It began a longer time ago than I will admit; a lady does not want her age known. Apart from anything else, my fourth husband might take fright if he knew just how much older than him I am. That in itself was a change from the norm for me. But let me begin, if not at the beginning, near it.

It was not quite in good King George's golden days that I first saw the light of day. The mad old king died in 1820, the year before I was born, and was succeeded by his fat rake of a son, George IV. The "Regency" as it has become known, was a time when vice engulfed creation; I was one of its finest products.

My mother was no better than she ought to have been - a typical modern euphemism meaning "pity she's a whore." But the age of the young Queen - Victoria - will go down in history as one where euphemism ruled. That served only to disguise vice and its manifestations. My father was a singer, a fine tenor, who earned money on the boards. My mother earned her living on her back (though I once saw her on her hands and knees, but that's another tale).

The language of that era is not that we use now, but I am a child of it and use it naturally. I shall explain where necessary.

Brought up in a theatrical atmosphere, I decided I'd prefer to be a Toffer (that is a high class whore), rather than a Bunter (a low-class whore) or a Dollymop (a girl who might, drop her drawers for anyone); so many euphemisms for whores, but then there were so many of us. I learned early that a girl situated as I was has two choices: succumb to vice as a victim; or use it. Never was it said that I was a victim. I wanted to get on in life. As my mother used to say gaily: "what's girl to do?" Rise in station was my answer.

To do this, I monetised my assets as a good businesswoman should. If I say I was a comely wench, that is not me boasting, I got it from the number of older men who wanted to get up my skirts and fuck me. I may have been eighteen by then, but I was not some silly chit of a girl. Yes, men'll say anything until they tup you. Then, if you're lucky you get to be a mistress, and if unlucky, you get with a brat and end up as a Bunter. Not me.

Men were welcome, if they paid the price, to feast their eyes on my tits, but while they were doing that, I was using my brain. My body has always been desirable to men, even if they were not what I desired. But there were things I wanted that only they could provide; position and power above all. Men wanted to get into my cunny, well, if congress with men got me what I wanted, the man could have what he wanted; fair exchange, no? It would never do to paint it to men in that way. When they are young they have strange notions about "rescuing" a girl like me; when they are old they want "love." Love butters no parsnips.

This is by way of explaining my first marriage. When the Waldy brothers both paid suit to me, I had a dilemma. I preferred George Edward, or GE as he preferred to be called. He was younger, more handsome and generous with his gifts. But he was the heir, and his papa was not having him marrying the daughter of an "actress", though the dirty old bastard was not beneath putting his hands on my titties and giving them a good squeeze. So I settled for his elder half-brother, John James. JJ was the product of a youthful indiscretion with an actress and thus unable to inherit the estate. He would do for the daughter of an actress, and Lord Waldy was content to allow his suit with me. What's a girl to do? Marry him, of course.

Our wedding was not a grand affair, though JJ had enough money to keep me in a style to which I wanted to become accustomed, which was all that mattered to me. Our wedding night was a fiasco as JJ shot his pearly juices on my buttocks, prematurely misdirecting his cock. It was only later I realised he was aiming to use me as he used his boys for rent; but what cared I? I had a nice house in Town, fine gowns and a carriage. He got what he wanted, cover for his frequenting the Molly Houses (the contemporary name for male brothels), and I got what I needed -- a position. Usually, as it happened, with my arse up. If that saved me from an unwanted pregnancy, fine; it also meant I didn't have to see his face or smell his stale breath.

It is a fact not as universally acknowledged as it should be, that it is a risky business for a man in his fifties to mate with a spirited young wench. Once it was clear that JJ liked my arse and mouth, I made sure he got serviced regularly. He loved the way in which I pushed back and loved to turn it into a gallop - he was a keen horseman. "You are more like a mistress than a wife", he liked to tell me. Then, one early morning when he was swiving my back passage eagerly, I heart a grunt and a moan. The next thing I knew he had collapsed onto my back - stone dead. Having ascertained that no kiss of life would bring the old boy back, I pulled up my drawers and sent the maid for the sawbones. The doctor confirmed my diagnosis.

As a young widow I had some money and the house, but needed more. Fortunately, mortality which had threatened to undo me, now did me a favour, carrying off Lord Waldy within six months of JJ's death. George Edward, now the seventh earl Waldy, renewed his pursuit - with every encouragement from me. But if I thought the death of the old earl had removed the last barrier to my earthly felicity I was wrong.

The same Law which said JJ could not inherit the estate because he was illegitimate, recognised him as a full brother in the sense that as his widow, I was covered by some ridiculous piece of nonsense called the deceased husband's wife provision. GE wanted to make an honest woman of me. I wanted to be a countess. The Law said no. So much the worse for the Law. It transpired that if GE and I went to Scotland we could marry - the Law there allowed of it. I know, mad. Off we went to Gretna Green, and I came back a countess.

There was, of course, the little question of what the earl expected of his "cuntess" as he liked to call me. Modern women have no idea of what it was like back in the 1830s. My maid Fanny, an earthy girl if ever there was one, liked to joke that by the time a lady got out of her clothing the man had either died of boredom or having shot his shower, was suffering from that sad condition known as lobcock, where the poor thing rises only to fall away again. I loved my linen drawers with the broderie anglaise trimmings. I loathed the fashion of having the things baggy around the posteriors, leaving a hole for one's arse, and had my seamstress make them fit me better. Quite why we need two petticoats is a question not to be asked, though for some ladies the corset is the only thing standing between them and a whole new dress size. If they ate less and exercised more it would be better. But what's a girl to do?

If she has any sense, she finds out what her husband wants and a way of giving it him at as little expense to herself as can be managed. A woman of sense can find ways of doing that, even if she does not much care for it.

GE, like his half-brother, seemed rather keener on my arse than my cunny. They were a funny lot those Waldys, no wonder the direct line died out. A bunch of gal-boys marrying a sapphist was not the way to get an heir. I didn't mind GE eyeing the telegraph boys and the young guardsmen, and in return he didn't bother me much. I was his trophy wife, living, breathing, indeed pouting evidence that he was a virile man. I made a good hostess for his parties - and a damned good alibi for his nocturnal excursions, as well as a receptacle for his pearly juices when no one else was available. His drinking often rendered him incapable of the act, which was a bonus for me. But it was the demon drink which led to his downfall.

Coming back from Westminster one evening, much the worse for wear, he was spotted at the railway station by a Peeler who asked if he was feeling "well." GE damned his impudence and kicked him up the arse before cuffing him. That, as I pointed out later, might have been allowed under the old king, but in this year of Grace 1846, it was not, and even a belted earl could not treat a Peeler as though he were his valet. The judge, who had never liked GE, sentenced him to three months in Newgate Gaol.

There was naught to be done. I rented a place nearby and took the household to town. We missed leafy Turnberry Pike, but needs must, and absent my arse, GE would have found some mollyboy to tup. That would have opened him up to blackmail, and I was not having that - if there was tupping to be done, I'd organise it.

My Society friends were not sure whether to admire my wifely tenderness or marvel at my insouciance. It was not, to be honest, as though gaols were new to me. Dear papa had spent time in the sponging house for failure to pay his debts. One reason I did our accounts was I trusted no one except me. GE was a rich man, but I intended him to stay that way, despite his penchant for drink and mollyboys.

Money allowed GE to live luxuriously, and apart from the inconvenience of not being able to go to balls and the House of Lords, he passed his time much as he might have done. Well, as I commented on one occasion, he had swapped the company of a bunch of crooks with no convictions for a bunch of crooks with convictions. GE was grateful for my services and did not mind the lack of privacy. I did, but what's a girl to do? The short answer was find him a whore or three.

However much the gaolers might have liked to have seen my back avenue, it was not for their gaze. But there were tarts a-plenty down Seven Dials way, and the butler seemed to enjoy the process of selecting them. I vetted them carefully, taking care that the prettier ones did not make the final cut. No use taking chances. GE would get his tarts, but they were not going to replace me.

That was the first time I encounter the queer thing. As the dollymops and Bunters showed me their Fairest Flowers, I found my own growing moist, and more than once in the aftermath I found myself fingering myself until my wet cunny exploded and I felt the sweet sting of pleasure. It seemed as though I was dabbling in being a Sapphist, though back then I had but the haziest notion of what the word meant.

The dollmops bared their arses for the old bugger, and he passed his time in Newgate energetically enough. Fascinating though I found the task of inspecting the nether regions of the whores, I can't say I wasn't relieved when the old bastard finished his sentence and we went back to Turnberry Pike.

Whether it was the exercise in Newgate, or the rides he got from me upon our return, GE took a turn for the worst six weeks after leaving gaol, and so once more, now at the age of twenty-six, I was a widow. But the joy of being a widow for the second time was that I was an extremely rich one, with lands in Somerset, Hampshire and the Turnberry Pike estate on the Thames south of Richmond. & u=45547 & u=19932 & uid=19991

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