July 15, 2012

I Feel Faint

After keeling over, I'm now so comfy!
Where's the laudanum?
I have a new sofa. Actually, it's a "fainting couch."

Class, take your seats. Time for a history lesson, a la Fragrant Liar. I want you to put yourself in the shoes—er, the corset of a Victorian-era woman. Go ahead.

Ready? All cinched up nice and tight? Imagine tighter. You can't breathe-tight. Now imagine all that pomp and frill beneath your skirts. Not your vagina pomp and frill, but long knickers and stiff crinolines. It might be 20 degrees outside, but you are freakin' sweaty and suffocating. Where do you turn? WHERE DO YOU TURN?

To the fainting couch, of course, which catches you at the very instant you keel over.

So says, not verbatim, the Great Oracle Google. But I question the veracity of a tightly strung corset figuring into the need for a fainting couch. Sure, a bunch of women dropping like flies could necessitate a special sofa for recovery, but during that same era, women rode horseback, played tennis, and performed other vigorous activities in corsets, no problem. More likely, women had a racket going.

Thanks, Hilary!
See, in Victorian times (1837-1901), the fainting couch served another purpose. Disease. Or more precisely, the inconvenient disease of female hysteria. If you had that disease, you could get special house calls. Professionals were standing by, conveniently, to perform therapeutic treatments on you. Therapeutic, as in manual pelvic massage. I'll just let you absorb that for a moment.

And it was also likely that you'd require constant, weekly treatments that could take hours of you supining on your fainting couch under a professional's careful machinations. Anybody feeling faint? I'm making a sign of the cross right now (just in case), in divine thanks for medically prescribed sex. Tut, tut! No judging.

Ahem, so if you were a 19th century woman of breeding, you owned a fainting couch and you damn well took advantage of it if you had any inkling of its true bennies. I'd be droppin' it like it's hot twice a day! Don't you know, those Victorian women begged their old fart husbands for a fainting couch. Please, please, sir!

Speaking of breeding, is it coincidental that the Victorian era saw a huge spike in fertility rates? I think not. Perhaps manual pelvic massage included other, shall we say, special instruments? That, or wives were so grateful for their disease relief that they actually had thank-you sex with their old fart husbands and thereby produced heirs.

I am feeling faint and hysteria.
How inconvenient.

So we've come a long way, baby, but I think in this case, we women totally got robbed. I, for one, am contemplating a return to simpler times, where female hysteria was a perfectly acceptable reason for stopping mid-day to get a good hand job. I'm asking my boss about instituting a new policy tomorrow.

Ho hum, it's all stormy and rainy outside in Austin, and to be honest, I feel a strong bout of hysteria coming on. I better go lay down on my fainting couch. Good thing I have a medical practitioner on speed dial.

See you in a few hours.
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26 comments:

injaynesworld said...

I'm loving the dress. You certainly know how to "faint" in style!

Hilary said...

I'm beginning to understand this faint feint. You're a hoot.

Suzy said...

If you looked any hotter in that dress the fainting couch would burn to the ground.

You're in Austin, are you far from Round Top? Go see (first read about them on my blog) the Junk Gypsies when they go.

daisyfae said...

i was pregnant with my first critter, and five days past my due date. my doc prescribed "Orgasms, Multiple" as a means to help get my labor started. i asked for him to put it in writing...

love the sofa, the history lesson -- and YOU in that dress! Grrr....

Lisa Golden said...

What the other said about you in that dress. Yowza, woman.

Your fainting couch and the lessons that went along with it, got me to thinking ---

Gaelyn said...

Wonder if one of those will fit in my RV and if there's any medical help around for fainting.

Christine Macdonald said...

You're right - us women HAVE come a long way.

Great piece!

Missed you, sister.

I'm over at a new blog now, but still following you here.

Hugs and pisses. Just not on your fainting couch.

xo

Red Shoes said...

That dress IS killer!!

I did a post once upon a time on physician-induced orgasms.

LMBO...

Time for a career change?? ;o)

~shoes~

Breathe said...

We are so getting a fainting couch in the office. And I'm calling the HMO for coverage information. Heck, I'll even kick in for the deductible.

SueAnn Lommler said...

Ha!! I am feeling faint too...we could start a home party fad. Better than a Tupeerware Party for sure.
Hugs
SueAnn

Pat said...

After reading this post, I'm feeling Fifty Shades of Faint! Holy Moley, I WANT A FAINTING COUCH!!! And a personal manual pelvic massager, too! Sigh!

Wow, that was awkward said...

Wooooooooooooooooot-wooooooooooooo (with a wink and clickety click of my cheek). That is how I write out a catcall whistle. If your couch isn't within range, I'll catch you.

otin said...

I'm glad my doctor never tried to make me orgasm. A finger in my ass is embarrassing enough!

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Okay, I think I need one of those, too.

Brian Miller said...

a few hours...wow that is some stamina...i am wondering where i might be able to put one of these in my house if they work that good...smiles.

thanks to otin for that picture as well...

bill lisleman said...

Did the story come with the couch or after reclining on it did you become inspired to investigate?
Pelvic massage could be a lost art.

Bella said...

Who knew a fainting couch had such a sordid past? LOL

Steve Gravano said...

Congrats on your POTW from Hilary. You have won a gift certificate for one Pelvic Massage from a qualified practitioner of your choice.

TexWisGirl said...

too funny! congrats on your POTW!

Out on the prairie said...

this is what i always have enjoyed, but never saw a way to use its shape in my rooms, I like it

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

Well! Some of those Victorians were kinky bastards and bitches, huh?
Thank you for this most educational blog post. The more you know...
;)

ds said...

Nearly faint with laughter. Guess i gotta get me a couch...Congratulations on your POTW!

Murr Brewster said...

I couldn't see where you put the quarter in.

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

Can't tell for sure which is hotter: the story, the couch, or your dress! Congrats on your POTW. :)

My husband told me some of this background (but not the fainting couch part) and I didn't believe him -- he can be a not-so-fragrant liar -- but Google backed him up.

Candice said...

Screw the fainting couch, I want that dress!

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

Methinks you might be a very bad influence upon my wife.