Cleopatra’s Bees for Masturbation

6557056 / Pixabay

Legendary Egyptian pharaoh Cleopatra was not just one of the first great female world rulers, a legendary scholar, and the subject of one of the most expensive films in history: She may also have invented the vibrator. Emphasis on the “may.”

It’s known that Cleopatra enjoyed a robust and active life of bedroom play that went far beyond her well-documented love triangle with Julius Ceasar and Marc Antony. Cleopatra certainly had courtesans and enjoyed the libertine morals of the day, however, she was also the victim of Roman propaganda that vulgarly over-sexualized her. As such, it’s difficult to tell which stories about the icon are true and which are the products of politically motivated misinformation.

That said, one of the most often repeated legends about Cleopatra is that she requested, depending on the telling, either a calabash gourd, a papyrus bag, or some sort of box, and in said box she wanted a swarm of angry bees. Lacking any kind of electrical power, this was the queen’s ingenious way of creating her own method of self-stimulation.

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