What We Can All Learn from Oscar Wilde’s Poor Choice in Men.

PRE-POST NOTE FROM KAB: This post is brought to you by my dear friend EJD, who is not only a hilarious dude, but he is a FUCKING hilarious dude. When the sexy ladies of For Shame! dreamed big with our Dude Week, I immediately thought of EJD (and not just because he’s big, if you know what I mean). We had some technical difficulties with EJD posting on his own, so I am posting for him! But you should know this post is 169% EJD fresh. EAT IT UP!!!

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Alright, For Shame! readers, KAB has asked me to step in and give writing a try, even though it is something I have never really done nor am I trained to do. My true gift is science and mathematics, so if I can somehow work that in (such as a scale of doucheyness) then I have done more to invalidate my engineering degree than ever before.

In my research I wanted something kinky, something naughty, something FILLED with buttsex (to the brim!). Tragically, when I Googled “historical dudes who banged the shit out of other historical dudes”, nothing came up except for Top Gun quotes (“you’ll be flying a cargo plane full of rubber dog shit out of Hong Kong!”). Also let’s take a moment to appreciate Tom Cruise’s cute little buttin that movie.

First image that comes up when you Google “historical dudes who banged the shit out of other historical dudes”. Not joking.

Needless to say, I want nothing more than for my article to come up on Google search when someone chooses to Google “historical dudes who banged the shit out of other historical dudes”.

At this point I began to think about you, For Shame! readers. Who are you? What kind of people are you? Oh you’re readers. You must read things. So I began to think of authors. Hemingway? Cliché. Thoreau? Thor-NO (Also: Thor-YES). “Who is a gay old dead historical author?” I Wikied.

Oscar Wilde.

I just want to preemptively mention that I:

  1. am a male
  2. am a gay male
  3. have never read/seen anything by Oscar Wilde
  4. Beyoncé (readers, please note, every letter in her name is clickable. #obsession)

Who better to write about than someone I know NOTHING about?! BRILLIANT! But I took it a step further and decided to write about someone YOU may know nothing about: his lover.

ALFRED BRUCE. Coincidence? Probably.

Lord Alfred Bruce Douglas, codename nickname Bosie, was born in the fall of 1870 to John Douglas, the 9th Marquess of Queensberry (What a girly title. More like, Marquess of QUEENSberry, RIGHT? Wait. Did Scottish peerage just make a gay joke?). He was nicknamed Bosie by his friends, who described him as “spoiled, reckless, insolent, and extravagant”. (Doucheyness Level: 5, we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt for now.) In turn, Kelis wrote this song about him.

Alfred Bruce DOUGLAS met Oscar Wilde at the young and ripe age of 21 when he bumped into him as an undergraduate at Oxford. Wilde, a fully established author who was RICH (keep this in mind) befriended Alfie Dougie, the handsome, young, muscley POOR (connection established). Wilde became infatuated with Douglas who was flamboyant and reckless; basically everything Wilde wanted to be but just couldn’t (overbearing parents. We’ve all got them. Even old dead gay poets. Parental Doucheyness Level: 10.)

The queen of overbearing stepparenting

Douglas casually introduced Wilde to homosexuality. Okay not causally, he literally DRAGGED Wilde into the Victorian underground SEX DUNGEONS of gay prostitution. (Okay I Googled “Victorian Gay Sex Dungeons” and singer-songwriter Brandy came up. I’m really losing faith in Google at this point. Google Doucheyness: Yes.) This was a win-win for Douglas because he had a new rich consistent slampiece who could buy him alllllll the gay buttsex he could ever ask for. (Doucheyness Level: 7, ya little golddigger.) Meanwhile, Wilde “meet the boy, offer him gifts, dine him privately and then take him to a hotel room.” What a respectable way to bang the shit out of a prostitute. Snaps to you, Wilde, you hopeless romantic.

Oscar on the left, Alfred on the right. LOOK HOW CUTE.

But here’s where it starts to get ugly. Bosie just wanted to spend his (well, Wilde’s) money on men and gambling and Wilde wanted to boss Bosie around but Bosie just wanted to be Wilde and young and free and refused to be bossed around by Wilde who was bossing Bosie for being Wilde CAN I GET AN AMEN? The two frequently broke up and got back together, like a normal college romance, except Wilde is WAYYY old at this point. So slutty student-eager teacher kinda porno.

For some reason, Douglas was the editor for The Spirit Lamp, the Oxford magazine, and Wilde asked Douglas to translate his play Salome into English. Douglas was fairly uneducated, a.k.a. he had shitty French. So basically Wilde was just fucking him for his looks. He was like a Segway – fun to ride, but you wouldn’t want to be caught with one by your rich and well educated peers (I’m looking at you, Raven Symone. That is so NOT raven). Anyway, Douglas went along and poorly translated “One should only look in mirrors” to “One must NEVER look in mirrors” (FRENCH CONJUGATION IS HARD, non?). When questioned, Douglas said Wilde’s play was at fault, not him (Doucheyness Level: 10). This pissed Wilde off SO much that he broke up with him, then proceeded to exchange angry messages VIA HIS PUBLISHER AND ILLUSTRATOR. Typical “Could you tell Douglas that he sucks like a Hoover?” “Well you tell Oscar that he smells like my codpiece!” (Can we bring codpieces back into fashion? Like seriously, they’re great. They scream LOOK AT MY PACKAGE LOOK AT MY PACKAGE LADIEEEESSSSSS or in Oscar’s case DUUUUDEEESSS.) This became so extreme that the illustrator went on the record saying:

“For one week the numbers of telegraph and messenger boys who came to the door was simply scandalous.”

SIMPLY SCANDALOUS! My word. I’ve picked the perfect topic.

Then once, Douglas got sick with the flu, and Wilde nursed him back to health. When Wilde got sick, Douglas didn’t show up. (Doucheyness Level: 16). He instead moved to a hotel and, on Wilde’s 40th birthday, sent him the bill. (Doucheyness Level: 100). He also gave his clothes to the prostitutes he was fucking but forgot to take the sexy letters (Victorian sexting) Wilde had written him out of his pockets! (Doucheyness Level: You are a douche.)

Meanwhile, in Scotland, Daddy Queensberry (remember him?) was getting fed up with his gay son’s doucheyness, so he embarked on a campaign to publicly persecute Oscar Wilde. He even tried (unsuccessfully) to throw rotten veggies at Wilde during the premiere of The Importance of Being Earnest. Desperate to show him how mad he was, he left a little calling card that read “For Oscar Wilde, Posing as Sodomite”.

Look at her penismanship! It’s pretty poor, actually…

STUPIDLY, Wilde decided it was a good idea to take Daddy Queensberry to trial for libel, which was stupid because Oscar Wilde was ludicrously guilty of sodomy (which at the time was criminally criminal, which makes me feel sad for gay Victorians. A moment of silence.). Queensberry submitted like a BILLION sexy letters as evidence and found a bunch of prostitutes that Wilde had put his Victorian dong into who were willing to testify. Wilde admitted defeat and dropped the trial.

Going ahead to the following morning, Wilde was arrested for sodomy. WAY TO GO, OSCAR.

I bet you Oscar would have owned this.

Douglas had written a poem 3 years before in 1892 called Two Loves which has a famous line identifying homosexuality that reads “the love that dare not speak its name.” Wilde apparently gave a counterproductive explanation of the poem on the witness stand that was apparently SO confusing that the trial resulted in a hung jury (Lolololol HUNG LIKE A PENIS).

Tragically, the prosecutor reopened the case, and Wilde was found guilty and forced into 2 years hard labor in May of 1895. Douglas was exiled.

In 1897, the two reportedly reunited in Rouen, Normandy, but only remained together for a few months. Wilde died in 1900 and Douglas decided he was done fuckin’ dudes and wanted to fuck bitches, so he married some heiress named Olive Eleanor Custance and popped out a baby in 1902. This child apparently went crazy, was diagnosed with schizo-affective disorder, and died alone in a mental hospital. Karma’s a bitch, Bosie.

Douglas then proceeded to shit all over Wilde and condemned homosexuality. He was a witness for quite a few libel trials, one of which condemned Wilde’s old publisher as being part of “a homosexual conspiracy to undermine the war effort.” Of course? He also referred to this ugly ass lady as “bound with lesbian fillets.” …What does that even mean? Then he called Wilde “the greatest force for evil that has ever appeared in Europe during the last 350 years” and called Salome “a most pernicious and abominable piece of work.” (Doucheyness Level: ÜberDouche)

Somehow in 1923, Douglas got accused of libeling Winston Churchill, of all people, and was sentenced to 6 months in prison. At this time, he softened up and wrote a book called Oscar Wilde: A Summing Up. He said “sometimes a sin is also a crime (for example, a murder or theft) but this is not the case with homosexuality, any more than with adultery”. Douglas from this point on basically just got kinda old and died in 1945.

So I guess the moral of this story is that if you’re old, rich, and gay, DON’T fuck a crazy hot sexy college boy NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU WANT TO. He will spend all of your money and publically call you a queer and get away with it.

And one last time for good measure, historical dudes who banged the shit out of other historical dudes. See you next time, Google.

EJD


Introducing MAN! I FEEL LIKE A WOMAN: Dude Week at For Shame.

You, our loyal readers, the lifeblood of this little blog, angels on earth, know quite a bit about us by now. You know, for instance, that LHB looks like a koala, JAF loves cinema and gingerhood, I, MRG, watch a lot of shitty British TV on Netflix, and KAB can turn a fucking phrase. You know so much about us, yet you do not know our names. And you never will, because we like the credibility and personal integrity we enjoy as RealHumans (or that I hope to one day enjoy as an AspiringHuman). You know us merely as three letters that may or may not but definitely could correspond with our initials. And that’s all. So here’s something that might shock you.

The “L” in LHB does not stand for Leonard.

The “K” in KAB does not stand for Kareem.

The “J” in JAF does not stand for Joffrey.

And the “M” in MRG certainly does not stand for Marcus (~YET~).

“WHAT?!” you say, incredulously. “But they’re SO GOOD at writing about history that according to my knowledge of all of history and literature and culture at large I simply CANNOT believe that they aren’t men! Surely if they were ladies, their uteri and compromised brain parts would prevent them from learning how to read or write. Surely you jest.”

This is what you get when you Google “historical men.”

We do not jest. We never jest. We’re here, we’re good at writing about historical sex, and we’re girls. It’s 2012. GET USED TO IT. (You’re probably already used to it because you’ve known all along that we’re ladies because we refer to ourselves as such, but fucking indulge me, it’s a bit).

…and this is what you get when you Google “historical women.” Also, I had to size DOWN the Rushmore photo. This is the actual size of the ladyphoto. SEPARATE BUT EQUAL.

But here’s the thing. We ladies have been thinking lately that although we’re really pretty and great at divulging history’s best scandals, our archives don’t offer a holistic view of What History Was Really Like because in History, women couldn’t do anything unrelated to childrearing, cookery, or common handicrafts. Right? Sounds right.

There was some definite gender inequality here at For Shame. And we thought it was only right that we do our best to reverse all three waves of feminism (you’re WELCOME) in our own little way by inviting select men to write for us.

THAT’S RIGHT. Fire up the grill, put on ESPN2, splash on some Aqua Velva, and brace yourself for MAN! I FEEL LIKE A WOMAN: DUDE WEEK AT FOR SHAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

We’ve each enlisted a talented and hirsute male friend to write about their favorite scandal over the next week.

FIRST, JAF’s dear friend PF will thrill you with a tale of sandals, the Satyricon, and suicide TOMORROW, proving once again that those ancients really couldn’t keep it in their tunicae (high school Latin DOING WORK).

NEXT, KAB’s pal ED (not like Ed, but the letters E and D) will follow with an account of everyone’s favorite bon mot machine and perhaps the Biggest Big Victorian Gay, Oscar Wilde. (ED also suggested the title of this theme week when I was panicking, so may Shania bless him in all her wisdom).

THEN, MRG’s beer buddy KP (who once suggested a scandal, if you recall) will weave us a tale of star-crossed lovers – he a German-Murican, she a WASP – and their crazy late nineteenth-century nympho jail sex.

FINALLY, LHB’s dear friend (and MRG’s sometime complicated boyfriend, don’t worry about it, it’s complicated) will regale you with the dulcet symphonic tones and undeniable sexual scandalosity of a one Mr. Franz Lizst.

We have entrusted this little patch of green blogspace and the hearts and minds of you, our sweet readers, to the very capable, manly, and undoubtedly calloused (from chopping wood and hammering things and stuff) hands of our manfriends. May you enjoy the authoritative and slightly deeper narrative voices of the be-testicled.

Wait…WE’RE PERSONS?!

Ashes to ashes, MENSES TO MEN, dust to dust, amen. Or A-MEN, right?!

Nailed it. VAGINAS OUT.


For Shame! Ruins Your Childhood: A Theme Week.

It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for…announcementz!!!

First, A REALLY FUCKING EXCITING DEVELOPMENT IN FORSHAMELAND (which is a real place):

WE HAVE ADDED A NEW BLOGGER! Why, you ask?

Well, sometimes when a mommy blogger (LHB) and a daddy blogger (JAF) and their weird single neighbor who comes over too often but everyone’s afraid to bring it up (me, MRG) love each other very, very much, they decide that it’s time to bring into the blogosphere a baby blogger. Also, sometimes mommy, daddy, and weird neighbor have a lot of real-world stuff going on, and they need another blogger around to help pick up some of the slack. LHB, JAF, and myself are sort of busy these days, what with fellowships and grad school and unemployment, so we decided to add to our brood. And we are pleased as punch to introduce our new addition……………..KAB!!!

But you remember her, right? She’s the one who wrote that kickass post about F. Scott and Zelda that sort of made the rest of us look bad. So when it came time to choose our new writer, well, there was really no choice to make. We’re so, so happy to have her, and you should be, too. YAY! HAPPY HAPPY YAY FOREVER!

~*~#~SuBtL3 tRaNsItI0N~#~*~

Second: THEME MOTHERFUCKING WEEK. A few questions:

Did you love your precious and fleeting youth?

Did you read a lot during said precious and fleeting youth?

Do you look back on those days you spent exploring the magical world of reading with warmth and nostalgia, because you’ve lost the ability to lose yourself in your own innocence?

Ever wonder how much sex Ann M. Martin was having when she wrote Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls?

Cool baggy chinos! Cool LA Gears! Cool floral leggings! Cool ethnic diversity! READING IS FUCKING COOL, EVERYONE!

Well, maybe we’re not specifically answering that last one because Ann is still alive (thank GAWD) and therefore misses our only requirement for our subjects. And also I would never fucking do that to her because she has a killer set of full bangs and she taught me how to be friends with other girls.

BUT WE WILL BRING YOU THE SORDID TALES OF LUST AND LOVE BEHIND SOME OF YOUR OTHER FAVORITE CHILDREN’S LITERATURE!!!!!!!!!!!1

That’s right. This week’s theme week is ALL ABOUT SKANKY CHILDREN’S AUTHORS. Get ready to feel real weird.

I’m going to kick things off by exploring the polyamourous, borderline bigamist stylings of Mr. William Moulton Marston, AKA Charles Moulton, AKA the dude who created Wonder Woman (and hey, I know that some of you might suggest that comics don’t count as literature but my nerdier friends assure me that you should suck it because they totally count).

And then we’ll all be treated to a little pedophilia/adultery courtesy of J.M. Barrie, the Peter Pan guy, care of our NEW OFFICIAL FULL-TIME AUTHORIZED 100% AUTHENTIC NEW BLOGGER KAB!!!!!!!!1

Next, LHB will bring us some Narnia-level sexiness about the life of C.S. Lewis, hopefully using a large lion as a Christ figure throughout her post, because obviously.

And JAF, god bless her, is living in a very scary and wild place where there is NO INTERNET. I know. Breathe. I know. Such purgatory exists here on Earth, my friends, and we must pray for JAF’s tender soul as she faces this trial. But if her WiFi sucks less or if she can make it to a Starbucks, she’ll try to write up a little ditty herself. WE’RE HERE FOR YOU, JAF (even though you can’t read this because of the no-internet thing). The bright side, as LHB so cleverly pointed out, is that JAF is essentially doing immersive research on History, because in History there was no internet (I know, right??!?). So brave. So young and so brave.

I was going to transcribe the Reading Rainbow theme song but instead I’ll just tell you that this theme week is 100% USDA Prime LeVar Fucking Burton Approved. Shut up, it’s good for you.

Anyway, look for the first installment of For Shame! Ruins Your Childhood TOMORROW!!!!!!!!!1


If I title this post “Hot Lesbians,” do you think we’ll get a lot of hits?

Worth a try, amiright?!

For the first installment of Ex-Pats Theme Week, we’ll be turning to everyone’s favorite 20th century lesbians, Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas who were, admittedly, not that hot.  Or scandalous, if we’re being honest.  Explicitly at least. Because even in 1920s hipper-than-austin-tx-during-a-film-festival Paris, to be a lady who was into other ladies was still pretty taboo.  But regardless of their scandalosity, Stein and Toklas were the uncontested leaders and organizers of the 1920s expat scene in Paris and no For Shame! ex-pat theme week would be complete without them.  So we’ll do the best we can here, and if I have to make up some imaginary lesbian sex dialogues, so be it.

Stein and Toklas met in Paris in 1907 on Toklas’s first day in the big city, and it was love at first sight.  This is what Alice wrote about Gerty the first time she saw her:

She was a golden brown presence, burned by the Tuscan sun and with a golden glint in her warm brown hair. She was dressed in a warm brown corduroy suit. She wore a large round coral brooch and when she talked, very little, or laughed, a good deal, I thought her voice came from this brooch. It was unlike anyone else’s voice– deep, full, velvety, like a great contralto’s, like two voices.

Toklas saw something special in Stein. I don't know that I'm seeing the same thing necessarily.

Did your heart just melt a little?  Yeah, mine too.  Bitches be sweet.  They were swapping panties from that day until 1947, when Stein died of stomach cancer.  During their life together, their home in Paris was the most important Salon for budding writers and artists during Europe’s interwar period.

Stein and Toklas' salon: See Picasso's portrait of Stein top left, and Matisse's Lady with the Hat right below it there? Pretty cool.

They collected paintings, they read manuscripts, they sat for paintings, they rejected paintings, they rejected manuscripts, they sold paintings, they stood for paintings, they sat for readings – Stein and Toklas were the artistic and literary barometers of 1920s Western Europe.  It is arguable that Thornton Wilder, Ernest Hemingway, and Pablo Picasso among others are all well known because Stein encouraged and promoted their work and deemed it good. If she had told Hemingway that he sucked and his work was no good, we probably wouldn’t know who he is now.  If she hadn’t started buying Picasso’s painting or letting him paint her, or other people, in her salon, he’d just be some Spanish douchebag with a paintbrush and sex problem.  Point is, we have these bitches to thank for, like, half the MOMA’s permanent collection, and probably a third of the Penguin Classics.  As they say, behind every good artist is a good lesbian.*

Alice B. Toklas and Gertrude Stein looking adorbs!

Stein and Toklas looking fierce as shit.

To keep this puppy short, let’s just do a good ol’ list of ways that Stein and Toklas scandalized shit up in their time as Europe’s #1 lesbian couple:

  1. Stein’s book, Q.E.D. (Things As They Are), which was published by Toklas posthumously, is considered to be the first coming out story in history.  Pretty big fucking deal if you asked me.  It was also the first book to use the word “gay” to mean “homosexual.”  And she used it over, and over again.  So people who didn’t understand that thought it was just a book about a lot of really happy women.
  2. Stein’s most famous book, from which you probably read an excerpt in high school, or on an AP exam or something, is called Tender Buttons.  WHICH I JUST FUCKING REALIZED IS A METAPHOR FOR CLITORISES!!!  How did I miss that all these years?  She was the biggest lesbian in the world and her most famous book is called Tender

    Stein and Toklas doing Lady Things!

    Buttons. DUH.  OF COURSE IT IS.  Why didn’t Mr. Snyder, my 11th grade English teacher, tell us that?!  In the text, she repeatedly uses the words “snatch” and “box,” (MRG and my favorite vaginal euphemisms, respectively.)  That sneaky, sneaky bitch.  Tender fucking buttons.  You sneaky bitch, Gertrude Stein!

  3. I just learned this while doing my “research” for this post.  Did you know that Stein and Toklas were hard-core political conservatives?  Weird, right? Considering they had vaginas, and liked vaginas so much, and were both Jews from the Bay Area.  But it’s true.  During WWII, they retired to a little cottage in the French countryside and weren’t bothered by Jew Hunters because they had a friend in politics who collaborated with the Vichy government.  Wuuttt??  And then, after the war, when their buddy was imprisoned for being a collaborator, they helped to fund his escape!  So maybe that wasn’t exactly scandalous, but kind of surprising right?  It subverted my expectations, ‘aight?

And now, as promised, an imagined lesbian historical dialogue from For Shame!’s resident thesBian (that’s me), unto you:

Gerty: Alice, TWAT did you think about Pablo’s latest work?

Alice:  I TWAT it was rather pedestrian.

Gerty: Really?  I was thinking I might SNATCH it up!

Alice: That’s curious, because I would put it in my BOX of things that suck.

 

LHB

* Joke courtesy of good friend and lover of the blog, LP.


Ex-Patriots and Scandal go together like LHB, MRG, JAF, and a box of Pinot.

Armistice Day celebrations in Chicago. See? It used to be important on our side of the pond, too.

My second-tier, private, northeastern university does not cancel class for Veterans Day.

You’re probably outraged. You might be thinking, as you thumb through your pocket constitution and turn your John Phillip Sousa Pandora station down so that you can concentrate better, “Do they hate bravery!?  And freedom!?  What, do they think democracy is, like, overrated or something?”

Or maybe it’s more likely that you’re thinking, “Yeah, neither does my almost-as-good-as-Dartmouth private, liberal arts college.  What gives?  It’s NBD!”

Well, think again, asshole, because it IS a B motherfucking D.  November 11, 1918 was the biggest D of all the D’s.  (That’s what she said.)  Eleven o’clock in the morning on November 11 of that fateful year was the moment that Europe’s Great War finally came to its long-awaited end.  It was also the moment that, many historians would argue, its second great war began.  And now that I’m done hyperbolizing the shit out of Armistice Day (as they call it in the U-Kizzle and its Common-Wizzles), I should also note that November 11, 1918 is of particular interest to us because it marks the beginning of a time period characterized by the mass movement of a lot of attractive and smart, whiny, angsty, and sexually charged young people with ironic mustaches, fountain pens, venereal diseases, and Moleskines, to a little place called Paris.  These artistic and francophilic motherfuckers got themselves into a lot of scandalous positions.  Literally.  And because of that, they are certainly the stuff of For Shame!

I bet the 20s involved a lot of nudes descending staircases, if you know what I mean.

And so in honor of Armistice Day, the historical start-date of the interwar shit-show we call the ’20s, we’d like to bring you EX-PATS THEME WEEK.  All week, leading up to 11:00 am on November 11 of 2011, (most popular wedding date ever? – there should be a TV special.  You’re welcome, TLC!), we’ll be bringing you stories of sex and scandal from some of our favorite ex-patriots.  Now, you’re probably thinking, “HOLD THE PHONE BITCHES, you’ve already done like a million of these guys.”  And to that, we would blush and reply coyly, “Please!  We haven’t DONE a million guys.”  But you’re right, we have written about this group of people quite a bit.  And you know why?  It’s because they’re interesting as shit, they had more sex than, like, anyone in history (and you can tell Genghis Kahn I said so), and the sheer quantity of them makes these lords and ladies an inexhaustible resource for us.  I mean, if this blog was only about interwar European scandal, it’d take us a really long time to run out of material.

So even though you’re not going to get out of class to honor the men and women who fight for our country/the men who fought in WWI, make sure you stop on by your local historical scandals blog this week to learn about all the sex people had after it was all over.  Because isn’t that what’s really important?  We think so.

LHB