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Posts Tagged ‘hygene’

When I started writing A Soldier’s Wind I included two prostitutes who were ‘upper class’.  These ladies were not at all unusual, it is recorded somewhere that two sisters actually married into nobility.  Prostitution in the 17th and 18th centuries was mixed, both in the chances of catching disease and the type of woman involved.  At the top end were classic beauties who charged vast amounts of money, were extremely wealthy and meticulously clean, and accepted in the highest levels of society some even marrying into it.   Next came what might be termed ‘The Casual Professional’. A woman selling her body to put a loaf of bread on the table, or a roof over her head; perhaps an officers widow who took a position in a ‘gentleman’s establishment’.  Then there were the street walkers, in every doorway in London a woman was available with the chances of diseases almost 100%. Boswell, Johnson’s biographer, was constantly with prostitutes. London bridge was one of his favourite haunts, with him having to be treated for the pox on many occasions.

In  A Soldier’s Wind Jason and his Uncle enjoy being in the company of upper class prostitutes, money being no object. Sheathes were available for purchase usually made from animal intestines which were stored in a saline solution. Sexual equipment could also be purchased, dildos, douche’s etc., it was also possible for women to have an operation to restore their hymen, the first night of marriage was important to prove their virtue, blood had to be seen on the sheets.

Sheath’s were used purely to prevent infection not as a means of stopping pregnancy, most innovations came from Italian immigrants who opened shops in London.

One of the main reasons for disease was a lack of hygiene, bathing and regular washing was something of a rarity.

There is nothing new in sex!!!

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