Wild Sex Freaks Of History

Theodora, Empress of Byzantium, had the peculiar habit of ordering men castrated before her eyes and masturbating herself while she watched these mutilations. The infamous Nero, in addition to numerous murders and such barbarisms as kicking his wife in the belly when she became pregnant, also dressed in the skins of wild animals and attacked the genitals of men and women whom he had bound to stakes. Albert Fish, executed in New York in 1932, wrote obscene letters, ate excrement, stuck needles and pins in his own body, and ate the flesh and drank the blood of several victims he murdered. And Jack-the-Ripper, well-known for his murders, actually committed deeds which have been carefully expurgated from most accounts of his career, including amputating and eating the genitals of his victims.

Nor are these cases exceptional. Due to prudery and censorship, our school books, popular magazines and most newspapers have deliberately hidden most of the facts about deviant sexual behavior. We “know about” homosexuality and are vaguely aware that about 10,000,000 American men and perhaps 1,000,000 American women are homosexual, but, unless we travel a great deal, we don’t realize that, in the Orient, and particularly in Arabian nations, almost all the men, and many of the women, practice homosexual intercourse just about as frequently as they practice heterosexual intercourse. The other types of deviant sex we subbornly refuse to recognize, unless they are brutally shoved in our faces by some shocking incident in our own community.

For instance, Caryl Chessman was executed for a crime which the newspapers evasively called “an unnatural act.” Actually, what Chessman was accused of, bluntly, was forcing a girl to fellate him. There is nothing new or bizarre about this, however. The ancient Egyptians were notorious for their addiction to fellatio-rape, which they committed on defenseless travelers of both sexes. There was even a standard joke about it in ancient Greece. When a man returned from a trip in Egypt, his friends would ask him, “Did you get an Egyptian sore throat?”

The female vampire, as portrayed by Hollywood is a walking corpse re-animated by drinking blood. Real-life vampires, like Countess Bathory, discussed in this article, are sexual deviates who get an erotic thrill from sucking blood for sadistic reasons.

The Chinese, since antiquity, have been addicted to an even more bizarre deviation, anal intercourse with geese. With typical Oriental ingenuity, they have added a gruesome refinement to this practice: the man holds the bird by the throat, and when he is ready to reach orgasm, breaks the bird’s neck. The death convulsions of the unfortunate goose are said to be particularly delightful to those given over to this vice.

And lest the reader think of this as an exclusively Oriental deviation, the notorious Marquis de Sade assures us that the practice was well-known and frequently practiced by the French nobility of his time.

Some of the weirdest sex freaks have been women. Messalina, wife of the Roman emperor Claudius, amused herself, while Claudius was away fighting a war in Britain, by staging orgies in the palace. In one of these orgies, she initiated a contest to see which of the palace women could have intercourse with the greatest number of men in a single night. Messalina herself won, by a comfortable margin. Another of her quirks was to order men systematically masturbated until they died. When Claudius returned from the wars in England and discovered what his little woman had been doing, he was somewhat offended, especially when he learned that she had hired two professional murderer to kill him so that she could rule alone. Miffed by this, Claudius ordered her arrest and immediate execution.

Zingua, queen of Angola in southwestern Africa, had a weird blend of nymphomania and sadism in her make-up. Her sport was copulating with a different man every night and then ordering his execution on the spot. She was, to all respects and purposes, a human Black Widow Spider. But she doesn’t begin to compare with Elisabeth Bathory, a Hungarian countess whose blood-lust was almost beyond belief. A ferocious lesbian, Countess Bathory had her servants kidnap 600 young peasant girls in ten years. After enjoying each of these victims sexually, the Countess murdered them, and then drank their blood and even bathed in tubs of it—a practice which she believed would preserve her youth and beauty. So great was her political influence that, when these crimes were discovered, the Countess was not executed—although four of her confederates were—but merely was sentenced to life imprisonment.

The werewolf legend goes back to the practices of deviates like Nero, who dress in animal skins while committing lust-murders.

The Number One sex freak in all history, without doubt, was Donatien Alphonse Francois, Marquis DeSade. A man of brilliant intellect and absolutely no inhibitions, DeSade set out early in life to sample every perversion and every weird sex variation possible to a human being. After trying both men and women in every possible combination and in groups, DeSade proceed to experiment with animals, corpses, the eating of feces, flagellation of helpless victims, self-flagellation, and numerous practices which cannot be described, even in the most delicate language, in any publication in America today. His dream, he indicated once, was to have intercourse with a goat while simultaneously pressing the button that would blow up a whole city.

Actually, this fabulous nut was a bundle of paradoxes. Free of inhibitions as he was, DeSade had a peculiar morality of his own, and really lived up to it. He disapproved of capital punishment, and, when he was appointed a judge during the French Revolution, he refused to invoke the death penalty against anyone, even his own mother-in-law, whom he personally hated. He had no scruples about killing a person for lust, but refused to do so for an abstraction like “justice” or for personal revenge! DeSade also exhibited considerable courage by publishing an attack on Napoleon for betraying the ideals of the Revolution. This polemic led to DeSade’s imprisonment.

A less gruesome, but equally weird, sexual freak was the famous Cleopatra. Among other peculiarities, Cleo once performed the notable feat of orally bringing 100 Roman noblemen to orgasm in a single night. She may have been the only Egyptian to get the “Egyptian sore throat” instead of giving it.

Sigismundo Malatesta, a tyrant of medieval Rimini, was accused of the following offenses: adultery, fornication, incest, blasphemy, sacrilege, the homosexual rape of his own son, seduction of nuns, atheism, and filling the holy water fountains of a church with ink so that he might stand outside the door and laugh at the faithful as they came out inkily smeared on forehead and chest from making the Sign of the Cross. Some historians, however, doubt that Malatesta was guilty of all of these offenses and claim that his principle crime was building the so-called Temple of Saint Francis in Rimini. This building, purporting to be a Christian temple dedicated to the gentle saint of Assisi—the only type of temple it was legal to build in those days—was actually a pagan and licentious den full of statues of Aphrodite, all of them bearing the face of Sigismundo’s mistress, Ixotta Degli Atti. The walls were endlessly carven with the initials of Sigismundo and Ixotta, intertwined in ways suggestive of sexual embrace, and pagan gods of wine and lechery were painted everywhere. Saint Francis, in fact, was nowhere to be found! The Church took one look at this edifice and decided that Sigismundo was pulling their leg; all of the other charges were produced at his trial for heresy.

One of the most common perversions is delight in seeing a man hanged. More people have this perversion than any other, and it largely accounts for the popularity of Capital Punishment.

Guilliame of Acquitaine, in the 11th Century, went Sigismundo one better by building a brothel cleverly disguised to look like a nunnery. Called “der grosse Lustige der elftens jahrhunderts” (roughly: the horniest devil of the 11th Century).

Guilliame insists, in one of his poems, that he had 110 women in a single night, but nobody has yet believed him. His daughter, Eleanor of Acquitaine, after several scandalous marriages and divorces, founded the famous Courts of Love, where a very pagan philosophy was taught. Some historians trace the beginnings of the modern sexual revolution to these “courts” and the troubadour poetry inspired by them. So great was Eleanor’s beauty that she is the subject of a German folk-song which has survived eight centuries and is still sung.
It goes:

I would give the whole
From the Red Sea to the
If I could have the Queen
   of England
Tonight in my arms.

Eleanor was Queen of England during her marriage to Henry II to whom she bore a son world-famous as Richard Couer-de-Lion. While some of these sexual eccentrics are distinctly ugly and even dangerous, some of them, there is no denying, are rather attractive, and history would have been duller without their presence. Except for those of sadistic inclination, these people did less harm that the average politician; and even the sadists actually caused less bloodshed than many an idealistic statesman. Although we could do without another Messalina, it is to be hoped that the future will not cease to provide Cleopatras and Eleanors.

Wild Sex Freaks Of History
mosprobably by Robert Anton Wilson (more here) appeared in PHOTO, Volume 2, Issue 9 in December 1965.