SPINTRIAE
2013

 Society puts label and stigma to sexual work, thus putting a group of people at the margins of society without the support of the social system.                  It’s not a local issue only, it’s global. The sex work is marginalized, discriminated, but it has art speaking of its rights and survival. Sex work is omnipresent, but in most societies also illegal.                                                    Sex work exists all over the world. Sex work does not exist on the streets and in the brothels only, it is present at most of frequent places, like bars, clubs, massage parlors, dating agencies. Although most societies frown upon sexual work, criticize it and insult it, it subsists in some paradoxical way, with their assistance. The need of having brothels sustains its existence, and at the same time influences the expansion of the sex industry throughout the world. Political, civic and socially-economic changes play a great role in that expansion, as well as the increased population mobilization.                                A vast number of cultures, communities left behind their own writings, mark where we can see its indisputable existence through history. They present different sex poses, sex toys and evidence of the existence of brothels. It is notable in the Etruscan art, the Antique art, on various vases, reliefs, paintings, sculptures and archaeological artifacts that confirm the history of sex work. Throughout history there are also various coins that reveal the ruler, the emperor of that time. Among them are the spintriae. These bronze tokens were named after the word Spintra (pl. Spintriae) of Latin origin. Spintriae were mostly made of bronze or brass, and I use tin. The sex life of the people from the time is presented in the relief of the coin, drawing great attention to the sexual discourse. On one side of the coin there is the sexual pose and on the opposite there is a Roman numeral expressing the price of the sexual service presented. Spintriae are coins that were used in the Roman Empire in order to bridge over the language barrier. Their use began in 22-37 year under the rule of emperor Tiberius and were most used under the rule of emperor Elagabalus.                                                                                          Most common motif on the spintriae is the intercourse of a man and a woman, but there also are homosexual motifs and sex act including more than two people. These coins witness the exploration of sexuality and eroticism in the past. The introduction of trans-genders in the motifs, as well as transsexuals and transvestites opens new perspectives and makes a complete connection to the queer discourse.                                                  Globally, the dominant discourse regarding the sexual orientation is still heterosexual. Discrimination and isolation become more and more evident. Society’s sexist theory accentuates the strict rules of one’s appearance and behavior regarding her/his sex and gender.                                                Because of the narrow margins of the educational and the administrative problem in various societies, brothels have adapted as a global issue on a local level. All this contributes to comprehension of the fictitious reality and even more fictitious moral of the societies. By using the spintriae, besides showing the male and female gender, the ambivalence of gender features is also shown.                                                                                                          Besides heterosexual, homosexual intercourse is also presented as well as various sex tools that contributed to a more fulfilled sex life, that brings to re-evaluation of the acquired stereotypes and prejudice and annul the taboo on marginalisation of sexual workers.                                                                              All above said accentuates the infringement of human rights and freedom that every human being is entitled to. A generally accepted view on brothels, the sexual act and sexual fantasy through art, the queer discourse, the erotic and sexual discourse, broadens our perspectives and comprehension.          This elaboration on the existence of spintriae and sexual work in the past animates re-evaluation and liberation of one’s sexuality and sexual identity, and above all, liberation of prejudice and stereotypes.