Halloween is coming, and that means sexy Draculas. For generations, we've learned to see vampires as sexy monsters (a story I'll be covering elsewhere). We've also begun to see sexy werewolves, typically of the bare-chested hunk variety. But aside from the occasional girl using strategically-loose bandages to her advantage, you'll never see a Halloween sexy mummy. After all, what's sexy about a dusty, rotting corpse swathed in mouldering bandages?

WTF History Presents True Fucking Facts About:

The Sexy Mummy

 

image-100616-article.jpg

What if I told you that in an earlier era, mummies were absolutely considered a sexy monster? As odd as it may sound, it's true. The Victorians considered the living mummy to be a romantic figure. For at least one famous later figure, well … let's take a look.

The 19th century was a boom period for mummy-mania in Europe. Following Napoleon's invasion of Egypt, all things Egyptian entered the public consciousness. As the Gothic genre evolved throughout the period, Egyptian themes made appearances. Particularly toward the end of the era in works like Dracula creator Bram Stoker's The Jewel of Seven Stars. The reanimated mummies in these horror stories weren't shambling, bandaged creatures. They were ordinary-looking people, typically women, whose perfect beauty was rendered eerie by the fact that they'd been dead for thousands of years.

The fictional mummy of the 19th century was therefore more likely to be a glamorous, vampire-like femme fatale than a bone-crushing avenger.

Meanwhile, real mummies were an object of public curiosity in a way that modern archaeologists would tend to look askance at. Stories of Victorian “unwrapping parties” are probably exaggerated. There was definitely a creepily sexual undertone to the way in which archaeologists and keen amateurs of the Victorian period lovingly unwrapped the bodies of people who had very specifically tried to prevent that from happening. Some modern historians point out similarities between Victorian attitudes toward mummies and contemporary British attitudes toward Egypt itself.

So Victorian mummies were often female. Simultaneously victims and dangerously sexual – which is not too different from vampires. And not a million miles removed from Victorian portrayals of women in general. But the sexiest mummies of all weren't in Victorian England (was the sexiest anything of all in Victorian England?) but in 1900s Paris.

Mummies were all the rage and full of controversy.

The mummified remains of a woman believed to be the repentant courtesan Saint Thais had been a huge hit in 1902.  In 1907, when super-controversial novelist and Bohemian Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (just Colette for short) was announced as appearing in a pantomime performance called Rêve d'Égypte (Dream of Egypt) at the Moulin Rouge, the stage was set for a good old-fashioned French erotic controversy.

And what a controversy it was! Colette played the role of the mummy, while her lover Mathilde de Morny (“Missy” for short) dressed in drag as the archaeologist who unwrapped her. The whole thing concluded with Colette dancing in an ever-decreasing number of bandages until, nearly naked, she passionately kissed Missy. It brought the house down.

Almost literally, in fact. Although Missy's husband was fine with watching his wife make out with a beautiful, nearly-naked woman (how unusual!), the rest of the family wasn't so keen. Whether they actually paid off the audience members who rioted I couldn't tell you, but riot they did. And the theatre had to be closed the next night.

The Next Top Sexy Mummy...?

Colette's performance may be the peak of the sexy mummy. The 1920s brought the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun, and with it the legend of the mummy's curse. Mummies began to be seen as avenging spirits. The 1932 film The Mummy, starring Boris Karloff, cemented the image of the mummy as a shambling monster. And there, the occasional sexy mummy character notwithstanding, they've stayed.

But all hope is not lost.

We've seen the sexy werewolf come out of specialty-porn obscurity and into the mainstream over the last few years. With a little favour from the gods, the sexy mummy might not be far behind. Ahem. I mean, if you're into that sort of thing. You know. Not that I am.

 

Wanna get featured on the Fuck.com magazine? Write for us! Got a hot topic you want to share? Send a message to write@fuck.com


YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

0 comments

Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



There are no comments to display.

Similar articles

Forum discussions