Rosalie Gilbert, author of The Very Secret Sex Lives of Medieval Women, has written a new blog post on medieval cooking tips you need to avoid, take a look.
If you’re looking for cooking tips from the medieval period to try at home, whatever you do, don’t listen to Burchard of Worms.
Burchard is responsible for carefully listing many of the questions that priests should ask their parishioners in the church confessional, and some of his questions are extremely personal.
Some are a little bit unnecessary.
Some are just point blank weird, like the one about the mixing menstrual blood in the food to inflame a man’s desire for you.
As a modern woman, I’m a bit perplexed. At what point did Burchard bring this up as a genuine concern with his fellow priest co-workers and insist that it be included in the list of questions to be asked in the confessional? Even more perplexing, is the notion that, at some point after it was initially tabled for discussion, it was then decided that it was a necessary and valid question and should be put on the list of questions to be asked.
I’m extremely curious as to what brought the topic up in the first place. Were there a spate of ladies confessing? Was it such a wide-spread phenomenon in confessionals that it was decided that it should be put on the list so priests wouldn’t forget to ask? Exactly who is doing this?
It also seems a little bit sexist that there’s no corresponding male question. Just that one for the women.
History is strangely silent on the whys and the wherefores on this topic, but I’d really like to know. Friends I’ve discussed this with also want to know. We want answers.
It does put a whole new meaning into “pie with special sauce.”
Just Don’t Do It.
An Inside Look at Women & Sex in Medieval Times
An inside look at sexual practices in medieval times. Were medieval women slaves to their husband’s desires, jealously secured in a chastity belt in his absence? Was sex a duty or could it be a pleasure? Did a woman have a say about her own female sexuality, body, and who did or didn’t get up close and personal with it? No. And yes. It’s complicated.
Romance, courtship, and behind closed doors. The intimate lives of medieval women were as complex as for modern women. They loved and lost, hoped and schemed, were lifted up and cast down. They were hopeful and lovelorn. Some had it forced upon them, others made aphrodisiacs and dressed for success. Some were chaste and some were lusty. Having sex was complicated. Not having sex, was even more so.