Isabel Allende

Thursday, April 26, 2012

History Of Sex

A non-fictional contemporary of Edith Hornbrook would have been Lady Randolph Churchill, mother to future Prime Minister Winston, total cougar, and all around sassy broad.

Jennie Jerome was born in 1854 into wealthy and socially connected New York family.  Legend has it that her father named her after his favorite mistress, Swedish opera star Jenny Lind.  Jennie's mother took her daughters to Europe to husband-hunt, a very popular activity for nice American heiresses.  It was in England that Jennie met Lord Randolph Churchill, younger son of the Duke of Marlborough at a yachting party and apparently, it was love at first sight.  Randolph's parents were not thrilled about their son marrying an American and tried to forbid the couple from seeing each other.  Clearly, they were not successful as Jennie and Randolph did marry AND their son Winston was born less than 8 months after the wedding.

Lord Randolph was a mediocre politician who got ahead thanks to Jennie's tireless work, both social and in the bedroom.  She had an affair with the future Edward VII AND remained good friends with his wife, the future Queen Alexandra.  She also fooled around with Otto von Bismark's son and with heaps of other aristocrats.  Through her efforts, her husband was able to be Secretary of State for India and Leader of the House of Commons.  However, he also played fast and loose with his marriage vows and died of syphilis in 1895.

After her widowhood, Lady Randolph became even more bold.  Jennie worked hard to promote the career of her eldest son and cashed in many favors to get him started.  She went down to South Africa to nurse soldiers during the Boer War and in 1900, she married George Cornwallis-West, an officer who was only 16 days older than Jennie's son Winston.  They were married for 12 years before they divorced.  Jennie's next husband was Montagu Phippen-Porch, a civil servant who was 23 years younger than her.

They were happily married for three years before a freak accident caused Jennie's death.  She was walking down stairs in a new pair of high heels and tripped.  She broke her ankle, the wound became infected with gangrene and she died from complications from the amputation surgery.  A cautionary tale in the age of the Brian Atwood pump.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


red wine & jazz...

Photographer: anonymous

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Titillating Tuesday - A Cloud of Hawthorne

Walking into the main room of the hut, with the glowing fire and the aroma of baked bread, drying herbs, and fresh flowers, made Henley feel immediately warm and alive - like he was home. He removed his muddy boots and draped his damp oilskin jacket over one of the hooks in the entryway, alongside Wesley and Dorrington’s tattered ones. The familiar bone china teapot sat on the long, pine table. When he felt its round belly it was warm, so he filled four cups, added a bit of sugar and milk, and set them around the table. 
Rosetta was already at work making poultices out of dried comfrey leaves. Mixtures of yarrow, goldenseal, and crushed hawthorne berries simmered on the cookstove, while she encouraged the two exhausted and injured men to remove their dirty clothing down to their knickers so they could bathe and she could tend to their wounds. She knew all too well their wounds went much deeper than she could possibly begin to heal.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Music Monday

Let's start the week on a positive note...

Friday, April 20, 2012


A 50 word flash fiction story with 5 words taken from Thursday's The History of Sex: Part 14.
She had gotten used to the scrutiny, both public and behind her back. She didn’t care. With the bevy of young lovers at her beck and call people could say what they wished, but she knew they wished for what she had - the Wilde life.
If you'd like to participate in FF Friday, please send your 50 word story with 5 words taken from a Thursday post. Email your story to Don't be shy. Just do it.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Wesley and Dorrington may have found love but they aren't out of the woods yet.  Being in a gay relationship in ye olden times England was a tricky business.

In 1553, Henry VIII signed the first law making buggery (defined as sodomy or bestiality) a crime punishable by hanging.  Before the Buggery Act was created, it was treated as a church matter and men caught were subject to a variety of gruesome punishments.  The first man punished under the act was a member of the clergy and headmaster of Eton College.  He was charged with abusing his pupils but instead of execution, he was imprisoned for a year.  Execution could be avoided by lack of evidence but people were still charged under suspicion of buggery and could face jail time and massive fines.

These were the laws but of course reality was a bit different, especially for the upper classes.  Experiments with same-sex encounters was, and still is, considered standard behavior in the English all boys public schools such as Eton, Harrow, and Rugby.  Throughout British history, there have been bi- and homosexual men in positions of power.  King James I of England and VI of Scotland, the first king of the United Kingdom, was notorious for having a bevy of pretty young men.

The law changed in the 1860s and instead of hanging, convicted men could instead be imprisoned for no less than 10 years and potentially for life.  Thirty years after this change, Oscar Wilde became the most famous buggery case.  Against the advice of nearly everyone he knew, Wilde sued the Marquess of Queensbury for criminal libel.  Wilde and the Marquess's son, Lord Alfred Douglas, had been lovers for years and the Marquess was furious about it.  Queensbury left a calling card at Wilde's social climb addressed to "Oscar Wilde, posing sodomite."  The trial backfired horribly for Wilde and his own behavior came under scrutiny.  After the charges against Queensbury were dropped, the case against Wilde began and he was convicted for buggery.  He spent a year in prison after being released for health reasons but the damage was done.  His health was ruined, he was bankrupted from court expenses, and his reputation was ruined.  Wilde fled to France and died a few years later.

It wouldn't be until the 1950s that sodomy between two consensual men was decriminalized so Wesley and Dorrington were very smart to seek out safe havens with trusted friends!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Follow me, if you dare...

Photographer: HyeJin Song
location: London photoshoot, artist currently based in Lund

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Henley raced through brambles and thickets until he reached the barn at the far end of the property. Gaspar, his ten year old gelding, was in a stall munching on a pile of fresh alfalfa. He looked up when Henley entered and gave a soft whinny. Henley grabbed the saddle pad and threw it over Gaspar’s brushed back. He placed the heavy leather saddle on top, making sure it was set comfortably below the withers before swinging the girth under his belly and synching it down.
“There’s a good boy,” Henley said soothingly, as he mounted the fine horse. “Are you ready for some exercise? Heeya,” he yelled.” The horse took off at a gallop into the warm, early afternoon.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Music Monday

Happy Monday to everyone.  I'm in more of a sing-along than dance-along mood today...

Saturday, April 14, 2012


The following was submitted by an anonymous contributor. Love it. Must share.

The barn was big and cold but soon Ronald would be there for their tryst. Lisa shivered in anticipation of the orgasm she was sure to have. Ronald promised her a special night after all the bother with the barn location and the pseudonym debacle earlier.

You too can play. Just send your 50 word story using 5 words from the most recent Thursday post: The History of Sex, to It's crazy fun, and oh so easy. Thank you, Anonymous!

Friday, April 13, 2012


A 50 word flash fiction story with 5 words taken from Thursday's The History of Sex: Part 13.
After her orgasm, Daphne tiptoed into the bathroom, quickly washed the necessary body parts, dressed, and left him sleeping. She was outrageously hungry, so walked to the coffee shop and ordered breakfast, where she flirted with a Major in the armed forces, who thought she was a virgin. Oh well.
If you'd like to participate in FF Friday, please send your 50 word story with 5 words taken from a Thursday post. Email your story to Don't be shy. Just do it.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


There was a short period of time where pornography and the mainstream flirted outrageously with each other and we called it Porno Chic.

From the late 1960s to the early 1980s, pornography was out in the open more than ever before.  Large theaters were showing films that were using more and more graphic sex scenes and less and less plot.  It is very common to think this started with Deep Throat but actually, the first widely-distributed porn was the charmingly-named Mona: The Virgin Nymph.

Our heroine, Mona, is engaged but she has promised her mother that she would remain a virgin until her wedding night.  What's a girl to do?  lots and lots of fellatio, obviously!  Mona has a major oral fixation and uses it to keep not only her fiance happy but heaps and heaps of other men, too.

Two years later, Deep Throat would come along and blow the barn doors off.  It was the story of poor Linda Lovelace, unable to achieve orgasm.  A doctor finally tells her that her clitoris is located in the back of her throat and the good doctor coaches her oral sex skills until she finally gets her happy ending.  Major celebrities admitted to seeing the movie and the New York Times ran an advertisement (though they shortened the name to Throat).  The movie was such a part of the cultural zeitgeist that the Watergate informant was referred to by the pseudonym "Deep Throat."

Other gems from the Porno Chic era include Behind the Green Door, Debbie Does Dallas, Boys in the Sand, and Score.  After the election of Ronald Reagan and the emergence of the Christian Right, there was a cultural shift and porn was no longer considered a proper dinner party topic and Porno Chic came to an end.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


The darker side of Spring...

Photographer: Samantha Behm

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Tuesday, April 10, 2012


As if a thick cloud had settled over the Hornbrook estate, an eerie silence encased their world. Edith shut herself in her room and would not go down even for meals, allowing only Tilly to enter. Henley III spent most of his time pacing the grounds taking in the fresh spring air while glancing earnestly toward the trees east of the pond. He’d read the morning paper not absorbing it’s news, hardly eat a thing, and would take his drink of whiskey at three, then polish off a bottle of wine with his dinner - alone. Not surprising, Rosetta had retreated to her forest hut after giving strict orders that under no circumstances was anyone to follow or call on her. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Music Monday

Happy Monday!  Enjoy this gem I found whilst poking around youtube...

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Everyone has read the latest chapter, right?  Spoilers ahead!
You know who else had a problem with sister relations?  Lord Byron.

George Gordon Byron, 6th baron Byron, was one of the bright shining stars of the Romantic movement and one of the first proper celebrities.  His exploits shocked and scandalised the upper classes across Europe and he was a legend ever before his romantically tragic death.

Byron's first major scandal was an affair with the married Lady Caroline Lamb.  The affair was publicized in the penny press and the British public was quite titillated.  Lady Caroline was herself a writer and rather mentally unstable.  When their liaison ended, she did not take it well (especially after Byron later married her cousin) and did everything in her power to make his life difficult.  She publicly accused him of sodomy and incest before her family had her committed for schizophrenia.

Another major scandal in his life was the alleged affair with his half sister, Augusta Leigh.  The two had no contact as children and only became acquainted as adults.  Apparently, the two fell in love and had an affair.  Lord Byron left England for good in 1816 and it was said he left for fear of prosecution for the relationship with Augusta.  While there is no definitive proof of an affair, it seems as though it was a well-known secret in certain social circles in London.

After leaving England, Byron joined Percy and Mary Shelley in Italy.  He wasted no time there, having affairs with at least three married Italian noblewomen (one of whom ended up throwing herself into a Venice canal in despair) and he got Mary Shelley's younger half-sister pregnant.

Finally tired of home-wrecking and knocking up unmarried girls, Lord Byron joined the Greek fight for independence against the Ottoman Empire.  After valiantly fighting for 6 months, Lord Byron succumbed to dodgy 19th century medicine.  Remember, don't medically bleed someone for a head cold.

Lady Caroline Lamb summed it up best.  Lord Byron was "mad, bad, and dangerous to know."

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Steaming up the sauna...

Photographer: David Roth
location: Vancouver, BC

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Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Rosetta backed away, shaken. She had no idea her lover’s father knew anything about her or her family. It was disturbing. Even her Henley appeared surprised, but curious more than upset. He held her hand tightly to keep her from running off. 
“Don’t be alarmed, child,” said the ill man in his weak voice. “I just can’t help commenting.” He coughed, and Randolph rushed over to his side with a warm, moist towel to wipe the drip from his mouth. “I have wanted to see you, ever since you were born.” He paused for a very long time. “But I didn’t know how to find you...and then, distractions and daily life, you know how it goes...” His voice trailed off, and he closed his eyes. Speaking was clearly a lot of work.
“Father, we should leave you now. You need to rest.” Henley III had turned pale as even he began to feel uncomfortable about this awkward familiarity his father had with Rosetta, his lover. Maybe if he gets some rest, he’ll be able to explain this more thoroughly, Henley thought, but really he wanted more time to process things. 
“No!” protested the elderly Henley, keeping as firm a grip on Rosetta’s hand as possible for a man so ill. Rosetta leaned over and stroked his whiskered cheek with her other hand. 
“Master Hornbrook, don’t trouble yourself with too much right now. We will have many hours ahead to share stories, and all will come to pass, with time.”
Henley II stared into her clear eyes through a haze of incoherency, due in large part to the drugs given to him by Dr. Handover. He wondered if she was an angel come to take him away, her face like a cherub, her smile comforting and serene. His previous recognition of Rosetta was now gone, faded into the jumble of memories he was trying to make sense of in his fevered, stroked mind. Yet, he was still drawn into her gaze, into the purity of her soul, and although he wasn’t sure why, he felt an affinity toward her. Again, he closed his eyes, feeling at peace with the way things were, for the moment.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Music Monday

This song has been stuck in my head for a week now.  Why should I be alone?




Thank you, GB, King of collaboration!


click on the tab GUEST #33 at the top of the page to read the full episode.