Casanova, the notorious 18th-century ladies’ man, boasted more than 200 conquests.Mozart’s Don Juan turned his long catalogue of seductions into a delightful aria.
Bad girls did, and talked about it; good girls did, and kept mum.
These charm schools did not wish to promote goody-goody Victorian morality, they just wanted to maximise students’ chances of bagging an eligible bachelor: numerous exes would intimidate, but secrets would titillate the chinless wonder with a country pile but without a clue.
If 10 has been deemed a good rule of thumb when it comes to admitting to past lovers, I should point out that some of us would rather die than discuss (let alone list) our exes with our present partner.
It was a lesson that girls learnt at finishing school, like getting out of a sports car without showing too much leg.
Frisky Nick is a lot less authoritative than devoted (if henpecked) father-figure Nick.
Clegg’s full disclosure did prompt many a dinner-party game among Westminster-watchers: which MP has had the most lovers?
In comparison, Nick Clegg, who famously confessed to having slept with “no more than 30” women, sounds positively virginal – if not a little “vulgar”, as Matt Warren, editor of The Lady, puts it.
“Going public with the number of lovers you’ve had is unforgivable.” Especially, I’d venture, if you’re a politician.
Suddenly, making inquiries about a suitor’s romantic history is part of every courtship, as awkward but unavoidable as the moment when the bill arrives, and you don’t know whether to reach for your purse: are you going Dutch or do you risk offending him by intimating that he can’t afford to keep you in style? ” is no longer a lubricious question but a legitimate one.
Some men, of course, don’t need this excuse to divulge how many notches they’ve chalked up on their bedposts.
There were various rolls in the hay (she was a country girl). Number 22 kept falling asleep (“that was my first year in England”). This is not my prudish hunch, but the very scientific finding of Seeking