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Herbert F. Tucker: A Companion to Victorian Literature and Culture. ( Public Domain )
Now one might wonder why women would choose—or be allowed—to become prostitutes for work, rather than serving in the numerous industrial jobs that opened up to women following the Industrial Revolution. Women in these industry roles worked 14 hour days, and were given a steady income. However, not only did serving as a prostitute make these women more money, but it was also in many ways safer, as factories were often mangling grounds due to insufficient safety guidelines in these early days. Furthermore, the Contagious Diseases Act (1864) further attempted to protect both men and women by examining women every year to ensure they were “clean” and free from STDS. It was discovered during these tests that the female prostitutes were more often cleaner than the women who worked for 14 hours a day.
(Note: Josephine Butler introduced the anti-contagious movement in the 19th century, but it was to ensure men were also tested for STDS. Butler’s intention was to remind society that men could be carriers just as women could, and it was not only women who could pass these diseases to others. The act was not to stop these medical exams completely.)
While prostitution was public knowledge and sexuality was more widely expressed than recent scholars have believed, there are documents from the Victorian period which dictate the negative views that likely influenced previous research. For example, masturbation was considered a mental disorder in the Victorian era, possibly even caused by STDs. As there was no “proper” sexual education in this time, excessive sexual dalliances were likely discouraged for fear of gaining these “mental disorders”. Of course, most Victorians were not going around trying to find sexual partners; still a Christian world, many believed in abstinence before marriage. But those who did not adhere to this religious stipulation were considered at risk for mental diseases. Particularly, Victorian prostitutes.
In the case of the male gender, men were warned that too much sex would “enfeeble” them. Contrary to modern sexist conceptions, sleeping around in the 19th century was believed to emasculate as well as cause psychological issues, such as—simply put—”insanity”. It was also not uncommon for doctors to perform “penile cauterization” in an attempt to prevent mental issues from arising. For women, a similar procedure was practiced called a “clitorodectomy”.
Most of the recent scholarship that discusses Victorian chastity revolves primarily around women. Female sexuality is a far more interesting topic as the historically more oppressed gender. It has even been believed that women disliked sexual experiences, and only engaged in the activities for the purpose of procreation. There is truthfully no evidence to this fact to fully support this, and thus it is likely that females both enjoyed sex and were sexually active in the Victorian period.
This conversation undoubtedly leads to the primary discussion of sex in the Victorian period: prostitution. It is very common—somewhat overly common—for modern books and television shows to reveal the “underbelly” of Victorian society, which most often leads to depictions of prostitution. Usually, this reveals dirty, grimy women—some even quite old—slugging through the streets showing off far too much skin. This was actually not the case for the typical Victorian prostitute. It was highly regular for clean, proper and rich women to be mistaken on the streets for a prostitute as prostitutes did not make themselves overly distinctive. From afar, one could likely not tell the difference between a working prostitute and an upper or middle-class woman.
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Podrick Payne , often called Pod , was Tyrion Lannister’s squire and saved his life in the Battle of the Blackwater, but following Tyrion’s arrest for the murder of King Joffrey Baratheon, he has come into the service of Brienne of Tarth.
Podrick Payne is a distant cousin of the more famous Ser Ilyn Payne, the King’s Justice, and member of a lesser branch of House Payne.
During the War of the Five Kings, Podrick was the squire of Ser Lorimer, a lesser knight in the Westerlands army. One night Ser Lorimer got drunk and stole a ham, which he shared with Podrick. Lorimer was caught and the two were sentenced to be hanged. Podrick was spared because of his family name.
As punishment, Tywin Lannister sent him to King’s Landing to serve as squire to his son Tyrion.
Tyrion has Janos Slynt as a dinner guest in the dining room of the Tower of the Hand. Podrick pours wine for them, but spills the beverage on Janos’s hand. Janos begins to chastise the boy, but Tyrion dismisses him and says they know how to pour their own wine. 
Podrick attends Tyrion during a dinner he holds with Queen Cersei. He cannot repress a smile when Tyrion jokes about Joffrey’s inability to rule. 
Podrick equips Tyrion in armor.
Podrick squires for Tyrion during the Battle of the Blackwater. He dresses Tyrion in his armor prior to the battle during a meeting with Lord Varys. Varys asks Tyrion if he trusts Podrick and Tyrion says that he does. Varys then shows them a map of the tunnel network beneath the city. When King Stannis Baratheon lands near the Mud Gate Tyrion dispatches Podrick to fetch reinforcements from the King’s Gate. Podrick does as ordered, returning with a host of men just as King Joffrey flees back to the Red Keep.  Tyrion urges his surviving men and Podrick’s reinforcements to help him fight the invaders. He orders Ser Mandon Moore and Ser Boros Blount to join him in leading a sortie through the tunnels. Podrick accompanies Tyrion outside the walls. In the midst of battle, Ser Mandon attempts to murder Tyrion.
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