The Victorians invented sex.
Okay, okay, there’s biological evidence suggesting their forebears figured it out too, but our cultural understanding of sex in the western world is more steeped in the late 19th century than even us steampunks would care to admit. Sure, they were notoriously prude, but the Victorians were obsessed with sex. They just lied about it, constantly.
For the past six months, I’ve been working with several Victorian historians, professional sex workers, and sex-positive activists to assemble A Steampunk’s Guide to Sex. (Yes, unlike mainstream satires of the steampunk subculture, we’re rather open about stuff like this. And we appreciate sex. A lot.) During our research, we uncovered just how much the Victorian Age had impacted our modern attitudes about love and sexuality, for better and worse. So then, here are four Victorian kinks that existed during your great-grandparents’ time.