History of Sex and Sexuality from 1775 to 1783

About the history of sex and sexuality from 1775 to 1783 A.D. including trivia about the Marquis de Sade, artificial insemination, and Danergous Liasons.

UNCENSORED HIGHLIGHTS IN THE HISTORY OF SEX

1775 The Italian biologist Lazzaro Spallanzani first proved the procreative powers of sperm by mating a female frog with a male frog cloaked in a pair of tight-fitting contraceptive trousers fashioned from waxed cloth. When the eggs failed to fertilize, Spallanzani scraped some of the semen from the inside of the trousers and with it successfully inseminated the eggs. However, he attributed the fertilization, not to the sperm, but to some other agent in the semen.

1775 Lords Moray and Aboyne quit London's Wig Club, taking with them that which gave the club its singular name--a wig reputedly made entirely of public hair of the mistresses of King Charles II. All would-be members of the club were required to produce a lock of their own mistresses' public hair to be woven into the original wig.

1777 After a career of sodomy, rape, mutilation, and sundry other perversions, the Marquis de Sade was imprisoned, at his mother's behest, in the Bastille, there to compose most of his astoundingly obscene literary output. De Sade argued that because women could sham sexual pleasure but not pain, pain must be the higher form of sexual activity. He also said that outlawing pederasty and lesbianism was unfair because no "abnormality of taste" can justifiably be considered a crime. Seeking understanding, he said that his real crime was in loving women too much. He died at the lunatic asylum at Charenton in 1814.

1781 Jean Jacques Rousseau's Confessions was published. After admitting to a natural reluctance to reveal his personal sex life, he overcame this aversion and "frankly and sincerely" told all. Addicted to masturbation, he confessed to doing it while fantasizing over the spankings meted out by his foster mother. He also stated that his first heterosexual encounter left him feeling he had committed incest, and that thereafter he always had difficulty having intercourse with women.

1782 The first child of artificial insemination was born. A London draper and his wife consulted the English surgeon John Hunter about their childlessness. Hunter diagnosed hypospadias a condition where the urethra opens upon the undersurface of the penis, making it impossible for sperm to exit from the glans during intercourse. Hunter got the draper to masturbate, then took the semen in a warm syringe and injected it into the posterior part of the wife's vagina. The result was a bouncing success.

1782 Choderlos de Laclos scandalized France with Les Liaisons Dangereuses, his novel of seduction and adultery among the aristocracy. Attacked as a "work of revolting immorality," the novel was banned in France in 1824 and made into a film there in 1959.

1783 During one of his popular London "sanitary lectures" in his Temple of Health, Dr. James Graham, a Scot, introduced his "medico-magnetico-musico-electrical bed," designed both to "insure the removal of barrenness" and to "improve, exalt, and invigorate the body and through them, the mental faculties of the human species." The 12-by-9-ft. wonder rested on 28 glass pillars, was equipped with a mattress stuffed exclusively with hair from the tails of the finest English stallions, and was topped by a mirrored dome. Most important, 1,500 lb. of lodestones were arranged about the bed "so as to be continually pouring forth in an ever-flowing circle inconceivable and irresistibly powerful tides of the magnetic effluxion, which is wellknown to have a very strong affinity with the electric fire." Guaranteed to produce "strong, beautiful, brilliant, nay, double-distilled children," the bed was a steal at $150. Supplementing Dr. Graham's bed as a sexual stimulant was beautiful Emma Lyon--later the renowned Lady Hamilton--who performed erotic dances around it in the nude.

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