LIFE

The Weirdest Porn Ever

Yeah, I wasn’t expecting to type ‘Weird Medieval Church Porn’ any more than you were expecting to read it. Here’s a slice of history at its weirdest.

So where in the world did these monstrous vaginal sheela na gig things come from? The jury’s out on that still, but there are a couple of competing theories. Some scholars point the finger of blame (or congratulation) to the French and Spanish. They say that our conti-mental cousins made them in the 11th century and brought over their lascivious style when they invaded us in the 12th century.

sheela na gig - Llandrindod Wells

One bit of evidence for blaming the French and Spanish is that the regions in Ireland where these things are most common are indeed the areas of anglo-norman conquest. Whereas zones that remained “native Irish” and avoided the scourge of the Frenchies are less likely to display these rude stone images.

The other theory of their origin pushes back in history even further. Some reckon that the sheela na gig are remnants of pre-Christian symbols. It’s possible that the stone abominations were parts of buildings that belonged to ancient religions that worshiped the mother goddess.

sheela na gig - Sicily

The theory goes that the Christians then installed them in their churches to jazz them up a bit or something. The argument for this pre-Christian theory hinges on the fact that the materials and style differ slightly to the the other statues and carvings on the same churches.

Also, the sheela na gig found on the continent are slightly different and often show men alongside the women. So maybe we can’t blame (or congratulate) the French and Spanish after all.

sheela na gig - Chloran, County Meath, Ireland

In the Celtic mythology of the Irish and Scots they did worship someone called Cailleach who has been described as a kind of “divine hag of the Pagan Celts”. Depictions of her are similar, but we can’t know for sure unless Bill and Ted, Dr Who or Marty McFly lend us a hand.

☛ Read Next: Human Sacrifice: A Long And Bloody History

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