Attention, ye plebes: I invite you to feast your eyes upon the fabled sex chair of yore, Edward VII of England’s sex chair, an “extraordinary” contraption that — in the words of historian Tracy Borman — “boggles” the mind. Looking like a strange cross between a chaise lounge and a bassinet and a gynecological exam table (only very plush), the “love chair” that formerly helped a girthy Prince of Wales maneuver himself into coital position now features in a forthcoming Smithsonian Channel series: Private Lives of the Monarchs, hosted by Borman. King Henry VIII and the Sun King will also make an appearance, but you came here to read about Bertie’s sex chair, so let’s get to it.
Today, Jezebel published an interview with Borman — as well as an exclusive sex chair clip, which I suggest you watch, so you can really get a feel for its craftsmanship — who described how Queen Victoria’s son would trot off to France to do “what the hell he likes” outside the eye of his infamously modest mother. “Dirty Bertie,” who eventually became King of England, conducted a truly staggering number of affairs, but his custom-made-and-measured chair resided in his preferred Parisian brothel. Borman explained:
Edward liked the finer things in life, and he particularly liked the ladies. He would travel over to Paris on a regular basis, because that was the best place if you liked the ladies. They were a much freer society than Victorian London. Edward, as well as lots of women, liked his food, and he put on quite a lot of weight later in life. Now, there is a theory that this sex chair, as well as being just a bit kinky, frankly, was to sort of help him do the business, even though he was now quite large. The way in which it is structured has enabled him to remain standing and to access the lady on the chair, should we say, without his enormous belly getting in the way.
The thing about the sex sled, though, is that no one really seems to know where the bodies went. The prevailing scholarly theory holds that, presumably, someone (Dirty Bertie) stood with their feet planted in the sturdy footbeds, their hands wrapped around the two apparent thrusting grips. Presumably, someone reclined on the elevated lounge portion, resting their legs on the intimidating metal stirrup bits. Presumably, the third-party lay … below the actual chair bit? Because it’s padded down there, too, although it’s sort of unclear what kind of mischief you’d get up to with your partners — one of whom refuses to exert any effort — wholly occupied above. Whores of Yore has some compelling ideas about the various positions three people might be able to pull off on “Edward the Caresser’s” “siege d’amour,” and I suggest you check them out, because — fun fact — two versions of this chair actually exist and one day, you might just have the chance to buy your own.