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Andy Parsons

Here’s what happens when you go on a ‘sex run’ around London

Written by
Grace Goslin

We’re all so obsessed with sex that it’s now possible to learn about London’s debauched history on a ‘sex run’ in the city. One writer joins the curious joggers

As someone whose main flirtation with running involves working up a light sweat to catch the closing doors of the 172, a 10km jog around London isn’t my activity of choice. However, throw in some stops at the city’s most sordid sexual history spots, and I’m immediately invested. Welcome to Secret London Runs’ Sex and the City tour, a sex run around the capital.

You may ask: what is a sex run? Thankfully it’s not a sped up version of the walk of shame. It is, in fact, a 10km running tour solely focused on uncovering London’s erotic past.

Let’s face it, we have a notorious reputation for housing some of history’s horniest residents: from the ‘too randy to rule’ Charles II to Samuel Pepys, writer of his own sexual autobiography. The founder of Secret London Runs, Vanessa, has kindly agreed to informatively guide me through London’s most shockingly lewd spots. As we begin the tour and happily romp along the streets of Farringdon we stop off at a sprinkling of dirty destinations. One that sticks in the mind is ‘Gropecunt Lane’, a street reserved for those who couldn’t quite afford ‘the full works’. (If there’s anything I’ve learned it’s that medieval London was extremely sexually liberated.)

Novices fear not: your running speed will be matched with the greatest sympathy and quite frankly you’ll be too busy thinking about condom conundrums to notice the physical side of things anyway. You probably didn’t know that the word ‘condom’ came from Charles II’s physician, ‘Colonel Quondam’ who prescribed amorous Charlie a lamb sheath and ribbon condom in order to combat his concerns about how many illegitimate children he had. History buffs and fitness fiends unite. This fact-packed, sexy running tour truly is a treat for the mind, body and soul.

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