There’s nothing new under the sun. Couples throughout time have lived and loved and done a very good job of finding creative places to indulge in…well, in each other. I’ve done some research to find out ten of the most popular spots historical couples went to have a “quickie.”
1. The Woods. Yes, picnics often ended with desert of a different kind. Mind you, young ladies would be heavily chaperoned, so most of these tete-a-tetes were between husband and wife, or betrothed couples. (A very high percentage of babies were born less than 9 months after weddings during the Regency period.) But the freedom of the outdoors made for frisky behavior.
2. House parties. What better place than a house party to slip away for a bit of alone time. Here young ladies could probably manage an assignation without Mama being the wiser. And certainly married couples could. So many rooms in these manor houses in which to dally with a delicious young man: the library, the billiard room, the linen closet.
3. Balls. Believe it or not, couples who had little time together could be ingenious when it came to making the best of an opportunity. Balls were one of the few places young men and women could mingle without strict chaperonage at all times. With a very willing partner, a secluded nook in a ballroom could turn into a little piece of heaven.
4. A Closed Carriage. Unmarried women were forbidden from riding in a closed carriage with a gentleman without a chaperone for this very reason. But married couples could and did take advantage of the drawn drapes and the rocking motion of a swiftly moving carriage.
5. Coaching Inns. Travel, until the advent of the steam engine, took a lot of time and so a series of overnight accommodations evolved all over England and the Continent. Coaching inns were hotels that provided a change of horses, bed and board for the night. Assignations could be arranged there easily between men and women, especially if a lady’s maid servant had been conveniently left at home.
7. Bath Houses. During the medieval period public bath houses existed in all major cities. Bathing facilities were co-ed, providing patrons with numerous opportunities for a quick one in the tub.
8. Formal Gardens. Many estates boasted formal gardens on the property, some with walls or sturdy hedges surrounding them. These gardens acted as an outdoor haven for courting couples, affording a lot of privacy for afternoon delights among the roses and shrubbery.
9. The Theatre. The theatre provided a place for aristocrats to see and be seen. It also provided a private box—with curtains—where, if a couple was not too noisy, they could re-enact a love scene with much more realism than was found on the stage.
10. Vauxhall Gardens. Vauxhall was a pleasure garden, a leading place of public entertainment in London especially in the 18th and 19th centuries. Amid the tightrope walkers, singing, dancing, fireworks, and food vendors, one irresistible draw of Vauxhall was its dark pathways, down which couples could stroll unnoticed and experience the true meaning of the phrase “pleasure garden.”
Finding unusual places for making whoopee seems to have been a favorite past time throughout history. Do you have any favorite or exotic places where characters have “done it?”