The English Vice – Did You Know The Victorians Were Into Kink? #BDSM #NSFW

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Original Article Written By Christina Mandara Writing For Marquis Magazine

If you’ve recently found yourself fascinated by BDSM, you’re probably pretty excited at the whole new world of kinky sex you’ve just uncovered. We’re in the twenty-first century and we’re having a sexual revolution. It’s time to celebrate! But wait – we’re not the only era in history to have had an interest in kink. The last time being spanked was fashionable was back in Victorian times, and the obsession even managed to acquire a name – The English Vice.

You’d be forgiven for thinking the Victorians were a rather prudish and sexually repressed bunch – but that simply isn’t the case. Whilst they had a low tolerance for crime and a rather impressive one for punishment, they definitely had a sensual side. Whilst their self-restraint and control was legendary, there was a lot of naughtiness that went on behind closed doors.

An Obsession

Whilst society in those days might have seemed rather reserved, the Victorians had ways of letting their hair down. They were obsessed with corporal punishment, pornography, and sadomasochism, which had a strong presence in both the art and literature of the time.

If you were caught gambling at school you could expect to receive four lashes for your crime. If you snuck a pack of playing cards under your desk, the punishment notched up to an incredible ten lashes.

Things got considerably worse as you got older. Public whipping and birching was widespread, and you would be expected to bare your behind or be completely naked to receive your strokes. Pillories and stocks were also a sign of the times, as well as the awful hangman’s noose.

The English Vice

One of the few things that wasn’t illegal in Victorian England was prostitution. They positively embraced brothels all over the country and these were seen as a legitimate evening pastime. Gay brothels, flagellation and spanking brothels, nude theatre… all these and more could be found in the streets of London if you knew the right place to look. Even pole dancing originated from the Victorian era, where teases, burlesque dancers or ding-a-lings would entertain gentlemen from dusk until dawn.

The fascination with ‘The English Vice’ brought about lots of private whipping clubs in both London and Paris, which catered to all tastes, although the aristocracy had a particular fondness for it. Customers to these abodes could either request to spank or whip a prostitute, or be bent over a chair and receive a whipping for themselves. They could also watch the proceedings between others. Tableux Vivants or ‘Living Pictures’ were also popular, in which nude actors posed together to illustrate a popular scene from history or to provide erotic entertainment for the brothel guests. The actors were forbidden to move or speak under English law, but were often theatrically lit for effect.

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