2019.05.05 02:10 jooxii Real voyeur villa
Last updated: 12/07/19 Edit 32: Couldn't help myself. Added Urban Jurgënsen and Manufacture Royale. Thread is archived so no promises, but feel free to message me with any requests!
A. Lange & Söhne: You work in investments, but nowhere as common as Wall Street. You have been known to casually ask to compare balance bridges with Patek owners.
Alpina: You are subscribed to Outside magazine, and can quote passages from Krakauer’s “Into the Wild” by by heart. You own a pair of serious hiking boots, but they languish in your closet, unworn and unmuddied. You could not afford a Rolex Explorer. If pressed, you would not be able to articulate why anyone would actually need an “Alpinist” watch.
Audemars Piguet: You are a rapper, and you think the brand name is “Royal Oak”.
Apple Watch: You are either a secretary or nine-figure earning CEO at a Fortune 500 company. You use your Apple Watch Series 4 to track both your weekly jogs and chicken roasts. You are vaguely familiar with the idea that other, “old-fashioned” watches exist, but assume they will soon disappear once they are no longer repaired by their manufacturers.
Azimuth: Your two most treasured possessions are an autographed photo of Leonard Nimoy and a replica copy of the Voyager probe Golden Record. You can only dream of owning an MB&F.
Ball: As you walk through your LED lit hallway, down the stairs illuminated by motion sensing flood lamps, and towards your basement model train table outfitted with 3000 Lumen overhead halogen bulbs, you’re gladly reassured by your watch's Tritium lume - for the brief second it takes to find the switch.
Balticus: You are either a metrosexual 20-something working in Warsaw, or a teenage boy living in rural Estonia. You don’t get to play with your Overwatch team as much as you’d like due to the time difference. You dream of moving to Berlin or New York.
Baume et Mercier: You were touched when your wife got you a Clifton for your wedding. You have since gotten a Rolex, but wear your B&M on special occasions. Thankfully, she got you an automatic, not a quartz.
Bell & Ross: You think IWCs are a pale imitation of a Boeing 767 flight instrument. You want to wear the entire flight panel.
Blancpain: Let’s be real, unless you're Vladimir Putin, the only watch you wear from this brand is the Fifty Fathoms - and it never goes near water.
Bovet: You are the president of an esteemed French bank, say, Société Générale. While browsing the shops near your villa in Nice, you came across a lovely Fleurier, which you bought without even considering a discount. So much less common than a Breguet.
Breitling: You aspire to be a pilot. You think the Breitling Emergency is the coolest watch ever made. You are unfamiliar with the term “in-house”.
Bremont: You are an Anglophile. After purchasing two models from the boutique, you are hoping one day to be invited to a Townhouse event. You are either blissfully unaware, or painfully so, of the concept of “resale value”. Though you publicly state it doesn’t matter, you are secretly jealous that Tudor is moving in-house. Even you are somewhat embarrassed by their origin story.
Breguet: You properly pronounce “Tourbillon”. You cringe when others refer to dial markings as mere “Arabic numerals”. You wish more people understood the history of horology. Your dream is to visit Paris.
Bulova: You are either a middle-aged man obsessively collecting the 1970's Accutrons of your youth, or you picked this up from the jewelry counter at Kohl's - with a coupon.
Burberry: You are either a skinny-tie wearing American office drone, or a Chav named Derek living in Slough. In either scenario, you believe the checkmark on the dial exudes class.
BVLGARI - Men's: You wanted a watch that looked like a Diesel, but more expensive.
BVLGARI - Women's: While you already have a diamond Datejust, you wanted something a little flashier to go with your evening-wear Chanel handbag. You delight in correcting others when they attempt to read the name on the dial. Even watch geeks will admit your Serpanti is kind of cool.
Carl F. Bucherer: You are a Chinese national who has never visited the United States. Your uncle’s textile factory has vaunted your family into the upper-middle classes, and it is expected that you project a certain image to distinguish yourself from the commoners. The saleswoman assured you that your Manero is for “a man of distinction” and will fit perfectly with your other internationally recognized luxury item, your cherry-red Buick GL8 Sedan.
Cartier: You like beautiful things, and are possibly a woman.
Casio: In school, your glasses were held together with Scotchtape, and the mechanical pencil in your shirt-front pocket always jammed, but your trusty Calculator Watch never failed. You are shocked that others are copying your look ironically.
Certina: You are the 33-year old manager of a Coop supermarket outside of Davos, Switzerland. While you believe fancy watches are for tourists, your Powermatic was listed “Uhren 50% Rabatt!” and looks pretty sweet.
Chanel: When you awake, you reach for your bottle of No. 5 - sprayed at the pulse points - before you check your phone. You love your ceramic white J12 for the way it effortlessly graces most of your outfits. You spend most days at work surreptitiously surfing TheRealReal, desperately trying to emulate your idol, Coco, on the cheap. Secretly, you wish the whole Nazi collaborator thing was just an ugly rumor.
Chopard: When you got engaged, you insisted on a “Chopard for Love” ring in a platinum setting. While your finance-bro fiancee couldn’t be there on the special day, he gave you a Happy Diamonds to go with it on your three-year anniversary. He will marry you. Eventually. Right?
Christiaan Van Der Klaauw: You are an unusually successful astrophysicist with a NY Times bestselling book. You wear you hair at a rakish angle, and unabashedly use the phase “a priori” in everyday conversation. You actually understand the concept of Sideral time. You first heard of the brand from the oligarch who endowed your research chair using laundered Petro dollars.
Christopher Ward: You can’t afford to spend more than $1K on a watch. You’ve come to actually love your Trident. Secretly, you think the new logo makes your watch look like a toy.
Citizen: You work for NASA, and your job is to set the clocks on the GPS satellites.
Concord: The year is 1986. While all the other middle-managers are celebrating their promotions with Trans Ams, women, or Rolexs, you chose the Concord Saratoga. Placing the leftover cash into Lincoln Savings and Loan bonds and a custom suit with serious shoulder pads, you choose to invest in things that last.
Corum: You spend most days at your estate's dock, "working" on your teak-decked Sloop, so much so that your wife - for whose birthday you bought a subscription to Sail magazine - calls your Coxswain when she wishes to find you. You exclusively wear Sperry’s and have been known to sport a racing flag tie unironically. You know nothing about watches.
Cuervo y Sobrinos: You are a third generation Cuban-American named Jorge living in Buena Vista, Miami. You drink Bacardi Gold as you grill pulled pork at cookouts and play dominos with your Abuelo. You chose your Rubusto to honor your family, culture, and heritage. Secretly, you’re terrified that someone might find out your legal name is George - and that you speak no Spanish.
Damasko: You earnestly believe that form must always follow function. You lament the paucity of good quality, acid-resistant PVD watches on the market. As you wear steel-toed hiking boots daily, you wouldn’t be caught dead handling, much less wearing, a gold dress watch.
Daniel Wellington: You are a millennial who is into latte art. You think Humphrey Bogart looked so cool in old movies with his suit and trench coat. You are unaware of the terms "quartz" or "automatic". If you're honest, you had a hard time choosing your watch, as they all look the same on the website. You pay $5 a pop at the jewelry store to change Nato straps, which you recently got into.
De Bethune: You successfully sold your internet company - with no revenue, let alone income - for $450 million dollars. You love technology, shiny things, and the color blue. You have a life-size replica of the Star Trek: The Next Generation bridge in your Rec room.
Diesel: You are either a teenager with vociferous opinions on the PC vs. Console gaming wars, or a playboy far too busy dating multiple women simultaneously to know what that is.
Dornblüth & Sohn: You own a grandfather clock, which you wind daily. Your have the same opinion on Roman numerals as on your ex-wife - cluttered, fussy, and confusing. You drive a vintage BMW - in your opinion, the epitome of a functional automobile - before the snazzy marketing made them much too flashy.
Ebel: Fresh out of law school, you just got your first associate-level job at a big firm. You wanted something pretty but professional to wear to work. You are confused as to why on dates, men excitedly ask to see your watch, then get close, look disappointed, and say ”oh…an Ebel...”.
Edox/Mido: You are a 23 year old German man, fresh out of the University of Heidelberg. Your starter job and soon to be expiring student benefits did not allow you to stretch for a Longines. The salesman’s face visibly fell when you walked through his door.
Eterna: Your KonTiki was a Jomashop 75% off gamble. You have since become a fanboy, going so far as to grow a beard and voraciously reading Thor Heyerdahl's memoirs. You will order a nature survival kit, tent, and water purification pills online before you lose all interest and snuggle back up to your PS4.
Fortis: You are a young German man living in Düsseldorf. You saved up quite a few paychecks at your Aldi managerial job to afford your Stratoliner. You wish the SR-71 Blackbird was still around. You have re-watched Top Gun 23 times, while imagining that your handle would be “The Baron”. If you ever actually visited an American airbase, you would be disgusted with the wastefulness and vow never to return.
Fossil: You are a 25 year old man at your first job. Your workplace has open-plan offices and “Sunday Fundays”. You carefully buckle up your leather watch before dates, and make sure it shows under your cuff.
Franck Muller: You are a jocular pediatrician, or possibly, a professional clown. You have a weakness for Tonneau cases and Art Deco numerals.
Frederique Constant: You could not afford a JLC Master Ultra Thin Moon, so you got this instead. You are unsuccessfully trying to make a 42mm dress watch work for your wrist. You were shocked, and a little disappointed, when you learned that the company was founded in 1988.
Garmin: You are subscribed to Men's Health and GQ. Before leaving for work, you lace up your running sneakers and strap on your Forerunner in case you can get a quick run in on the way home. This never happens. Your Bowflex sits quietly in your garage, gleaming and untouched.
Ginault: You spent $1,449 on a Rolex Submariner Homage. You while away countless man-hours on the forums, defending the brand from baseless accusations. You will ultimately purchase Hulk, Pepsi, and Daytona homages from other brands, and with time, will have spent more on replicas than the cost of the real thing.
Girard-Perregaux: You swear that the Laureato is “the next Overseas”, and that the Golden Bridges are an under appreciated masterpiece. You purposely chose a 1966 over a JLC Master Ultra Thin. Secretly, you wonder if you made a mistake.
Glashütte Original: You, overall, cannot afford a Lange.
Glycine: You’ve outgrown the flashy Invicta's of your youth, but are still hesitant to go smaller than 46mm in a watch. Secretly, the vaguely military associations of your Combat Sub mildly arouse you. If he were alive to see it, Eugène Meylan would throw an egg at your face.
Glycine - Vintage: You live in an old age home, with your WWII Purple Heart and military induction papers tucked away discreetly in a corner. You still wear the Airman which you bought on the base at Ramstein in ’49. Sadly, your grandson only visits to eye it covetously.
Graham: You couldn’t resist a watch whose crown is easily confused with a grenade’s firing pin. Your Volkswagen Golf has vanity plates and a silkscreened pin-up on the rear window. You have a shrine to your grandfather in your room, a WWII vet with the British Expeditionary Force, though he only got to flee Dunkirk. Even you suspect the “Watchmakers Since 1659” claim is crap.
Grand Seiko: You think a Spring Drive is the coolest thing since sliced bread. You frequently photograph your Cocktail Time with your Sony camera or, in a pinch, your latest generation iPhone. You have bookmarked Youtube videos of the Grand Seiko factory - in case you meet someone with a Swiss made watch who needs a little convincing. You wish Seiko would do marketing better.
Grönefeld: While trained at RADA, you have peaked as a recognizable, but under-appreciated Hollywood actor. You have impeccable taste and a thing for Salmon dials. You wanted something dressier than your sponsored but boring Omega to wear to the Met Gala.
G-Shock: You are a junior in college, or an emergency room physician. You delight in taking your G-Shock to watch meet-ups, to the horror of the traditionalists. You recently took up mountain biking just to post Instagram photos of your watch on the trails.
H. Moser & Cie: You have a mischievous sense of humor, and in high school, were known to film pranks you pulled on your friends. You have an insatiable weakness for fume dials. While you can’t quite put your finger on it, you suspect the brand will be worth a lot in coming years - or so you tell anyone who will listen. Deep down, you are terrified your Endeavor might just be a passing fad.
Hamilton: You recently graduated college. You spent hours on the watch forums, debating between this or a Longines. You finally settled on the JazzmasteKhaki, though the salesman couldn't tell you anything about it. The highlight of your life was when a random woman on a date said, “nice watch”. You almost married her.
Hautlence: You have a game room in your Park Avenue, per-war classic six filled with pinball machines. You wear pink glasses, to let your underlings at your Goldman Sachs job know that you can be “cool” too. You are not.
Hermes: You are either a perfumer living in the Montmarte district of Paris, or an American woman with an unerringly good fashion sense.
Hublot: You are, simply, wrong.
HYT: You are a successful electrical engineer with lucrative patents to your name, or an internet startup founder that actually solved and monetized a hard problem in computer science. You love nothing more than to hand your H1.0 over to curious passerby, while pontificating upon the intricacies of fluid dynamics.
Invicta - Type 1: You are a non-watch geek dad in a suburban shopping mall. You wanted to get "something nice" for yourself. You find sub 46mm watches "too girly". You enjoy explaining to others, with wide-eyed delight, how your watch is powered by "moving your arm".
Invicta - Type 2: You are in high school, without a summer job. You think the Rolex Submariner is the perfect modern, go anywhere, do anything watch. You feel ostracized on the watch forums, but can’t help but smile when you see your Pro Diver on your wrist.
IWC: You are openly not a pilot, but enjoy having an altimeter strapped to your wrist.
Jacob & Co: You are a formerly successful, now destitute rapper. You pawned this watch at a significant loss.
Jaeger-LeCoultre: You exclusively dress in suits, except on bank holidays, when you wear chinos and your Reverso. You are frequently found on watch forums extolling “the watchmaker's watchmaker” virtues. You think 100M of waterproofing is all anyone should ever need. Your will instructs your heirs to bury you with your Atmos clock, as they surely won’t appreciate it. You hope one day to be able to roll your R’s like the guy in the boutique.
Jaquet Droz: You are either a well diversified collector, or an Arabian Shiek from an oil rich kingdom. If the latter, your other watch is a Rolex Daytona Rainbow with diamond bezel.
Johan Eric: You googled “watch” on Amazon and this is the first thing you found with Prime shipping. In general, you are decidedly not picky, both in watches and in life.
JS Watch Co: While you used to have a very generous circle of friends, your incessant droning on about your trip to Iceland and the sweet Frisland you scored there soured even your most steadfast companions. You now spend most days online, nostalgically looking at Tripadvisor reviews for restaurants in Reykjavik, or re-watching the Lord of the Rings for the twelfth time.
Junghans: You were just hired by a big design firm, but on a starter salary. You visit your local art museum on “free admission weekends”, and hang around free gallery shows. You have a small tattoo on your right bicep. You hope to upgrade to a Nomos one day.
Klasse14: You favorite Instagram influencer subtly bombarded you with sponsored posts showcasing the brand. You hope your Miss Volare will one day star in your own epic selfie in front of the Eiffel Tower.
Kobold: Your “keeper” test is if she’ll watch all six seasons of the Sopranos with you. Your most treasured possession is an autographed napkin from the late, great, James Gandolfini. Since his passing, your interest in the brand has cooled, and secretly, you worry that your Spirit of America is just a more expensive Shinola.
Laco: As you gaze admiringly at the Saarbrücken on your wrist, you find yourself wondering: Was Hitler really that bad?
Lip: You are a Frenchman originally from Toulouse. You work for the Bureau of Weights and Measurements, converting metric measurements to Napoleonic Mesures Usuelles for those still living in the First Republic. While you would prefer to wear an Omega, you can only imagine the shocked “Non!” That would emanate from the mustachioed lips of your supervisor, Gaspard, upon seeing it, and you’d rather avoid an employee tribunal. You’d win, but it’s a hassle.
Longines: You just got your first job out of college. You are looking for something classy and professional to go along with your first real suit. You will one day own a JLC.
Lorus: You are a street-peddler living in Hyderabad. You cannot afford a Seiko 5, but not for any reason that would be remotely funny.
Luminox: You constantly talk about “doing an Ironman”. You sleep in a Naval Academy t-shirt and proudly fly the “thin blue line" US flag on your porch. You make vague allusions to former service when asked, but secretly, you were only a mall cop in the 90’s.
Manufacture Royale: Liberace would like to know where you got your watch.
Marathon: You are a former United States Marine, 3rd Battalion, 6th. You wore this watch on patrol in Kandahar, where your buddy scratched his initials on the case back. This is either a faithful re-telling, or you have entirely imagined the above scenario for color at your current office job.
Maurice Lacroix: The year is 1995. Bill Clinton is president of an economically resurgent USA. You just got promoted to Assistant to the Regional Department President of your longtime employer, IBM. Having recently heard about the value of a “Fine Swiss Watch”, you decided to purchase your Pontos after seeing an ad for it in the pages of Sports Illustrated. It feels right.
MB&F: You are an angel investor in various internet start-ups. You believe in “thinking different” and “changing the world”. Having gone through the various Pateks, Langes, and Journes that befit your station, you now find pretty much every other watch brand ridiculously boring. You wear an Apple watch concurrently on your other wrist.
MeisterSinger: You purposefully wear subtly mismatched socks with your corduroys. You carry your daily possessions in a fanny pack, considering it more practical than a messenger bag. You are perpetually 10-15 minutes late to all your appointments. Secretly, you have a thing for amputee girls.
Michael Kors: You are a 16-33 year old woman. Your house is filled with rose-gold colored accessories. You shop at Macy’s, where you purchased this watch to match your handbag. In the watch world, you are actually one of the sane ones.
Mondaine: You either have a collection of hair mousses to apply based on the weather, or are an oddly obsessive spotter of Swiss electric trains.
Montblanc: You couldn’t afford a JLC. You have since taken to the watch forums, declaring the superiority of Minerva, stating, “it’s over for the over $5K’s”. Secretly, you also hate stacked movement complications.
Montegrappa - Chaos by Sylvestor Stallone: What the hell is wrong with you?
Moritz Grossman: You are the head of an old family manufacturing firm in Bavaria. Your frauline, Hilda, urged you to finally treat yourself and upgrade from the reliable but tired Swatch on your wrist. Feeling a Lange was too recognizable to the men on the assembly line, you chose the Benu Power reserve, but only to wear at board meetings.
Movado: You are either a 21 year old man wearing a Movado Bold at the club, or an 83 year old gentlemen wearing an original Museum piece. There is no middle ground.
Mühle Glashütte: Your evangelical zeal for the brand makes you the human embodiment of those “allow notifications?” pop-ups. You dream of becoming a mariner.
MVMT: You are a millennial who drives a motorcycle. You have a collection of leather jackets. You hope someone comments on how well your watch matches your sunglasses.
Nixon: You are a 32 year old man named either Chad or Brad living in Encinitas, California. As you spend most days on the beach surfing in your board shorts, you have a perpetual tan even in winter. You aren’t into watches, but your Base Tide was giving you good vibes from the surf-shop window, and it matches your leather Yogi bracelet perfectly.
Nomos: While you initially could not afford a Swiss made watch in art school, you are now a successful Bahaus-style architect. You have a membership to your local modern art museum. While you prefer espresso, you drink drip from a vintage Braun coffee maker. Apple “Keynote Days” are like Christmas in June.
Ochs and Junior: You sincerely collect promotional posters for modern art exhibits. You have an interesting job in either advanced engineering or product design at a well funded startup in Berlin. Somewhat obsessively, you refuse to wear any items with visible brand names. Even you can’t always tell what the hell the date is on your perpetual calendar.
Oris: You are frequently found on watch forums, starting, “Why buy an Omega when you can get virtually the same quality for half the cost?” You think the Sixty Five is exactly what your grandfather would’ve worn - if he was cooler, and not a rural school teacher from Iowa. You are secretly trying to save for a Rolex Sub, but need the cash for your PADI training.
Omega: You are intimately familiar with all 12 manned Apollo missions. You eagerly anticipate the next James Bond film. You refer to your Seamaster as “the thinking man’s Sub, with a better movement”. Bonus points if you know who George Daniels is.
Orient: You are a senior in high school. You love your Bambino, but as you know watches, you don’t claim it’s equivalent to something more expensive. You dream of winning the lottery. You are pure.
Panerai: You frequently exclaim, “What’s the point of wearing a watch if no one sees it?” You live in California, and exclusively wear short sleeves. You are unusually familiar with the Italian Navy’s WWII operations, glossing over the period 1940-1943.
Parmigiani Fleurier: You are the scion of an old, proud Italian banking family. While you of course have a few Patek’s tucked away in the vault at your Lago Maggiora villa, your father, Luca, gifted you your Tonda Tourbillon because he errantly believed it was an Italian brand “like from the old days, bene!” You don’t have the heart to correct him.
Parnis: You desire a replica Daytona, but your country’s customs force is extremely efficient at confiscating goods that violate trademarks.
Patek Philippe - Type 1: You took off from work to watch the Henry Graves Super Complication auction livestream. You think the Nautilus is overvalued, preferring the khaki green Aquanaut instead. You are possibly John Mayer, but if not, you hope one day to actually own your own Patek.
Patek Philippe - Type 2: You are a Russian oligarch. You assert that a hacking seconds “damages the movement”. Though you’ll never say so openly, you are secretly jealous of the finishing on a Lange. You feel reassured when you see one of those “For the next generation” ads.
Philippe DufouLaurent FerrieF.P. Journe: You are a Russian oligarch, but with exquisite taste.
Piaget: You claim that the Calatrava and Patrimony "smell of old man". You frequently end arguments with "yeah, but...thinest movement in the world." You cannot actually afford a Calatrava or Patrimony.
Poljot: In the old days, you were a MiG-23 fighter pilot for the Motherland. Your Poljot, along with your state-issued Volga GAZ-24 sedan, marked you as a man of importance among the proletariat. Sadly, in your current job as grocery store guard, only the old babushkas recognize your former glory. It would kill you to know that 30-year old gamers bought your watch online because they thought the Cyrillic on the dial looked cool.
Rado: You are a material scientist tenured at a prestigious university. You have no interest in watches, but could not pass up the mystery and wonder of a watch that never scratches. Everything from your pots to your pants are coated in Teflon.
Raymond Weil: Are you sure you aren’t wearing a Maurice Lacroix with Roman numerals?
RGM Watch Co: You are a 62-year old Boomer living in Pittsburgh, PA. As you are retired - with pension - from your job as a chemical engineer for US Steel, you have plenty of time to hobnob on Timezone.com. You post multiple photos of your 801-COE in various lights, to the eager approval of all twelve forums members. You can’t tell anyone, but you voted for Donald Trump.
Richard Mille: If you weren’t an American billionaire, you’d probably be buying an Invicta - with the logos removed, you surely couldn’t tell the difference. You make sure to wear your watch when interviewed by Fortune, with the sleeves of your silk Dolce & Gabana shirt rolled up.
Roger Dubuis: You are a Argentinian Striker, recently relocated to the UK with Manchester United. Stacy, your loyal WAG, got you the Excalibur after you instructed your assistant to leave notes around your Wilmslow mansion with explicit purchasing instructions. All involved acted surprised on your birthday. If you are being honest, you sometimes confuse it with your Richard Mille.
Roger W. Smith: You are the scion of a Japanese telecommunications fortune. You love discussing horology, but only online. You are that unusual combination of billionaire and introvert, perhaps due to your secret insecurity in your own abilities. You fantasize about how one day, Otuo-San will notice your Series 2, and nod approvingly at you with his tight-lipped grimace. In your own quiet way, this is how you show off.
Rolex - Sub (Ha!) Type A: ROLEX ROLEX ROLEX. YOU CAN’T BUY ANYTHING BUT A ROLEX IT’S THE ONLY THING WITH RESALE VALUE. HAVE YOU SEEN MY TWO-TONE SUB WITH THE CYCLOPS? I LIKE IT ‘CAUSE IT HAS WRIST PRESENCE.
Rolex - Sub Type B: You frequently re-watch all Sean Connery Bond films, asserting that Daniel Craig is not a “real” Bond. You know the difference between the 1016 Caliber 1560 and 1016 Caliber 1570. You believe steel can stretch with minimal effort. You prefer watches with rusted dials and no date. As you frequently speak full sentences consisting solely of reference numbers, it is assumed by passerby that you work for a secretive government agency.
Rolex - Sub Type C: You are a successful Italian-American contractor. You wear a two-tone Datejust - your only watch - which never leaves your wrist. On vacation at the resort in Cabo, you make sure your wrist is angled properly so the waiter can see it when taking your order.
Rolex - Sub Type D: When you found out your wife was pregnant, you rushed to purchase a "birth year" Sub. Your son will not get to wear it until you are dead.
Rolex - Sub Type E: You are a researcher who spends all day next to an MRI machine. While you never wore a watch before, you found yourself suddenly desperate for one after seeing an eerily personalized ad for the Millgauss pop up on Facebook. After the initial triumphant forum pic, the novelty wore off, and most days you just check the wall clock.
Romain Jerome: You have no compunctions wearing a watch made from the Titanic. You have more money than sense.
Scuderia Ferrari: Your friends know not to utter the word “Lamborghini” for fear of starting a rant. Your firstborn son is named Enzo. Your Pilota watch, Ferarri ball-cap, keychain, and limited edition Scuderia Ferrari for Ray-Ban aviators all proudly accompany you as you step into your 2004 Honda Civic.
Seagull: It took quite a few shifts at the Dairy Queen, but you finally got your Ocean Star. You feel like you need a dress piece too, but are unsure when you’d ever wear it. One day, with a JLC on your wrist, you will look back upon this time wistfully.
Seiko: You are starting college this Fall. You spend most days on watch forums, hoping to find newbies asking for help so that you can steer them your way. You think the Seiko 5 is the best value per dollar in horology. Deep down, you know that if you ever won the lottery, you’d trash them all for a stable of platinum Langes.
Sekonda: On the way to a job interview as a Transport of London station cleaner, you decide a watch will make you look more reliable. You grab the cheapest Sekonda Classic from Mr. Singh’s newsstand, and make sure to check it copiously during your interview. You are surprised when you do not get the job. Changing the dead battery three days later, you are puzzled by the Cyrlic writing inside the case.
Shinola: You are a Clinton, or an oddly proud Detroit native. You think the “Made in the USA” controversy was a hit job egged on by Hodinkee. You have average sized wrists, but think they are larger than they really are. You have a weakness for wire lugs.
Sinn: You are subscribed to the WatchBuys newsletter. You cannot afford an IWC. You post numerous photos of your Sinn 356 Flieger, in a vain attempt to reassure yourself that the acrylic crystal was the right choice.
Skagen: You drive a used but well loved Volvo. While you know nothing about watches, you found it cumbersome to check your dumb phone for the time, and began your search for something practical but affordable. As you know the quickest shortcut to get to the cafeteria at your local IKEA - where you get the meatballs weekly - an ostensibly Danish watch held some appeal. You are unaware that Denmark and Sweden are different countries.
Speake-Marin: ”A touch loud? What do you mean, leopard print pants with a leather jacket is loud?”
Squale: You cannot afford a Rolex Submariner.
Steinhart: You could not afford a Rolex or IWC. While you truly enjoy wearing your Hulk Sub homage, deep-down, you question where the line is between imitation and theft.
Stowa: You enjoy having an altimeter strapped to your wrist, but cannot afford an IWC. You would love to mention its WWII history, but are unsure how to do so without appearing insensitive.
Stührling: American Airlines flight 1257, direct to Dallas, seat 48B. Two hours in, You saw the Depthmaster in the pages of SkyMall and knew you couldn't pass it up.
Swatch: You are a child in elementary school, or a successful, established artist. You love color. You have a watch collection, but they are all Swatches. You wish you could buy another one of the Irony whose crystal cracked when you dropped it on your kitchen floor.
Swiss Legend: You could’ve bought the Esq. brand chrono - with the same Chinese Quartz movement - for $139, but then it would’t say “Swiss” on the dial, would it?
Tag Heuer: Your first “real” watch was a Link, which you initially saw in the pages of Golf Digest/Tennis Magazine. For the longest time, you had a crush on Maria Sharapova. The chip on your shoulder is slightly lessened when you see photos of vintage Carreras online.
Timex: You are a senior citizen, or an aspiring US presidential candidate. In either case, your grandson is suddenly asking to borrow your watch.
Tissot: You just got your first job out of college, but it pays less than the Longines fellow. You appreciate either classic or ridiculously bold design. After a long career, you will one day own a Rolex.
Triwa: You are a full-time Instagram influencer. Perhaps one day, you will regret the purchase of your Donald Trump “Comb Over” watch - but not today.
Tudor: You assert that the Black Bay 58 is what Rolex “used to be”. You take pride in the quality of the bezel on your Pelagos. You either never will admit, or say all the time, that you wish you had a Rolex.
Tutima Glashütte:As the only way to acquire a Lange would be to sell a kidney, you eagerly sought out an alternative still made in your mythical Glashütte. You fancy yourself a sportsman, though this is usually only expressed by the bench press. While you wear your Grand Flieger daily, if pressed, you could not articulate why, exactly, your watch had to be German.
Ulysse Nardin - Type 1: What exactly do you think you are, some kind of enthusiast?
Ulysse Nardin - Type 2: As soon as you saw the Minute Repeater Voyeur - with a lifelike orgy scene on the dial, complete with moving “parts” - you knew you needed that kind of artistry in your life.
Urban Jurgënsen: Was your watch produced by the Swedish Chef?
Vacheron Constantin: You think a Calatrava is an ugly duckling compared to the all-encompassing beauty of a Patrimony. You refer to the period from 1987 - 1996 as “the Dark Times”. You wish resale value were higher, but blame Patek fanboys.
Various Microbrands: You are subscribed to the “Affordable Watches” forum on WatchUSeek. You have a Google Alert on Kickstarter so you don’t miss the latest limited release. You are saving for a vintage Rolex, which increasingly appears out of reach. You are filled with a mixture of delight and despair when someone asks, "is that a Rolex?" of your Mk II Nassua. You have a love/hate relationship with Jason Lim of Halios.
Various Vintage: You are Fred Savage. You think anything over 36mm is garish. While you wear your vintage Omega (original dial, of course) all the time, you have been known to slip on your modern Rolex Sub for the beach. You spend your weekends at estate sales, dreaming of coming across an unrecognized Patek for $150, which you bargain down to a clean $100.
Victorinox: After your brief fling with Chinese watches, you decided it was time to step up to Swiss made. You wear your Fieldforce proudly in Econ 101, desperately hoping Brittany will notice it. Plus, you already had the matching backpack.
Vostok: You are a value-oriented teen gamer, or an elderly Russian pensioner. You have 9 inch wrists.
Zenith: You make half-hour long YouTube videos consisting of you chanting into the camera, “El Primero. El Primero. First Automatic. El Primero.“ You scoff at the JLC 751A as a rushed copy. Deep down, you believe the world is unjust, and fear your brand will never be properly recognized.
Zodiac/Doxa: You are a certified Master Scuba Diver Trainer. You smile indulgently at your wealthy tourist clients, who have Submariners and Fifty Fathoms on their wrist. After you've been tipped, you love nothing better than to hand over your SeaWolf/Shark for inspection, casually stating "This baby's been down to 250 feet, no problems. How about yours?"
Edit: Adding some more as suggestions. Last batch was: Frederique Constant, Junghans, Hamilton, Nomos, Panerai, Tag, Tissot, Tudor. Also split Invicta into two. Thanks for my first gold and kind words stranger! Edit 2: Some are disappearing when I make edits, re-added Swatch. Edit 3: Added Bell & Ross, Baume et Mercier, Sinn, Various Microbrands. Edit 4: Added Various Vintage. Thanks agin for the gold! Edit 5: Added Glashütte Original, Jaquet Droz, Stowa. Edit 6: Couldn't help myself, added Jacob & Co, Oris, Squale, Zodiac/Doxa. Edit 7: Added Fossil and Michael Kors. Modified Daniel Wellington. My first Platinum, thank you! Edit 8: Added GP and Zenith, split Seiko/Grand Seiko, and added one more Rolex Sub (phrasing!) Type (D). Recognized John Mayer as the Patek expert he really is. Edit 9: Added Movado. Slight tweak to Hamilton. Edit 10: Added Piaget. Edit 11: Added Montblanc, Richard Mille, Shinola, and Steinhart. Edit 12: Added Bremont, Edox/Mido, Parnis. Edit 13: Added Christopher Ward, De Bethune, and MB&F. Modified Frederique Constant. Edit 14: Added Bulova, Franck Muller. Edit 15: Modified Franck Muller, added Marathon. Edit 16: Added Laco (hat tip to Byki!), Maurice Lacroix. Edit 16: Added Swiss Legend. Edit 17: Added Damasko, Dornblüth & Sohn, Garmin, Klasse14, and split Ulysse Nardin into Types 1&2. Edit 17: Added Ball (hat tip to AudiMars and icecityx1221). Clarified that 12 Apollo missions only were manned. Thanks for the sticky Mods! I am humbled. Edit 18: Split Casio into Casio and G-Shock; added Concord and Ebel. Edited Marathon for clarity. Edit 19: Added Bovet, Hermes, HYT, Seagull, and Victorinox. Edit 20: Added Chopard, Corum. Edit 21: Added BVLGARI, Diesel, Glycine new and vintage, and Rolex Sub Type E. Edit 22: Added Chanel, Christiaan Van Der Klaauw, and Rado. Edit 23: Added Apple Watch, H. Moser & Cie, Ochs and Junior, and Scuderia Ferrari. Edit 24: Added Montegrappa Chaos, Romain Jerome, Stürhling Edit 25: Added Azimuth, Certina, Ginault, Graham, Johan Eric, Lip, Sekonda, Skagen. Edit 26: Added Carl F. Bucherer and Nixon. Edit 27: Added Alpina, Meister Singer, and updated Sekonda. Edit 28: Thanks so much for the Gold! Added Cuervo y Sobrinos, Eterna, Hautlence, Grönefeld, Luminox, Moritz Grossman, Speake-Marin, and Triwa. Edit 29: Added Balticus, Burberry, Kobold, and JS Watch Company. Edit 30: Added Lorus, Roger W. Smith, Mühle Glashütte and Tutima Glashütte. Edit 31: Added Fortis, Mondaine, Poljot, RGM Watch Co. and Roger Dubuis. Edit 32: Couldn't help myself. Added Urban Jurgënsen and Manufacture Royale. Thread is archived so no promises, but feel free to message me with any requests. Last updated: 12/07/19
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2018.06.12 02:58 Verastahl Villa real voyeur
He was watching Sara for nearly ten minutes before she noticed his gaze. She had sat at one of the sandwich shop’s handful of eclectic tables, picking at some kind of vegetable wrap with only mild, detached interest while absently reading on her phone between distracted glances out the window. She had the restless air of a person casting about in the swirls and eddies of life without true purpose or direction or drive. Worse than a victim—a bystander of the world around her. His mouth twisting a little, he watched her eyes widen when she finally saw him staring behind his strange, smoky glasses. The odd twist of lip and teeth became a smile as he rose and approached her.
“Do you know who I am?”
She nodded, suddenly numb as a train of surprise, worry, fear, confusion, hope and finally a thudding, longing sadness passed through her, the wake of each car still felt as the next one came. Surprise that someone was staring at her, she of the nearly invisible. Worry that the man was a stranger and a strange stranger at that. Fear at his odd manner and the unknowns he represented. Confusion at why he was focused on her, or was he? It was hard to tell with those dark glasses on. Hope as her brain caught up with her adrenaline and she realized she knew the man. Longing sadness as she processed that it was her father.
It was impossible, of course. She had last seen him when she was seven, over twenty years ago, and this man looked nearly identical to how he had looked then. He looked her age, if not younger. But still, when she spoke, the answer was on her lips before she could chide it for being too foolish.
“You’re my daddy.”
The man broke into a larger smile and nodded. “Yes, yes I am. And I know how strange this must seem, me showing up like this.”
She pointed at him, her gaze searching his face as though looking for the solution to some unknown riddle. “You’re so young.”
He nodded again, his mouth doing that strange twist for half a second. “Yeah, that’s part of what I meant. I know it’s hard to understand, but now that I’ve found you, the first thing I want to do is explain everything. Where I’ve been, what has happened, everything. May I sit?”
He gestured to the empty chair across from her and she nodded vaguely, her head seeming to float like a balloon barely tethered to her shoulders. She was very present in the moment, but she still felt like she was watching it all from some distance in crystal clear detail, a voyeur to this strange reunion. She felt herself nod, knew she was doing it, but felt no real agency in it or concern for the lack of the same.
The man had settled himself into the seat across from her. He wore a nice but unremarkable brown suit, and his teeth flashed as he talked, reminding her of the blades on an old-fashioned push mower or newfangled food processor. She almost laughed aloud at the strange thought, but then he took her hand and began to explain.
“I was never good at much, you understand. In school…well, in school I was a class clown, and I was clever I guess, a fast talker, but I didn’t really excel at much. When I got out of high school, I went to work at a pest control place, I think it’s closed now, but at the time it was steady work. I met your mom, talked fast to her I guess you could say, and then we got you, got married, and life went on.
“But the pest job was dirty work for little money, and I never managed to do much more than not get fired. I hated my job, we had bills stacking up, and I just felt like a failure. No good to anybody. And you know, I guess that was the truth.
“Now, honey, I loved you more than anything. I loved your mom too, but stress and resentment and fear…well, it eats away at people. It always starts with the soft parts of a person—the kindness, the patience, the love. By the time I left, I felt dried out and hard, all used up.
“But I never gave up on you, you understand. Or your mom either, but I was no good for her or anybody else, not back then. So when I heard about a new job offer that people were talking about around the office, a traveling job no less, I jumped into the conversation right away, asking questions they didn’t know the answers to but finally finding out enough to know that it was work for a wealthy family that was coming through town on a train that night.
His accent was strange, full of odd inflection and wrong angles, and his expressions were hard to read without seeing his eyes. But his voice was melodious and full of something that was hypnotic, and Sara found herself listening raptly as he continued telling her about what had happened that night at the trainyard.
Walker Boone hadn’t been to the train station or the rail yard since he was a boy playing around the tracks with his friends. Even then, they had rarely stayed past dusk, let alone on a moonless night approaching midnight. He found the quiet stillness disconcerting, and several times he considered turning back, a voice whispering to him that there was no train, there was no job, that this was all some elaborate practical joke on him by those assholes at work. But below these thoughts there was a dull, fearful excitement born by the mystery and opportunity of the moment. In his life of routine and closed paths, it was compelling. It was also the only thing that kept him moving forward when he saw the train.
It wasn’t the train’s appearance that struck him, not really. In the dim, ambient light of a couple of sodium lights in the train station’s parking lot, he could tell the train was a modern diesel pulling a dozen large metal boxcars. Some appeared to be joined to make longer spaces inside, while others were attached normally. All of them, from engine to caboose, were painted a dull, flat dark gray or black. It seemed very strange, but there was something more—some smell or noise, some ethereal othersense that said “no”, “wrong”, “danger”. But he was here, and he needed this, and he was just being foolish. So he kept walking towards the engine.
He couldn’t imagine this was the right train, but it was the only one around and it certainly wasn’t from around here. He brought his hand up to cup his mouth and yell when the door on the first container behind the engine slid open, spilling orange light out into the night, startling and blinding him.
“Are you the applicant?” The question came from a beautiful young woman wearing a long red dress that looked like something from one of those movies set in the 1920s. She had the casual air of someone that was pleasantly amused by some joke he wasn’t in on. He felt a moment of irritation amid his confusion, but he pushed it down and nodded.
“Yeah, I guess? I heard about the job. I don’t know much about it though.” He came to a stop below her at the foot of the door and saw her smile down at him sweetly.
“Not too much to know, really. Want to come up and talk about it?” She extended her hand, and while he didn’t have any intention of being pulled up by the woman, he couldn’t resist the chance to touch her pale skin. Her hand was smooth and delicate, but her grip was firm. Before he could try to release his grip, she had already grabbed his wrist with her other hand and pulled him up easily.
He looked at her confusedly for a moment, but then he heard the music.
The parlor, if you wanted to call it that, was beautiful. Fine furnishings, heavenly music, and…but wait. This was all in the boxcar? How? It was big, but this big? It didn’t seem possible. But he hadn’t seen the other side, had he? And what did he know? And what did it matter? She was beautiful and smiling at him, and the music was so magical and she was sitting down and he could almost see…
“Do you have ties to here?”
He snapped back to her face and nodded woodenly. “Yeah, a wife and kid.”
She pursed her lips and nodded, his heart sinking. “You would have to leave them behind, of course. We would send them money to provide, naturally.”
His heart leapt in his chest and he began to nod vigorously, tears springing into his eyes. “Oh, thank you, yes that would be wonderful, thank you.”
Her lips twisted for a moment and she held up her hand. “Hold up, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Do you know what your job would be?”
“It doesn’t matter, I’m happy to do it.”
She studied him for a moment, her dark eyes deep and vaguely luminescent in the golden light that suffused the room. “As you say. My name is Amber. I’m part of a large family that is wealthy and generous, but also eccentric and colorful to say the least.” She laughed slightly at this last bit and he laughed harshly, nodding and eager to please. “We would just need you to witness certain things. That’s all. You wouldn’t be a servant, you would have your own space, and all you would have to do is bear witness. How does…”
Suddenly the lights dimmed and the music stopped. The room seemed to narrow and the air took on the clammy chill of the night air outside. Was he in a drafty boxcar now? Amber looked annoyed, not concerned, at the sudden change.
“Goddamnit, Lana, what’s the fucking idea?”
A small woman in her thirties stepped forward out of some gray shadow he had not seen before. She was not beautiful the way Amber was, but was still pretty, with bright, intelligent eyes and a sympathetic smile for him as she approached and rounded on Amber.
“The idea is you do it fairly. He has to accept willingly.”
Amber snickered and winked at him. “Oh, he will. He’ll be in full control when he says yes.”
Lana shook her head disgustedly. “After you’ve pumped him up to the point of bursting and dropped it all just long enough to get consent? That’s not the w…”
“Like you know anything. You had your chance before, and didn’t you just fuck that up?” Amber’s voice had taken on a sibilant edge and he saw Lana recoil slightly.
“Look, maybe I should…” Amber’s eyes pinned the words in his throat.
“Do you want to be here?”
“Well, yes, I think so….I just”
“Do you want this job?”
“I don’t really understand what it is I’d be…”
“Watching. Bearing witness. That’s all. And your family will have money. And you will get to see so many places and things.” Her voice was no longer silk and warm promises. It was hard and unrelenting, its tones strange. But underneath it all, he knew it was all true. Whatever it all meant, everything she was saying was true.
“Or you can go back to your old life. Seems like it was working out great, right?”
He felt himself wince involuntarily and Lana stepped between them. “Leave him a-“
“Butt the fuck out. I’m cleaning up your mess.” Then turning her gaze back to him, “So do you want the job? Leaving tonight, right now, to start your real life.”
He felt shame as tears began to form and trickle down from the corners of his eyes. He was confused and afraid, yes, but a lot of that fear was of losing whatever strange new world he was touching. He nodded.
“Yes, I want to do it.”
Amber smiled sweetly, her expression brightening lightswitch fast as she nodded. She shot Lana a triumphant glance. “Okay, now. Ask him.”
Lana frowned and remained silent for several heartbeats before turning to him. “Walker, will you bear witness?”
He felt something deep in him thrash violently like an animal trying to escape a trap. He pushed it down as he spoke. “Yes, I will.”
Lana’s face was a mixture of relief and sadness as she nodded. Behind her, Amber laughed and clapped, the golden room returning as he felt the floor lurch under him. The train had left the station.
“You have to understand, at first I didn’t really know what was going on. What they were doing, what I was doing.” His tone was troubled, though it was hard for Sara to tell without seeing his eyes. “We traveled the rail for two days, and during that time I became acquainted with all of them. There was Amber and Lana, of course, but there were three others as well.
“A tall, lean man who looked to be in his early fifties named Richard. He wore these sharp suits that never got dirty, no matter what was going on. They looked a little old-fashioned, or like something people will be wearing in a few years when it comes back into style. He talked a lot, and he was smart, but there was a coldness underneath. He was the one I first thought was hiding something, something beyond the obvious weirdness, which is funny in retrospect.”
“There was Otis, this little boy that told stories about the Kansas farm he had grown up on before it burned. He looked about nine, and while he was full of pep, he seemed a kind child overall, and while he craved attention, he was never rude or demanding about it. He’d just sit there expectantly, like a patient dog wanting to be loved.” His mouth twisted slightly at this and he squeezed Sara’s hand. “I hope this isn’t all scaring you too much. I know how it sounds. I just need you to trust me. Selah. Trust me.”
Sara, whose expression had been shifting slowly to one of fearful confusion as the story progressed, smiled and nodded as her shoulders and face relaxed. “Sure, daddy. I understand. I want to hear.”
Walker gave her hand another squeeze. “Good, good. That’s my girl. The last was an old man. He used a cane most of the time, though it was a lot for show. His name was Barnabas and he stayed to himself most of the time except for during stops. Then he would go out on his own a lot. I spent less time with him than the others but…well, I’ll get to that.
“The train was divided into eight sections. Each of them had a pair of conjoined cars they kept for their own space, a single car at the front—the one I had seen already—and two more single cars at the back. One of those, the caboose I guess, though it looked the same as the rest, was for storage. The other was mine.
“It wasn’t a fancy room, but it wasn’t bad. I had nice furniture, plumbing, and though my room didn’t change like the others, it was large enough to suit my needs. It even had a couple of slide-back windows I could open to let in fresh air and look out as the world went by.
“Now the front car, we call it the parlour, it’s very…multi-purpose. Ah, depending on what they wanted, it could be just about anything. A ballroom, a swimming pool, you name it. It had to be a room of some sort, but that was just about the only limitation. I’ve seen it as big as a football field and fifty feet tall, with gravity so low you could jump and touch the ceiling.” His face lit up as he talked, the enthusiasm clear. He paused and smiled at her, his face growing more somber. “Of course, that was when they changed it. By default it was an empty boxcar, though they had it set up so it usually became a kitchen or a library when I wanted it to…if no one else was around.
“Those first couple of days, it was so strange and magical. Being around them…its like being on some kind of drug I guess. You are in a bit of a happy haze when they walk into the room, and sometimes you stay that way. And then all the things I was seeing, rooms changing, little things I would see or overhear, it was all so new and impossible and wonderful. I spent half my time thinking I was in a fairy tale and half the time thinking I was going crazy. But either way, I didn’t want it to stop.
“The family…they call themselves that though I don’t think any are actually close kin, despite everything, were all nice enough to me. They would make some small talk, listen to brief life history and pretend to care. But it all had some reserve to it, like they were talking to the help. I understood it, because that’s what I was, but it still bothered me. See, it hadn’t taken long for me to realize I wanted to stay in this magical world, whatever it was, but that I wasn’t really in it. Not all the way. I was a bystander, an observer, a visitor. When the train finally drifted to a stop four states away, I was terrified they were going to set me out and leave me behind. Instead, I went to a tea party.”
Walker tugged nervously at his tie, trying to make sure it was set right. He’d only worn a tie twice in his life, once at his father’s funeral and once when he got married. He knew he had to look out of place in this suit they had given him, even though it fit perfectly and was clearly very expensive. It was still like wrapping a dog turd in a silk scarf.
Amber looked over at him. “Quit fidgeting. It’s fine.” She was the most mercurial of all of the family, and over the last couple of days she had ranged from sweet and brazenly flirtatious to serious and businesslike to scornful and condescending all within an hour or two. Now she had on an amused look, studying his nervousness and seeming to read his fears. Richard was the other member of their trio, and he was writing something in a small black book he carried in his jacket’s breast pocket. The book looked old and well-worn, but Walker couldn’t see the tiny, cramped black marks Richard made in it well enough to tell what he was writing down. Rubbing his eyes and forcing his hands away from his collar, he smiled at Amber placatingly.
“Sure, I’ve just never been to a tea party thing before.”
She chuckled and nodded. “First time for everything. Ah, here we go.” She waved lightly and Walker turned to see a pair of middle-aged women returning the gesture and begin trundling over to their table.
Amber’s smile widened. “Well, fancy seeing you two here. Do you remember me?”
The women blinked and then nodded. The younger-looking of the pair took another step forward. “Sure, yes, of course. You’re Mr. and Mrs. Dumond from Bakersville. I still haven’t stopped talking about that party me and Iris went to at your estate last year. Most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen, I swear it.” The woman’s eyes had taken on a desperate, manic sheen, and her friend Iris was nodding right along before chiming in.
“It was, it was. And that waltz you two did, you must have been professionally trained.”
Richard laughed thinly. “No, just good breeding and a lovely partner, I’m afraid.”
The two women recoiled slightly through their smiles as though they were worried they’d made some social misstep. “Of course, of course. No one can question that.”
Amber gestured to the two empty chairs at the table. She had told the staff to bring them minutes earlier though five chairs made a tight fit. The women didn’t complain, but rather seemed orgasmically delighted to be invited to sit. Walker could see the barely controlled desperation in the women as they each took a chair, as though it was taking all their will to not bash each other over the head to get to the table first, be seen more, be talked to ahead of the other. But they maintained their control and sat demurely, smoothing their dresses and hair nervously as Amber and Richard studied them. They had never acknowledged Walker in any way, and as the afternoon progressed, he saw it was because they didn’t realize he was there at all.
Their eyes never touched him, but rather glided past, and while at first the realization bothered him, as things progressed, he became glad of the illusion of detachment it afforded him. Because over the course of two hours, Richard and Amber tore the two women apart.
Not physically, but the damage and ruin were there all the same. At first Walker didn’t pick up on it—the conversation was light and pleasant, and while the two women were clearly mesmerized and nearly frantic in their desire to please his companions, there was nothing particularly untoward or obviously cruel in what was being said. Discussions about social events in the area, both past and future, different luminaries of the monied upper crust, different cultural movements that these women pretended to care about because they were in fashion at the time. Amber and Richard knew all that they knew and much more—despite the fact they had been in town just a few hours, they knew the most current gossip and news, had intimate knowledge of people that Richard had no idea they had ever met. At first he thought they must have been here before, but as the conversation progressed, he saw that it was much more than that.
Underneath the light conversation was a strong, black undercurrent. Some things were more obvious—a back-handed compliment, the noting of some factual or social error on the part of one of the women, the gracious acknowledgement of their guests’ limitations in some fashion, be it intellectual, financial, or social. The women would wince slightly, as though taking a light blow to the stomach, and then soldier on trying to win approval.
Then there were the more subtle but powerful references—a husband’s infidelity, a father’s bankruptcy, a child’s ill-timed pregnancy, another’s premature death. These sharper knives were always wrapped in smiles and soft tones of sympathy, and they came from angles hard to anticipate or prepare against. These blows shook the women visibly, seeming to age them as the words fell to the table before them.
The last, towards the end of the tea party, were obscure to Walker at the time. To Iris, there was talk of a Mr. Thurmin who used to live in the area. Had she heard from him? Hadn’t they heard somewhere that Iris and he used to be very, very close? Did they keep in touch? To not-Iris, whose name was actually Dolores, had she heard about how Ms. Milbert Parker had died? And how when her family went to her home, her jewels (some of which were extremely valuable) and her money (which she unfortunately did not trust in a bank) were all gone? And hadn’t Dolores read to Ms. Parker on occasion? And wasn’t it sweet for her to do so?
These two women, aged and hollowed before, were broken now. Their faces crumpled in turn, their eyes starting to dart around like frightened animals in their skulls as they tried to hold onto their composure. In a normal conversation with people, they would have run away crying or screaming, Walker had little doubt. But this was not a normal conversation, and these were not people.
Later that night, as he lay with Amber after an exhilarating and exhaustive session of sex—the first of many post-excursion encounters over the years—he had asked her about those last comments. She laughingly told him that Iris had been molested by her father’s boss for several years as a child, and that she had never told a soul. As for Dolores, she had of course been the one who had stolen all the valuables from the old woman, though to be fair, her father had declared bankruptcy just the year prior.
When Walker asked how they knew all of this, all the things they knew and did, she just frowned at him, her good humor gone at his apparent stupidity. She gestured around the room, which was currently a spacious Italian villa.
“How do you think? Now get out.”
Weeks and months went by, and they would move from town to town. Most of the family went on excursions in every place they stopped, but he found himself a highly-prized but judiciously used commodity. There would be times where he wouldn’t be invited to go anywhere at all for weeks at a time. Then at other times two or three would argue over his attendance at some thing or another. Sometimes this would lead to collaborative efforts like the tea party had been, but not often. They all had different tastes and needs it seemed, and over time he saw them all.
The old man, Barnabas, he wanted to corrupt people’s morals. He would tempt people with ill-gotten gains or an easy lie. At times he would pretend to be senile or naïve to set the trap. Other times he would be very straightforward and offer a person something they wanted in exchange for something dear to them. He didn’t seem to have the same level of information that Amber or Richard possessed, but he had tremendous insight and instincts about people. He could read people after just a few minutes of conversation, and they would wind up thanking him for giving away a real and valuable part of themselves.
Walker paused for a moment and removed his smoked glasses. His eyes weren’t strange after all, they were her father’s eyes, and if they occasionally seemed to swim in and out of focus slightly, she barely noticed. They were warm and comforting. He folded his hands and smiled at Sara. Her expression was largely calm and focused now, with only occasional ripples of disquiet or fear. Looking at his watch, he nodded to himself before continuing on.
“Lana, who was always calm and relatively kind in her dealings with me, would attack people. This small, sweet-looking young girl would take a large man or a tiny woman, even sometimes a child, and brutally beat them without explanation or provocation. The location would vary—a park, their bedroom, a bathroom at school. She could move virtually undetected and no one would see me if I was with her despite what I did.”
Sara’s eyebrows twitched. “What did you do?”
Walker’s expression darkened slightly. “This is about Lana, sweetheart. Selah. Listen.” Her features smoothed.
“The degree of damage she did varied a great deal too. Some people would just get banged up, while others went to the hospital. Several she crippled, but only once did I see her kill anyone, and that was by accident. You know why she didn’t kill them?
“At the time I thought it was her showing restraint, trying to be merciful. I knew by this point that the family, these things, they were often cruel by nature, perhaps even by necessity. They fed on it somehow. But Lana was always nice and understanding. She was the closest thing I had to a friend among them. I didn’t know if it was because she was the newest to their life, but she seemed to have more humanity than the rest of them.
“Then, over the years, I realized why she didn’t kill. She would return to the same people. Over their lives, she would find them two, three, even four times and brutalize them again and again. Never any words or explanation. Just this ageless, raging girl that was inhumanly strong and fast that you couldn’t fight against and that could always find you for the next time.
“She would seek them out if we stopped nearby, and she always knew if they had already died, especially if it was a suicide. There were quite a few of those.”
His mouth twisted slightly as he spoke, his eyes flicking up to shake his head at an approaching waitress. The woman retreated and he kept speaking, his tone quieter now.
“I know that sounds terrible. Having to see it was worse, of course. The first couple of times I would throw up. But then I had to go out with Otis, the little boy. Nothing bothered me much after that.”
Again, slight stirring from Sara. “Why?”
“Well, the things Otis did to people…he looked like a boy, but he was one of the oldest of them. Maybe the oldest. He had more power than the others, and his interests…let’s just say that there were two sides to Otis. This sweet boy on the train, and the thing off the train.”
“What did he do?”
Walker looked genuinely distraught for a moment before smiling again, grimly and with little warmth. “Let’s just say that he could take things away and give them back. When we left the train, we would be gone for days, usually all with the same person or group of people. He…he can make people see things, bring things back, just…he is unique.” Clearing his throat, he spoke again, more to himself. “It doesn’t matter. Accommodation leads to evolution. Evolution leads to ascendance.”
Then to her, his smile back on as his gaze fixed upon hers again. “And I have improved. I’ve been through a lot, but it has made me a better and stronger person. A better person to come find my daughter, and strong enough to ask for her help.”
Sara blinked. “Help? You need my help, daddy?”
Walker nodded, his expression sorrowful. “I do. It shames me to ask, both because I have no right to ask anything of the child I abandoned, despite my reasons, and because the thing I ask is a terrible burden to bear.”
He paused for her to interject, but she continued to look on raptly.
“I…well, the thing I’ve done for these people, these things, for all this time, its something they have to have. This family, as they like to be called, well they aren’t human, of course. Well, how could they be and do all the wonderous things they can do? They’re this thing called Fomori. You can call it a monster or a demon, or just something a lot different and more special than us. But they still need us just the same. They don’t need much to survive, but they all have some unique and special need that drives them and on occasion the expression of that need has to be witnessed.
He leaned back in his chair, staring off for a moment as he spoke. “Now, I guess back in olden days they could go into a village or find a group of people off to themselves and do what they would. If no one was left, who would be the wiser? And if someone did survive, it was just another story to go with all the others of things out in the dark, be they true or false. But over time they’ve learned safer and more efficient ways of living. They get what they need without any real risk, and with minimal harm to the world at large. To the people in it.”
He paused here, his expression changing slightly as something akin to pride flickered across his face. “The witness is the key. The Fomori learned that if they had a designated and sanctified witness that lived with them, the benefits were exponentially greater. There is great power in the rituals of it and the witness’ understanding of what the Fomori do. It’s like this—you could either have a terrified participant witnessing what you do to others and to themselves, their mind half gone with fear, or you could have a bystander. An objective party who is removed from harm and over time will develop a deeper appreciation for the nuance and depth of what they are observing. The benefits for them are vast.”
Sara was beginning to look disturbed again, some remaining resistance pushing up to the surface. “I…I don’t…” Walker pressed on, his tone sharper, his eyes boring into her.
“The point is that the witness is safe from harm. But over time, over many years, the witness begins to lose his or her value. They have seen and heard too much. They begin to lose their ability to appreciate what they are seeing.
“I’m reaching this point, and they are aware of it. Despite the dark side of their nature, they are not unreasonable nor are they all bad. They appreciate my service, and were willing to work with me to find a replacement.
He took her hands again and squeezed them tightly. “That brings me to you.”
Sara started in her seat. “Me? What are…”
“It has to be you, Sara. For me to transfer my position while alive, it must be given to someone I love more than myself. And in doing so, they will let me stay with you and help you adjust to your role.”
Sara was slowly shaking her head as though trying to free it from invisible bindings, her mind creaking dangerously as she tried to object. “I…I…” Walker grimaced and kept going.
“They have promised they will only bind you as witness for ten years. If you wish to leave after that you may do so. And I will stay on with you until you’re done. Then we can both be free. Free and in each other’s lives. I’ve not aged normally, as you can see, and neither will you. We both have our lives ahead of us. If you will just help me.”
His face was open and pleading, tears shining in his eyes, and Sara’s resolve slipped away for the final time.
As they were leaving the diner, a man in his fifties approached Sara, his face at first relieved, but then as he saw the young man with her, slightly concerned.
“Sara, honey, I’m so sorry. I totally forgot I was going to meet you at 2. I must have…fallen asleep…” Seeing no recognition on his daugher’s face, he trailed off, his eyes going to the man. “Who’s your friend? I’ve never m..”
The man stepped forward, his lips twisting slightly as he hissed. “Selah. You are lost.”
Sara’s father blinked and looked around in some confusion before moving silently to sit at a booth, his shoulders bowing in as he stared down at his tightly gripped hands with bleak anguish. Sara never looked his way again as they left.
submitted by Verastahl to Verastahl [link] [comments]
2012.05.28 12:52 tabledresser Real voyeur villa
|You are a sexy historian which is not surprising because historians always have a date.||HEYOOO. I definitely like that joke. And thanks for the compliment!|
|Sorry, bad joke that I couldn't resist. You are very cute though.||Semen was thought of by Ancient Greek doctors as the life-essence of men. There weren't a lot of advancements in medicine during the Roman times in terms of improvement over what the Greeks had done, so the Roman attitudes toward semen was similar. There wasn't a lot of discussion of it as, like, an aspect of sex that was commonly fetishized, at least not that I've seen (though that doesn't indicate that it didn't happen!)|
|My question: What was their attitude towards cum? Life-giving, dirty, somewhere in between?||I freely admit that this is not something I have a load of knowledge about, so if anyone else has a better answer, then shoot. Just don't be a jerk about it.|
|Sooo... you're asking someone to shoot their load?||Why, I'm shocked you found any innuendo in that statement. I was requesting that anyone who had a stroke of enlightenment on the issue come and inform us about it.|
|So... you want someone who's been stroked to come?||Again, I really don't know where you're getting all of this double entendre. All I was saying was that if you have some knowledge handy that you can blow our minds with, it'd be nice to see men talking about it in this thread instead of holding it in.|
|Subtle ;)||Subtle is my middle name!|
|Wait a second...||I'm just really sad nobody's continued my pun thread. I feel a little let down by reddit, here.|
|They've gone soft on you. It's a shame.||HERO.|
|Could you give me a LI5 explanation of roman sexuality?||I don't know how comfortable I'd be explaining Roman sexuality to a five year old, but I'll give it a shot!|
|Roman mommies and Roman daddies had very different rules people expected them to follow about who got to touch their bodies and how. Roman daddies were allowed to touch anyone's bodies that they wanted to, especially if those Roman daddies were rich and powerful. Roman mommies were supposed to only be touched, and only then by their husbands. This led to Romans considering some very different things to be naughty than we do today. But, just like people have a hard time following rules about what is and isn't okay to do, so did the Romans. And then poets like Martial and Horace and Ovid wrote lots of awesome poems about people who broke those rules and what happened to them.|
|How'd I do?|
|Very well done. Now explain it like I'm a sex crazed teenage boy.||Hold on, let me get my sexy librarian costume...|
|Roman daddies were allowed to touch anyone's bodies that they wanted to, especially if those Roman daddies were rich and powerful.||For sure! It didn't, really. As long as the man was the "active" partner, he was completely within the bounds of pudicitia, the Roman idea of sexual morality that's kind of analogous to chastity, to fuck whatever gender he cared to fuck in whichever orifice he cared to fuck them. When it came to things like anal sex with a female, it was up to the female to be the gatekeeper in that regard - women were really only supposed to have vaginal sex - but it wouldn't reflect badly on the man if it happened, because he was doing what he was supposed to do (i.e. being the "active" partner.)|
|So you aren't wearing your sexy librarian costume in that dissertation picture?||No, that's just how I was dressed.|
|Is that why Christianity hates homosexuality? Because it was a practice early Christians saw their oppressors engage in and thus denounce it as evil because it was a virtuous practice for their enemies?||I think it has more to do with the laws within the Old Testament than anything else, given that most of Jesus's early disciples were themselves Jews who would have followed the rules in Leviticus.|
|I have ~feelings~ about the extent to which early Christians were actually persecuted, but that's a rant for another evening.|
|So how does this relate to homosexuality? Male "catchers" were shamed, but "pitchers" were not? And female homosexuality was taboo altogether?||It doesn't really relate to modern homosexuality. A Roman who fucked mostly men wouldn't have thought of himself as a homosexual because the concept didn't exist - his sexuality was about what he did with the people he was with rather than the gender of the people he was fucking/being fucked by.|
|Female homosexuality was something that occurred, and people knew about, but because most of our sources were men it's hard to know how the women themselves thought about it. In poems like Martial 1.90 (mentioned downthread) where Bassa is being rebuked for being adulterous with her female friends despite having a husband, Martial paints her as a woman who uses her monstrously large clitoris to penetrate other women. The problem here is twofold: her adultery, which is not within the bounds of pudicitia for a Roman matron, and her being the active partner, which is not appropriate for any Roman woman.|
|What do you mean by 'feelings'? ie they were persecuted much less than they are made out to have been?||Basically, yes. There's very little evidence that there was any kind of even a half-assed persecution, let alone the systematic, coordinated persecution that (non-contemporaneous!) Christian sources claim.|
|I don't want to say that they're liars liars togas on fire... but I will strongly imply it.|
|So what about when Roman men were being the passive partner? Obviously there were boys and men who liked it in the ass. I mean, Hadrian's little fuckbuddy, for instance. How would people have treated him? He was a Roman man who liked a good buggering.||There were, but they were referred to as pathici and cinaedi and looked upon with contempt. If you haven't read kinggimped's freaking awesome post from last year about Roman manliness and "homosexuality" then you should, because he answers this part of your question with all the same poems I'd pull but with, like, 80% more awesome writing.|
|what about women who were dominant in bed? Did Romans have BDSM parlors?||As for Hadrian's boyfriend, he was well-known throughout the empire and people would have crossed him at their own peril. He may have been breaking Roman conventions of pudicitia, but he was breaking those conventions with the Emperor of Rome.|
|Christians were told that dying as a martyr meant instant passage to Heaven. The Romans didn't seek out Christians and really just gave a formally-required slap on the wrist to those they stumbled across. Christians began purposefully seeking out Roman guards to flaunt their religion.||Basically this - at first Christianity was considered a sect of Judaism, which had a semi-protected status, but the Christians were all, "Oh, how dare you lump us in, we're special snowflakes" and the Romans did the same thing they did with other new cults - assessed whether loyalty to the religion meant breaking away from loyalty to the empire, which was shown through worship of the imperial cult. The Christians who would not light incense for the emperor's health, basically, were the ones who were prosecuted.|
|The problem with that is that we don't know how many Christians were actually seeking out martyrdom and how many were just like, bugger this all for a lark, I'm gonna get me some incense. And even with the ones who Christian sources say sought out martyrdom, none of the Christian sources come from anyone who was living at the time they claim the martyrdom happened.|
|Earlier someone talked about Greeks maybe possibly thinking huge penises were not the ideal, but that small ones were. Does the above poem relate to that notion in any way (I realize it was Roman, so I'm pretty much confused why it's a supposed burn...or maybe it's a compliment?)||I don't think it's supposed to be a compliment, but I think it's as much about the nose as it is about the penis. Anything freakish about one's appearance was fair game for Martial. I think with the Romans it's not so much that small penises were idealized, as with the Greeks, but that they weren't the subject of a socially acceptable fetish, like they are with modern American society.|
|I am a conventionally masculine gay man and very, very often wonder what my life would be like had I lived in antiquity. I think I would've had a pretty good time, save for the plague and hundreds of times higher rate of homicide, natch.||If you were a well-born Roman citizen, you probably would have cleaned up. (As for the plague - at least in the times I was dealing with, well-born Romans lived pretty long. So unless you were slumming it with the poors, you would have been good on that front.)|
|1.)If you are familiar with what happens at a modern bathhouse in the western world, how much of that also was happening in the darker corners of the baths of ancient Rome, for instance?||1) I am familiar! (I'm bi myself, and I have a couple of close gay friends who have discussed these things with me.) At public bathhouses, I think it may have happened a little bit, but there's not much evidence for it as something that happened frequently. (Of course, lack of evidence is not evidence of nothing!) Private bathhouses, on the other hand... well, it depended on who owned them. The emperor Hadrian, who built one of the most gorgeous villas in the ancient world that I highly recommend you go visit at Tivoli, south of Rome, had a fucking gorgeous Bithynian boyfriend called Antinous who he brought with him everywhere and tried to get made into a god when he died suddenly, tragically young. Antinous is one of the most sculpted faces in the ancient world, both because Hadrian loved him a lot and also because he's really, really, really, really pretty. I'm pretty sure there was a lot of shenanigans happening in their private bathhouse. (Hadrian actually built a little private island with a drawbridge in his villa, and I've read stories about how they used to go there and draw up the bridge and just be there together. This is possibly just made up, but I like it as a story.)|
|Anyway, thanks for indulging my puerile curiosities! :D.||Puerile curiosities are what I live for, friend.|
|I'm bi myself. Allll biiii myself...||Thanks so much for putting that in my head forever and ever.|
|One more quick thing: what are your thoughts about the Warren cup? I remember the first time I saw pictures of it several years ago I was like "wow! awesome! so hot!", and then I saw pictures of the other side where basically a child rape is depicted and was like "...oh my...that's....oh dear". So, I guess they didn't really have a concept of how much such a thing could damage a person back then? Or, perhaps they didn't care in the same way that consideration for rape of women was nonexistent unless the woman who was raped was of high status in society? Or, maybe, and possibly most disturbing, the lack of scandal and outrage surrounding "consensual" underage sex (ie. statutory rape) itself resulted in less psychological harm to the person experiencing it?||The Warren Cup is my single favorite item in the British Museum. If it makes you feel better about finding it hot, part of why it's such an interesting piece is that the people depicted on it are actually relatively close in age. The things that would mark out Boy vs. Man in Roman art are pretty definitive. The Warren Cup isn't generally thought to show child rape at all - the only person on the Cup who is coded as a Boy rather than a Man (or a young man) is the voyeur. As for Roman consideration for rape - if you were a Roman citizen, even if you were a woman, rape was a huge crime. If you were a slave and someone raped you, the punishment had to be paid to your owner, but there was still punishment there unless it was your owner who raped you. What we would consider statutory rape was a thing more in the Greek world than the Roman world. And I'd agree with your assessment about the acceptance of it as a good and normal thing (at least with the erastes/eromenos relationship of the Greeks) leading to less psychological damage.|
|I'm bi myself. Sorry, but this question pops immediately to my mind: Did your research have any influence on your sexuality, or did you identify as bisexual before you got in to the topic?||That's a really great question. I definitely had some idea that I was also interested in girls before I started my research, but I don't know that I really felt okay identifying as bi until well after I was finished with college. I called myself straightish until had my first real sex with a girl, and then I felt like I could really call myself bi. Maybe that's silly? I would consider myself a Kinsey 2 - not perfectly bi, but enough to identify as such. So I'm not sure that my researched was guided at all by my sexuality - I just found it interesting.|
|Why does it sound like your college life would make a great show on HBO?||Because it totally would have. Can you tell I really, really, really loved college?|
|Was there any kind of birth control back then? Or did they just get used to having a kid every 9 months?||There was definitely birth control! There are plants that have been used as birth control as well as abortion-inducers (abortifacients) for pretty much all of recorded history. Silphium, a now extinct plant that was a major trade item of the city of Cyrene, was one of the most well-known. The plant we know as Queen Anne's Lace, also known as wild carrot, is another.|
|Additionally there are records of women using things like sea sponges as diaphragms. People have asked about condoms - there's no evidence that condoms were in use during Roman times, but as always, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.|
|I read somewhere that the reason Silphium went extinct is because the Romans used all of it up. Is that true?||What we know is: it's extinct. We don't really even know what genus it was from. There's a lot of different explanations - overfarming, animal grazing on the only land where it grew - but we'll never know until we know for sure what plant it was. And that will probably never happen. Sadface.|
|How many awkward moments have you encountered when you tell a person about your degree? I imagine it garners some funny looks. And for a real question, do you think parts of this subject should be expanded on in education?||I generally just say I studied ancient history, and then wait for them to be drinking something when I drop the "my specialty was sexuality" thing on them. In all seriousness, it's led to difficulties putting my CV together, because on the one hand I really want to be accurate, but on the other I work with children. So I have to be judicious about how much I tell.|
|There's so much on this subject that has only recently begun to be okay for historians to study. I was lucky enough to be at the same university that Sir Kenneth Dover was chancellor of - prior to his seminal (pun kind of intended) Greek Homosexuality in '78 the sexuality of the Ancient World was not really considered academically appropriate. So when someone decides that this is something they're interested in studying, they're building on only about thirty years worth of academic work. That's nothing to a Classicist.|
|To really examine what things truly meant instead of just assuming based on modern sensibilities, it's going to take a lot more people willing to talk frankly about sex and willing to put aside their anachronistic views to look at what people at the time thought. When I was researching Martial, I had a bitch of a time finding academic analyses of his work and his life that did that - I found that a lot of work even within the 2000s just completely imposes the modern view of sexuality onto the Roman world, and it just doesn't work. Cantarella's Bisexuality in the Ancient World, an otherwise great text, was hugely guilty of this, in my opinion.|
|TL;DR: the history of sexuality really should be expanded on, particularly within ancient history.|
|How pissed were your parents when they found out that you were studying Roman Sexuality?||I don't have any contact with my father. My mom always encouraged me to study what I was most interested in, and when I told her what I was doing she thought it was hilarious. My mom and I had the best relationship, though. She died halfway through my final year at uni, and working on the dissertation was one of the only things that kept me sane.|
|Have you ever received any sort of flak for being a woman who is intellectually interested in sexuality and who isn't afraid to freely discuss it?||I think any woman who talks frankly about sex and sexuality gets some pushback at some point, especially from people who think that me discussing what I was studying was a come-on. I was really worried about doing my dissertation, actually, because my department at uni was heavy on the Greek-interested professors, with very few who had any interest in Rome. Really, only two people could have advised me, and one of them was known around the department as rather a lech. A hilarious, awesome guy, and totally enjoyable as a lecturer and tutor, but strayed over the "creepy" line way too often. Thankfully the man who ended up as my advisor, probably the smartest person I've ever had a conversation with, was a wonderful combination of unflappable in the face of my discussions of fellatio and anal sex, and old school Englishman proper. So it all worked out.|
|P.S. You're pretty cute for a historian.||Thank you! Historians are the cutest. It's just how things are.|
|Why did you choose Roman Sexuality?||My focus at the higher levels of my degree was always going to be Rome, but as I looked more and more at the various aspects of Roman history, I found that sex and gender was what interested me the most. Sexuality in particular has a very short history as an academically acceptable subject, so I felt like even as a newcomer to academia I could really do some research that wasn't just me rehashing someone else's work.|
|You throw innuendo into every sentence you type, don't you?||That one was actually unintentional, if you can believe it.|
|Kill-fuck-marry: Hadrian, Trajan, Marcus Aurelius?||Oh, man. Fuck Hadrian (three way with Antinous?), marry Trajan, kill the boring mofo Marcus Aurelius.|
|Kill Marcus Aurelius, the philosopher king? You get a downvote for that. Sorry.||If you'd ever had to translate Marcus Aurelius, you'd want to kill him too.|
|Nice! So I take it Antinous is your #1 dream boat emperor?||Well, he wasn't an emperor, but he was a dreamboat. Hadrian is my favorite emperor, actually, but he was not interested in women, so I wouldn't be down for marrying him. I loved Vespasian a whole lot, but he was a total troll.|
|You mentioned earlier that heterosexuality and homosexuality are modern terms, how were genders defined back then? any interesting facts in the topic? thanks!!||Gender isn't a modern term - though there are societies in which gender isn't considered to be a binary state, which does make it even more sad that our society treats Trans/GenderqueeIntersex folk with such contempt. (Stay strong, friends!)|
|For the Romans, it was mostly male/female. Hermaphrodites (stemming from the myth of Hermaphroditus, the sondaughter of Hermes and Aphrodite) were considered more a medical curiosity. There were men who dressed as women, and women who acted as men, but they were looked at as strange. There's a great Martial poem about one of these women, Philaenis, who he says is just a woman trying to act like a man who will never actually have any concept of what it is to be manly. (Martial 7.67)|
|What do you use to cite your facts about Roman sexuality? I just find it a tad hard to believe some aspects of history when I take into account what we base it on. Considering we werent living in those times and on occasion you'll find contradictory data in books and wall art, etc.||Well, a lot of it is drawing from a variety of sources to make educated guesses on attitudes. We're definitely past reading something in one source and believing it's the stone cold truth - there's too much that's clearly made up to believe it all. But at the same time, when you see the same themes again and again, it becomes more likely that an attitude wasn't just one man's feelings and was more about the society that man was writing in.|
|I'm genuinely curious; how do you know for sure what you studied is the truth?||That's part of the fun of history, though - unless you were there, you can never really know what the truth was, and even if you were there, your experiences might have a different truth than someone else who was also there. Historiography is the field that's concerned with how history gets written and how we can come to conclusions about objective fact. It's always been interesting to me - but for me, I like the uncertainty. It feels more aligned with my worldview than fields where one unassailable truth can be pointed to as The Answer.|
|As someone planning on doing Classical Studies, thanks for doing this!||Well, I mean, Caligula was bat crap crazy and probably was sleeping with his sister. According to some sources Nero married a dude.|
|My question is; who was the most sexed up emperor? I know a lot of them did crazy shit, but one of them must have had a shitload of orgies, or something.||But in terms of who was probably having the most sex? Gotta be Antoninus Pius. He seemed to actually really really really love his wife Faustina, who was gorgeous and kind and basically awesome, and they had four kids together. I'm sure they were always at it.|
|So gay marriage was permitted 2000 years ago by not today? ಠ_ಠ. Edit: it's called a joke guys...||Well, when you say permitted you need to remember that he was the emperor, and also insane, and between those two things he could do whatever the fuck he wanted to.|
|Were there really large orgies where everyone had sex with each other at the same time?||Probably at some point sometime this happened, but it wasn't recorded for posterity and it wasn't a common occurrence. Even the story of Messalina and her fuck-off with a prostitute is probably just Pliny spreading rumors. It's still a great story, though, even if it's not entirely true!|
|I hope this answer wasn't too disappointing for you.|
|When has knowledge of Roman Sexuality ever come in handy? (Job wise, not gigidytime-wise.)||Well, it's been handy, job-wise... wink, nudge, etc.|
|Knowledge of roman sexuality has made me no money whatsoever as of right now. Knowledge of how to effectively formulate a research question, find and assess sources for that question, and present the research in a coherent, comprehensive, concise way has been pretty much the only thing that's kept me in work in this economy. And I wouldn't have any of that to the extent that I do if it weren't for my ancient history degree. In that regard, it's been pretty handy.|
|Tell me about roman sexuality. Is there anything that seems really wild from a modern perspective?||The thing that made me sadface when I found it out was the cunnilingus being taboo thing. Poor Roman matrons!|
|>Commenta es dignum Thebano aenigmate monstrum,|
|> hic ubi uir non est, ut sit adulterium.|
|"You came up with a problem worthy of the Theban riddle: where there is no man, there is still adultery."|
|Seriously, though, gigantic clitorises. What the hell, Roman men. I guess that's what happens when you don't have access to lesbian porn on the Internet.|
|Sounds pretty bad for the women, but on a similar note wasn't oral sex pretty taboo until much more recently. (This is probably outside the scope of your study).||The /AskHistorians thread that my original answer was on was all about the history of oral sex, and there were some great answers on the economics of selling oral sex throughout history that answer this question pretty well.|
|I've heard Romans loved sexually explicit graffiti, is this true and if it is any good ones spring to mind?||My favorites were always the political graffiti, but I'm drawing a complete blank on it right now. I'm gonna try to find some examples and get back to you, but I make no promises.|
|I know you say you're not into the Greeks, but I ask this of all classicists I meet: who was the eromenos, Akhilleus or Patroklos?||No way that Achilles wasn't the erastes. Ditto with AlexandeHephaestion.|
|What were the sodomy laws, if any, under the Republic and later Principate (before Justinian)? I find information on the subject a little lacking. There was, of course, a difference in the outward moralizing of those Catonian senators and public figures as opposed to how they conducted themselves in private (Martial IX;27), but did those conservatives actually put anything on the "books"?||I'm not sure about sodomy laws - IIRC as long as the sodomizing was consensual, it was, as they say around here, all Gucci. There were definitely strong consequences for rape and adultery, but I can't remember anything in the Augustan reforms on sodomy. And if anyone would have put it in place, it would have been Augustus.|
|Did you cover any of Catullus' poetry in your dissertation? Anything particularly noteworthy, if so?||I didn't really talk about Catullus in my dissertation, which was focused on Martial and using his epigrams to examine sex and deviance in late 1st Century Rome. Catullus was a little early for that. I love me some Catullus, though! He's such a drama queen. He's definitely on my Top 10 Historical Figures I'd Like To Get A Drink With.|
|Drama Queen! O saeclum insapiens et infacetum!||Please let this be an actual novelty account. It'd be up there with the Cicero one in terms of awesomeness.|
|What are some documents or different sources where you learn about Roman Sexuality?||The book I've been pointing people to, even though it's pretty freaking expensive (though it's somewhat reasonable if you buy it used) is Skinner and Hallett's Roman Sexualities, which is a series of essays edited by Skinner and Hallett that deal with various aspects of Roman sexuality. It's a great overview, and their bibliographies will help lead you to source material that you can then look over and see if you agree with the conclusions the historians in the book drew.|
|How do you think Roman (and probably to a more extent Greek) sexuality influenced writings in the Bible. It would seem to me that considering the Bible was created in what was essentially a Roman colony that it was heavily influenced by an everything Roman/Greek is bad type of mentality, which may relate to the anti-homosexuality teachings in the Bible?||Within the Old Testament, I don't think Greco-Roman ideas of sexuality had any influence at all, given the likely dates that the books of the Old Testament were written. Within the new testament, the Greco-Roman ideas of sexuality (I can't say "homosexuality" or "heterosexuality" which would be neologisms and not applicable to the Roman spectrum of sexuality) may possibly have resulted in a push-back from people like Paul, who saw the ruling classes as immoral. Their sexual behavior may have been just one more thing that allowed him to confirm his own moral superiority over them. But this is pretty speculative - I only took one church history class at uni, and I always kind of hated Paul. But there isn't much discussion of homosexuality in the New Testament of the bible, and that's really the only thing that the Romans could have influenced.|
|Did you enjoy St. Andrews? Two of my friends are going there next year, and I'm considering submitting an application.||OH SO MUCH. I miss it on a daily basis. I had pretty much the ideal university experience - I loved the independence I had in directing my studies, I loved the friends I made, and I loved developing the cast iron liver that allows me to drink everyone here under the table. (Whisky tasting society for the win!)|
|As a former St Andrews bartender, I can attest to the Iron Liver casting. Boozeday Tuesday was my personal booze-slingin' specialty.||If you were a Vic bartender between 2004 and 2008, you served me booze during Boozeday Tuesday. (I therefore love you.)|
|Thanks :) Did you head into there knowing you wanted to study history or did it just come up eventually?||I had originally wanted to study Classics (Greek and Latin as one degree) but then I discovered that (a) I really hate Greek and (b) the history part of Latin is actually the stuff I was most interested in. It wasn't a hard transition to make!|
|Favorite Roman god/goddess and why?||Mercury! God of thieves and travelers. He's my favorite forever and ever.|
|What about the Caligula film? How much of that is historically accurate, and how much is laughable 70s porno?||Would you believe I've never seen the Caligula film? I can't speak to it at all, sorry. It's going on my to do list, though!|
|I have a BA in History. My Question for you, another historian...Where can I find a job that would allow me to eat multiple times a day AND pay rent? If that's not asking too much. I'd love suggestions.||Not in academia, that's for damn sure. Try teaching if you like kids. If you don't... uh, do you have any other skills besides historianing?|
|How was seduction at roman times? Were there any "pick up artist" or there was no need to?||An awesome question that has a really fun answer if you're willing to do some reading! The poet Ovid, my favorite of the Latin love elegists, also wrote a book called Ars Amatoria, or the Art of Love, that was a guide to picking up chicks in the city of Rome. You could say he was the forefather of the Pickup Artist movement.|
|What do you think of the viability of educational porn? My first working title is "Tacitus' Anals", where (ideally) Morgan Freeman would narrate over scenes of Messalina's parties.||If it's historically accurate, I'd be all for it.|
|Are you currently dating someone? If so what does e think about your area of expertise?||I am! He's actually a redditor and is finding all this interest kind of funny. He really could not care less about history - he's a very sciencey person.|