According to a ‘Physician of Bath’, the sexual tastes of eighteenth-century Englishmen were becoming increasingly irregular. After pointing an obligatory finger at all foreigners – and absolving women by asserting that, left to their own inclinations, all they could ever think to do with a man’s mouth would be to kiss it, or rub it with a greasy dish-cloth (?!) – the author proceeds to list the most common peculiar sexual predilections.
While some – ‘The Flogging Cull’ and ‘The Back Door March’ – seem clear enough, my mind is well and truly boggled by some of the others.*
Any ideas, gentle readers? Answers on a postcard, please. Or the comments section at the bottom. Don’t be shy.
The ladies in general, it is said, are averse even to the innocent varieties of love; and never, with their free consent, will act in a direction contrary to the good old established custom. Men, on the other hand, indulge themselves in all the varieties suggested to their imagination, by a depraved and craving appetite.
To excite and exercise the wits, to inform the reverend clergy, to entertain the curious; and, that posterity may not be ignorant, how the irregulars of Venus, at this time of day, contrive to spend their amorous moments, we here subjoin a syllabus of the names of the chief culls, or the letches, said to be most prevalent. If in some cases, an explanation may be thought necessary, and if doubts should arise in the mind of any curious enquirer after truth; we must beg leave to refer such critics to the lady abbesses of Saint Mary-le-bonne, King’s Place, or Covent Garden, where they will not fail to receive the most ample satisfaction.
The Hair Cull – The Oral Cull – The Singing-Bird Cull – Scotch Music – Hand-Insurance, or Turnwrist Plowing – The Hanging Cull – The Pitcher Cull – The Running Cull – The Crying Cull – The Cooking Cull – The Glove, Stocking, and Shoe Cull – The Chicken-bone Cull – The Bawdy Cull – The Frightening Cull – The Flogging Cull – The Ring Cull – The Second-hand Cull, or Hot Rowl and Butter – The Looker-on – The Blown-up Cull – The Sanguinary Desire – The Exquisite – The wilfull Mistake of Ports – The Gomorrah Minuet, or Back Door March.
- A Safe Conduct through the Territories of the Republic of Venus, 1795**
* The word “cull” was usually used in reference to a man, and was commonly applied to those visiting bawdyhouses. Francis Grose gives the following definition: “CULL.- A man, honest or otherwise.”
** For the sake of brevity (and clarity), this passage has been edited down a bit. If you’d like the full version for research just get in touch.