Hark! A Handy Guide to Medieval Banging


The following chart, first published in 1990, is one consolidated visual guide (for men) to the incredibly complex and guilt-ridden rules of sex in Christian Medieval times as prescribed by penitentials. According to James Hamblin at the Atlantic:

Penitentials were handbooks carried by some priests in the Middle Ages that delineated various sins for private confession and their penances. They were full of strict limitations as to what constituted pious behavior. They went on and on. To digest it all, James A Brundage, a scholar of the Crusades, aggregated the complex rules about sex into this excellent flowchart.

Maybe the next time the renaissance fair swings into town and you really want to get into character you and your lover can follow these ridiculous rules to have a more authentic medieval sexual experience (which can only happen on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday nights, at least partially clothed, and without “fondling” one another). And as the chart suggests, try your best not to enjoy it, lest you be (just to heat things up) burned at the stake.

Image via AP

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