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Harry Crosby and Mary "Caresse" Crosby

Naughty Innovators | Naughty Guide

Harry Crosby and Mary "Caresse" Crosby

Perhaps no couple lived as wild and exuberant life than Harry and Mary "Caresse" Crosby.

They were certainly a couple who lived life on their own terms including sexually.

They were a scandal from the beginning.

Harry was a decedent of generations of blue blood aristocrats.

Some of his ancestors fought in the revolutionary war and at least one signed the Declaration of Independence.

Harry was heir to a huge fortune and was educated at private schools.

Harry Crosby volunteered to serve in World War I and drove an ambulance in combat.

His experiences so affected him that he declared he was going to live his life the way he wanted, on his own terms, and he abandoned the life that was expected of him in Boston.

Enter Mary Peabody.

A married socialite six years Harry's senior.

They first met when Mary was enlisted to chaperone Harry and some of his friends during an outing at an amusement park.

Harry reportedly fell in love with Mary within the first two hours of meeting her and professed his love during a ride together in the amusement park's Tunnel of Love ride.

They had a very public relationship that was a huge scandal.

They reportedly had sex and spent the night together within two weeks of meeting.

Harry and Mary carried on their affair, with Harry leaving Boston for New York on weekends so they could meet.

Harry begged Mary to divorce her husband but she refused.

Finally Mary's husband offered her a divorce and the marriage ended.

Harry Crosby married Mary and few months later they immediately left for Paris, because marrying a divorced woman was frowned upon by society and his family.

In Paris they joined the Lost Generation.

Naughty Innovators | Naughty Guide


A group of American Expatriates who found themselves disillusioned by the loss of life in WWI and who openly rejected the moral and social values of their parents.

There they lived a bohemian lifestyle; they agreed on an open marriage where they both had other sexual partners and were hedonists, living a decadent lifestyle full of extravagance.

Harry gambled and was a famous womanizer and they both used cocaine, hash and opium.

They spent money without thinking and traveled the world.

They also engaged in outlandish behavior by having dinner parties in their bed that encouraged guests to bathe together.

They threw wild parties and entertained famous artists of the time such as Ernest Hemingway, Salvador Dali and Ezra Pound.

It was during this time Harry encouraged Mary to change her name to Carresse.

She would go by the moniker for the rest of her life.

Harry Crosby was a poet with much of his poetry focusing on the sun.

He had a tattoo on the bottom of each foot; a Christian cross on one and the Pagan symbol of the sun on the other.

Perhaps the biggest literary contribution the Crosbys made was founding the publishing company The Black Sun.

Through this they published works by James Joyce, D.H. Lawrence, Ezra Pound and more.

As far as great sexual thinkers go, Harry and Mary "Caresse" Crosby were very forward thinking for their time.

Part of the Jazz Age, they were determined to live their lives including their sexual lives on their own terms and they never did apologize for it.



Learn more about Harry Crosby and Mary Crosby with these books:

• Black Sun: The Brief Transit and Violent Eclipse of Harry Crosby



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