An introduction to the series, which is based on the "Secret Cabinets" of Victorian museums.
Who invented the term, "to get laid"? New York Times bestselling author Karen Abbott reveals this and other lurid secrets of US history -- including the most luxurious brothel of the Gilded Age, the birth of burlesque in Depression-era New York and the sordid Prohibition sex-murder scandal that inspired "The Great Gatsby."
Prostitute guidebooks flourished in Renaissance Venice, Georgian London, belle époque Paris -- and early 1900s Kansas City. What can historians learn from studying their well-thumbed pages?
Was Charles Darwin a player? Christopher Ryan, author of the New York Times bestseller Sex At Dawn, discusses the Victorian triumph of views on sexual evolution and what they mean for us today. Discussed: Can new research on prehistory help explain modern scandals? What do we know about Darwin's erotic life? Who invented "key parties"? And -- what is an "anaphrodisiac"?
How an obscure 1712 pamphlet called Onania began the war on masturbation in Georgian London, leading to such oddities as the creation of Corn Flakes and Graham crackers in the US to dampen adolescent desires.
Celebrity memorabilia is big business these days, but nothing quite compares to the Holy Foreskin, a portion of Jesus' most intimate anatomy revered by Christians since the Middle Ages. David Farley, author of An Irreverent Curiosity, is the world's leading expert on the sacred prepuce and its mysterious fate. The relic was stolen from a church in an Italian hill town in 1983. Was it by Satanists, neo-Nazis... or the Vatican?
Jesus' foreskin isn't the only famous phallic relic -- the organs of Napoleon Bonaparte, Rasputin, Tutunkhamun and John Dillinger have been on the market over the years. A rundown of celebrity body parts, including Galileo's finger, Einstein's brain, Beethoven's ear bones and Abe Lincoln's skull fragments -- as well as famous frauds like Joan of Arc's heart. Sic transit gloria mundi.
Female desire has been a battleground for thousands of years. Men have downplayed it since the ancient Greeks, demonized it in Puritan witchcraft trials and misinterpreted in the studies of Sigmund Freud. Wednesday Martin -- author of Primates of Park Avenue, Untrue and The Button, a history of women's most sensitive part, unravels the saga from the Agricultural Revolution to the Renaissance and the "clitoracy" movement today.
A survey of the forgotten milestones of modern love -- from the 1556 "discovery" of "the seat of a woman's delight" by Renaldo Columbus (no relation to Christopher) to the 18th century birth of "sex as we know it," the invention of pornography (1864), the first use of the word "homosexual" (1892), Virginia Woolf's vision that that the sexual revolution was nigh (1908)... and more!
In the 18th century, castrated Italian singers were sex symbols sought out by women across the courts of Europe. The most famous, Farinelli, lived like a rock start and has even had his own modern biopic. Learn why castrati were the bedroom idols of the era -- and listen to the only known recording of a castrato, made in the Vatican in 1902.
What does America's current First Lady, Melania Trump, have in common with the consorts of history's great dictators -- Mussolini's mistress Clara Petacci, Eva Braun, Evita Peron. Imelda Marcos? Nina Burleigh, author of "The Trump Women: Part of the Deal" reveals all!
Eva Braun put up with more than we think to be a Nazi dictator's consort. Hitler suffered from uncontrollable flatulence -- an ailment that poisoned the atmosphere at the Berghof and may have hastened the end of the war.
Did Hitler only have one testicle? This juicy anatomical detail was included in the Nazi dictator's autopsy when it was finally revealed by the Soviets in 1968. Was the Fuehrer born that way? Did he suffer a nasty WW1 wound? Or does the secret lie with the famous British war anthem, "The Colonel Bogey March"?