Browsing All Posts filed under »Sinner’s Grand Tour«

The Pope’s Pornographic Bathroom

December 14, 2011 by

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My Slate series on the Vatican climaxed, as it were, with a piece about my adventures getting in to the so-called Stufetta del Bibbiena, the bathroom decorated with erotic art by Raphael in 1516 – causing a good deal of outrage amongst some of the more reverent Catholic readers, even though the Vatican itself has […]

WHAT IS IT ABOUT NUNS AND SEX?

November 27, 2011 by

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I went to Venice to research both Napoleon’s Privates and The Sinner’s Grant Tour, and found that he subject of randy  nuns came up constantly.  It seems that the fantasy of the sex-filled Venetian convent, which crops up in novels, dialogues, Casanova’s memoir and modern porn films, dates back for centuries… and, even better, has […]

WHAT WAS J. EDGAR HOOVER’S FAVORITE PARTY DRESS?

November 17, 2011 by

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The new Clint Eastwood/Leonardo DiCaprio biopic, J. Edgar, includes a nod towards the rumors that the FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover was a secret cross-dresser, when the young, distraught J. Edgar puts on a dress after his mother’s death. The historical accuracy of the colorful — and enduring — story is something I looked into […]

THE HOLY GUIDE TO COITAL POSITIONS

October 24, 2011 by

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While I was researching Napoleon’s Privates: 2500 Years of History Unzipped and The Sinner’s Grand Tour: A Journey Through the Historical Underbelly of Europe, the lore of medieval sex kept cropping up… and often in surprising ways. Somehow the human race survived the Middle Ages, no mean feat when you consider how much literature was […]

JUST SAY “ITHYPHALLIC”: A Weiner election meditation

September 13, 2011 by

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As the post-Weinergate special election looms in New York today, a visitor to the city could be struggling in vain to grasp what ex-congressman Anthony Weiner actually did this summer to warrant his abject and tear-filled resignation, since the mainstream press remains quaintly coy regarding sexual terminology. One can learn from the New York Times […]

THE FIRST SEX TOURS

August 27, 2011 by

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         Thailand, Rio de Janeiro and Budapest may have reputations for wild sex play these days, but they are rank newcomers compared to some ancient destinations in Europe.  For over 2000 years, the beautiful Italian island of Capri in the Bay of Naples was renowned for debauchery on a Titanic scale. As I […]

MAKE-YOUR-OWN CONDOMS

August 3, 2011 by

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While I was researching my book on salacious historical secrets, The Sinner’s Grand Tour: A Journey Through the Historical Underbelly of Europe, I started off in an unlikely corner of London… The British Museum is one of the most respectable institutions in the UK, filled as it is with famed archaeological exhibits such as the […]