Let’s take a stroll back down memory lane and revisit the baddest playboys a couple of decades ago. One of them is named Giacomo Casanova.
Giacomo Casanova lived during the time when there was massive plague, and sexually transmitted diseases were not controlled. But this did not stop him from being one of the most sexually active men in his era.
Giacomo had actually acquired gonorrhea and syphilis, according to Beth Jarosz, a demographer. Aside from his scandalous activities, he had many public controversies and fights. He was also a well-known robber. But, what is astounding in this man was the fact that he was able to alleviate his failures and mistakes by having everyone see his views on the world.
Giacomo wrote his own biography and the readers were enticed by his story. He was no longer just a robber, a probable rapist and a womanizer; he was a relatable sinner. He was able to get this readers to sympathize with him. With this, he had turned his memory for the good.
Some of his most lecherous crimes include forcing a peasant woman to bed with him and having sex with a yo ung girl whom he knew was his own daughter.
“He’d clearly be convicted of rape in a court of law today,” says Beth Jarosz, a demographer who has done in-depth research on Casanova and the times in which he lived. “That said, Casanova gained consent from and sought pleasure for his partners, which has not exactly been the standard throughout history.”
When he was young, he also played a prank on a guy who died because of shock. Giacomo was trying to get back to someone who had played a prank on him earlier that day. He planned it explicitly that he actually dug a corpse from the cemetery and struggled to transport it under a bridge. What he did not know was that his victim, a Greek spice dealer, would be very much affected by the prank.
The spice dealer had a stroke because of extreme shock. Then, it led to him being spasmodic for the rest of his life. Though this was an extremely stupid thing for Giacomo, he still defended himself in his memoirs saying, “I felt deeply grieved, but I had not intended to injure him so badly.”
This mistake was forgotten quickly, but this caused him to move out of Venice. The scholars were also quite forgiving of Giacomo’s mistakes considering that he had produced a 12-volume autobiography. His writings, according to Arthur Machen, has been “perhaps the most valuable document” from the 18th century.
“Was he that unique or was he just a great self-publicist?” asks British director Neil Rawles, who made a film about Casanova in 2003. “I’m sure there were other men in that era who were great lovers and treated their women with respect, but never kept diaries of their conquests.”
Giacomo Casanova did not live a successful, happy life. He ended up growing old as he reputedly slept with about 132 women, including at least one nun. He reportedly had multiple illegitimate children as well.
In his later years, he tried to commit suicide, but he reverted back to reality and decided to start on his memoirs. Thankfully for him, this had become the best decision he made in his life.
Though I do not repent of my amorous exploits, I am far from wishing that my example should serve for the perversion of the fair sex, who have so many claims on my homage.
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