Underground Porn Literature in the Victorian Era:

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While Victorian Society went about putting on airs, and hiding behind fake high moral standards and sexual restrictions, behind the scene’s there was an unlawful sexual movement underground as a libertine rebellion against the (“fake”) moral sensibilities of the time.

The definition of “Libertine” is someone who cast aside the restraints set on sexuality and morals, or rather described as “Extreme Hedonism” which values the “Pleasure Principle” of the “Id” without the balancing influence of the “Ego” described by Freud, they experienced life through the senses.

(Libertines in the 1800’s)

 In Victorian England a pornographic magazine named the “Pearl” surfaced in 1879 and ran until 1881 after being shut down by authorities, which styled itself “A Magazine Facetiae and Voluptuous Reading”. This salacious monthly magazine which ran for 18 months in London by a man named William Lazenby.

This quarterly was accompanied  also by two Christmas supplements before “it was closed down by the authorities  for publishing obscene literature.

Other erotic literature such the exploits of “Casonova” was also popular at the time, and influenced as well as emboldened libertines much like in the 20th century decade of the sixty’s, only much more covert in their activities.

 

Lazenby followed after with the “Oyster” (1883) and the “Boudoir”. Being sold “under the counter” the Pearl became “the first underground bestseller.”

The general format of the magazine was to publish three serial erotic tales simultaneously, devoted to “sex in high society, incest, and flagellation, respectively, and interspersed with obscene parodies, poems and limericks.”

Over two centuries later the Pearl and other 18th century underground sexual movements still affects and fascinates us today, and examples can be seen at the Sex Museum in New York and London.

(Museum of Sex: New York and London)

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