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18th Century Sensuality & Sex

WARNING: Erotic art. Might not be appropriate for children or the feint of heart! Learn more about the 18th Century World at Titillating Tidbits About the Life and Times of Marie Antoinette:

"The Allure of the Castrato" from Notches: (re)marks on the history of sexuality - Castrati, male singers who were castrated in childhood to preserve their upper register, were somewhat androgynous in nature as a result of the physical effects of the procedure. And, it turns out, some people liked that.

"The Syphilitic Whores of Georgian London" from The Chirurgeon's Apprentice - A blog post about syphilis in 18th century London

This small medicine bottle is inscribed 'FRIAR'S DROPS / BY THE KINGS PATENT GRANTED TO R. GRUBB 1777'. Robert Grubb's patent medicine Friar's Drops was promoted especially for its ability to cure venereal disease. Production Date: 1777-1800

The Esoteric Curiosa: Portrait Archeology: The Scintillating Ménage à Trios Of The 18th Century Swedish Royals!

'Dinner for Two' by Nicolas Lafrenson. Isis' Wardrobe: Soon to come- the 18th century erotic calendar

The wedding night by Pierre-Antoine Baudoüin

La Sentinelle en défaut by Pierre-Antoine Baudouin. The Sentinal by Default. A maid has been enlisted to stand look-out as a woman and her lover engage in a clandestine liaison. ~LMB

Another Baudouin painting depicting a racy scene. This one is titled, A Visit from a Lover.

A lovely engraving by Pierre-Antoine Baudoin, (1723-1769). Again, immorality is suggested in this scene. A young woman's fall into disgrace.

Baudouin, Pierre Antoine - The Honest Model - 1769. I love the way Baudouin, a pupil of Boucher, is not afraid to expose the slightly seedy underside of 18th Century Parisian life, don't you? He's the darker, less romantic version of Boucher. ~Leah Marie Brown

Pierre-Antoine Baudoüin, Le Matin (Morning). (French, Paris 1723–1769 Paris

18th century medical illustration of hermaphoditism. Paris, 1773. Colored mezzotint. National Library of Medicine Jacques Fabien Gautier D’Agoty (1717-1785)

"Courtship, Sex, and the Single Colonist" from the "Colonial Williamsburg Journal" - More often than not, our conception of gender roles and marriage in the past come from knowledge about the upper classes. But human nature is what it is, and for those who weren't as well off, courtship and marriage in the 18th century could be very informal by our 21st century conceptions of the past: elopements, shotgun weddings, and marriage out of love were common in the lower social classes.

18th century condom with ribald scene of nun and priests

Top and Tail, anonymous (ascribed to Miss Heel), British, 1777.

  • Lewis Austin

    This is one of the best i have ever seen did not know they had heels so high then!!! Have lots of these images will cherish this one!!!!

"‘Very good. We’ll play blindman’s-buff.’ After drinking, we all three [Casanova, Armellina and Emilia] blindfolded one another, and then the great game began and, standing in front of me, they let me measure them several times, falling on me and laughing each time I measured to far up." 1932 French ed of Casanova’s Histoire de ma Vie, Watercolor by Auguste Leroux

"La Jupe relevée" by François Boucher, 1760s. Is she having a wash? I don't know.

Illustration from an 18th Century French sex manual for women. Read on:

The rare book up for auction at Lyon & Turnbull called "Aristotle's Compleat Master-Piece" is actually a sex and pregnancy manual from the 17th century; it may have been banned in Britain.

"The Old Free Method of Rouzing a Brother Sportsman", 1772; LWL 772.12.00.03

The Alarm; La Gouvernante Fidèle, 1723 by Jean François de Troy depicts two lovers having a secret rendezvous set in a romantic garden. A maid has just arrived, warning them of the lady's husband, who approaches. Everything about this painting is dramatic and erotically charged, the colors lush, the scene risque. Look at the way the man is leaning in, still willing to risk being caught just so he can fulfill his desires.

François-Guillaume Ménageot (1744–1816) , Hercule au repos