Welcome to Dirty Sexy History!

There’s a lot more to history than what you’ve read in your high school textbooks. While it’s easy to imagine that people of the past were chaste, polite, and generally morally superior to the people of today, that’s just not the case.

Every period had its villains and vices. This blog aims to look beyond the sanitized and the idealized to the dirty reality of human history.

What do I mean by dirt?

Literal: Filth, disease, parasites, blood, shit, and all kinds of other things you wouldn’t want in your carpet

Figurative: Crime, violence, madness, the occult, and scandal

Moral: Sex, contraception, drugs, drunkenness, gambling, and bad behavior

This is going to be a new kind of history blog. Let’s skip to the good stuff together.

Our PodcastDIRTY

Our new podcast, Dirty Sexy History, is out now! This is a companion podcast to the blog, but it has tons of original content you won’t find anywhere else. The podcast features a lot of the same subjects as the blog, but it also draws parallels to the present, as told by Jess and dozens of exciting guest historians.

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Can’t get enough offbeat history? We get that. Follow us on Instagram for frequent posts and bonus content that doesn’t make it onto the blog. Want a couple of quick paragraphs on radium in makeup or surprisingly metal medieval German art? We’ve got you covered on Instagram. 

Support the show

If you would like to support the show, you can find us on Patreon at patreon.com/dirtysexyhistory.

If you’d prefer to make a one-time donation, we’re on Ko-fi at ko-fi.com/dirtysexyhistory.

Thank you so much for your support!

About Us

Jess profileWhen Jessica Cale isn’t writing posts about poison and venereal disease, she writes historical romance full of sex workers, highwaymen, and all the good stuff mentioned above. She holds a BA (Hons) in Ancient and Medieval History and an MFA in Creative and Media Writing from Swansea University and has contributed to BBC History, History Vault, The Guardian, Subtext, Plugged In, and The Libertine, among others. She is an occasional TV historian and appears in Netflix’s The Lost Pirate Kingdom, streaming now.

untitled-design-2Dr. John V.P. Jenkins is a historian and editor from London. He earned his BA, Master’s, and Doctorate at Swansea University. His research interests include education, youth, and courtship in history. He is a fiction editor at Safeword! Author Services and tweets at @JVPolsomJenkins.


For media requests, guest posts, or anything else, you can contact us via the form on Contact. Thanks for stopping by!