In Greek mythology there was a class of young, beautiful creatures known as nymphs. These were lovely women who dwelt in many different areas of the natural world, most usually among the trees, woods or forests, or among the streams, springs, rivers and mountains, and other such slightly exotic places. They were often the object of desire from different deities, semi-deities, and men. Many an Olympian God, especially Zeus, got into much trouble attempting to satisfy their amorous desires through these ethereal creatures. Hera in particular is usually quite upset over her husband Zeus’s latest sexual conquest.
The image above stirs my imagination. She is quite nymph like: beautiful, alluring, mysterious, sensual and sexual, an object of deep desire and attraction. If I were one of the old Olympian gods, such as Apollo, I would no doubt enjoy chasing her through the woods until I caught her.
Nymphs were young and free, loved sex, and represented another part of life, the life of sensual freedom outside the bonds of traditional society. In reality women in the ancient Greek and Roman world were for the most part quite cloistered and sexual freedom was restricted to either men and prostitutes, or men and (usually quite younger) men. However, in ancient literature the free reign of imagination allows for all sorts of erotic scenarios. As with our own world today, in antiquity we can see the liberation of sexual desire and fantasy through art and literature. Ovid’s great mythological poem, The Metamorphoses, is filled with stories and images about these delightful creatures and their amorous pursuers. Usually in Ovid things end up badly for these objects of male desire, but his depictions of them are always charming and allusive.
Of course our term “nymphomaniac” is derived from this word, “nymph” which in Greek means a young woman to be, or just, married. Our word “nubile” is related to the Greek word, through the Latin “nubere”, which means, “to marry”. It is interesting that nymphomania was once considered a psychological disorder and thus labeled as such. For me, a girl who enjoys sex is simply that, a girl who loves sex. As someone who loves sexual pleasure myself, I see nothing aberrant about this. I like meeting and knowing women who are as sexual as I am. I get along with them better than the more frigid types.
There is a delightful sensuality to much of ancient mythology. Pleasure and the pursuit of pleasure, at least as depicted in art and literature, is often an exciting, and at times dangerous activity. Yet despite its dangers, it is a recognized and accepted part of life. There was no real sense of guilt as we feel the emotion today in the ancient world concerning sexual pleasure; rather, shame existed, but acting on that shame was not necessarily a morally bad thing, as it often is with us. Sex was simply a natural part of life. If you suffered because of your pursuit of sex, it was usually because you overstepped some boundary of lust or desire and became too beholden to your passions. Either you might be too rigid in denying sex, or you might be too mad in pursuing it. The key was a healthy balance. Sexual pleasure in itself was not considered a bad thing. These attitudes towards eroticism are often reflected in the mythology and literature.
So here is to the celebration of the nymph, the delightful creature who enjoys sex, is free from restraint, beautiful, and filled with sensuality. At the very least let us continue to let her live in our imaginations! I plan on celebrating the different types of nymphs through this blog, through erotic art, photos and literature. She is too exotic a creature to forget. Having been with many nymphs in my own life, and having enjoyed many sensual and sexual delights with them, I hope I encounter one again sometime soon.