The Randy Victorian’s Guide To Sex

Becklards Physiology

Source: Etsy

Who would have guessed that one of the most sex-positive and progressive perspectives on copulation would come from a Victorian how-to guide? Becklard’s Physiology, as it was so called, was really just the nickname given to the real title, Physiological Mysteries and Revelations in Love, Courtship and Marriage by Eugène Becklard. And oh, what mysteries abounded within those well-worn pages. While Becklard was by no means the go-to expert on the subject, his book–akin to “pop psychology” books today–would likely be found stashed away in many Victorians’ bookshelves.

Today, finding a copy of Becklard’s Physiology in the flesh (so to speak) would be an extreme historical find. Very few print copies exist outside of archives, but the tome has recently made its way onto Google Books. Now we can all enjoy the (slightly misleading but well intentioned) wisdom of Mr. Becklard. Here are some of the gems:

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period of childbearing—becklards

You should be suspicious of any woman who appears to be “with child” longer than the requisite nine months. She’s *probably* lying about the time of conception. Source: Google Books

best months for babies —becklards

Want sweet little children who are in perpetually good health? Have a spring baby! Source: Google Books

busy vagina —becklards

Childbearing, of course, requires the vagina to — erm— “get busy”. Source: Google Books

contraception—becklards

What if you don’t want children — or at least not yet? The favorite defense of the Victorian woman was the now widely ill-advised act of douching. There were, of course, somewhat rudimentary attempts made at male contraceptives (the grandpa of modern-day condoms) which were, unsurprisingly, widely available in Paris. Source: Google Books

physiology-woman

Becklard also provides some insight into the “ideal form” for a woman to be considered attractive and worthy of impregnation. An interesting juxtaposition to today’s preferential appreciation of the “thigh gap” — you’ll note Becklard is, frankly, all about that bass. Source: Google Books

to each his own—becklards

But don’t worry — even if you aren’t considered conventionally pretty, there’s gotta be someone else there who would love you. Source: Google Books

opposites attract—becklards

If you’re looking to settle down, Becklard advises that you look for someone who completes you, echoing the sentiment of several hundred years’ worth of romance novels. Source: Google Books

physiology-hand

Perhaps the most shocking passage in Becklard’s book isn’t even overtly about sexual intercourse — it’s about cohabbin’ with someone before you decide to get married. This might seem like a fairly scandalous idea at the time, but apparently it was fairly commonplace in Scotland. It even had a name: hand fasting. Source: Google Books

consummation—becklards

When settled in with a new love in matrimony, Becklard thinks it’s in a man’s best interest to make sure his wife is sufficiently pleasured. He does, however, feel that this is merely hypothesis and he would not be able to test it . . . Source: Google Books

rape—becklards

What could have been a rather feminist point about the vitalness of female pleasure is then sharply undone by his words on the subject of rape, which are unfortunately still propagated by some groups in modern times. Source: Google Books

puberty —becklards

In case you need a refresher on just when you have entered into a state of impregnability, just remember: it’s when your genitals awaken from their torpor. Source: Google Books

longing for marriage—becklards

It’s totally normal to have fantasies about your future love life, and don’t be fooled into thinking that young men aren’t fantasizing just as hard as their girlfriends...so much so that if his dreams are not realized he’ll lose his mind: Source: Google Books

hymen—becklards

Physically speaking, Becklard’s thoughts on the presence/absence of a woman’s hymen are promising: he more than suggests, rather implores, that the intactness of a woman’s hymen doesn’t necessarily correlate to her virginity. Source: Google Books

marriageandpoetry—becklards

Rather distressingly, the author informs us that to be married will strip us of our literary and poetic prowess. We write because we are not loved and when we are loved, we cannot write. Source: Google Books

french women—becklards

Source: Google Books

The Four Horsemen Make An Appearance During The Apocalyptic 1973 Oil Crisis

Oil Crisis In Amsterdam 1973

The 1973 oil crisis brought with it many apocalyptic fears in the West, perhaps no better illustrated than by these “four horsemen” striding through the streets of Amsterdam. While fashionably festooned, these riders weren’t necessarily trying to make a statement. Due to the oil shortage and soaring prices (OAPEC’s oil embargo quadrupled the price of oil barrels), they were complying with some sort of driving ban.

10 Insane Rulers You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

If you think about holding a position of power, being insane is almost a job requirement. Few of us would thrive under such circumstances, and most would be incompetent at best. But as history tells us, incompetence is not actually the worst character trait one can have.

Elagabalus

Insane Rulers Elagabalus

Source: History

Guys like Nero and Caligula usually are the first to come to mind when we think about despotic, decadent and downright crazy Roman emperors. But Elagabalus might have them beat. He took to the throne as a sexually-confused 14-year old and quickly realized that this allowed him to engage in all the perversities he could think of. He regularly enjoyed having sex with countless strangers, both men and women, which he usually did by disguising himself as a whore and going to brothels.

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Alice Clement: The Female Sherlock Holmes

Turn of the century reporters summed Alice Clement up as “furs, heels and jujitsu.” Appointed on August 5th, 1913, Clement was the only woman in the class of almost 100 new police detectives and would remain so for many years after.

Clement’s appearance was often the focus of the day’s newspapers, and it may not have been entirely because she was female. The 5’3’’ detective would routinely bust onto a Chicago crime scene in beautiful gowns and an attractive bobbed haircut en vogue in the early 1920s–all while brandishing a tommy gun. If Clement’s choice of livery didn’t announce her presence, her larger-than life personality certainly did. Clemtn’s trademark command, which has become something of a crime-drama standard these days, often announced her presence before her glittering jewels: “Back! Line up! Right against that wall!”

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