MOTHER CLAP, British bathhouse madam, born; We don’t really know the date of Mother Clap’s birth. We don’t even know her real name. But she did, in fact, exist. In 1726 she was indicted for keeping a “disorderly house” where some fifty men were found making love, “kissing in a lewd manner and using hands indecently.”

To these charges she offered this defense: “I am a woman, and therefore it cannot be considered that I would ever be concerned in such practices.” Damned right.