One of the most
prevalent rumors in history is also one of its most sexually taboo.
Catherine the Great became Empress of Russia in 1762 at the age of forty.
Ask just about anyone what they may know of Catherine the Great of Russia
and they will either take on that wonderfully oblivious blank stare, or
tell you she died while coupling with one of her horses.
Catherine had been married to Peter lll and
history tells us that they had for all intent and purposes, a loveless
marriage. There is ongoing debate about their being the best of friends.
However, Peter displayed unruly and often childish tendencies in court and
in the bedroom. He would beat his dogs for sport, and play cruel and
vicious practical jokes on the courtiers.
Unlike the playful tendencies which most
women would enjoy, according to historians, he suffered from a “physical
deficiency” which disabled him from amorous acts with his wife. Accounts
have pointed to his having what some have termed “an ill-fitting cap”,
meaning his foreskin was far too tight and he could not get an erection.
Others have said that this tightening around the head of his penis
inhibited the flow of oxygen to his brain, thus explaining his behavior
around the palace.
The marriage of the virgins lasted seven
years as virgins, until Elizabeth decided Catherine must give her an heir.
Considering that the goal for Catherine was to produce an heir, Peter was
fast turning out not to be the man for the job. Smallpox had made him ugly
in appearance and when they married he was seventeen and not willing or
able to have sex with his wife. When the time finally came, he listened to
bawdy stories from the men around him and decided quite strongly that he
had no appetite for sex at all. He would stay up very late into the night
playing with toy soldiers and having campaigns on the coverlets of his and
Catherine’s bed. Very often forcing her to stay awake with him to play,
causing her more consternation than any wife should bear. Yes, certainly
the type of character to which a woman would be attracted. This is a man
any woman would jump at the chance to spend a night with. Women swoon for
men who leave tiny toy soldiers holding tiny bayonets under our bottoms
just to gift us with the exquisite joy of rolling over onto them during
our sleep. A fetish I don’t personally understand.
Empress Elizabeth, frantic for an heir,
forced the couple to spend monumental amounts of time together. This did
not sit well with Catherine. Finally, in 1752, after seven years of a
marriage to Peter without sex, the virgin Catherine was given a soldier by
Elizabeth and fell in love with him. She became pregnant and gave birth to
her son Paul whom Elizabeth then took from her to be raised. Shortly after
Catherine’s coronation, Peter died and instead of being regent to Paul,
she took the throne herself. She wasn’t a kind leader and often displayed
horrid tendencies toward the peasant and servant classes. She also became
very public about her sex life. Discretion not being her finest suit. One
of her ex-lovers, Grigori Potemkin, would procure her young men from all
ranks, mostly however soldiers of her personal guard. Her
ladies-in-waiting always tried her “toys” out for her and if they passed
muster, she took them to her bed. She was a talented horsewoman (get those
thoughts out this minute) and spent a great deal of time working her
personal stable with the help of her guards and stable team.
It has been rumored since her death that
Catherine actually died from injuries resulting from having a horse crush
her while being strapped to its belly in an act of bestial
Her upheld reputation for complete
abandonment of principal and ethic, is not the case of her death. Although
my personal feeling is that human kind needs this kind of outrageous
remembrance if only to keep us aware of just how bizarre a ruler can
become when holding immense power. I won’t name names here but I’m sure
you get the picture.
Sexual innuendo and rumor serve the greater
population with the fodder to view leaders as human. (In many cases as
sub-human.) If figures of leadership fall into history with a pristine
past, what fun does that provide the people? What other topic would the
comedians focus on? Marie Antoinette said “let them eat cake”. Au
contraire Marie, let them eat delicious rumor and gossip. The champagne of
the rich is the water of the poor. If one of the royals spits in the
champagne, a headline will follow. Humans are by nature a gossipy bunch.
What we can’t live in our own lives, we’ll talk about to our friends.
History, now there is a ripe field full of luscious growth for the
picking. To pluck a snippet from history and reroute it through the maze
of the human communication network, leaves us with this divine sense of
knowing something naughty about someone dead. History is a free paradise
for fertile imaginations. Can they sue for slander? Highly unlikely. Can
they take it to the papers? Only if they use a medium to do so. So we as
human beings are safe to speculate and cogitate over people like
Granted, history is taken very seriously by
those historians who root about until they uncover the uglier rumors of
mediocrity that must eventually surface and grind out the more exciting
tidbits. Believe me, they don’t like it either. History provides either
excitement or mediocre tales. One is much more fun to explore than the
The fact of the matter is, Catherine died
while sitting on the commode, of a massive stroke. Yes, you read
correctly. She died on the john. Immediate history even went so far as to
have her great girth and bountiful bottom break the commode causing her
bleeding injuries from which she supposedly died. This Russian leader
could not even leave the world that. No juicy fodder for the quills of the
historians. No tales (tails?) of bestiality did she leave us with. No,
Catherine died while pursuing bodily functions rather than bodily
passions. The horse story never held basis in fact.
The horse whom she was most fond of, reveled
in the fame for the remainder of his life. However, his heirs and
predecessors still snigger about their ancestor’s penchant for