First Erotic Coins

China also boasted erotic coins (“spring coins”) as early as the Han Dynasty. On one side of a coin would be words of good omen; on the other, a god and a goddess would be copulating. It was claimed that such coins could dispel evil spirits, as a consequence of which, parents frequently gave them to their children as a form of protection against supernatural forces. By the time of the Sung Dynasty the coins were showing a variety of coital positions: they were no longer called “spring coins” but “bed-curtain-spreading coins.” They formed an integral part of a dowry when a daughter married, on the wedding-night the coins would be scattered on the bridal bed. In other cultures with a strong erotic tradition and a coinage system coins were also used to depict sexual activity. For example, in pre-Christian Greece some coins show an eager satyr carrying off a complaisant nymph (mid-sixth century B.C.). And there is a Greek scaraboid of the fifth century B.C., showing a cock treading a hen; an identical scene appears on an Etruscan gem of the same period.

WSR Writer

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