The more I look into the history of BDSM, the more I long to write an historical novel set in the world of kink and fetish. Today’s toy: The Berkeley Horse, or Chevalet.
As the story goes, in 1828 Theresa Berkeley either made or had made a device to aide her in flogging the gentleman who requested her services. The chevalet was adjustable so the man on it might be brought to any angle, and a woman could sit beneath it and fondle his “embolon” while flogging his backside.
A woman after my own heart!
According to Leatherpedia.org, “In one surviving letter, a customer hearing about the Berkley Horse proffered Theresa Berkeley this pricing for her services: ‘a pound sterling for the first blood drawn, two pounds sterling if the blood runs down to my heels, three pounds sterling if my heels are bathed in blood, four pounds sterling if the blood reaches the floor, and five pounds sterling if you succeed in making me lose consciousness.’”
I don’t think I’d care to go so far as bring blood, but I really love the idea that a woman was so giving, so concerned with the needs of others that she went so far as to design such an apparatus. And made so much money off it. Not to mention how many men she satisfied. A true philanthropist, wasn’t she?