All credit to Alexandra Petri, by the way, for bringing this fact into my life completely unsolicited and of whom I will always endeavor to be worthy. But, yes, W. Somerset Maugham, who described himself in his own autobiography as being “in the first rank of second-raters,” (which, !!!!) one time had a sex dream about Percy Shelley (NOT BYRON NEVER BYRON), and like, guys, do not worry, he got specific:
“Wescott, a fund of information about Maugham’s sexuality, recorded a rare example of one of Maugham’s sexual-literary fantasies. ‘Last night in a dream,’ Maugham told him, ‘– you may scarcely believe it, but it is true – I dreamed that I went down on Shelley. I remember saying to myself that I mustn’t try to bugger him; he wouldn’t have liked that.’ The ethereal Shelley, rather than the more robust, bisexual Byron, was his obscure object of desire. On another occasion Wescott found Maugham gazing at Pavel Tchelichew’s signs-of-the-zodiac illustrations for Wescott’s Calendar of Saints for Unbelievers, which portrayed two men entwined in a sixty-nine position. Pretending to be sexually naive, Maugham remarked that, ‘having been struck by the beauty of it when he was here last, he had tried it and, alas, found it not perfectly feasible.'”
If you are looking to have a good time, I do not recommend that you read the paragraph immediately following that one in the book. Close that tab! What a world! I mean! Mustn’t try to bugger him; he wouldn’t have liked that.
Mallory is an Editor of The Toast.