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13 Great People Who Were Also Perverts

Updated January 6, 2021 5.7k votes 2.9k voters 929.2k views13 items

List RulesVote for the great people with the most surprisingly perverted habits

As some sort of a sequel to Beau Iverson's list (, I've decided to compile this list of 14 other allegedly awesome people who were really perverts in their private lives.Your opinion on Lewis Carroll, Charlie Chaplin, and Lord Byron will never be the same.

A lot of Googling involved here, and some of the sites used may not be accurate. If I made a mistake, please make a Disquz comment so I can correct it!

  • Photo: Public Domain / via Wikimedia Commons

    Guilty of:  Masochism, possible pederasty (relationship with a teenage boy)

    Who's this guy?
    Better known as Lawrence of Arabia, which is a pretty self-explanatory name – he played a major role in the Arab revolt against the Ottoman Empire. He was also an archaeologist.

    What's his story?
    Lawrence was a celibate who hated being touched, and his friends believed he was asexual, but according to some, this changed when he met Dahoum, a 12-year-old Syrian boy who worked with him in archaeology. The two allegedly fell in love and lived together. It has even been claimed that Lawrence wrote about 'sweet' embraces in his journal and made a naked model of Dahoum, although none of these claims have ever been verified. 

    In his memoir The Seven Pillars of Wisdom (which was dedicated to Dahoum, by the way), he claims that he was captured by Turks in 1917, brutally beaten, and raped. Many say, however, that there are subtle tones of eroticism during these excerpts. He said he felt "delicious warmth, probably sexual, swelling through me." 

    What's more, he regularly asked his pal John Bruce to whip his buttocks over a period of 12 years. He would ask to be flogged 30-75 times in a tent, sometimes with a witness, then have them write an account of the flogging to read later. His excuse? An uncle identified only as 'R' (who probably never existed) asked him to be disciplined. It's believed that Lawrence was reliving his physical and emotional trauma through the whippings, either consciously or unconsciously. 

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  • 6

    Yuan Mei

    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain

    Guilty of: Lots of affairs with both sexes, possibly pedophilia 

    Who's this guy?  
    One of the most renowned poets of the Qianlong era. Yuan Mei is said to be the most perverted person in the history of China's literati, and that's talking about a >2500-year-old (and counting) history.  

    What's his story?  
    Yuan Mei was a bisexual. He had affairs with a bunch of concubines (two Taos, a Fang, a Lu, a Jin...), several female students, as well as men (a Li, a Zhuang, a Gui, a Cao Yutian, a Wu, a Lu...). His favorite, a guy called Jin Feng, followed him everywhere. If that's bad, hear this: at the age of 70, he allegedly shared a bed with a small girl who admired him.

    Fellow poet Zhao Yi said Yuan was "gentle" to both men and women. Zhao went on to predict that, in order to pay off his "debts," Yuan would become a butterfly or bee in his coming life at worst, or a monkey at best. Contemporary historian Zhang Xuecheng wrote five essays to condemn Yuan. "This scum of a man should be executed by lingchi (slow slicing)," Zhang wrote. Politician Liu Yong got so tired of his scandals that he nearly cut off his head. Talk about notoriety.



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  • Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain

    Guilty of: Lots of affairs, collection of... hair 

    Who's this guy?
    One of the prominent Anglophone literary figures of the early 19th century. A national hero of the Greeks for fighting against the Ottoman Empire.   

    What's his story?  
    Another bisexual poet who fell constantly in love. 

    Byron was sent to Harrow in 1801. During his time there, Lord Byron fell in love with Mary Chaworth, "the first object of his adult sexual feelings." He also developed several close friendships with his fellow students. In one poem, he wrote, "Ah! Sure some stronger impulse vibrates here,/ Which whispers friendship will be doubly dear/ To one, who thus for kindred hearts must roam,/ And seek abroad, the love denied at home." One of his best friends was John FitzGibbon, 2nd Earl of Clare. According to Byron himself, he "could never hear the word 'Clare'" without "a murmur of the heart."

    Then, at Trinity College, he had another friend, John Edleston, who, in Byron's own words, "has been my almost constant associate since October, 1805, when I entered Trinity College. His voice first attracted my attention, his countenance fixed it, and his manners attached me to him for ever." Later in his life, he described the episode as "a violent, though pure love and passion."  

    He was a man of many women. In 1812, he went on to love Lady Caroline Lamb, a woman who happened to be married. Lamb described Byron as "mad, bad, and dangerous to know." After their breakup, Lamb continued to pursue (stalk) Byron, and even dressed up as a page boy to get to his house. By then, Byron was already interested in other women, including Jane Elizabeth Scott, Anne Isabella Milbanke (whom he married)... and his half-sister Augusta. 

    Augusta's marriage with her cousin George Leigh was an unhappy one. From 1804 onwards, Augusta wrote to her half-brother regularly and became his confidante. The two were said to be in love and, according to some (including jealous Lamb), had an affair. It is said that this is the reason why Byron went abroad (and then had an affair with Claire Clairmont, Mary Shelley's stepsister).  

    In Venice, Byron fell in love with Marianna Segati and Margarita Cogni. Both were married. The latter separated with her husband to live with Byron. However, their relationships ended, and Byron often spent the night in his gondola. Cogni jumped into the Venetian canal after Byron told her to get lost. He eventually married a young woman called Teresa Guiccioli.

    Warning: Prepare a platic bag now as you may feel the need to throw up. If you don't have any handy, don't read this paragraph. Apart from having a good many affairs, Byron even collected the hair of the women with whom he had an affair. He stuffed the hair in envelopes and kept them at his publishing house. When I said "hair," I didn't mean the hair on their heads... you can figure out what type of hair I mean.

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  • Guilty of: Nude swim parties, lots of affairs (including with questionable girlfriends) 

    Who's this guy?
    The guy you met in history class when you were learning about the Cuban Missile Crisis. However, what you've read about JFK in history books may not be the whole story. 

    What's his story?  
    JFK reportedly loved swimming to soothe his aching back. Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh thinks otherwise. According to Hersh, JFK enjoyed having nude swim parties with women in the White House swimming pool, including with two of his assistants, Fiddle and Faddle. Secret Service officers closely guarded the pool and the secret within. Once, Jackie decided to go for a dive in the pool, and the three had to duck for cover. 

    Other claims by Hersh include mob ties through a common girlfriend, extra-marital affairs, narcotics use, and a previous, non-terminated marriage (pretty much everything you don't want from a politician). 

    Were the stories true? Historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr says Hersh is "the most gullible investigative reporter I've ever encountered." Perhaps Hersh did rely on a fair bit of hearsay, but he based his views on interviews with Secret Service officers and related persons.   

    If you think those claims are far-fetched, just wait till you read the websites that say he was the boyfriend of Marilyn Monroe, Jane Mansfield and Zsa Zsa Gabor.

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