The Dorchester…..

Built in 1931, perhaps one the most famous hotels in London- certainly one of the most expensive. In its early days it hosted Foyles literary luncheons attended by the likes of DH Lawrence, Charlie Chaplin and Haile Selassie. Sir John Gilbey of the gin distillers once spoke for one and …

Bad lettuce….

Now that my latest book A Splendidly Smutty Dictionary of Sex has now hit the bookshops. I am returning to another project – a look at the role of vegetables in history. It may sound dull but it is certainly not. Have a quick look at the humble lettuce…. Samuel …

Dung and Douching – Contraception through the ages…….

For tens of thousands of years, the only contraceptive method was coitus interruptus, the biblical sin of Onan, in which the man withdraws to ejaculate outside the woman’s body. Every culture sought its own foolproof method to prevent conception. In ancient China, women were advised to swallow quicksilver (mercury) heated …

Celebrity Celibates…..

Whilst researching my new book, I came across some rather odd people: Nikola Tesla (1856 – 1943) The inventor and futurist, who designed the first alternating current (AC) electrical supply system, also died a virgin. This extremely eccentric individual would work from 9.00 am to 6.00 pm every day and …

Caligula……

The appalling Roman emperor Caligula (12 – 41 AD) had a somewhat novel approach to foreplay according to the historian Suetonius in his De Vita Caesarum (121 AD). Caligula would invite attractive aristocratic couples to dine with him. Then during a pause in conversation he would sidle over to a …

La Femme Petomane……

One of the very earliest sexual psychologists was a fellow called Magnus Hirschfeld (1868 – 1935) who, until Hitler shut down his world renowned institute in Berlin, studied all manner of sexual oddities. In his book ,Sexual Pathology (1932), he describes an evening at a Parisian night club.: To prove …

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