(pictures: Master craftsman Dominique Roitel reproduces Catherine the Great’s sex-furniture, lost to the ages when the Germans burned down her fuck-salon. Note how the giant ejaculating-dong-table perfectly compliments the blowjob-angel headpiece of her chair and the masturbating satyr armpieces.)
History time!: Catherine the Great God, man, what is she doing to Poland?!
Catherine the Great, for those of you who don’t know, ruled Russia from 1762-1796, when she died at the age of 67. She took power after her husband was assassinated in a coup and proceeded to rule the everloving fuck out of the country. She ruled everything so hard she wound up in charge of other countries and claimed Alaska for the motherland.
Above: Whenever the lady wasn’t fuckin’ around, she wasn’t fucking around, you guys.
She didn’t slow the modernization roll, which led to some serf uprisings because it turns out that trying to drag a huge country heavily-dependent on compulsory, hereditary land-bondage kind of sucks when you’re a serf. But, you know, Russia. It’s like Latin for “everything fucking sucks when you’re a fucking serf, because being a serf is fucking terrible.”
All this is even more impressive when you realize that Catherine the Great was born to Prince Christian August of Anhalt-Zerbst and Johanna the Kicked Out of Russia. Like, Catherine’s mom literally got her ass kicked out of Russia by then-empress Elizabeth. For spying. On Russia. For another country. (No, really.) Catherine didn’t even learn to speak Russian until she was 15, and when she got married the next year to Future Tsar Nobody-Cares Murdered-Dudevich, her dad (a German Lutheran, blah blah wars fought over your right to be a Lutheran, missy) apparently objected so hard to her converting to Eastern Orthodoxy that he didn’t come to the wedding.
(The whole not growing up speaking the language of the country you’re going to be running shit in was not unusual for the time. This period of European history is fucking full of rulers and nobles who like, couldn’t speak German or couldn’t speak Russian and had no fucks left to give, so you’d get like German nobles writing “Fuck Napoleon, I hate him and his stupid horse” in French and sending it to their behind-enemy-lines German noble bros c/o the French Army.)
So, she got married when she was 16. By the time she was like 33, things had…deteriorated. Which is Russian-nobility for “the coup he was assassinated during was her coup.” Like, a more literal translation is “She deposed his ass, made him abdicate, threw him in jail and then maaaaaaaybe also had him murdered.” Like, he was for-sure murdered. We just don’t know for sure that she said “Hey, I need you to murder this dude,” as opposed to everyone just spontaneously coming to the conclusion that the empress’s life would suddenly get way easier if her ex wasn’t alive anymore.
That she then went on to become a beloved enlightened despot is all the more impressive when you figure in the fact that she didn’t have a blood claim on the throne. She was nobility, but she wasn’t anywhere in the line of natural-heir succession to the throne. If she hadn’t had a kid with Tsar Nobody-Cares, she’d have straight up been usurping that shit. In point of fact, she may actually have been usurping that shit, as the lady straight up said in her memoires that the kid she was regenting for wasn’t her husband’s.
And this isn’t like “I hate that motherfucker, I’mma tell him the baby wasn’t his in the divorce just to twist the knife a little.” She pretty much had a revolving door installed in her bedroom, because it’s good to be the empress. She’d keep a dude for a while and then pension his ass off when she found the next one. Being her boyfriend came with a retirement plan, guys. And she was a picky lady. She liked them pretty and smart, and preferably extremely useful outside the bedroom, because real-talk: the guy you’re banging and setting up with retirement is probably a little more loyal than random dude off the street. Especially when you’re talking Russian aristocracy, and the empress liking you automatically counts against you with anybody trying to off the empress.
Contrary to whatever weirdo cause-of-death things you’ve probably heard, because you’re on the internet, she most likely died of a stroke. Like, they did an autopsy and everything. And I mean, it was 1796, so autopsies weren’t great, but I’m pretty sure they’d have picked up on the difference between a stroke and a horse-fucking-related misadventure. If you want to get all conspiracy-theory cover-up-happy, speculate away about the possibility that she was poisoned.
The stroke happened like a week before she was publicly going to cut her son out of the succession in favor of her grandson, because she and her son didn’t get along to the point where she kind of had him about as government-grounded as you can get for the putative heir of an empire for a lot of his life.
wellp, I can guarantee this will be the only time that I feel the need to use the “erotic furniture” tag.