Ancient Rome left modern Europe with many fantastic souvenirs. From architecture and technology, to influences on languages and politics, the footprints of the Romans are everywhere - even when it comes to sex.

Photo: The Birth of Venus, William-Adolphe Bouguereau (PD)
The Birth of Venus

In Roman mythology, Venus was the goddess of love, sex, beauty and fertility, her name Venus, meaning sexual desire in Latin. The protector of prostitutes and conqueror of men's hearts, Venus continues to be a great sexual symbol all across the European continent. Here are some examples of sexual symbols that bear the sex goddess' name.


Venus had many epithets, one of them being Venus Erycina, the patron of impure love, and in her honour stood a temple in ancient Rome. Prostitution was legal in ancient Rome, although prostitutes were considered to be of very low social class. Every year in April, prostitutes came to the temple of Venus Erycina to make their offerings, hoping for beauty in return.


"Come here and enjoy a night of love and passion and the unique atmosphere of Venus, the love goddess," reads the inviting text on Venusgården's website. Run by orgasm coach, orgasm author and owner of erotic shops, Ylva Franzén and her husband, the rooms at Venusgården are equipped with love swings hanging from the ceiling, sex toys and "love drinks."

Visitors at Venus Berlin can pop by the swinger area, play strip poker and watch lapdance contests.


In 1978, the book Delta of Venus by French-Cuban author Anaïs Nin was published, a book filled with erotic short stories on controversial topics such as incest, homosexuality and prostitution.

Photo: DancesWithFlowers (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)


One of the world's largest fairs for adult entertainment, Venus Berlin is an annual trade show that started in Germany in 1994, and which has grown to attracts thousands of visitors from countries all over the world. Visitors can, amongst many other things, pop by the swinger area, play strip poker and watch lapdance contests.

the venus mountain

Commonly known as the Mound of Venus or Venus Mountain, the mons veneris, is a part of a woman's vulva - a body part which, when stimulated, makes us feel pleasure during sex.

venus butterfly

Venus has given name to the Venus butterfly, which can refer both to a sex toy and different sexual techniques, the latter referring to an oral sex act as well as a method to reach "the one hour orgasm", described in The One Hour Orgasm: How to Learn the Amazing "Venus Butterfly" Technique by Bob and Leah Schwartz.

So, there you have it. Venus, the goddess of sex and love, continues to be a majestic sexual symbol still today.

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