As part of the ongoing Buck a Book, Win a Nook promotion by Decadent Publishing, we are pleased to welcome today fellow author Kerry Adrienne. Take it away, Adrienne!
Safe sex in Ancient Rome
When my editor told me I needed to make sure my hero and heroine had safe sex in my time-travel 1Night Stand, I kind of panicked. As a history buff, I knew that some form of condom had been in use in ancient times—but what would a modern day heroine think about an archaic condom?
Condoms appear to have a long history, though not a lot was written about them in ancient times. We know the Egyptians used linen sheaths tied on with string. In China, ancients used silk paper soaked in oil as a penis wrap (origami, anyone?). In Ancient Greece and later in Rome, condoms were made from sheep or goat bladders—or intestines. There is some evidence that fur condoms, tortoiseshell condoms, and leather condoms were used at various points in history. In the mid-1800s, vulcanized rubber came on the market (Goodyear had a good year) and “rubbers” became popular.
How did the Romans make condoms? Apparently, they just took a piece of intestine, which proved to be pretty thin, and tied a knot in the end. That was it! Condoms were potentially reused, too. Ick.
If you want to see what modern inventors have come up with, Google “dinosaur condom” (yeah, it is for humans). I’m not so sure we’ve come a long way, baby…
After all the research, I decided that I wouldn’t subject my heroine, Eleanor, to ancient condoms. After all, she’s a modern woman. So, how did I get around the dilemma? Let’s just say that Madame Eve takes care of her clients.
Am I dead? A bird called overhead and Eleanor opened her eyes. Where were the buildings? She sat up. Moss? There wasn’t any moss in the Forum. And all this vegetation. Crap! She felt around for her pack. Gone. What the hell? She searched behind her. Not there. She stood, steadying herself against a trunk. An olive grove. She must still be in Italy. The lightheadedness threatened to return and she held her head. After a moment she moved her hands from her face and, still leaning for support, twisted the ring on her finger. Trees with silvery leaves and cascading white flowers lined long rows in front of her as far as she could see. The Forum was gone.
Don’t panic. Count to ten.
“Eve said I would find you here.”
Eleanor turned to see a tall man standing about twenty feet away. His dark hair cropped short and his broad shoulders wrapped in a…toga? She blinked. “Madame Eve didn’t tell me how this works,” she said, walking toward the Roman god. Damn, he was handsome. She gulped. “Do you know?”
He shook his head. His warm skin tone set off his deep brown eyes and his chiseled features would have inspired sculptors.
“The Sibyl said Eve wanted me to find you here and take you down to the river.” He adjusted his money pouch on his hip and she trailed her gaze down to gaze at the complicated folds that she hoped concealed a bottom half as honed as his upper body.
“Hello?” She held out her hand. “I’m Eleanor. Nice to meet you.”
He looked down at her gesture then back to her face. At least they’d sent a hunk. Maybe he wasn’t very smart, but he didn’t have to be, did he?
He reached out and took her hand and she shivered from the strength and warmth of his grasp. Her heart thudded. She would have no problems going through with this night.
Kerry holds a BA in English: Writing and Editing, with a minor in Classical Studies from NC State University. She has extensive freelance editing experience, and teaches various fiction writing and English classes at a local college. She is currently a part-time Senior Editor at Decadent Publishing.
In addition to editing, Kerry writes and reads science fiction, romantic fantasy, and paranormal romance and has published several novellas and a novel. She is represented by Marisa Corvisiero of Corvisiero Literary Agency.
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