May 29, 2009, 10:14AM

Missed Connections, Old Timey Style

"Young man, jolly, well-educated, refined, traveled extensively, stranger in city, desires lady acquaintance..."

 Do I even need to editorialize?These come from a slightly later era than what I've been posting so far (1900, to be precise, but who's keeping track?), both on the same day, in fact, but ads like this date as far back as the 1860s. Don't worry, there will be more where these came from; I start with them because they're so blunt. I love that the first guy says he prefers a "stranger." Awesome. It's like casual encounters! And if you're thinking, hey, maybe he just wants someone to go to the theater with and that's all - yeah, you might be right, but probably not. As for the second man, the pseudonym "Aramis" says it all.Historians know the Victorians weren't as repressed about sex as they wanted to be (Michel Foucault said they were obsessed with it - I'd link to some of what he had to say but, eh, this is much more entertaining). But I still think it's pretty shocking to see men who probably would have placed themselves in the middle class advertise openly for a lady friend - and "Aramis," quite possibly, for a sugar mama.When I publish the book, I'll probably do a whole chapter about this kind of ad, but for the dissertation it'll have to be left aside. Some things you just can't get to, and I'd have to spend a lot of time working with a newspaper that's not easy to access. But trust me, I'll talk about them more here. 


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