F.D.R. (F*ck Da Rich): Valentine LUPERCALIA World Bonobo Day 2021
Length 01:33:12 Date: February 13, 2021
by Dr. Susan Block.
It’s Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day, Ballentine’s Day (okay, Capt’n Max made that one up), Chinese New Year, National Tortellini Day, Single Awareness Day (a listener tells us about this one) and World Bonobo Day (#GoBonobos!) 2021, and we celebrate them all, especially LUPERCALIA, the original pagan Valentine’s Day that marks the coming of Spring with the race of hormones, the howl of the wolf, the sensual, consensual sting of the whip and the lusty, fun-filled blessings of Pan, the horned, horny and mischievous god of the wild.
Here in Bonoboville, we have honored the Lupercal, V-Day and all the High Holidays of Love with a fabulous flogging festival, ritualistic Commedia Erotica reenactments, live music and a wild bacchanalian orgy of orgies for over 10 years. But it’s 2021, and we’re still making our masked and physically-distanced way through the treacherous Coronapocalypse, so it’s just my #1 Valentine and me (plus our able engineer, Unscene Abe), broadcasting this special, heartfelt episode of F.D.R. (F*ck Da Rich) radio, featuring one of the greatest stories hardly ever told, the tale of the lusty Lupercal.
We also say R.I.P. to Hustler publisher, Free Speech fighter and “interracial” porn pioneer, Larry Flynt, as well as Chicago 8 (and 7) antiwar activist Rennie Davis, and we roll our collective eyes over the “Gutless Offensive Pathetic” (GOP) refusal to convict, twice-impeached Capitol Riot-inciter and all around a-hole, Donald J. Trumpty Dumpty. Not that we expected him to be found guilty by a “jury” of Senators, many of whom are also guilty.
But first our F.D.R. Love Train takes a time-traveling detour through the Italian countryside just outside of Rome and, as the crickets chirp to welcome us into the primeval past, and we venture into the deep dark womb-like cave of the Lupercal, where the ancient Holiday of the Heart was born…
Listen to this very special show above or below.
Valentine’s Day is Fake News
Can’t get enough of V-Day’s amazing origin story? Read on…
Friends, Romans, Countrywomen, lend me your ears,
I cum to bury Valentine’s Day, not to praise it…
Concocted by the early Catholic Church, enhanced by Hallmark, sweetened by See’s, polished by DaBeers and abetted by Amazon, all this overpriced, saccharin V-Day fakery is based upon a sexless fairy tale starring Saint Valentine, a celibate Christian priest arrested for illegally marrying young couples in 4th century Rome when bitter Emperor Claudius wanted fighters, not lovers, to restore potency to the weakening imperial army.
While imprisoned, so the story goes, Valentine healed his jailer’s blind daughter, and they fell in love. That’s the fairy tale of a very pure, sex-free love, the kind a virgin blind girl might have for a celibate priest bound for execution. Then, before he is beheaded (on February 14th, of course), the priest leaves the girl a farewell note—which she can now see, thanks to his saintly ophthalmological skills—and it’s signed, “Your Valentine.”
What a touching story of chaste ideals befitting the High Holiday of Hopelessly Romantic Love, St. Valentine’s Day. But alas and alack (a big lack), the ideal is the enemy of the real, as Capt’n Max says, and in reality, there were several Christian martyrs named “Valentine,” and no evidence that any of them healed a jailer’s daughter or composed a farewell card.
However, the ideal is more marketable than the real—at least according to Hallmark, See’s, DeBeers and Elon Musk—even though it could give you a toothache, cost you 12 paychecks, or drive you nuts. So, V-Day is fraught with pressure (the enemy of pleasure) and mixed feelings for many (#metoo). It may be especially tough to navigate in these Coronapocalyptic, sexually suspect, politically divisive, hyper-commercialized, economically inequitable, dramatically climate-changing, totally crazy-making times.
Nevetheless, Valentine’s Day has always seemed contrived to me, like the artificially flavored candy-coating on a natural succulent strawberry. The real juicy fruit is in there somewhere, but the sickly sweet shell disguises, sanitizes and commercializes it beyond recognition.
Yet deep inside the phony, saintly Valentine shell is the original, primal, heart-felt feast for all the senses, including your sense of history (with nothing saintly or celibate about it): Lupercalia.
Lupercalian History & Mysteries
The spirit of the Lupercal is Pan, the great horned, horny Greco-Roman god of the wild. Yes, Pan has horns, but no, he’s not the QAnon Shaman. The Romans called Pan “Faunus,” like the Latin fauna (nonhuman animals), as he himself was a satyr, a half-goat/half-human hybrid. For Lupercalia, Pan is “Lupercus,” but I still call him Pan because that’s the name I learned when I was a child devouring the Greek myths, looking for more lusty, earth-positive stories than my Bible provided. I thought Pan was cool because Pan liked to play, and so did I.
The “God” of the Hebrews, Christians and Muslims is a “wrathful” god, occasionally a “loving” god, but never a playful god—except when He shows Moses His divine heart-shaped ass. That’s actually a rather Lupercalian moment, and would have been more so if Moses had said, “Nice tush, Lordy,” and swung a leather strap across the sky like he was flogging the ass of God—whee! But alas, he did not.
Later, I learned that some of Pan’s “play” involved bestiality, which I found totally gross (and the discussion of which just might get this show censored on social media, but it’s important to the story). I had no desire to have sex with my pet cats, parakeets or my neighbors’ dogs (though I did let the dogs hump my leg), but I was fascinated by Greco-Roman myths, filled with humans mating with gods who take the form of bulls, horses, swans and other non-human animals. And then there were those lonely real-life goatherds and shepherds making Valentines out of their goats and sheep. Now, most human societies rightfully deplore this sort of “animal abuse,” but let’s just say the abuse of nonhuman animals in our agricultural system is far worse and destructive to our ecosystem.
Happy World Bonobo Day
Pan is also the patron “saint” of the “Make Love Not War” bonobos whose Latin name is Pan Paniscus. Now, thanks to the Bonobo Project, Valentine’s Day is also World Bonobo Day! So, whatever your feelings about V-Day, you can honor LOVE with the world’s greatest lovers, and if any nonhuman animals embody the spirit of Lupercalian lust, it’s bonobos.
After all, bonobos swing through the trees, as well as with each other, and have never been seen killing each other, showing us that The Bonobo Way of female empowerment, male well-being, inclusivity, ecosexuality, sharing resources, loving strangers and peace through pleasure is the ultimate antidote to the fear and hatred that drives us apart.
But, you may say Jesus is King, to which I say that the Jesus of the Gospels is very bonoboësque, preaching peace and love, freedom for women and slaves, and care for the poor.
Church turned Pan into Satan
However, the early Church (more influenced by Paul and Augustine than Jesus) was not very bonoboësque. It banned the people’s worship of playful Pan, turning him into the Devil. Call it the Demonization of Pan. Sure, Pan was no Catholic priest (and many of them are much worse than Pan). He could be beastly and certainly would have upset the #MeToo movement. But the early Church turned Pan into the lowest of the low, the worst of the worst, in its ruthless efforts to fortify its power.
The rest is Satanic history.
Though here in Bonoboville, every Lupercalia (except this one) since 2011, I try to embody the God of the Wild as a sort of “Lady Bonobo Pan” (an extension of the Commedia dell’Arte characters of Arlecchino and Columbina I used to play in my post-Yale improv troupe, New England Commedia), as I tell the story of Lupercalia, with the different roles played by our “Commedia Erotica Bonoboville Players.” It’s a cross between a school play and a burlesque, topped off with a religious orgiastic experience, from our cave-like Womb Room, transformed into the womb-like Cave of the Lupercal, home of Lupercalia’s title character, the “Luper,” which is Latin for “she-wolf.”
For the past three years, our Luper has been portrayed in fine “furry” fashion by “Most Well-Rounded Kinkster” SUZY award winner, sapiosexual art professor and naturally busty sexpot, Rhiannon Aarons. The other two main characters are the twins, Romulus and Remus, sons of Mars, God of War, and Queen Rhea Silvia, daughter of King Numitor of Alba Longa, all played by an array of different talented guests who each give these archetypal souls their personal spin.
The savior of Lupercalia, the “luper” or wolf who rescues and nurtures our heroes, is a “lupa” or sex worker.
Now you’d think twins of such privilege and pedigree as Romulus and Remus would be very lucky—and they are—but not at first. Shortly after they’re born, they’re tossed into the Tiber River by their evil Great Uncle Amulius, played every year by Capt’n Max, who was born in Rome and really relishes tossing those kids (played by balled up pieces of paper) into the Tiber (played by guests waving long, streaming pieces of blue material), cursing them in Italian as they float downstream to almost certain death. This edition being just audio, Max really gets into his Roman cursing.
Then mean old Great Uncle Amulius steals the kingdom of Alba Longa from his daughter-in-law and her dad. Talk about “Stop the Steal,” though this was the real deal, a real steal—at least, according to Roman legend.
After tossing and turning in the Tiber, Romulus and Remus (now played by real people) are miraculously rescued from drowning by our heroine, the Luper. At this point, Rhiannon, wearing her eerie copper wolf mask and fur collar, pulls down her top, revealing her magnificent, large, natural tits or, since she’s a wolf… teats.
She takes our young heroes to the Lupercal cave and suckles them there with love and care. Sounds funky, I know, but I bet some of those Tuscan shepherds got their calcium straight from the teat. Moreover, the myth is not so far-fetched; some children really have been raised by wolves, and maybe a few are better off than those raised by abusive, messed up humans.
V-Day is Sex Workers Day
Most intriguingly, word “lupa” is Latin slang for “prostitute.” This explains a lot, including all that avid suckling.
But think about it: The savior of Lupercalia, the Luper/Wolf who rescues our heroes from a watery death and nurtures them into a healthy life, is a Lupa, a sex worker. Romulus and Remus—more into oral passion than passionate oratory—are nurtured by the she-wolf, the “Sacred Whore” of the original V-Day, the Great Wolf-MILF of ancient Rome.
So, in a way, Valentine’s Day is also Sex Workers Day.
Why Rome isn’t Reme
Meanwhile, Romulus and Remus grow strong on wolf milk and wilderness training, then journey to their native town of Alba Longa where they kill their mean old Great Uncle Amulius and return Alba Longa to their Granddad Numitor. Of course, we don’t reenact the killing here in Bonoboville; we just whip someone, that someone often being a Trump surrogate. Though Max does a dramatic aural death scene on F.D.R.
Then Romulus and Remus discover seven hills, where they start building a new city they plan to rule together. So… happy ending time? No, these boys are sons of Mars, not bonobos, so they fight over a wall (sound familiar?), and suddenly, in a fit of sibling rivalry, like Cain killing his brother Able in the Bible, Romulus kills his brother Remus. Yes, tragically, a recurring theme among the ancients, both pagans and monotheists, is fratricide.
Again, being bonoboësque, we don’t kill anyone in our Bonoboville reenactments. Instead, our Romulus wrestles, spanks or flogs Remus, until Remus roles over and plays dead. After slaying his twin brother, Romulus immediately admits and “regrets” it—unlike the Trumpus Rumpus, who neither admits nor regrets anything—but doesn’t lose much sleep before founding the city of both of their dreams, naming it Rome, after himself, conveniently forgetting his beloved bro.
Otherwise, Rome would be called “Reme.”
Also “romance” would be called “remance,” the Vatican would be the capital of the “Reman” Catholic Church, Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck would go on a Reman Holiday, and so on. Alas for poor Remus, but since hunter-gather times, history has been written by the “winners,” who are often the killers in “civilized” humanity’s bloody spats and regrettable wars. That is another sad truth at the heart of the Lupercal.
Running of the Lupercii
Nevertheless, Remus isn’t completely gone. His spirit lives on in a college fraternity, the Luperci Fabii, as does Romulus in the Luperci Quintilii. As time passes, these two “fraternities,” made up of young Roman “frat boys” (who I hope and fantasize were not as bad as the toxic fraternities who got Sex Week at Yale shut down) meet at the Ides of February every year within that dark, womb-like cave of the Lupercal where the She-Wolf/Sex Worker (Luper/Lupa) once suckled and loved their twin great-great-grandfathers, and where her Lupine spirit still resides.
In the primeval cave, the naked frat bros and their priestly leaders honor the great Goat God Pan by sacrificing a goat. According to legend, they also sacrifice a dog (not sure why; maybe something to do with the wolf being a fellow canine?), but that’s way too gross, so don’t worry Chico, we won’t sacrifice you.
We just “sacrifice” the goat, usually played by one of our guests, naked under a vintage fur (attention PETA: No real goats have been harmed for this sacrifice!), with a consensual flogging.
Then the high priest (who probably was high back in the day and certainly is when I play the part) marks their foreheads with the blood of the sacred beast. In Bonoboville, I use red lipstick instead of goat’s blood (too unhygienic), drawing hearts, X’s, flowers, pussies and penises on upturned foreheads. To an ignorant observer, this might look rather cult-like, but it’s just good clean inebriated fun.
After the forehead-marking, the Lupercalians would laugh, eat a little goat and drink a lot of wine, as the least drunk among them cut strips from the goatskin, making sexy, skimpy loincloths to barely cover their frat-boy fun-sticks. They also cut leather strips into little whips they called “februa,” and yes class, that’s where we get our name for the month of “February.”
Our februa are made by JuxLii of Jux Leather, and here’s where the orgiastic impact play begins as we reenact the running of the Lupercii (briefly but pointedly referenced in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar), sprinting out of their womb-like cave, laughing, drunk and howling like wolves, racing through the hills and villages on their way to Rome, wielding their goatskin februa, like virile young Cupids—with whips instead of arrows—gaily whacking the outstretched hands, backs and behinds of willing women, also drunk, looking for luck, love and maybe a baby, as well as willing men.
It was consensual—or mostly consensual. At least, you could hide in your house if you didn’t want to be touched by the februa. But most people appeared to love it—both physically and spiritually—believing that such sacred Lupercalian whacks stimulated fertility in barren women and virility in impotent men. And maybe they did.
Maybe it’s not as scientific as an IVF clinic, but Lupercalia certainly was a potent, public aphrodisiac, whipping the populace into a frenzy of sex, often creating a Roman baby boom at harvest time. Whether for procreation or recreation, all that public whipping and fornication was a lot sexier than a paper Valentine.
Church Turns Virile Cupid into a Sexless Baby
Indeed, Lupercalia was a little too sexy for the Church which, by the end of the 5th century, not only banned the whole festival, but turned Pan into the Devil, branding the horny old Lupercalian and all communal sacred sex as “Satanic.”
Since Romans were bound to celebrate the Ides of February one way or another, the Church plunked Saint Valentine’s Day down on the same date as the old Lupercalia, appropriating the red color of goat’s blood as its signature shade, with white for the milk that nurtured the ancient mythical heroes of the Lupercal.
The Church also turned Cupid (Eros to the Greeks)—generally portrayed as a sexy, virile, young man, like one of the Lupercii—into the sexless baby Cupid that only a pedophile could find erotic.
Origins of the Heart
Another Valentine’s Day symbol that’s Lupercalian in origin is (at least, I think it is) the classic Valentine “heart.”
After all, the Valentine heart logo looks nothing like the cardiac organ that beats between our ribs, not even the shape. But it does resemble a well-whipped “heart-shaped” ass… doesn’t it? Think about that next time, you click the heart emoji.
Max, Abe and I debate a bit about whether the heart represents the buns or the boobs which, some anthropologists say, take their shape from the evolution of women’s desire to have sex face-to face. Note that bonobo females are the only other apes besides humans to have rounded, full breasts and have sex face-to-face.
Memories of mammaries are strong, but I still think the heart is a nice whipped set of buns.
Bust or butt, there’s no doubt that the Church sugar-poisoned the lusty, all-inclusive Lupercal with the artificially sweetened, forced romance and insipid exclusivity of Valentine’s Day.
But every year, we are bringing it back from the annals of prehistoric Rome to the anals—and hot heart-shaped asses—of modern Bonoboville.
It’s better to have your buns beaten (consensually) on Lupercalia than your heart broken (badly) on Valentine’s Day!
Since I first heard about Lupercalia in 2008 and started celebrating orgiastically in 2011, it has become almost as popular as Saturnalia (the original pagan Xmas) around the world. “Floggers Not Flowers!” is our battle cry (and no, I don’t mean a real battle, even if tRump’s idiot lawyers would say I do), though sometimes we use flowers as floggers as well as all kinds of whips, cat o nine tails, snaketails, paddles, belts, books and spatulas.
I prefer the soft, deerskin leather floggers, especially if I want to hit or be hit hard without feeling much pain. A good flogging is very therapeutic—better than a trip to the spa.
Love You Valentine: Will You Be Mine?
For all the aforementioned reasons, I used to dread V-Day, but celebrating Lupercalia over the years has helped to take the stress out of making the High Holiday of Love impossibly “special,” and lately, I’ve been able to actually enjoy a simple, gift-free and sex-filled Ides of February. Taken with a grain of Lupercalian salt, Valentine’s Day can be quite okay.
Nevertheless, I’ll take communal lust and pleasure over commercialized love and pressure anytime.
Amen and Awomen.
Poison Valentine from the Senate
The High Holidays of Love take up almost this whole show, though we also talk about the corrupt but unsurprising “not guilty” verdict for the Mar-A-Lago Mussolini. What a lousy Valentine’s Day gift. See why I hate this damn holiday? Those craven Trumpublicans need a good Lupercalian whipping; the problem is they’d enjoy it too much.
The best part of the trial was when U.S. Congressman Ted Lieu of West LA managed to get the word “pussy” into the Congressional record (referring to Trumpty Dumpty informing Pence that he can either “go down in history as a patriot… or a pussy”), though I wish it had been in a more sex-positive reference to female sexuality, not as a pathetic insult.
Even more to the point, Congressman Teddo provided a succinct and logical motive for the world’s most infamous narcissist to incite an insurrection, albeit one that was almost sure to fail: “President Donald J. Trump ran out of nonviolent options to retain power.” For the Trumpus, mob violence was just another tactic to try to get his way.
America has long been a violent country—the European settlers committing genocide against the Natives and brutally enslaving Africans and their descendants, our police shooting-to-kill our own citizens, our military dropping bomb after bomb on millions of innocents abroad—and the list of horrors go on.
Nevertheless, this “Valentine” to America from 43 of our U.S. Senators is uniquely creepy in American history, pretty much proclaiming that it is perfectly fine (or maybe kind of naughty, but okay, we’ll give it a pass) for a U.S. Chief Executive to unleash deadly mob violence upon his enemies down the street in the Legislative Branch.
Now where will we go from here? Hopefully, we will go the Bonobo Way of love and not war, lust and not greed (Fuck da Rich!). But as of this Valentine’s Day, the way is blocked by an avalanche of rage, corruption and toxic misinformation.
Happy Lupercalia, Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day, Ballentine’s Day (the boys go out for beers when the gals get together on Galentine’s Day), National Tortellini Day, Singles Awareness Day (thanks for the tip, Soldier in Long Beach) and World Bonobo Day (save the bonobos)!
Now assume the position for a Lupercalian whipping… or for making beautiful Valentine love—any day or night or afternoon delight of the year.
February 13, 2021 Susan Block, Ph.D., a.k.a. “Dr. Suzy,” is a world renowned LA sex therapist, author of The Bonobo Way: The Evolution of Peace through Pleasure and horny housewife, occasionally seen on HBO and other channels. For speaking engagements, call 213-291-9497.
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