Okay, listen. This little historical anecdote isn’t about sex. But it’s really cool. And it involves a historical figure who did have scandalous sex, and lots of it. And also, go back and read the title of this post.
And please note that this is a real thing that happened. There’s even a Wiki article about it, so BOOM, verifiable.
So once upon a time in 1901, these two English lady academics, Charlotte Moberly and Eleanor Jourdain, took a little jaunt to Versailles. They were colleagues, roomies, best frans, all that jazz, and they were living in Paris and tutoring youths. Bear in mind also that they were serious, scholarly, smart, British ladies. They didn’t stand for dumb shit.
[Ed. note: a paragraph got deleted here, so this is my lazyass version of what I wrote initially to bridge the gap]. Charlie and Ellie stroll through the fucking majestic and wonderful and architecturally-consequential-across-cultures-for-years-and-years-and-years halls of Versailles with their littler touristy headsets on, and they’re into it, or whatever. But as they exited through the gift shop, they both decided that the physical manifestation of the absolute authority of one of the most prominent and storied monarchies in history, is just, you know, sort of “Enhhh.”
So in order to salvage what was likely a charming and totally emotionally and ideologically transformative (but still “Enhhh”) first world experience, they decided to take a little stroll through the gardens to the Petit Trianon, which is a “cottage” that Louis XV had built for his #1 slampiece, the Madame de Pompadour. Later, Marie Antoinette hung out there a lot to relax, and if I am to believe Sofia Coppola, play with baby lambs and catch butterflies. Anyway, it’s a cute little place. But Charlotte and Eleanor got a little lost on the way. SO LOST THAT THEY WENT BACK IN TIME.
YES. YOU HEARD ME. BACK IN TIME. PAY ATTENTION:
As they’re walking past some little chateau (because remember, they’re lost), Charlotte sees a woman waving a white cloth out one of the windows, and Eleanor notices an old farmhouse and plough off to the side. THEN THE WORLD FUCKING TURNS BLACK. Not exactly, though. From their description it sort of sounds like what happens when dementors show up, just less cold.
They continue down this path and see some palace gardeners, “dressed in long greyish-green coats with small three-cornered hats,” who creepily (I imagine) tell them to keep on walking. CLUE #1. They come upon a cottage, where a woman is handing a young girl a jug, but everything looks and feels weird, like a “tableau vivant,” according to Eleanor, which is probably French for “acid trip.” Charlotte said “Everything suddenly looked unnatural, therefore unpleasant; even the trees seemed to become flat and lifeless, like wood worked in tapestry. There were no effects of light and shade, and no wind stirred the trees.” FUCK. Also, CLUE #2, NANCY DREW.
Then they make it to the edge of the woods, where they meet a dude with a scarred face, a cloak, and a big shady hat. Charlotte later said his “expression was evil and yet unseeing, and though I did not feel that he was looking particularly at us, I felt a repugnance to going past him.” CLUE #3, also, he points them toward the Petit Trianon.
- En route (that’s French, don’t worry about it), Eleanor notices a very pretty, very blonde, very fancy woman sketching in the garden of the PT. Oh yeah, she’s dressed like it’s the 1790s. OH YEAH, WHATEVER, SHE’S PROBABLY MARIE ANTOINETTE. Who is the aforementioned scandalous figure.
Then the world gets dementor-y again, and they head back toward the palace and toward THE PRESENT TIME, where they meet up with their tour group. They kept going back to Versailles and the PT afterwards to try to retrace their steps, but no dice. No farmhouse, no little chateau, no characters from Les Miserables.
They eventually published their story under pseudonyms and it caused all kinds of sensations, namely because HOLY FUCK THESE ACADEMIC LADIES MIGHT HAVE GONE BACK IN TIME. Some naysayers offered explanations, but “scientists” couldn’t really nail down a solid one. So, you know what this means, right? Back to the Future is possible. Bill and Ted is possible. ANYTHING is possible!
I know it’s not scandalous, per se, but it blew my mind. Also, Woody Allen, we’re on to you.
Before I get into the good shit, there are some points that need to be made:
1. Yes, we were shut down for roughly 12 hours earlier this week because WordPress thought we were spam robots. Because what robots AREN’T writing about historical sex scandals these days, RIGHT?! Anyway, even though he’ll never ever see this, we want to thank kind, sweet Anthony at WordPress headquarters for very promptly and apologetically righting this grave, grave wrong.
2. In related news, we recently were on the receiving end of the best spam comment of all time ever in the history of spam the internet junkmail thing and also Spam the canned pork product. It was that good. It was an ad for a free eBook on giving blow jobs. I just….it’s too perfect. I mean I half believe that it wasn’t spam at all and that someone, after reading a post or two, thought, “Know what, I got just the thing for these sassy little ladies – my eReader-compatible sex tips book.” The idea of a blowj instructional guide on a Kindle will never NOT make me want to pee my pants. So here’s a message for that robot/person who knows us so well: I know it’s free (and God bless you for that) but take my credit card number, take my Social Security number, take my firstborn child. I want that blowj eBook more than I want Paul Schnieder, Chris O’Dowd, and Jason Segel to be my brother husbands. And I don’t even believe in eBooks.
3. Another thing that I want is for someone to Google any one of those three celebrities plus “blow job” and/or “free blow job ebook” and subsequently find our blog. Because this is just where that person should fucking be.
4. Remember that time I wrote a post about the Effie Gray/John Ruskin/John Everett Millais love triangle? Well, Emma Thompson (Professor Trelawney, for you unsophisticated ones) (by unsophisticated I just mean that you, unlike me, haven’t deluded yourself into thinking that you’re worldly because you watch a lot of British costume dramas) must have read that gem, because I just saw today that she’s turning that scandalous story into a moviefilm. I’m sure she’ll be in touch about giving us a cut.
5. The GRE is the worst, and if you invented it I want you to bury yourself alive, after which I will stick a funnel into the earth and softly whisper words like “abstemious” and “virago” and “splenetic” that no one ever needs to fucking know nonstop until one of us dies.
Okay, now for the fun. It’s time for MRG to shamelessly continue her pattern of desperately writing posts loosely relevant to significant historical events according to the date because she’s not creative or motivated enough to search for lesser known scandals anymore and you don’t like those posts as much anyway!
According to Les Miserables, some shit went down on July 14 in France in 1789, and according to the Wishbone episode based on The Three Musketeers it all happened at the Bastille prison, and according to the shit-tastic Jason Schwartzman vehicle Marie Antionette, a lot of important Frenchies got their heads chopped off as a result. Don’t ever say we don’t cite our shit here at For Shame.
We’re talking about…….BASTILLE DAY!!!!!!!1 A day that changed France forever. At least politically. I’m pretty sure they all smelled bad and ate snails and wore berets before the storming of the Bastille just as they do today.
Anyway, ever since we started this li’l puppy we’ve had a lot of people suggest that we do a post on the Marquis de Sade. And ever since four days ago I’ve wanted to do a post on a Revolutionary Frenchie. I’m no scientist, but I think that A + B = a veritable match made in sexy, scandalous heaven. And I’m no scientist, but I think that was math and not science.
The Marquis de Sade was a nasty, deviant, freaky, scary sex maniac. To say that he was a prolific libertine is like saying Oprah is a taciturn woman of modest fortune. The term “sadism” comes from his motherfucking name, so you can only imagine. Actually, you don’t have to imagine because I’m going to tell you all about it and try not to throw up or have nightmares. He was an aristocrat writer, philosopher, and hedonist living in Revolutionary France and bangin as many ladies (and men) as he could along the way.
Starting in 1763, Parisian prostitutes started complaining about him and his bedroom demands, which apparently were pretty fucked up, and by 1768 he had been incarcerated and exiled to Lacoste (the town, not the alligator polo shirt company). Note that the first anecdote in this story is that several PROSTITUTES, women who illegally have sex with men for money, were so revolted and disgusted by him that THEY had him put away. It can only get better from here.
By 1768 Sade decided it was time to get back in the saddle, so he hired another prostitute (because he’s had so much luck with the ladies of the night already) and IMPRISONED HER IN HIS HOUSE and sexually abused her for a week until she was finally able to climb out a window or escape via a tunnel she chisled with a rock hammer and hid with a poster of an Old Hollywood film star or something. He decided the best fucking time to do this was Easter Sunday. BUT his mother-in-law (oh yeah, he was married and had kids) managed to get him a lettre de cachet from Louis XV, which was essentially a piece of paper saying “BE COOL, dudes. This guy’s with me.” Which meant that he was not under the jurisdiction of any French court. Excellent use of your power in a time of growing civil unrest, Lou.
Now this is where shit starts to get real. If you’re reading this to a child, grandparent, or boss, stop.
This handout from his mommy-in-law convinced Sade that his wife Pelagie was going to be a big help in his quest to earn the title of World’s Disgustingest Man Ever No Matter How Long the Human Race is in Existence. And help she did: after this little rape/imprisonment incident during a little spring cleaning at their Marseilles home, he said “Oh mon petit fleur, I was Swiffering the basement, and I had the greatest idea. You know how we’ve been saying we want to entertain more? Why don’t you get four prostitutes to come over and we’ll all have an orgy?! And by ‘all’ I mean me, my manservant Latour, and the ladies. You’re not invited.” And she must have emphatically said “OKAY!” because that’s exactly what happened. Actually THIS is exactly what happened:
This elaborate encounter, which took place on July 27, 1772, involved the consumption of Spanish fly, and a number of ménage a trois scenarios, wherein the Marquis would either whip a prostitute while masturbating his valet, make love with a prostitute while being sodomized by his valet, or sodomize a prostitute who was simultaneously performing fellatio on Latour. Among Sade’s more bizarre and startling requests was for his female companions to consume a great deal of his Spanish fly candies: his goal was to give them gas so that he might “take in their wind,” as it were. He also requested that he be able to whip the young women with a particularly violent-looking implement, one that was already covered with his own blood. (Don’t yell at me. I got this here.)
And it gets better/worse: Sade planned on this orgy of terror lasting SIX motherfucking WEEKS. Let’s put that in persepective. Remember when you got your ears pierced and all you wanted to do was change your earrings but you had to wait FOREVER so that your ears didn’t get infected? Yeah, also six weeks.
Anyway, the prostitutes were held against their will and I guess did what they had to do until Sade and Latour finally let them leave. But then they weren’t satisfied, so they went out and got ANOTHER hooker with a heart of gold named Marguerite Coste, who was like “You’ll pay me HOW MUCH?” and subsequently made the biggest mistake of her undoubtedly mistake-ridden life when she agreed to come over for a little par-tay. Sade wanted to do anal, but she was like “Uhh no way dude, don’t you know sodomy is illegal????” Oh, Maggie. So sweet, so naive.
Anyway, I guess she felt bad about denying him (the customer is always right), so she went ahead and ate a whole box of those Spanish fly candies. Which Sade had because the Spanish fly was supposedly an aphrodisiac (who the FUCK discovered that?), but it was also poisonous in large doses. A whole box of Spanish fly Tootsie Rolls = a large dose.
Sade was like “SHIT” and booked it outta there faster than you can say “c’est la vie!” Maggie survived just long enough to give testimony to the local magistrate, which was also compatible with the testimony of those four prostitutes. Sade and Latour were being tried for sodomy, and would receive the death penalty if (when) convicted. So naturally they got the fuck out of there and went on the lam in Sardinia. Because what’s more unnoticeable than a pair of powdered, silk-clad French sodomites on an island populated solely by swarthy Mediterranean fishermen and their tuna?
Anyway, he was eventually found and ended up spending a couple months in the Revolutionary France version of a minimum security white collar prison. Upon his release, he went right back to the same shit and recruited his crazy bitch/wife to help him with that whole six week orgy thing.
I know this is getting long, but we’re approaching the climax (which is a euphemism for orgasm lolzZ). And that zenith of Sade’s sexual deviance has come to be called “The Little Girls’ Affair.” Holy shit. Holy, holy, holy shit.
He had his lawyer go into town to hire six teenageish girls to work as maids in la maison de Sade, and then proceeded to keep them there for said six weeks, the whole of which was an elaborately orchestrated bacchanalian non-consensual sex fest, featuring fellatio, sodomy (of the man and of the lady persuasion), sodomy chains (!!??!?!!!?), masturbation, and lots of whipping and hitting and stuff. This probably would have gone on for a while had the parents of said girls not looked into it. You may be thinking that it was shitty of these parents not to check this out sooner, but shut up. Remember that in this time, domestic service was a 24/7 job and you almost never got to see your family; you only wrote to them, and only when you had money for paper and postage. So the girls got out alive, but as per usual de Sade gave his typical “Uh well I was drunk or something? I don’t know, I’m rich and the King likes me,” testimony and basically got a slap on the wrist. Which probably gave him a boner, because he was into that shit.
This post has gotten really long and depressing and it’s sort of impossible to make jokes about behaviors this terrible and true. But hey, America’s about to come to the rescue like she always does! So that’s good, right?
By “come to the rescue” I really just mean that it was 1776 and we were all holed up in Independence Hall exploring Enlightenment ideas about justice and freedom and whatnot, and even though he was on the run Sade probably saw what we were doing and thought “OUI, IT IS TIME FOR ME TO MAKE AMENDS!” And so he decided to head to gay Paris (which is the center of government and therefore last fucking place a fugitive should go) to apologize to his mother-in-law, who understandably hated him.
He arrived at his li’l Parisian pied a terre, opened the door, and was greeted by an investigator holding a warrant signed by Louis XVI. BOOM, arrested!
And he eventually ended up at the Bastille! Where he remained until July 2, 1789, until someone took a second look at his file and said “OH, this motherfucker is crazy!” and he was transferred to an insane asylum. The storming of the Bastille happened twelve days later.
Anyway, after he got out in 1790 he continued publishing and having lots of sex, although less weird and more legal. But he had to go out like a champ – four years before his death in 1814 at age 64, he’d begun a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old girl. There’s our guy!
Listen. This might have been one of the longest posts to date. But I think that the length of the post should match the size of the libido, don’t you?
And instead of ending pithily, I’m just going to show you some drawings printed in his “philosophy” books. And then I’m going to clear my browsing history. Enjoy, buttons!