There Once Was a Dildo in Nantucket

Why do we always assume that our ancestors didn’t have sex – in some form form or another – ?
If they practiced nearly perpetual celibacy, most of us would still be twinkles / gleams / whatevers in our would – be / might – be potential parents’ eyes.Sex wasn’t an invention of the 20th – 21st centuries.

Longreads

Nineteenth-century Nantucket brings to mind whaling ships, harsh weather, and austere morality. So when a Victorian-era dildo was found in the chimney of an old Quaker home, back in 1979, it quickly became the subject of local lore.

In an essay at Literary Hub, Ben Shattuck traces the provenance of this unlikely sex toy (called a “he’s-at-home” by Nantucketers). Along the way, he also reflects on the tricky art of reconstructing intimate histories, and the ways that the objects we leave behind define us:

Mattie died at seventy-eight, in 1928, from a stroke. She had chronic myocarditis, an inflamed heart. At some point in the thirty years since James had passed, it seems, she’d gathered what she had left of him and stuffed it up the chimney, along with her dildo. All of it was small enough to fit on a damper ledge, and later inside a pink dress box. James and…

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Author: danielrappletonyahoocom

Science - fiction, fantasy, horror & suspense ( But not really " nerd / geek " material ), armchair cultural anthropologist, interested in archaeology ( Although the closest I've been to an actual dig - site was Pinson Mounds outside Memphis ), & interested in the obscure, strange or sometimes things that would bore or put off other people.

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