Biography of Anne de Lenclos Teacher of Love Part 2

About the famous teacher of love Anne de Lenclos, history and biography of the famous French woman.


But Ninon's affair with the marquis's son seemed to have the opposite effect; by comparison to his father, the young chevalier's performance in bed was sorely lacking. He had "a soul of boiled beef," she said, "a body of damp paper, with a heart like a pumpkin fricasseed in snow."

By the time she was 40, Ninon de Lenclos had the reputation of being France's leading lady of love. "A veritable Notre Dame des Amours," said Horace Walpole years later. Ninon's intelligence perceived that "the virtue of women is the finest invention of men." In emancipating herself, she often professed that the morality of men and women was identical; that to reduce a woman to the role of a sexual object purely for the pleasure of men was to exclude her wholly from the practice of integrity of which she was completely capable. Ninon treated her clients as equals and expected from them the same consideration.

She also had the instincts of the teacher, establishing a School for Gallantry. Her pupils were young aristocrats whose mothers wanted them tutored in the more subtle arts of love. As chief lecturer, Ninon covered some basic topics: the psychology of women, the particular care of a mistress or wife, techniques of courting and seduction, and the methods of terminating an affair. Not the least was an advanced course in the physiology of sex. Her school soon became the rage of Paris. But even then the lecture course left something to be desired. In such a case, Ninon embarked with her pupil on a demonstrated program of independent study. She took him to bed to train him in the arts of foreplay and intercourse. Like Socrates, she was an amazing teacher.

Women, too, soon sought her expert advice on lovemaking. Instead of admitting them on an equal basis with her male pupils--the concept of sexual coeducation seemed beyond her--she counseled them in private. One woman's asked, for example, "How large should a woman's breast be to attract a lover?" To which Ninon replied, "Large enough to fill the hand of an honest man."

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