Archive by Author

Nudity, Art, Sex and Death – Tasmania Awaits

If you’re going to confront sex and death – or at least the art world’s latest depictions of them – you might as well be naked.

Casanova Slept Here

Was Casanova more than just a pretty face? Smithsonian Magazine has just published my epic quest to separate fact from fiction in the life of history’s greatest lover. The man is so surrounded by mythology that many people assume him to be a fictional character (and maybe it’s hard to take seriously someone who has […]

The Pages of Sin — a brief history of prostitute guidebooks

I just wrote an essay for the New York Times on the history of prostitute guidebooks through various “golden ages” of sin, from Renaissance Venice to Georgian London, belle époque Paris and pre-WW1 New Orleans.

The Five Artiest Brothels in France

I revisited a marvelous gallery of historical erotica I discovered while researching The Sinner’s Grand Tour. Some of the photos were a bit too lurid to include in the post (at least without artful cropping) — I thought readers of the MoSex blog might appreciate them, however…

Desperate Crusader Wives – Who wore the chastity belt?

In both my books about historical sex, Sinner’s Grand Tour and Napoleon’s Privates, the legend of the medieval chastity belt cropped up regularly.  Examples of these sinister devices are displayed all over Europe, often in hokey “Torture Museums” for wide-eyed tourists.  But what’s the truth behind the stories?  I began to dig a little, and found […]