Monday, February 26, 2018

A Naughty Victorian Primer for Dark Fiction

The Dark and Gothic genres have always dealt with human depravity and included themes of taboo relations and sexual deviance. In the Victorian Gothic this was especially sensational, though in an age that appeared prudish they were anything but.

According to this post by Professor Calamity and Margaret Killjoy for, there were approximately 23 patents on fully mechanical dildos in the 19th century, some steam powered. Ouch. Strap-ons, dildos, and a sundry of other devices were available, along with all manners of kink, fetish and BDSM. Also, here is a list provided by Listverse of kinky books written by Victorians, that should give you an idea of just how not prudish they really were.

While I will not be going all Marquis de Sade here, I thought I'd share with you some bawdy terms, as well as a few other resources to assist you in your research. Though if you want to delve into the darkest of dark, reading Marquis de Sade would certainly assist you. He was not a Victorian nor is his work erotic, but both he and his writing are one hundred percent human depravity and sexual deviance.

A Short List of Bawdy Victorian Terms

Abbess - a Madame
Abbot - a Madame's favorite client
Bordello - brothel
Backgammoner - anal sex
Bagpiping - blowjob
Ballocks -  man's testicles
Bawbles -  man's testicles
Cooler - arse
Dollymop - a part-time prostitute
Dugs - breasts
French Envelope - condom
Fruitful Vine - vulva
Harlot - a whore
Knee Trembler - sexual intercourse standing up
Left-Handed Wife - a mistress
Mary-Anne - a male sex worker; homosexual
Night Flower - a prostitute
Prigging - sexual intercourse
Quail-pipe - a woman's tongue
Quim - vulva
Sheath - condom
Tart - an immoral woman
Tip the Velvet - going down on a woman
Toffer - a high-class prostitute
Tool - penis
Tom - a masculine lesbian

For more Victorian slang, I recommend checking out this post by and the Dictionary of Victorian Slang. There is also the Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue which dates back to before the Victorian Era, but still a great resource.

Recommended Blogs, Websites and Books

ListVerse: 10 Fascinating Facts about Prostitution in the Victorian Era

The Pearl: An almost complete collection of the Victorian Erotic Newspaper (1879-1881)

The Dictionary of Victorian London

The Victorian Guide to Sex: Desire and Deviance in the 19th Century by Fern Riddell

Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady's guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners by Therese Oneill

What other helpful resources have you come across in your writing research? Let me know in the comments and I'll make sure to add it to my list.

Stay Beautifully Haunted, Night Writers,

♥ Shadow.

Stay Connected! 
Join the Web! 
Author Shadow Leitner's Monthly Newsletter.

No comments:

Post a Comment