Greek and Roman mythology is alive and well!

HymenMembrane surrounding entrance of vaginaHymen – the Greek god of marriage
AphrodisiacA chemical purported to stimulate sexual desireAphrodite- The Greek goddess of love
Venereal diseaseA sexually transmitted infectious diseaseVenus – the Roman goddess of love
HermaphroditismA condition where both ovarian and testicular tissue are found in the same individualHermaphroditus* – the offspring of Hermes and Aphrodite who looked female but had male genitalia
PriapismA continuous, painful erectionPriapus – the Roman god of male potency
SatyriasisA condition of compulsive sexual desire in men.Satyr- a woodland deity part man and part goat. Most notable for chasing nymphs.


Sandstein, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In Greek mythology, Hermaphroditus was the son of Hermes, messenger of the gods, and Aphrodite, the goddess of love. He was a handsome young man. One day while swimming in a woodland pool, one of the Naiads, nymphs of wells, springs and ponds, spied him and instantly fell in love with him. She swam out to him, embraced him professing her love. He rejected her advances. Angry at being rejected, she prayed to the gods that they never be separated again. The ancient gods had a whimsical, sometimes cruel, sense of humor and bound their bodies into one, ever inseparable. Be careful what you ask for? The curse of the answered prayer?

In classic art, Hermaphroditus is portrayed as a woman with male genitalia. True hermaphrodites exist, although they are rare, but most commonly have a male-type body with ambiguous genitalia. Internally, both ovarian and testicular tissue are present either as separate organs or an ovotestis. Related sex structures are poorly developed or absent.

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