Topic: lord byron

Hot Stuff Guys Used To Do: Be Cicisbeo (The Male Equivalent Of A Mistress)

 Hot Stuff Guys Used To Do:  Be Cicisbeo (The Male Equivalent Of A Mistress)

I think one of the things that makes me not want to develop a time machine and go back to the 18th century right now (despite the great wigs) is the notion that I would probably be married off to someone I didn’t like very much, who would then take a mistress. While I would do… nothing. At least, nothing in terms of fun and flirtations and romance. I would bear children, and I would knit. Knitting. That’s a thing ladies do. They knit like fiends, slowly forming the nets that mirror the metaphoric web called life which has so trapped them.

Wrong! Not true! And not the case for all women. If you eneded up in, say, 18th century Italy, you would totally not knit, because you would have a cicisbeo (sometimes called a cavalier servente).

While men were permitted mistresses, in Italian culture through the 18th and 19th century a somewhat similar arrangement existed for women More »