TV needs far more seething, devastating women like Fleabag - The creation of Phoebe Waller-Bridge (interview), Fleabag started as a finely tuned one woman play and made the jump to television, becoming "a precision black-humor mechanism" in the process.
Queen's 1982 dance funk single "Body Language" represented a rare move away from their glam stadium anthems into a more spare, disco-driven beat inter-cut with a moaning Freddie Mercury. The accompanying video, full of exposed flesh and suggestive lyrics, was deemed inappropriate for US TV and was one of the first music videos barred from MTV.
As the sun sinks slowly into Mayfair and the stars come out over Centre Point, the funster’s thoughts turn inexorably towards the bright lights and rundown neon of that square half-mile known as Soho, sin city nestling like a soiled Kleenex in the bosom of our great metropolis Soho 1983: A Girl's Guide To Peep Shows, Topless Bars & Nude Encounters
In 2008 the actor Rupert Everett hosted (seemingly from his apartment) a rather strange documentary: The Victorian Sex Explorer ( 2 3 4 5 ), an attempt to follow in the footsteps of famed Explorer, translator, and author Sir Richard Burton and convince us of Sir Burton's passion for sexual experimentation while laying in lots of bathhouses and visiting brothels. [more inside]
"Whereas yesterday's Cora Pearl was eccentric, charming and a little cold-hearted, today's Victorian courtesan, La Païva, is straight-up eerie. Like, so eerie that a lot of people thought she was a vampire. My hand to Baby Jesus, people actually believed she was a supernatural being. " Bizarre Victoria shares (what else) bizarre, scandalous, and noteworthy stories form the Victorian era (and more). What do you serve at a country club for fat men? Devil's footprints! Lola Montez: servant whipper, de facto ruler of Bavaria. Empress Sissi and her No Good Very Bad Life. Aristocratic marriage at gunpoint. Public pubic hair trimming. Specialties of the Victorian Brothel. Curing hiccups by setting your shirt on fire. Gilded Age Arranged Marriages.
Dead men tell some tales - a visit to the Hellfire Caves, home of one of the most infamous Hellfire Clubs.
England's Obscenity Trial of the Decade is over, with unanimous Not Guilty verdicts being returned for all 6 charges. R v Peacock was a rare outing for the Obscene Publications Act 1959 and its out-lawing of media which depraves and corrupts, and despite being shown DVDs of explicit homosexual acts, fisting, testicular torture, rape scenes, prolaspses and other acts the prosecution described as extreme the jury decided the material didn't breech the law. Alex d. live tweeted the proceeding and Peacock's supprters are celebratory. The question now is what is obscene in today's society, and is the act still relevant. [more inside]
From 1999 to 2003, the largely-female UK comedy trope Smack The Pony had a series of short skits based on video dating ads. Youtube user myLastTears has edited them together into a supercut: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 [more inside]
(NSFW) So Much For the Stiff Upper Lip. Slate writer gets jiggy wit the history of Georgian Britain's aristocratic sex clubs.
"I'm not a politician, I'm an artist. Depravity is part of the job description," says self-styled dandy, former drug addict, and controversial British author Sebastian Horsely, who was denied entrance to the US by customs officials at Newark Airport on the grounds of "moral turpitude," a wide net that encompasses everything from fornication to being a "nuisance." Shades of Oscar Wilde.
The Return of a Clockwork Orange - Writers, artists, directors, UK film censors and starring actor Malcolm McDowell discuss Stanley Kubrick's classic film A Clockwork Orange
Norman Mailer has posthumously won this year's Literary Review Bad Sex Award for his novel on the early life of Hitler, The Castle in the Forest. He was up against some stiff competition but Norman managed to rise to the occasion (sorry). Safe for work, but you might feel a bit dirty in the morning.
Masturbate-a-thon 2006 will be the first event featured on UK Channel 4's "wank week", and will involve hundreds of Londoners gathering in a hall to have a televised toss-off. Participants will be fapping away in hopes of garnering prizes for number of orgasms and endurance - the current record stands at over eight hours of continuous onanism. In other news, kittens everywhere are getting their affairs in order.
Homosexuality in 18th Century England :: an amazing compilation of primary source material from newspaper reports and other sources.
Sebastian Horsley - a man who's slept with more than 1,000 prostitutes - gives a controversial and candid account of his experience of paying for sex
Have more sex says the Conservative party in the UK, procreate for the good of the economy and solve the looming pensions crisis. "Europe's real demographic crisis is not longevity but birth rates". Research says, apparently, that most women want more children than they have, but could it also be the case that a growing number of people just don't see the attraction?
Trial by Tabloid? Top BBC presenter Angus Deaton has been sacked after a sex & drugs scandal. He has presented comedy news quiz Have I Got News For You for over ten years. So, is ti right for him to be sacked after trial by tabloid? Do we actually care what our T.V. presenters get up to after the cameras are turned off?
Joanne's beaus one thru four revealed. Something which really exposes the underbelly of the football (soccer) world. Phone-in host and media guru Danny Baker wrung some milleage a few years ago from a single caller over a number of months. Joanne, a woman of generous virtue, was quietly working her way through the back four of a well known Premiereship football team, and calling Baker's saturday show both morning and evening revealing all but names in shocking yet hilarious detail. The British tabloids and football chatrooms were ablaze with theories about who these four players were and also the two managers involved (one of which paid her £5000 to retain naked photos she had taken of him, lest a red-top get hold of them). Well now we finally know - and with all of Joannes calls collected together for the first time. [Real Audio, streaming and download]
"Brad the Cad" is disciplined, but not fired. This is the man who forwarded an email, describing his sexual prowess to four people, thus starting a world wide fury. Speculation on exactly how he was disciplined includes losing out on his annual bonus.