Delectable Fancies for Prurient Readers
February 10, 2006 8:22 AM   Subscribe

The Pearl A journal of voluptuous reading for discerning readers, hosted in a larger collection of bawdy books, dirty ditties and assorted salacious songcraft. Thrill to cousin-fucking in Sport Among the She-Noodles. Puzzle over endless lashings by old women in Ms. Coote's Confession. Giggle over the protagonist of Lady Pokingham. Note for edification the blasé treatment of homosexuality, both male and female. Memorize limericks that provide both racial and sexual offense for your next social gathering. And learn obscenities you can sneak past all but the most agile editor! Main site also contains hours of mp3s and reams of naughty toasts, drinking songs and folk stories. Other highlights include the ability to compare American ribaldry with earlier British off-colour humour. Some engravings arguably NSFW.
posted by klangklangston (21 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

That page is blocked by my work filter, but I know that I read reprints of The Pearl as a kid, and they totally turned me on. I would be curious to see now if they were really salacious or just seemed so to my 11 year old mind.
posted by OmieWise at 8:28 AM on February 10, 2006

They really are salacious.
posted by klangklangston at 8:42 AM on February 10, 2006

Alice, who was intently observing everything, was shocked and surprised to see his trousers all unbuttoned in front, and a great long fleshy-looking thing sticking out, seemingly hard and stiff, with a ruby-coloured head.

Yowza! Such filth. I love it.
posted by Gator at 8:43 AM on February 10, 2006

Blimey, this is pretty racy stuff. Great post. There are some fantastic turns of phrase in there:

Priapus was awake and ready for business

I must find an opportunity to work this into everyday conversation...
posted by greycap at 8:51 AM on February 10, 2006

Awesome! I found a collection of these in my dad's stuff as a kid and Yowza! is right. When I discovered that my g/f had also discovered it as a kid, I knew it was love.
posted by mkultra at 8:53 AM on February 10, 2006

Oh, the pego noted in my profile comes from The Pearl.
posted by mkultra at 8:54 AM on February 10, 2006

Heh. I wonder if every commentor here is going to be someone who found the Pearl amungst their father's things while a child. (The pattern holds for me, but I found it at an age where I was more captivated by the limericks than the sex. It took years to appreciate it properly...)
posted by klangklangston at 9:22 AM on February 10, 2006

Oh man, I have a copy of that. Fascinating stuff.

I keep it out of scholarly interest, don't you know. *cough*
posted by jokeefe at 9:44 AM on February 10, 2006

"I licked up the luscious spendings with rapturous delight from the lips of her tight lime cunny,"

Mmmm, lime cunny. Interestingly enough, lime cunny only appears once on google.

Lemon too, but orange is really popular. And no, I did not mean "orange county"
posted by lalochezia at 9:50 AM on February 10, 2006

Dammit, klangklangston, now how am I supposed to get any work done today...?
posted by twsf at 9:55 AM on February 10, 2006

This kind of stuff was my favorite porn for a long time.

"What're you reading, booksandlibretti?"
"Uh, nothing, Mom. This classic Victorian novel."
posted by booksandlibretti at 10:15 AM on February 10, 2006

I seem to remember that every single woman in these stories actually ejaculate during orgasm, which puzzled me greatly when I was a teenager and read The Pearl.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:26 AM on February 10, 2006

Well, my mom had the Pearl hidden in her bedside table. I found it at a young age and nothing's really had the same zing! since. If you dig it, I also recommend The Oyster, or The Forbidden Texts of Cremorne.

These books make an excellent argument for hightened eroticism through societal repression. I especially love it when the cooks and maids are involved. Great stuff. Any other related suggestions anyone? I'm always looking to broaden my...horizons.
posted by stinkycheese at 10:35 AM on February 10, 2006

Any other related suggestions anyone? I'm always looking to broaden my...horizons.

I'm surprised no one else has mentioned it yet, but you might dip your toe in the writings of the Marquis de Sade. From what I've read of him, the dude clearly loved the sound of his own voice and hated the church, but managed to create some interesting and even erotic stories around his obsessions. Might be a little too hardcore for many tastes, but I think a lot of his stuff is still pretty tame when compared to certain sects of modern porn. Specifically, I enjoyed reading Philosophy in the Bedroom. And definitely rent Quills. Hot.
posted by Gator at 11:19 AM on February 10, 2006

One of the dangers with Sade is that many, many, many translations clean up his language to the point of making him exceedingly polite and not at all transgressive. I remember buying a couple of his books (the one I remember best was Justine) from a used store when I was going on a road trip, and being bored witless. Lots of "He takes her in the manner of a boy" sort of stuff. I've heard that there are better translations out there, but have yet to find one.
posted by klangklangston at 11:21 AM on February 10, 2006

It's interesting how homoerotic it is as well. I wonder if it was common for Victorian men to suck each other off?
posted by eustacescrubb at 12:18 PM on February 10, 2006

One of the dangers with Sade

If I tell you
If I tell you now
Will you keep on
Will you keep on loving me
If I tell you
If I tell you how I feel
Will you keep bringing out the best in me

You give me, you give me the sweetest taboo
You give me, you're giving me the sweetest taboo .....
posted by Peter H at 12:19 PM on February 10, 2006

Eustace: My understanding is that it was. It was one of those homophilia young adult things that happens in gender segregated societies. You were expected to suck your pals off, but then become a captain of industry and father children later.
posted by klangklangston at 12:34 PM on February 10, 2006

Yeah, I have this boook too. Love it.
posted by gaspode at 12:42 PM on February 10, 2006

Gator: Yes, I've read DeSade and, while I do get something out of reading him, I'm not sure I'd call it enjoyment, and certainly not erotic enjoyment. "The Pearl" has its share of people getting flogged with rose stems and so on, but that's absolutely in a different universe from DeSade (at least "The 120 Days Of Sodom", which even this hardened gorehound found very hard to take in places).

If you're looking for "uncut DeSade", may I recommend the Grove Press editions? Can't go wrong there.

I'm interested in Victorian porn/erotica with some claim to being the genuine article. There's a lot of crap out there, inevitably written by Anonymous (now there's a writer whose work has really nosedived over time), with gauzy pics of scantily-clad women in boudoirs on the cover, and references to "his length" or whatever. Ugh. It's very difficult to find anything that matches the detail, wit, and sheer naughtiness of "The Pearl".
posted by stinkycheese at 1:26 PM on February 10, 2006

And if you've gone blind through reading too much of this stuff, fear not: you can order a cassette tape of The Pearl from Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic. Admittedly one disgruntled listener complains that 'it is an unusually awful recording and the reader sounds like an old lady librarian who severely disapproves of the material', but I imagine some people might find that a real turn-on.
posted by verstegan at 4:02 PM on February 10, 2006

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