A sex education from Aristophanes

The publication of the new Cambridge Greek Lexicon reminded the comedian and classicist Natalie Haynes of her frustrations at school, when she found that the lexica either translated sexual vocabulary into Latin or otherwise bowdlerised it. So when she read the comic poet Aristophanes, she decided that any word she could not identify meant ‘vagina’. Fair enough, but did her school not teach her that it takes two to tango? For the sexual organs, the poet’s hysterically anarchic inventiveness draws largely on rustic images of agricultural instruments, plants, animals, birds, and food, with military images from land and sea battles added for the male organs. Many of these terms are