Tuesday, August 16, 2022

The First Time That Sherlock Holmes Had Sex

 Do you remember Sherlock's first time?

No, I don't mean some pastiche or article claiming he went for Victor Trevor's sister who died, or some boarding school romance . . . no, the first time that YOU ever read a tale in which Sherlock Holmes had sex. In the BBC Sherlock fanfic age, many a younger Sherlockian has entered that moment with full awareness. And there are even Sherlockians of old who found that paperback entitled The Sexual Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, and had to know it was coming.

But for a good many of us, it came as a surprise.

I mean, Sherlock Holmes is not a guy you just expect to suddenly start having sex in one of this novels. There is no indication he ever did in the original ACD Canon. (Seriously? You're gonna claim that was Holmes having sex? C'mon.)*

For me, Holmes's first time was with a London School Board member seven years his senior -- even though he was hardly young himself, probably in his early thirties. That sure doesn't sound all that spicey, does it?

But there was more to it than that -- and perhaps it was just Watson and I who mistook something else for sex. But reading The Case of the Philopher's Ring by Randall Collins at the end of the 1970s, it sure seemed like Sherlock Holmes and Annie Besant were going for it underneath a fallen Chinese screen. All in the service of raising enough psychic energy to intensify Besant's visionary powers, of course. Nothing in the name of recreational romance for Holmes, even then!

It was one of those unexpected pastiche turns that catch one by surprise in one's early readings. The Case of the Philosopher's Ring was one more attempt to emulate Nicholas Meyer by tossing mobs of Victorian celebs into a Sherlock Holmes mystery, as was the fad in those days. But usually it was still Watson one expected to bed a celeb, not Holmes. 

So who was Holmes with the first time he had sex in your experience? Someone from the Canon? Someone from history? Some previously unknown sort? Was it a surprise?

Most of us only get one first time. Sherlock Holmes, however, has probably had more first times at this point than any other fictional character outside of Mr. Spock. (Yeah, I see you, Treksters.) It's probably not the surprise it once was, but you never know.


* I really have no idea what "that" is -- it's a trap I laid for the imaginative. Go ahead and let us know what you thought "that" was.

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