As I’ve been wretchedly self centered for most of September and kept my blog for myself, today’s post is a bit special. Today, I am linking my post into to the delightfully and sinfully delicious Naughty No No’s blog hop. Click the image and it takes you to Sotia’s seriously scrumptious page.
So, you are asking, as you drink your coffee, what naughtiness could the 18th century offer? The main answer is sex, lots of it and in as many different ways your could wish for or wonder at. There were bordello’s, brothels, and bagino’s for the straight set, Molly houses such as the one run by Mother Clap for gay men and transvestites.
In the 18th century it was estimated that 1 in 5 women in London was a prostitute. I haven’t found a listing of male prostitues but I expect there were many too.
Courtesans worked at a different level of expectation but there were some of them too. Women like Kitty Fisher could earn huge amounts of money and mix in the highest levels of society.
Some prostitues especially those in kept houses made good money, they might earn more than a clerk made in a year in less than a week. But likewise some poor souls made pennies from fast and furious ‘entertaining’ in the shady spots of Vauxhall Gardens. Those unfortunate enough to be poxed often died young and working still, trying to earn their keep. But that’s the grim side of life in town.
The bright side offered entertaining company, lovely clothes, dancing and dining, cards and other such diversions. For young girls come to Town fresh from the country it must have seemed like the answer to their dreams.
If you read Pamela by Richardson and Shamela its counter point by Feilding, you get an idea of how girls and women in service as maids could also be available to the gentlemen of the house. For some it worked, one lass, Lavinia Fenton managed to snag herself a duke, but she started early. In our times he would be locked up and rightfully so. Others weren’t so lucky. So many of these women are nameless numbers but one or two stand out.
Such is the case of Betty Careless, a lady who rose to infamy, hmm; pehaps its better put that she rose to importance in her field. She ran very successful brothel and for some years lived a very pleasant life on the proceeds. The strange thing is that double standards reined supreme in this era. Many men were encouraged to visit prostitutes as it was ‘good’ for their health, yet when they chose to marry they wanted virgins. However you look at it, there is some thing odd about the balance in such a society. The sex industry thrived throughout the 18th century.
Here is my Excerpt for the Naughty No No’s and its from my story Timeless. One copy of which I will give away today to a commentor.
A small scream broke from her. She yanked at twined, silky rope binding her hands above her head. Smooth, red satin sheets lay beneath her, molding her body. Humiliatingly, her spread thighs were pulled so her muscles strained under the taut bindings on her ankles. The dark red ropes lashed to the thick wooden pillars at the end of the bed offered no hope of escape. Horror rose. How could he?
“Oh, God!” She twisted, wriggled and turned, but all her contortions only resulted in raising a thin sheen of perspiration on her skin. “Let me go, you bastard. Magnus, I know it’s you!”
She shut her eyes, trying to sleep within the dream to end this. Nothing but the dreadfulness of being completely defenseless filled her consciousness. As she lay, he could do whatever he liked and she’d no way to prevent him. When she yanked hard on the bindings around her wrists, nothing gave. The limited amount of movement simply made her feel more vulnerable than if she had none at all.
A clock ticked softly on the bedside table. The hands on the antique, gilded dial marked time with an incessant rhythm. How long would Magnus leave her like this? When would he arrive to torment her? Why did he keeping her waiting so long?
Despair soaked through her, left her wrung out, and still the quiet throb of her desire kept rhythm with the clock. She closed her eyes.
“Ah, my dear, you’re so very beautiful and so helpless.” His warm whisper in her ear sent a flash of shivers over her skin.
She blinked up to his amused gaze. “Magnus! Let me go!”
His pleased smile greeted her cry. “I’ve not bound you,” he said. “Delicious as it might be, this dream is entirely yours.”