«From the investigations and researches of the learned, there appears to be no doubt but that the most ancient of all superstitions was that in which Nature was contemplated chiefly under the attribute or property of fecundity; the symbols of the reproductive power being those under which its prolific potencies were exhibited. It is not because modern fastidiousness affects to consider those symbols as indecent, and even obscene, that we should therefore suppose them to have been so regarded by the ancients: on the contrary, the view of them awakened no impure ideas in the minds of the latter, being regarded by them as the most sacred objects of worship. The ancients, indeed, did not look upon the pleasures of love with the same eye as the moderns do; the tender union of the sexes excited their veneration, because religion appeared to consecrate it, inasmuch as their mythology presented to them all Olympus as more occupied with amatory delights than with the government of the universe.
The reflecting men of those times, more simple, but, it must be confessed, more profound, than those of our own day, could not see any moral turpitude in actions regarded by them as the design of nature, and as the acme of felicity. For this reason it is that we find not only ancient writers expressing themselves freely upon subjects regarded by us as indecent, but even sculptors and painters equally unrestrained in this particular.» (John Davenport, Aphrodisiacs and Anti-Aphrodisiacs).