of course these latter wrote for the young; and no one can blame them under the circumstances for not having dwelt carefully and curiously on shameful secrets. Therein are new postures of Love that the desperate fornicator tries, and what debauchees use, but never tell of,—how grouped in a series five copulate at once, how a greater number still can make a chain.
It was hardly worth the pains to be erudite. In this book you do not know which to admire most, the style at once elegant, correct and careful, yet free from pedantry, the wit equally gay and graceful, the brilliant sparks of Latin erudition that glitter everywhere, the rich and copious eloquence graced as with jewels by polished and luminous words and phrases of a pleasant antique flavour, or lastly the pre-eminent skill displayed in varying with such manifold versatility one simple theme.
The others we need not mention further. Our predecessors, whether the more modern, or those of Antiquity whom we have cited, and all whose works alas! And our own treatise will no doubt in its turn meet with both these classes. Let others go their way, and arrogate to themselves the title of sages! THE work of Venus may be accomplished with or without the help of the mentula virile member.
If with the mentula, the friction of this organ, in which friction the whole pleasure consists, can be effected either in the vulva female organ , in the anus arse-hole , in the mouth, by the hand or in any cavity of the body. If without the mentula, the vulva may be worked either with the tongue, with the clitoris, or with any object resembling the virile organ.
Ovid, Art of Love, I. It is equally impossible to enumerate all these, as it is to say which is best fitted to give pleasure. Each acts in this respect according to his own caprice, according to place, time, and so on, choosing the one he prefers. Love is not identical for each and all. Suetonius, Tiberius, ch. No doubt such representations of licentious postures, taken from the works of Elephantis or Philaenis or elsewhere stimulated the ingenuity of Artists to work out in emulation these enticing motifs to the highest degree of finish.
Ovid alludes to such works of art in his Art of Love, II. In old days our walls were not daubed with fancies of this vile sort, when never a partition was adorned with a vicious subject.
The said wanton damsel seems to have practised rather than described the twelve postures of Venus. I am doubtful as to whether Musaeus should be counted among writers on the Erotic postures.
Martial, XII. Athenaeus, XIV. The last mentioned is known as the Cinaedologue. Having assailed Ptolemy Philadelphus, king of Egypt, with witticisms too independent for the sensitive ears of princes, the king caused him to be enclosed in a leaden casket, and thrown into the sea. Failing any more plausible supposition, it may very well be conjectured that among the four thousand works written according to Seneca Letter LXXX.
Undoubtedly a man who devoted himself to such subtile questions as whether Anacreon was more libertine than drunkard, whether Sappho was a public woman or not, was quite likely to discuss the Erotic postures. Aretino, though the book has always been printed under his name, disowns it, declaring it to be the work of one of his pupils named Veniero.
Lorenzo Veniero, a Venetian nobleman, is the real author. He published it to avenge himself on a Venetian courtesan named Angela, whom he designates under the insulting name of Zaffetta, that is to say, in the Venetian dialect, daughter of a police-spy. Neither one nor the other is the work of Pietro Aretino.
See note at end of vol. This is, properly speaking, to effect copulation; but there are various ways of doing it. As a matter of fact copulation can be effected:—the man face downwards with the woman on her back, the man on his back with the woman face down, the man on his back with the woman turning her back to him; the man sitting with the woman turning her face towards him, sitting with the woman turning her back to him; the man standing or kneeling with the woman turning her face towards him, standing or kneeling with the woman turning her back to him.
Let us examine each of these methods separately. Coition with the man face down on the woman who lies on her back is the ordinary method, and the most natural. What better than to press the loved one in her arms and so awake new fires of desire, to participate in amorous sensations unblunted by any taint of age or infirmity? What more favorable to the delight and enjoyment of both than such lascivious movements given and received?
What more opportune at the instant of dying a voluptuous death than to recover again under the revivifying vigour of burning kisses? He who plies Venus on the reverse side, satisfies but one of his senses, he who does the same face to face satisfied them all. One and the same mode does not become every woman.
You are especially attractive of face; then lie on your back. This posture is by no means limited to one mode. The woman lying on her back, the rider may clasp her between his legs, or she may receive him between hers.
Yet another position may be adopted, according as the woman lie back with legs stretched wide apart or with the knees raised. Neither do I wish you to lift your legs up, whether both at once, or one after the other, when I have mounted you. What I do wish you to do is this: First stretch your thighs as far apart, open them as wide as a woman well can. Offer your vulva to the member which is going to pierce it, and without altering this position, let me complete the work Would you see a representation of this?
A representation of this very pleasant posture, which would rouse the numbed tool of a Hippolytus, is to be found in part IV. There is another similar plate in ch. Doris, in the epigram of Sosipator, vol. But again the feet of the woman lying on her back may also be held up by others. I lifted them up. Then down he lies on my bosom, and plunges his cutlass in my ever open wound.
Fabrizio raised my two legs in the air, and slipping a hand under each of my hams, moves my loins for me without any trouble on my part. What a singular and pleasant mode of making you move! The husband beseeches her to live, not to die in her youth and beauty; and permits others to do what he cannot effect himself.
He tells me to sit down again as I was seated before, and places a chair under either foot in a way that my legs were lifted high in air, and the gate of my garden was wide open to the assaults I was expecting. He then slides his right hand under my buttocks and draws me a little closer to him. With his left he supported the weight of his spear. Then he laid himself down on me But there he stopped, and for awhile made no further attack.
Hearing this he lifted my thigh with his own hand, and guided it round his loin, as he wished; finally he forced his arrow into the target of Venus. In the beginning he pushes in with gentle blows, then quicker, and at last with such force I could not doubt that I was in great danger.
With a violent effort he forced his spear right in, and the point fixed itself in the depths of the wound. I cry out Caviceo spirted out his venerean exudation, and I felt irrigated by a burning rain Just as Caviceo slackened, I experienced a sort of voluptuous itch as though I were making water; involuntarily I draw my buttocks back a little, and in an instant I felt with supreme pleasure something flowing from me which tickled me deliciously.
My eyes failed me, my breath came thick, my face was on fire, and I felt my whole body melting. She was lying on her side; the f We now come to the manner, in which the man lying on his back has connection with the woman face downwards. The parts are interchanged; the woman plays the rider and the man the horse.
This figure was called the horse of Hector. It is no business of ours to decide the question.
Friedrich Karl Forberg
De figuris Veneris
De Figuris Veneris, suite de 19 gravures en couleurs et un frontispice