History is written by the victors, and also by those who might have an interest of cleaning it up, for whatever reason. Don't be fooled - history is full of NSFW happenings. Child sacrifice, cannibalism, poor hygiene, and torture rank among the most common.
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
Powdered wigs became popular because they hid the baldness caused by syphilis, which was rampant in Europe during the 17th century.
What, you think porn is a new invention?
History is really, really kinky.
Some ancient temples and holy places, especially in India, depict acts that range from orgies to bestiality. Temple prostitute is one of the oldest professions and were widely accepted in early history, showing up as early as the Epic of Gilgamesh.
Her father edited these parts out. He also cut references to him liking fart jokes.
The diary of Anne Frank also included detailed accounts of her exploring her sexuality which was quickly edited out before it was published.
Brothels every night, allegedly.
Ben Franklin was quite the drinker and philanderer.
But even with the passage of time, Franklin's passions were unrelenting; in fact they seemed to have only grown stronger. From age 50 and until his death at 84, he spent very little time in Philadelphia with Rebecca (she died 16 years before him). Instead, for most of those years, he was busy hobnobbing in London and Paris, accruing a reputation for his extracurricular activities. So affirmed a verse that was circulating around him:
Franklin, tho`plagued with fumbling age Needs nothing to excite him. But is too ready to engage When younger arms invite him.
Perhaps one of the more revealing documents on his views on women, which had been known in certain circles but kept under wraps for almost 200 years, was a letter he wrote in 1745, offering advice to a young man who was having trouble with his own insatiable libido.
In the letter, which was entitled "Advice to a Young Man on the Choice of a Mistress," Franklin advised: "In all your Amours, you should prefer old Women to young ones." He goes on to explain that with older women they tend to have more discretion, will take care of you when you're sick, and that "there is no hazard of children." He also offered that you can't really tell who's old or young when you're in the dark.
Human history is riddled with depravity.
Infanticide happened through *almost* every culture, on every continent, throughout history, to a significant degree. Sometimes gender was a factor, sometimes it wasn't. Ancient Egypt was the exception, but unwanted kids usually became slaves instead.
Twins were a scourge and were left in the wilderness. What a burden to a family.
I think we don't appreciate how besieged by death and illness everyone was. A family could have 20 children and see 5 raised to adulthood. They weren't inured to it or callus, they loved and grieved their children the same as we do. They had god, family, friends, and untreated depression, alcohol, and suicide to get through it. And a lot of hard work.
So killing an infant they can't care for was a mercy for the children they already had. If you have 5 mouths and money barely to feed the 7 of you, it is cruel to all of you to bring in another 1 or 2 and make the lot of you starve. Even more so if that child is born with a mark on them that shows it won't make it past a few months or a few years. Why starve 2 children when you can kill only 1? They didn't do this cheerfully. They did it to survive.
Mercury does not cure syphilis, in case you were wondering.
The were able to follow the trail of Lewis and Clark by finding mercury. Which they were taking to combat syphilis.
Legend says one could smell London from miles away.
Not R rated on its own, but have you ever considered how smelly history would be?
Imagine the signing of the declaration of independence. A reportedly hot day, during a time when people didn't bath often, people wore a bunch of layers, and you have a bunch of dudes packed into a room for hours.
The R rated part, all of these people had sex. And it would smell so bad.
JFK was the first US President to be circumcised. He was 22 at the time.
Pilgrims and beer.
The Pilgrims landed when they did in order to make beer. They were running low and were supposed to go to the Virginia colony but hit Massachusetts and stayed there.
And they say romance is dead.
Napoleon told his wife not wash her lady bits for weeks before he came back so the smell was as potent as possible.
Take a read, it happened.
Bombing of 'Black Wall Street' in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1921
Oh ok same.
In Ancient Greece male soldiers had sex with each other before battles because they believed they'd be more likely to protect and fight for somebody in battle if they were intimate with them.
Brace yourselves if you look this up.
I would probably say the depravities of Nero and Rome in general until that time. We had allusions to it in 9th grade world history, but I didn't get the full stories until I took some classes during my JYA in Rome.
Psychological torture of today is cruel... but I honestly don't know if it really tops the... I can't think of a word strong enough to describe the pain and anguish inflicted on people of old. I will admit, medieval and antiquities torture was a point of interest for me.
- The Blood Eagle. This is disputed, it could be made up for the poems it was featured in, but there is sometimes truth in the stories depicted. Supposedly victims of this torture/execution were laid down. From this position, their ribs were severed where they joined the spine, pulled and splayed out, and their lungs pulled through to make "wings." Some accounts say that salt was also then rubbed into the wounds. Like literally? That's awful.
- The Comb. Old woolcombs were sometimes used as torture devices. I'm struggling to find my source on this (read this a few years ago) but supposedly one Saint of the Christian fait was killed in this way. It was horrible because they basically ripped her bosom off with the device.
- The Judas Cradle. There are other methods that are actually quite similar. Basically, the victim was sat upon an object that comes to a rather blunt point into their anus. It's sharp enough that it is immediately uncomfortable. Over time, gravity has it's way and eventually the anus is torn open. It's a gruesome and slow way to die.
- The Pear of Anguish. Another anus related torture device. I think the medieval torture masters were quite aware of certain sensitive areas, and the disgrace was not lost as a side effect. This was a bulb object, shaped roughly like a pear. Once in place (ugh) a crank was turned, and the pear splits into four or so pieces, opening like a cruel flower. This of course pretty much destroys the innards of the anus. Another terrible death.
Honestly, I could keep going. It's fascinating just how cruel humans can be to one another. I think for me it actually makes me realize how little I would ever want to hurt another. Pain and suffering is so rampant already, why inflict more? And when people can create torture methods, these items show just how bad it can get.