Ancient Erotica

by Zoe Pollock

Lisa Miller argues it's all in the Bible:

The man lingers over his lover’s eyes and hair, on her teeth, lips, temples, neck, and breasts, until he arrives at “the mount of myrrh.” He rhapsodizes. “All of you is beautiful, my love,” he says. “There is no flaw in you.” The girl returns his lust with lust. “My lover thrust his hand through the hole,” she says, “and my insides groaned because of him.” This ode to sexual consummation can be found inof all placesthe Bible. It is the Song of Solomon, a poem whose origins likely reach back to the pagan love songs of Egypt more than 1,200 years before the birth of Jesus.

She quotes the author of a new book on biblical sex and desire, Jennifer Wright Knust:

The Bible doesn’t have to be an invader, conquering bodies and wills with its pronouncements and demands. It can also be a partner in the complicated dance of figuring out what it means to live in bodies that are filled with longing.