Saturday, March 27, 2010

Batteries Not Included

A number of years ago my loving husband returned from a business trip with a little present for me. It was a slender, hardback book with a prettily garlanded cover, titled "Pride and Promiscuity" by Arielle Eckstut.

"Pride and Promiscuity" purports, jokingly, to be a collection of the lost sex scenes from Jane Austen's novels; scenes she had been forced to excise by her prudish publishers. In my best Victorian manner I was not amused, but I read it anyway. Because, you know, my husband would have been offended if I hadn't. And for research. Of course.

"Pride and Promiscuity" is actually much better than it sounds. It is written by a true Austen devotee, and Eckstut's writing perfectly imitates Jane Austen's own style. It's really quite good fun.

One or two of the chapters in the book seemed more far-fetched than others, however; particularly "Jane at Netherfield", during which Jane Bennet, while staying at Netherfield, is visited during the night by both Miss Bingley and Mrs Hurst. Their object is to ascertain whether Jane would be able to "satisfy" their brother, should they marry. I was greatly amused by the unlikeliness of the following passage:

At one point their introduction of a curiously-shaped carved wooden object into the evening's diversions aroused the most strenuous expressions of concern from Jane; but her objections were quickly silenced by the application of the experienced and skillful hands of Mrs Hurst.

Oh honestly, thought I, a wooden dildo? In Regency times? Ridiculous.

How naive am I? The lovely Elizabeth Chadwick, @chadwickauthor on Twitter, tweeted this article this morning, about an auction of two hundred year old wooden sex toys. One phallus measures 10 inches with testicles, the other 11 inches without testicles. Wow.

I've led such a sheltered life. I blame it on the nuns. Comments? Or are you all stunned into silence?


  1. oh not stunned, just giggling too much. The things you learn when you least expect it, hehe. That was a lot of fun, thanks for brightening my morning.

  2. Got wood?

    Well, if you think that's bad, you'll be pleased to know that the ancient Greeks and Romans used bread dildos. You'll never look at a French stick in the same way ever again.

    I would also like to congratulate you in advance on the amount of spam I can only begin to imagine you will generate from this post.

  3. Bread... dildoes... ? There really are no words.

    Do I even want to know how you know that?

    Never mind the spam, I'm looking forward to the blog search terms! Might get a few new weirdy followers on Twitter, though.

  4. My eyes have been opened to a whole new world. I suppose a 200 hundred year old wooden dildo make sense given the available materials at the time. I just hope that quality control was on the ball (no pun intended). You certainly don't want any stray splinters with these puppies.

  5. I would like to add at this juncture that I am greatly alarmed at the number of new followers my blog has acquired thanks to this post.

    You are all very bad people.

    And now I'm worried about breadcrumbs and splinters. Thank you all.

  6. Oh, my! I have no words, but I am now following your blog...

  7. Hee hee that did make me laugh.

  8. So that's what you've been up to while I was out (having tweeted the starter to all this!) I belong to an e-list of academics involved in the study of sexuality from way back in history to the present day. I usually don't take that much notice, as I'm only there for the medieval stuff, (she says!) but this pair certainly caught my eye - and everyone else's by the looks of things!

  9. Reminds me of The Red Tent where they use stone...idols in their deflowering/coming to womanhood type ritual.

    That is quite the impressive stick.

  10. Wow! I'm just as naive as you are I guess! I haven't read "Pride and Promiscuity." Would you recommend it?

  11. I would recommend Pride and Promiscuity, actually; it's a good laugh and very well written! :)

  12. No one's said it yet, so I must...

    Do you think that's where 'got wood' comes from?

  13. An intriguing question, Claire, thanks for lowering the tone of this high-brow topic. ;)

    Curious, however, I decided to google the origin of that choice expression. Big mistake. Though I did discover this:

    That is all.

  14. This may be a totally unnecessary comment and I do beg forgiveness before committing the words to the screen, but.... isn't Mr. Uku addicted to TOAST & cheese......? Just saying...

  15. Just when I think the tone of this blog post cannot descend any lower...

    Thank you Nettie dear. ;)

  16. I was always a slow starter.

    Wooden dildos.

    For some reason all the varied terminology for ........ is zipping through my mind.
    GOODNESS........blimey, so many different words with subtly differening emphasis and meaning!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. This is priceless. Best laugh of the morning