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An attempt to decode the sex diaries

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 28, 2008

An attempt to decode the sex diaries of noted economist John Maynard Keynes. Keynes kept two diaries related to his sexual activities. The first was a straightforward listing of who/where/when.

The other sex diary is more puzzling and, in a way, more informative. An economist to the core, Keynes organized the second sex diary also year-by-year, but this time in quarterly increments.

Unfortunately for us, however, this second sex diary is in code. And as far as I know, no one yet has been prurient enough to crack it.

Here’s what Keynes’ tabulation looks like. For every quarter-year from 1906 to 1915, he tallies up his sexual activities and totals them under three categories: C, A, and W.

For each of these headings, he records the number of times each activity occurred, and also when. For example, between May and August, 1911, he performed (if that’s the right word) C sixteen times, A four times, and W five times.