“I shall be very glad, my dear guardian, to do anything to contribute to your comfort or to show my gratitude for the kindness you have done me; but I do, I certainly do think that this thing, this part of your person, (I hardly know what to call it) is far too large to go into the slit between my thighs — which just now you called my cunt. Of course, you have a right to do as you please with me, and are perfectly welcome; but I fear you will hurt me dreadfully, even if you do not actually split my belly open, or extend my little orifice as far back as my bottom hole.”
It is a far too common misconception that our ancestors were sexually ... well, dull.
We can use computers, smartphones, smartwatches, or smartwhateverisnext to consult Wikipedia, or — even better — San Francisco Sex Information (www.sfsi.org) and immediately know everything there is to know about sex. Or, if we'd prefer to be entertained rather than informed, there are innumerable sites on practically an infinite number of kinks, fetishes, practices, styles, inclinations, and interests to explore.
And what did they have, the top-hat wearing, bustle-sporting people back in the Victorian (1837 to 1901, to be exact ... and thank you Wikipedia) age?
In bad imitations of true Victorian erotica, no matter their gender a Victorian had nothing between their legs but a poorly defined "sex," and in even worse examples they just thought of England.
Sure, the Victorian's didn't have access to the web, or silicone, or latex, or batteries, or state-of-the-art birth control but they did have one thing we still have — or try to have — passion!
Humans are humans, no matter the age — and we do so very much to dab it up (to use a touch of Victorian slang).
It's another sad myth that the Victorians were prudish when it came to matters slippery and intimate. Sure, just as it is true that human's love to dab it up there will always be the prudes who think that we all should just think of England, but that doesn't mean that everyone kept only their lips stiff and upper.
The Victorians, after all, were all about image: by day many of them were prim and proper and starched and stiff ... but once the sun had set, or the door was closed then the layers were discarded and the fun was had.
As perfect proof of this "keep it under covers" but "love it with a passion" attitude of the Victorians, you just have to look at how well they documented their own supposedly shameful erotic novels and magazines. For a time it was like there were more books being written about erotica as there were erotic books being published.
Henry Spencer Ashbee (b. 1834 — d. 1900), for example, created an immense three volume tome on "Curious and Uncommon Books," from 1877 to 1885 under the name Pisanus Fraxi.
With such stimulating titles as Index Librorum Prohibitorum: Being Notes Bio-Biblio-Icono-graphical and Critical, on Curious and Uncommon Books (a mischievous play on the Catholic Church's own naughty book list, the Index Librorum Prohibitorum) Ashbee sought to document many of the erotic books being published at the time. There are even pretty substantial rumors that Ashbee is the actual author of My Secret Life, a sprawling 11 volume erotic epic that began in 1888.
The first book in this special celebration of classic erotica is Rosa Fielding or, to give the book it's full and very Victorian title: The Victim of Lust, or Scenes in the Life of Rosa Fielding. Originally published by William Dugdale in 1867.
Like Ashbee, Dugdale was a true celebrator of sensual fiction. Born in 1800, he was hired by yet another notorious erotic publisher, William Benbow, when Dugdale was a wee lad of 18.
Before going onto Dugdale we have to talk a small amount about his mentor: William Benbow (b. 1787 — d. 1864) was a "nonconformist preacher, pamphleteer, pornographer and publisher, and a prominent figure of the Reform Movement in Manchester and London" (thank you Wikipedia). Now there was a man to give Victorian society the vapors!
Under Benbow, Dugdale took to the job with true passion ... to be obvious: by 1822 he was publishing books himself and soon, according to Ashbee, was "one of the most prolific publishers of filthy books.
Even though characters like Benbow and Dugdale were printing the books, and Ashbee was writing about them (as well as writing them), the Victorian's still had to put on a very proper face when "love it with a passion" peeked out from "under the covers." Dugdale was arrested at least five times and served terms ranging as long as two years — and it is understood that even the 1857 Obscene Publications Act was created just to go after him and his business.
Tragically, Dugdale paid the ultimate price for giving the Victorians what they wanted — even if they wouldn't come out and say so. He died in 1868 after another jail term. Dugdale also didn't keep the business to himself: his brothers, Thomas and John Lambert also were involved and served their own terms as well.
Another memorable addition to this collection is Randiana, or Excitable Tales. Originally published by William Lazenby in 1884, it’s often seen as a prime example of Victorian pornography.
If you need any kind of proof of Randiana's power after so many years to excite, just savor this random sampling:
To say that I was in the seventh heaven of delight, as my warm fingers found a firm plump cunt with a rosebud hymen as yet unbroken, is but faintly to picture my ecstasy.
To pull her a little way further down on the couch so that her rounded arse would rise in the middle and make the business a more convenient one, was the work of a second; the next I had withdrawn my prick from her grasp and placed it against the lips of her quim, at the same time easing them back with a quick movement of my thumb and forefinger. I gave one desperate lunge, which made Lucy cry out 'Oh God,' and the joyful deed was consummated.
As I have hinted before, my prick was no joke in the matter of size, and upon this occasion, so intense was the excitement that had led up to the fray, it was rather bigger than usual; but thanks to the heat the sweet virgin was in, the sperm particles of her vagina were already resolved into grease, which, mixing with the few drops of blood caused by the violent separation of the hymeneal cord, resulted in making the friction natural and painless. Not only that, once inside I found Lucy's fanny was internally framed on a very free-and-easy scale—and here permit me to digress and point out the ways of nature.
While Randiana's publisher, William Lazenby, is not as famous — or infamous — as Dugdale or Ashbe, he is still recognized as an important figure in publishing erotic books. He is particularly celebrated for being the publisher of the pornographic magazine, The Pearl, as well as The Oyster. He also put out books like The Birchen Bouquet, The Pleasures of Cruelty, and many others. Like his peers, Lazenby was no stranger to the dock as he was arrested in 1871 and 1881. In 1884 he moved to Paris with several other publishers when the British government began to seriously crack down on saucy books.
A lot has changed since the Victorian age of erotica: technologically, sure, but that's obvious. Socially, as well, is self-evident, but despite all these changes one thing becomes clear reading these clandestine but appreciated (and popular) works: the Victorians may have been laced a bit too tight — both in dress and attitude — but once those laces became undone they definitely knew how to have a good time!
Luckily, since we do live in these technologically magical times you have the opportunity to read these wonderful treasures of Victorian erotica ... and after you do, ask yourself if we can truly look back on those years with arrogant distain in matters sexual.
Here are some wonderful examples of Victorian erotic writing: Rosa Fielding, Randiana, The Erotic Adventures Of A Bachelor, The Amorous Adventures Of Angelica, The Love Tutor, and Pleasure Bound. Each and every one not just an excellent introduction to the genre and the time when they were penned but ever-lasting works of sensuality and outrageous sexuality, with a tremendous power to excite even today.
The Victorians may not have been able to read books on their computers, watches, phones, or technologically whateverisnext but the authors of these arousing tomes knew very well about pure, wild, and marvelously unhinged passion ... something we may actually rediscover once we put our tech down for the night.