How to Spot a Sodomite

Mark Simpson reviews some famous Victorian bum holes in Neil McKenna’s Fanny & Stella  (the Independent) “I had never seen anything like it before… I do not in my practise ever remember to have seen such an appearance of the anus, as those of the prisoners presented.” So testified Dr Paul in shocked tones at the trial of Frederick Park and Ernest Boulton, two young, crossdressing clerks charged with sodomy in 1870 – a crime that then carried a penalty of a lifetime’s penal servitude. Park and […]

Is There Sex After Marriage?

A remarkably, refreshingly reasonable treatment of the Spitzer scandal and the indispensable social role of prostitutes by a woman, Minette Marin, in The London Times (if a straight man had written this he would probably have faced a lengthy free sex ban): Right up and down the scale, a man can rent a girl a great deal better and more cooperative than the woman he lives with. She will be probably be much more sexually experienced and more accomplished than most wives too. In plain […]

Straights Go Gay

On the anniversary of the reform that (partially) decriminalised male homosexuality Mark Simpson argues Wolfenden would have been horrified by what has happened. To heteros  (The Guardian, 30/7/07) Sometimes you can estimate the popularity of a thing by its illegality. Illegal drugs, for example are extremely popular, even with Cabinet Ministers. In the 18th Century when starvation was rather more common than it is now, stealing bread was punishable by death. And before July 1967 all forms of sexual contact between males whether in private […]