If you were to ask the average person to list what they knew of, or thought of when they considered the ancient Romans it would be a fairly consistent list. I am sure that if you asked them about modern day Romans it would also be a consistent list, but far less complimentary!
So what do people come up with when they think of ancient Rome and Romans? Gladiators, Latin, the Colosseum, Julius Caesar, Cleopatra, Hadrians Wall (if they are British), Emperors, Romulus and Remus with the she-wolf, throwing Christians to the lions, Nero fiddling while Rome burned, Caligula and incest, aqueducts, slavery, Spartacus, the legions with their shields and ballistas, straight and well formed roads, togas, heated baths, marble statues, mosaics, wine, feasts, eating on couches. And, of course, orgies.
While the Romans may well have invented road building industry and many of the other things on the list, they certainly did not invent the more enjoyable items. Feasting and wine manufacturing had been around for thousands of years before they got to them, possibly as far back as the earliest cities in ancient Mesopotamia and the fertile Delta. And as for orgies and openly having sex in the full view of other people? Surely that must go back to our original and most ancient ancestors whol lived on the open savannah (with nowhere to hide their activities from the rest of their troop or tribe) and later in caves where, again, privacy was hardly easily available. Nor, indeed, was privacy desirable because being alone also meant being vulnerable to whatever dangers might be there – especially in the dark places that we are programmed to be scared of.
It is obvious that human beings the world over love to watch other people having sex. Why else would pornography be such a large industry and also such an ancient one? Another thing that the Romans did not invent was erotic art and statuary. Look at any of the oldest Hindu and Buddhist temples and they are literally covered in depictions of people shagging. Often in ways that defy belief – not to mention human strength and ballistic probability!
So why is swinging perceived as such a niche and naughty activity by so many folks, when it is actually what people have done in various ways throughout the ages and through every stage of our physical and social evolution? Why would the most active swinger Marbella might host more likely to be seen as a strange anomaly rather than the social norm? I would love to know where that change occurred.