It's often unfair to try and diagnose historical figures with modern psychological labels, but the truth is that if Victor Hugo wasn't a sex addict, no one is. Because while every eighth-grader remembers him as that Victorian Santa Claus who wrote Les Miserables, that Victorian Santa Claus laid serious
pipe candy cane.
From a young age, Hugo became infamous for having a genuinely insatiable sexual appetite. On his wedding night, the author reportedly only stopped consummating his marriage when his wife refused to continue after nine long sessions. She completely tapped out after eight years of marriage, during which she was almost always pregnant, allowing Hugo to tag in a mistress. That mistress? The entire city of Paris.
For 60 years, Hugo stuck his little Jean Valjean in everything that moved. And as someone so famous and beloved by the French people they'd steal the cobblestones on which he had walked, the wealthy socialite had no trouble getting laid. At the peak of his predilection, he allegedly was able to bed 200 women over two years. And when he wasn't writing (in the nude) or having sex, Hugo liked to watch. He hosted an almost constant parade of home parties where his favorite party trick involved deepthroating a whole orange. After copious amounts of alcohol and saucy talk, guests were encouraged to stay the night in his vast mansion. But what people didn't figure out until his house was put up for auction after his death was that all the guest bedrooms had peepholes drilled into them.
Even in his old, infirm age, Hugo was still making the beast with two hunchbacks on the regular, sleeping with 20-something fans into his 70s and seducing his maids until his dying day. And when he finally did snu-snu himself to death, not just the French flags were flying at half-mast. Because while France mourned the loss of its greatest writer, its prostitutes mourned the loss of their greatest patron. Legend still has it that on the day of his funeral, all Paris brothels closed their doors and legs so that its sex workers could attend the city-wide wake, and you could say that neither the French arts nor its sex industry has reached the orgasmic peaks of Victor Hugo's presence.
Keep that in mind, next time you're watching this.
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Top Image: Wikimedia Commons, Walt Disney