By now you’ve probably learned that the First Kiss viral video that was floating around the Internet last week was a fake. The clip of strangers kissing for the first time was actually an ad, but there were a pair of “strangers” making out for the camera back in the 1800s. Dangerous Minds recently called attention to the very first kiss shot on film, between two women circa 1872 to 1885.
Did we mention these Victorian-era women happened to be nude and were photographed by a convicted murderer? We’re talking about pioneering English photographer Eadweard Muybridge, whose studies of motion and projection led to the development of cinema as we know it. So how did this scandalous photoshoot come about?
While the Victorians were extremely sexually prudish by modern standards and commonly considered male homosexuality a serious threat to their society they believed women had little or no sex drive. Therefore the possibility of lesbianism was commonly ignored.
Because of Victorian sexual taboos Muybridge was not able to photograph men and women naked together and was only able to publish images of naked men together engaging in sports or work. Because he was free to show women naked together he used female models when he wanted to show two people engaging in ordinary activities. In many plates he had one of the women assume a typically male role and these are the plates which today we tend to perceive as homoerotic.
You can watch Muybridge’s The Kiss in action, below. And about that whole murder thing? Muybridge shot and killed his wife’s lover (who was possibly the real father of their son, Florado). He was eventually acquitted for justifiable homicide. Still, the guy took some damn good photos.
The below does contain old timey nudity, so consider it NSFW.
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