5 Medieval Facts of Hair II

1.  During medieval times, hair washing was about as important (or not) as bathing.

The wealthy — because their finances allowed them to afford the collection of clean water, servants, and the time to indulge more often in such luxuries as bathing and hair washing — washed their hair more frequently than peasant classes.

medieval-hair

2.  In spite of flowing finances, many royal kings, queens, and those in the noble classes, washed their hair only a few times per year. They preferred instead to wear crowns, hats, and headdresses.

In place of washing, powder was used to soak up scalp oils & attempt to suffocate head lice.

medieval-headdresses

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Stinky ‘Stuff’: Can’t Get Enough

stinky-smell-faceRemember that “Yuck!” face you made at the last ‘Stinky Stuff‘ post?

Remember how I warned you to save that face for this post?

Well, warm up your “Yuck!” face muscles.

‘Cuz chances are you’ll pull something screwing up your face while reading this post!

When it comes to the question of what sparks eros, there is nothing as sublime as the strong, clear scent of one’s not-too-recently bathed beloved.”

Hugo Schwyzer

man-and-woman-embracingSigh!

Such poetic expression of man’s love for erogenous stench.

But is Hugo alone in his rhapsody of a woman’s stinky ‘stuff‘?

What about guys who wretch rather than worship the stink? Are these guys more ‘normal’ than Hugo?

Not according to some stink lovers.

But brace yourself. Because these stinky ‘stuff’-loving voices are not quite as romantic as Hugo.

These voices are verrrry expressive about just how stinky they like their ‘stuff.’

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Stinky ‘Stuff’: Can’t Take It

dog-sniffing-womans-crotchLet’s face it, ladies.

No matter how dainty you are, every now & then your ‘stuff’ gets stinky.

Intelligent? Good-looking? Sweet-smelling?

Fastidiously hygienic?

Guess what?

You still get stinky ‘stuff.’

 

The question is, to wash or not to wash?

While the answer may seem obvious to most, there are some who may need to check with their mate before lathering up. Who are these people? Well, let’s just say stinky ‘stuff‘ really gets their blood roiling.

Take Hugo, for example.

When it comes to the question of what sparks eros, there is nothing as sublime as the strong, clear scent of one’s not-too-recently bathed beloved.”

sweaty-couple

I like her best, however, when she’s home from the gym and unbathed. As she knows, my favorite vacations with her are the rustic ones, of the sort where I have a small chance of convincing her to go a day (or, God willing, several) without showering.”

Is your nose all scrunched up in a “Yuck!” face?

You might wanna save that face for Part 2 of this post.

‘Cuz it’s gonna get waaay stinkier.

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5 Medieval Facts of Bathing II

1.  Bath houses were adopted from Middle Eastern bathing practices, and became very popular throughout the West until the late-1200’s.

medieval-bath-house

But water was heated by wood fires & wood became more expensive as forests were diminished. Over time, it became too expensive to maintain bath houses, and they began to go out of business. Attempts at replacing wood fuel with coal failed due to deaths from the unhealthy fumes.

2.  From the 1300’s on, only the very rich were able to afford firewood to heat their bath water in winter. The rest of medieval society remained unbathed for the most part, bathing an average of 3 to 4 times per year, usually around important occasions. On these rare bathing occasions, entire families would share the same bath water.

Oftentimes, during low rains, extended family would be invited to share the immediate family’s bathwater, as well!

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5 Medieval Facts of Bathing I

1.  During medieval times, there were different views about bathing. These views changed often throughout the era, in accordance with the Church, the kings, medical beliefs, and common superstitions.

rose-petal-bath

While Middle Eastern cultures enjoyed daily baths – often twice a day – many medieval Europeans feared bathing. European doctors believed that allowing water to touch, enter, swirl around the naked flesh caused disease, sickness, and eventual death. Water was believed to seep into the system through the skin’s pores, flooding the bather with impurities.

Even the drinking of water was considered a dangerous practice to most medievals, who drank ale instead.

Bloody Bitches: She-Midas

medieval-woman-alone

Your husband will not touch you.

He will not even come near you.

He barely looks at you at all.

Who can blame him?

You are the scourge of mankind right now, the cause of deep discomfiture and confusion to men.

In your present state, you are beyond the aid of medicine – doctors cannot heal your illness. 

You are poisonous to plant life – farmers struggle to save crops that have come into contact with you. 

Your very nearness to metal turns it to rust – blacksmiths, coppersmiths, gilders & goldsmiths have reason to secretly fear and openly bar you from their shops.

In your present state, no man can tolerate the emotional turmoil you create within their superior psyche.

You, milady, are a bloody woman.

And you are bleeding from a place that men cannot fully control.

unclothed-medieval-woman-surrounded-by-men

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The Shitty Gritty

indiana_jones_holy_grail

In nearly every country I backpack through, the hunt for toilet paper is akin to Indiana’s search for the Holy Grail.

And so I bring my own from home, flattening and finagling to fit rolls of it into my pack.

 

 

I barely used them in Cuba, where I was taught by Cubanos to use pages of the Granma.

cuba-granma-newspaper

While staying in tent camps in Haiti weeks after the quake, I shared the flattened rolls with my Haitian neighbors. When we ran out, they showed me where to wash rags used for the shitty-gritty (add another to the multi-uses for Buffs!).

haitian-boy-peeing-beside-tent

Photo: Sylver Blaque / Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Local children of northern Madagascar rainforest villages followed me into the forest to see how I would use the flattened white roll.

In deeply rural villages in Afghanistan, girls stared suspiciously as I wiped instead of splashing with water.

squat-cartoon

 

Thank God there were no smartphones in the remote areas where I’ve shitty-grittied, or my squat would be YouTube-famous right now.

 

 

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“Awaken Me When It’s Done”

silhouette-of-tree-brancehs-against-moon

The pain is excruciating.

You are being torn apart from the inside out.

A searing tear rips across your gut. You fall back, screaming. You try to struggle upward, but every movement slices into you like a machete. You feel blood gushing. You manage to snatch a look down at your body…and see only red. 

Blood is everywhere.

Strong hands move up the insides of your thighs. They force your legs apart and hold them there like a vise. 

You are wide open for the taking.

Pushing through the pain, you bolt upright, screaming loudly…desperately.

“Help me!! Oh, Father in Heaven, help me pleeeease!!!”

That was the last of your breath, and now you struggle for air, gasping and gulping for your life. The forceful hands tighten on your thighs.

Your terror mounts…

“Madame, resist not! It shall fare easier for thee. Calm thyself! It shall be over forthwith.”

The voice is jagged, the breathing ragged. The hands force your legs even further apart. A sudden explosion erupts within your pelvis.

You scream until everything goes black…

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A Poo-Pee Post: What if there were no doors on public bathroom stalls?

toilet-in-a-forestSo, you walk into a public bathroom and pick your toilet.

No need to worry about peeking around the door to check if the toilet is clean.

There are no doors.

There are no toilets.

And toilet paper won’t be an issue because there isn’t any. It hasn’t been invented yet.

Neither have bathrooms.

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