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Topic: How Often Do Warriors Bathe Their Women?

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Subject: How Often Do Warriors Bathe Their Women?
Date Posted: 12/31/2011 11:35 PM ET
Member Since: 12/26/2008
Posts: 1,958
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I just finished Maya Banks' Highlander trilogy (In Bed With a Highlander, Never Love a Highlander, Seduction of a Highland Lass) and I must say:

THESE PEOPLE SURE DO TAKE A LOT OF BATHS!  

Don't get me wrong, the books were a good way to pass the last three days or so, but I had to wonder about those warriors always bringing water to their women to bathe.  Didn't they bathe every six months or so?

Date Posted: 1/1/2012 1:09 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
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Perhaps it's to get the idea of them smelling really rank out of our heads?

Date Posted: 1/1/2012 8:46 AM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2009
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I think in those cultures, they really bathed once a year or less (I remember reading in a non-fiction book that in one era and culture, people believed that bathing made you sick, so only newborns and corpses were bathed), but as far as romances go, I think the authors like to have the warriors bathe the heroine because it's great foreplay and maybe a common fantasy or easy to write.

Date Posted: 1/1/2012 11:11 AM ET
Member Since: 7/8/2005
Posts: 219
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And, really, the work involved in getting hot (or warm) water into a tub? How long does it take to heat a pot of water? A long time! You'd never get enough hot water to fill a tub! By the time the next pot is heated, the first one is cooled already. Hence stories of Grandma telling of Saturday baths, in the kitchen in front of the stove, water re-used by the whole family.

I also think authors overuse this. But who would want to think about oral sex without it??? Ewww.

Date Posted: 1/1/2012 1:11 PM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2007
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Yeah - hygiene wasn't great back in the day.  In addition to heating the water, someone had to chop wood to feed the fire, etc.  That's a LOT of work.

If you want to be grossed out even further, think about the absence of toothbrushes and toilet paper in relation to your partner.  And undergarments.  I suspect no one really had enough to change those out terribly often.

Date Posted: 1/1/2012 1:20 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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gag no wonder they invented doggystyle! face in a pot of flowers while gettin' it on. eww I try not to think of sweat and dirt in my love scenes - even those famous jungle scenes where he's kissing and licking every inch of her body and for 30 pages they've been hiking through dense jungle and all the talk about sweat and dirt..blech! pure fantasy...

Date Posted: 1/1/2012 1:52 PM ET
Member Since: 12/26/2008
Posts: 1,958
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I am pretty good at tuning out the whole "these people probably smelled terrible and had three teeth" aspect of my historicals.  

But it was sort of like telling someone "Don't think of a white elephant."  What's the first thing that enters your mind?  A white elephant.

So every time the bathing would commence, I would think of dirty people.  Sort of a boomerang effect.  LOL

The books were fun, though.  Bathing and all!

Date Posted: 1/1/2012 3:23 PM ET
Member Since: 1/13/2010
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Y'all are really creepin me out with the talk of all the lack of toilet paper, toothbrushes, and baths. ACK!

Date Posted: 1/1/2012 3:31 PM ET
Member Since: 9/24/2007
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I'm so smell sensitive, I often think I would have been in big trouble in those days.  I try to tell myself that I wouldn't know anything else, notice, but really, I can't believe it.  Ever time I read a time travel where the heroine travels backwards I think about this:)

 

Date Posted: 1/1/2012 3:39 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2006
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During the course of the past 100 years or so, we've become much more obsessed with personal hygiene and privacy than people living in earlier times.  For insight into how past civilizations dealt with these issues, read The Dirt on Clean by Katherine Ashenburg.  It's a wonderful source.

Date Posted: 1/1/2012 4:03 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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Speaking of bathing scenes, the bathtub sex in the audio of The Spymaster's Lady... oh my!

Date Posted: 1/1/2012 4:13 PM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2007
Posts: 4,275
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Last Edited on: 1/16/12 12:13 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/1/2012 5:19 PM ET
Member Since: 12/26/2008
Posts: 1,958
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Brandy--the big warrior types were always bathing in the cold pool of water outside the keep, but that was too good for their women.

@ Willa--The Spymaster's Lady is on the obscenely large TBR pile. 

Date Posted: 1/3/2012 6:47 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,174
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Just thought I would share his from Jeri Westerson's blog Getting Medieval.  http://www.getting-medieval.com/my_weblog/2012/01/top-ten-myths-about-the-middle-ages.html

1. People didn’t bathe—in fact, bath houses were open to all. The whole city of Bath in England started out life in Celtic times, pre-Roman, and were valued as a holy place. After all, it's cold in Britain and here is hot water coming right out of the ground! Halleujah! The baths themselves were in continuous use right through to the Georgian period. Public baths and saunas were social in nature while at the same time giving you a chance to clean up a bit. In London they were also part of brothels (depicted in the picture) so you get clean clean while you were getting dirty. Heh. Washing hands before meals was always the custom, and though full immersion in a tub of heated bath water was strictly for the rich, the common folk took spit baths often, a little like camping. Good odors are associated with holiness and bad with sin. So one did what one could to keep relatively clean. And don't forget, there are folks in living memory of the Saturday night bath, that once a week affair where the family shared the bath water one after the other.  

Date Posted: 1/4/2012 5:01 PM ET
Member Since: 12/26/2008
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Thanks Jerelyn for the info!  Who says you don't learn anything from romance books?