“The clitoris is the bon bon of love.”
That’s how Dr. Francesco Plazzoni described it back in 1631. What a great way of putting it! A small delectable morsel. (And it gives a little punch to what Forest Gump said about life being a box of chocolates.) Thanks for all the e-mail asking for more posts from my book, “History Laid Bare” (Harper Perennial), authentic sex scenes through the ages. It’s tough to choose. I couldn’t decide whether to do a peeping pope or a well-hung English king or Joan of Arc’s virginity tests…
Maybe we should start with a striptease performed by Empress Theodora around 520 A.D., then segue forward to spend a day with a lewd British poet (a drunken buddy of King Charles II) and then jump to Southern belles peeing to help the South in the Civil War.
EMPRESS THEODORA AS A YOUNG GIRL: “Often in the theater before the eyes of the entire local population, Theodora did a striptease and moved around naked, wearing only cotton drawers over her crotch and ass, not that she was too embarrassed to show off these parts too to the crowds, but it was forbidden to appear naked on stage without drawers. In this scanty attire, she lay on her back on the ground and spread her legs apart. And some slaves, who had but this job to do, sprinkled grains of barley over her private parts, and geese, provided for just this purpose, pecked them up one by one with their beaks and ate them.
Not only didn’t she blush but she strutted about as though quite proud of the stunt….” (The above was from Procopius’ “Secret History”, an early porno novel masquerading as biography.) – ENGLAND.
LONG BEFORE PRINCE CHARLES STARTING TALKING ABOUT TAMPONS ON HIS CORDLESS PHONE: Revving up our sexual time machine, let’s chug on forward to Restoration England. The year is 1675. John Wilmot–a boozehound poet–is 28. He gives us a typical day in his life. No wonder he died young like Jim Morrison. “I rise at eleven. I dine at two, I get drunk before seven, and the next thing I do I send for my whore, when, for fear of the clap, I come in her hand and I spew in her lap. Then we quarrel and scold till I fall fast asleep, When the bitch growing bold to my pocket doth creep. She slyly then leaves me, and to revenge my affront At once she bereaves me of money and cunt… I storm and I roar and I fall in a rage And, missing my whore, I bugger my page. Then, crop-sick all morning , I rail at my men, And in bed I lie yawning till eleven again.”
Zooming forward to the Civil War, here’s a little known aspect of battle that’s usually overlooked in class and in PBS documentaries. I wonder why. A Southerner named John Harralson invented a process for using urine to make niter for gunpowder, and Confederate wagons used to trawl the neighborhoods collecting pee from the mostly female stay-at-homes. A Yankee soldier wrote a poem about it that appeared in an Ohio regiment newspaper. “John Harralson! John Harralson! We’ve read in song and story How women’s tears through all the years have moistened fields of glory, But never was it told before amid such scenes of slaughter, Your southern belles dried their tears and went to making water. No wonder that your boys are brave, who wouldn’t be a fighter, If every time, he fired his gun, he used his sweetheart’s niter: And vice-versa, what would make a Yankee soldier madder, Than dodging bullets fired from a pretty woman’s bladder? They say there was a subtle smell that lingered in the powder, And as the smoke grew thicker and the din of battle louder, There was found to this compound one serious objection, No soldier boy did sniff the stuff without having an erection!”
Hope you like the choices. They’re plenty more in my book “History Laid Bare”. I’m thinking of posting one more time, but how kinky should I go? Do you want sex accidents (the lost knitting needle–1631), penis enlargers (slice an eggplant in half…1880), bloody persecutions (a transvestite prostitute in Renaissance Rome). You want the famous? the Napoleons and Lincolns?
You want themes that lead to discussions like penis size through history or attitudes toward removing body hair or what to do with a sex slave? Hmm.
A parting thought: Do you know about the origin of lipstick? According to Mirabeau (a scholar and revolutionary, 1783), it dates back to bi-sexual Phoenician men who “redden their lips to better imitate the true sanctuary of love”, i.e. the vagina. Kind of changes the way you look at lipstick-covered lips, doesn’t it?