A very long time ago, I stumbled across the Song of Solomon in Sunday School. I was told that it was a poem about love and beauty. It was only much later that I realised how much erotic imagery lies in this poem. Descriptions of bodies and pleasure are older than the Bible – so it seems appropriate to include it within the history of sex.
1 How beautiful are your feet in sandals,
O noble daughter!
Your rounded thighs are like jewels,
the work of a master hand.
2 Your navel is a rounded bowl
that never lacks mixed wine.
Your belly is a heap of wheat,
encircled with lilies.
3 Your two breasts are like two fawns,
twins of a gazelle.
4 Your neck is like an ivory tower.
Your eyes are pools in Heshbon,
by the gate of Bath-rabbim.
Your nose is like a tower of Lebanon,
which looks toward Damascus.
5 Your head crowns you like Carmel,
and your flowing locks are like purple;
a king is held captive in the tresses.
6 How beautiful and pleasant you are,
O loved one, with all your delights!
7 Your stature is like a palm tree,
and your breasts are like its clusters.
8 I say I will climb the palm tree
and lay hold of its fruit.
Oh may your breasts be like clusters of the vine,
and the scent of your breath like apples,
9 and your mouth like the best wine.
It goes down smoothly for my beloved,
gliding over lips and teeth.
10 I am my beloved’s,
and his desire is for me.
11 Come, my beloved,
let us go out into the fields
and lodge in the villages;
12 let us go out early to the vineyards
and see whether the vines have budded,
whether the grape blossoms have opened
and the pomegranates are in bloom.
There I will give you my love.
13 The mandrakes give forth fragrance,
and beside our doors are all choice fruits,
new as well as old,
which I have laid up for you, O my beloved.”