Whores of Yore

Whores of Yore



This is the legendary burlesque artist & 'vaginiste', Honeysuckle Devine. She was once described as a 'one woman slum', & had one of the most extraordinary acts in the history of burlesque. Thread

Honeysuckle was born Betty Allsup in Rock Island, Illinois in 1938. She was one of 14 children & described her father as a 'hillbilly, banjo-playing lumberjack.'

As a teenager she became deeply religious & at 21 she went to Philadelphia to become a postulant at the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart Convent

She only remained at the convent for 3 months before climbed out of a window in the dead of night. She wound up in Washington where she worked as a stripper under the name Pussy Bird.

She was also selling sex & later claimed that her clients included senators, governors, ambassadors, and Lyndon B Johnson, the President of the United States. This hasn't been confirmed.

Burlesque clubs were regularly raided by the police, but the first offence Honeysuckle was arrested for was 'obscene walking', in 1969. Apparently, her skirt was too short & she wiggled too much.

By her own admission, Honeysuckle wasn't much of a dancer & realised she needed a gimmick. After reading a book on the famous French showman, Le Pétomane, who could fart at will, HS wondered if she could do that with her vagina. It turned out, yes she could.

By 1970, HS was a headline act & one of the most famous strippers in America. She could blow candles out with her vagina, as well as shoot pingpong balls, & squirt lotion up the walls. To clean all this up, she would insert a mop & clean the stage as her finale.

In a later interview she said, "I made my puss sound like a duck. I'd say, "I fucked a duck and the duck's still in there!" I lit a candle with a match, then extinguished the flame with my puss. Then I'd blow out the flame from three candles all at once."

"After that I put three candles in my puss, lit them, and stood on my head. I'd count down, and blast-off! The candles shot out of my puss like a rocket...After the candles, I smoked a cigarette in my puss and blew smoke rings in time with Glenn Miller swing music."

"Then I pour Jergens lotion into my parts, which I then shoot 20 feet into the air. The guys within shooting range scatter in all directions! I joke that the guys who are close to me are in the "combat zone."

"Then I put talcum powder in my pussy, which I blow out in big white clouds."

Honeysuckle was also a prolific diarist & was eventually offered a regular column in SCREW Magazine, called 'Diary of a Dirty Broad', which ran for several years. She later wrote for Cheri Magazine.

She toured throughout the 70s & had several 'comeback' tours in the 80s. HS's act was regularly closed down by the authorities & she was charged with 'lewdness'. The charges often didn't stick because charges of lewdness depend on ppl not wanting to look - which they clearly did

HS was also an early campaigner for sex worker rights & for decriminalisation. She was a controversial figure though. She was invited to First World Meeting of Prostitutes in 1976, but was asked to leave when she started handing out her card to men in the audience

The legendary sex worker rights activist Margo St James stood up for HS, saying "If she can’t do that here and be accepted, where can she do it?”

By the late 80s, HS's health was suffering & the stripping scene had changed dramatically. The work dried up & HS seemed to vanish. Until....

In 2014, @TheRialtoReport did a deep dive & investigation into the career of Honeysuckle Devine. They found her living quietly in a small town in Illinois & took this photo. She is part of the church community & 'relies heavily on assistance from the Salvation Army'.

In their article, Honeysuckle said, 'it was so beautiful to see all those people in the audience. I somehow never got over that awe-struck feeling when I look at them and think how fantastic it is that all those people come to see me...

"I just pray I make them happy, and I do the best I can and try not to worry about not being good enough. I just do my best and pray for the rest”.

And you can read the whole of @TheRialtoReport 's article. Its where I got all of this info & far better than this little thread - plus it has amazing pictures. Enjoy!

Follow us on Twitter

to be informed of the latest developments and updates!

You can easily use to @tivitikothread bot for create more readable thread!
Donate 💲

You can keep this app free of charge by supporting 😊

for server charges...