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The ladies and gentlemen you see above are practicing the sexual roleplay called pony playin which one of the two participants takes on the role of the horse and the other of the jockey. Although there are no precise figures, it is believed that pony play is actively practiced by no more than 2, people worldwide, yet this fantasy is appreciated by a far greater of sympathizers. Ayzad, XXX. Il dizionario del sesso insolitoCastelvecchi. Edizione Kindle. But few people know that this erotic mis-en-scene has an illustrious forerunner: the first unwilling ponyboy in history was none other than the greatest philosopher of ancient times1, Aristotle!
Well, not really. But what is reality, dear Aristotle? At the beginning of the s, in fact, a curious legend began to circulate: the story featured Aristotle secretly falling in love with Phyllis, wife of Alexander the Macedonian who pony play stories a pupil of the great philosopher.
So she told Aristotle that she would grant pony play stories her favors if he agreed to let her ride on his back. Blinded by passion, the philosopher accepted and Phyllis arranged for Alexander the Great to witness, unseen, this comic and humiliating scene. The story, mentioned for the first time in a sermon by Jacques de Vitrybecame immediately widespread in popular iconography, so much so that it was represented in etchings, sculptures, furnishing objects, etc. To understand its fortune we must focus for a moment on its two main protagonists.
First of all, Aristotle: why is he the victim of the satire? Why targeting a philosopher, and not for instance a king or a Pope? But even the less educated understood that this story was meant to poke fun at the hypocrisy of all philosophers — always preaching about morality, quibbling about virtue, advocating detachment from pleasures and instincts.
In short, the story mocked those who love to put theirselves on a pedestal and teach about right and wrong. On the other hand, there was Phyllis.
What was her function within the story? At first glance the anecdote may seem a classic medieval exemplum deed to warn against the dangerous, treacherous nature of women. A cautionary tale showing how manipulative a woman could be, clever enough to subdue and seduce even the most excellent minds.
But perhaps things are not that simple, as we will see. Was it a domination fantasy, or did it instead symbolize a gallant disposition to serve and submit to the beloved maiden fair? For example, a very similar anecdote saw Virgil in love with a woman, sometimes called Lucretia, who one night gave him a rendez-vous and lowered a wicker basket from a window so he coulf be lifted up to her room; but she then hoisted the basket just halfway up the wall, leaving Virgil trapped and exposed to public mockery the following morning.
These women, whether lascivious or perfidious, are depicted as having a dangerous power over men, yet at the same time they exercise a strong erotic fascination.
In presenting a paradoxical situation, maybe these stories had the ultimate effect of reinforcing the hierarchical structure in a society dominated by males. And yet Susan L. Smitha major expert on the issue, is convinced that their message was not so clearcut:.
Susan L. The fact that the story of Phyllis and Aristotle lent itself to a more complex reading is also confirmed by Amelia Soth :. It was an era in which the belief that women were inherently inferior collided with the reality of female rulers, such as Queen Elizabeth, Mary Tudor, Mary, Queen of Scots, Queen Catherine of Portugal, and the archduchesses of the Netherlands, dominating the European scene. Its popularity cannot be explained simply by misogyny and distrust of female power, because in its inclusion on love-tokens and in bawdy songs there is an element of delight in the unexpected reversal, the transformation of sage into beast of burden.
Perhaps even in the Middle Ages, and at the beginning of the modern period, the dynamics between genres were not so monolithic. The story of Phyllis and Aristotle had such a huge success precisely because it was susceptible to diametrically opposed interpretations: from time to time it could be used to warn against lust or, on the contrary, pony play stories a spicy and erotic anecdote so much so that the couple was often represented in the nude.
For all these reasons, the topos never really disappeared but was subjected to many variations in the following centuries, of which historian Darin Hayton reports some tasty examples. In another great philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, brought to the stage his own version of Phyllis and Aristotle, himself taking on the role of the horse.
Ponies on the Deltaa ponly play festival, is held every year in Louisiana where a few hundred enthusiasts get together to engage in trot races, obstacle races and similar activities before a panel of experts.
There are online stores that specialize in selling hooves and horse suits, dozens of dedicated social media sand even an underground magazine called Equus Eroticus. Who knows what the austere Stagirite would have thought, had he known that his name was going to be associated with such follies. Smitha major expert on the issue, is convinced that their message was not so clearcut: the Woman on Top is best understood not as a straightforward manifestation of medieval antifeminism but as a site of contest through which conflicting ideas about gender roles could be expressed.
Smith, Women and Gender in Medieval Europe: An Encyclopedia The fact that the story of Phyllis and Aristotle lent itself to a more complex reading is also confirmed pony play stories Amelia Soth : It was an era in which the belief that women were inherently inferior collided with the reality of female rulers, such as Queen Elizabeth, Mary Tudor, Mary, Queen of Scots, Queen Catherine of Portugal, and the archduchesses of the Netherlands, dominating the European scene.
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