the gay lord and the doctor of lust

Helmut Hauser had a normal happy childhood until he contracted tuberculosis of the hip when he was sixteen. His parents sent him to a sanatorium in Switzerland run by a doctor named Benedict Lust.

Benedict Lust

Dr Lust was the founder of American naturopathy and the author of a book on zone therapy. Dr Harold Dick was also a naturopath who became interested in this field when he was miraculously cured of boils and his sister in law expelled a cancerous tumour through her vagina – all thanks to one of Dr Lust’s follower’s, Dr Carroll.

Helmut was so impressed with Dr Lust‘s cure that he decided to devote his life to the promotion of nutrition, health and beauty. For this venture he adopted the new name of Gayelord Hauser and launched Swiss Kriss Laxatives.

Gayelord and Garbo

Inspired by this early success Gayelord moved himself and his well-cleansed bowels to pre-War Hollywood where he found a welcoming milieu: the narcissistic youth-obsessed movie community. Soon Marlene and Gloria and all the girls were in the thrall of the good-looking “doctor” who promised to add years to their pampered lives while making them even more beautiful.


Nobody was immune to the audacious and over-reaching pronouncements of Herr Hauser:

– “Lack of calcium produces fear of the dark, nail biting and gossiping.”

– “Worry turns the hair grey by destroying the adrenal glands.”

– “Blackstrap molasses will add five years to your life and re-grow hair on bald spots.”

“that wonderful body of yours”

Was he a quack? Maybe just a little bit, but so what! At least he had charisma and fabulosity. When he wasn’t lounging around his groovy pad in Sicily with his boyfriend Frey Brown and his longtime beard Greta Garbo, or playing canasta with Paulette Goddard and the Duchess of Windsor, he was snapping up 90210 real estate. Gayelord was cool because he took his gay tubercular hip and made an unstoppable brand out of it. Having bought whole chunks of Rodeo Drive when it was cheap, he died a wealthy poofter at the ripe old age of 89.

Paulette Goddard and the hard-milled facial that lasts

Ronald loves Harry who loves Gaby who just wants a pearl necklace

Ronald Firbank (1886-1926) was already a published author and a fully formed personality by the time he entered Cambridge at the age of nineteen.

Ronald Firbank

“In 1907 he converted to Catholicism, a religion whose ornate rituals, costumes, symbols, and pageantry provided him with a vehicle through which to express his homosexuality obliquely. Firbank visited Rome with the intention of taking holy orders; however, as he later revealed in a letter to Lord Berners, “The Church of Rome wouldn’t have me, and so I mock her.” Accordingly, his fiction is populated with a ribald gallery of homosexual choirboys, lesbian nuns, cross-dressing priests, salacious bishops, flagellants, and self-canonized saints.


His last and most explicitly gay work, Concerning the Eccentricities of Cardinal Pirelli, appeared in 1926, the same year as Firbank’s early death at the age of forty. The book begins with the cardinal baptizing a police puppy named Crack, and ends when the naked cardinal drops dead while pursuing a choirboy named Chicklet around his church.”


Gaby Deslys (1881-1920) was a famous French dancer and actress of the early 20th century.


“She had many admirers among royalty, most notably Manuel II of Portugal. Deslys became a celebrity following newspaper stories which gossiped about King Manuel’s infatuation with her. Manuel is thought to have given Deslys a pearl necklace worth $70,000 after first meeting her in Paris in July 1909. More gifts soon followed. One was a diamond necklace with black and white pearl drops set in a platinum band. Deslys cultivated a pearl fetish. She collected so many that before she died she said she owned her weight in them.


Her American feature film debut was in 1915 with Her Triumph costarring her dancer boyfriend Harry Pilcer. The film is lost but surviving stills show a scene with Deslys and Pilcer and also the intro card with Deslys’s picture in the credits. Deslys made only two more French silent films in 1918 and 1919, both with Harry Pilcer in the cast, before getting the illness that would take her life.


Her carved and gilded bed, in the form of an enormous swan, was bought at auction by the Universal Studios prop department, and was used in the 1925 film of “The Phantom of the Opera”. In 1950 it was in “Sunset Boulevard” as the bed of Norma Desmond.

According to Beverley Nichols, Gaby spent most of her stage career stalking up and down staircases in the traditional manner. When Ronald Firbank first saw Harry Pilcer dance, he was chasing Gaby up one of her staircases at the time. Firbank was so overwhelmed that he rushed out and bought a huge bunch of orchids which he sent to Pilcer’s dressing room accompanied by an invitation to supper.

“Whether Pilcer ever got the flowers we shall never know; he gave no answer. Whereupon Firbank, with tears streaming down his face, returned to the theatre. Still sobbing, he advanced to the front row and walked slowly along by the side of the orchestra pit, tossing cypripediums and odontoglossums with tragic gestures to the astonished musicians. “

Orchid Mantis found here

Published in: on November 9, 2010 at 7:38 am  Comments (38)  
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the erethism culminates in onanism

Excerpt from the Sexual Instinct and its Morbid Manifestations

The child born with congenital sexual perversion grows up and develops to all appearance quite regularly in every way. But the womanly form gives rise to no sexual excitation in such a youth. Sometimes, incited by companions of his age, he ventures to share the couch of some girl and to accomplish the act of manhood, but each time the effort fails and is often followed by a hysterical fit.


In the weaker defined manifestations the boy exhibits only his predisposition to occupy himself with feminine work. He likes to knit, to sew, to make doll’s clothes; he distinguishes himself by his peculiar preference for feminine manners and strives to be coquettish in his demeanour.


Another occupies all his leisure time before the looking-glass ; combs his hair, paints his face, adorns his person, studying in the most serious fashion what is becoming and what is not. He has a wonderful remembrance of the most complicated female toilettes; but shows himself absolutely wanting in taste when he adopts male attire. He either sports a too violently coloured neck-tie, or exposes his neck so low, that it appears extravagantly exaggerated.


When the boy has been repressed in time, and laughed at on the first feminine imitations, he begins to pull himself together. If he is then carefully kept away from female society, occupied as much as possible with athletic exercises, always severely punished for the slightest appearance of coquetry and for every external feminine manifestation, by such strictly conducted education the youth attains the normal state of puberty.


Many of these subjects find their first feelings of lust excited by the sight of a naked man, particularly of his posteriors or the orificium ani. They have also nocturnal pollutions accompanied by dreams in which naked men with strongly developed hindquarters play the principal part.


Sometimes the boy notices in early youth, that slight strokes on his naked posteriors caused him an agreeable sensation. He then voluntarily seeks, in play or even as a punishment to get a few strokes. Later on he fustigates himself and the erethism culminates in onanism. When manhood arrives, if the vicious habit of seeking excitation by strokes with a birch on the posteriors has become deep rooted, the patient is only then able to have intercourse after having been flogged previously.

However, if he perseveres in having regular intercourse, the genesic perversion gradually dies out, and finally the youth who from his birth was disposed to perversion of sexual instinct, grows up to be a man endowed with normal genital functions, and fit to fulfil the duties of the head of a family.

leaving Lesbos for the Isle of Man

Regular readers may remember a previous post about the fourteenth Baron Berners from last year. He was such a marvellous eccentric that he’s well worth another look…..


“He fell in love at the late age of 49 with Robert Heber Percy, 29 years his junior. In some ways they made an incongruous couple. Heber Percy was handsome; Berners was not. Similarly, Berners was ultra-conservative in his dress, with Heber Percy on the other hand being partial to ensembles consisting of, say, scarlet shirt, blue jumper, green trousers and yellow belt.

Scarlet(t’s) shirt

On Berners’ plainness, Beverley Nichols was to reminisce: He was remarkably ugly — short, swarthy, bald, dumpy and simian. There is a legend that nobody who has ever seen Gerald in his bath is ever quite the same again.

world’s most expensive bathtub

Once the flamboyant set got to know of his liaison with Heber Percy, lo and behold, the engagement of the homosexual Lord Berners and the lesbian Violet Trefusis was announced in a London social column. It may have been Berners’ own doing, or Heber Percy’s, or another capricious friend’s, but in any case Berners’ mother insisted that a public denial better be made. Berners later claimed that he had to send a message to The Times to reassure the world that “Lord Berners has left Lesbos for The Isle of Man”.

Violet Trefusis

As with some of Berners’ funny lines, that message is almost certainly apocryphal. But this one Edith Sitwell maintained Berners did declare:

One of his acquaintances was in the impertinent habit of saying to him, “I have been sticking up for you”. He repeated this once too often, and Lord Berners replied, “Yes, and I have been sticking up for you. Someone said you aren’t fit to live with pigs, and I said that you are”.

Berners had taken his seat in the House of Lords in December 1923, and actually attended once or twice, but rejected Parliamentary Sessions as all too boring. When asked years later by Diana Mosley about his experiences he replied, “I did go once, but a bishop stole my umbrella and I never went there again.”


Naturally, Lord Berners was not averse to sending up his own visitors. So when guests went into raptures over his mouth-watering peaches he would say, “Yes, they are ham-fed”. On one occasion an anxious dog-loving houseguest lamented, “Fido has lost his necklace”, to which Berners replied, “Oh dear, I’ll have to get another out of the safe”.


Just as he proudly allowed birds-of-paradise to flaunt themselves on the Faringdon lawns, so in his London residence he kept another series of tropical birds. The original bird he had given the name “John Knox”, and when in bed once with lumbago, he managed to teach it to turn somersaults. On its death such a talented bird deserved a public obituary, so, true to form Berners placed this notice in The Times‘ personal column: “Died of jealousy, aged fifteen, John Knox, emerald bird of paradise belonging to Lord Berners. His guests are asked to wear half-mourning”.


Published in: on May 11, 2010 at 8:39 am  Comments (40)  
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Julian Eltinge*** was once one of the most famous and popular actors in America.

Praised as hypermasculine off-stage and delicately feminine on, his two sides seemed to negate each other sexually, and he displayed an ethereal asexuality. In 1904 Julian came to New York City to perform in Mr. Wix of Wickham. His star quickly rose with his vaudeville success, giving Eltinge the chance to play many cross-dressing roles, including performances in blackface, as a Spanish dancer, and as blushing brides.

image found here

Julian Eltinge went to great lengths to develop an off-stage persona that would counter his on-stage alter ego. Consider the splashy datelines from newspapers of the era: “Eltinge Hurt in Collision”; “Julian Eltinge Whips A Critic in Pittsburg”;

image found here

“Eltinge Wins Battle at Sea: But Swordfish Causes Injuries to Impersonator”. The fish battle was elaborated with the following commentary: “The 190-pound marlin got in several rapier-like thrusts which caused the famed female impersonator to undergo an intestinal operation.”

An account of Eltinge in an bar fight was as common as a review of one of his performances with one publication proclaiming, “Julian Eltinge Isn’t Effeminate When He Gets His Corsets Off”

image found here

A cartoon of Eltinge preparing for the stage shows his dresser Shima, himself a sort of star for being the man who transformed Eltinge, helping the cross-dresser with his corset. “The little Japanese chief’s duty is to pull the corset strings until the 38-inch Eltinge waist comes down to feminine requirements. The reason Shima carries the butcher knife is that sometimes the strain under which Eltinge labors while masquerading as a woman in corsets becomes too great and it is necessary to get out of his ‘harness’ before he faints.”

Women were so enthralled by his performances that he established the Eltinge Magazine which advised women on beauty, fashion, and home tips. In 1911, Eltinge opened one of his most famous shows, The Fascinating Widow at New York’s Liberty Theater.

The success of this show led producer A. H. Woods to give Eltinge one of theatre’s highest honors, having a theatre named for him. A year to the day that The Fascinating Widow opened, Woods opened the Eltinge Theatre on New York’s 42nd Street designed by noted theater architect Thomas W. Lamb. After serving as a legitimate theater for many years, it became a notorious burlesque house and was shut down during a “public morality” campaign in 1943.

Eltinge theatre found here

By the 1930s, the female impersonations that he had built his career on had begun to lose popularity. Eltinge resorted to performing in nightclubs. Crackdowns on cross-dressing in public, meant to curb homosexual activity, prevented Eltinge from performing in costume. At one appearance in a Los Angeles club, Eltinge stood next to displays of his gowns while taking on his characters. He died on March 7, 1941 following a show at a New York nightclub.

image found here

***Check out the Julian Eltinge Project for more on this fascinating man

Published in: on January 23, 2010 at 4:59 am  Comments (25)  
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not to be sneezed at


In the 70s and 80s many gay men used to advertise their various kinks through the handkerchief code. By wearing colour coded bandannas in the back pocket of their jeans they could let others know what turned them on.

flag fushcia flag mustard flag olive drab

In its early manifestation the code of a dozen or so colours was manageable. But after a while yellow for water sports or red for fisting wasn’t specific enough for some tastes.

Andrejkomasky lists over 80 variations but please don’t confuse your fuschias with your magentas unless you’re particularly into spanking armpits…..


There’s also a fine (nonsexual) history of the handkerchief over here

In the 18th and 19th centuries, handkerchiefs were used mostly by men. Many feature common male interests, such as grand industrial projects; sport (horse racing, pigeon shooting, cricket and boxing); railways; mapping; and, especially during the Napoleonic wars, the great naval and military encounters of the day.

funny horse

Another stylee is the handkerchief joke that folds to produce a punchline. One illustrates the “Eastern Question” (the conflict with Russia over the Ottoman empire). It shows portraits of four of the chief rivals: a Russian hero of the Crimean war, Prince Gorschakoff; Germany’s chancellor Otto von Bismarck; and the Turkish foreign minister, Safvet Pacha. If folded across the diagonals, the portraits morph into a single head-that of Benjamin Disraeli, the British prime minister, who lorded over them all


Published in: on November 4, 2009 at 7:43 am  Comments (40)  
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