I’ve now read six volumes of the lecherous Venetian’s epic memoir which, I believe, puts me at the halfway mark. It’s been an entertaining and eye-opening read. In fact, I’d go so far as to rank it as the all-time second best player memoir series. Well worth a crack.
Like many other cultural icons – James Bond, Conan the Barbarian, Dogtanian  for example – the popular image of the man is at variance with how he is written in the original stories. My readers are perhaps wiser on matters Casanova than most but I’ll bet most of you know him as an elite-level seducer of top-quality Regency tottie. Well, that’s not quite accurate. Casanova operated in a very different world than today’s humble seducers and faced different challenges. He also had different priorities. So, let’s consider some of the things I learned from his story so far….
1. He played the whole lover-provider range.
Orthodoxy within the London Daygame community is that if you pay for sex, it doesn’t count. It is no more of an achievement to bang a whore/sugarbaby/Ukrainian “model”  than it is to buy a movie ticket and watch The Avengers. To call yourself a player when paying for sex is like calling yourself a comedian while paying everyone in the audience to laugh at your jokes. There’s no accomplishment. No winning.
Casanova clearly took pride in his real seductions, and the books include many of them. He’d pursue some women for weeks on end, going to elaborate lengths to woo them. He’d also just as easily pay for it in cash, or set up mistresses with houses and incomes. He was shameless about it. In one case in France, he sets up a silks factory and hires two dozen young seamstresses, then proceeds to hit on every one of them, offering money for sex.
The memoirs include rapes, prostitution, sugar-daddying, and extortion as means of getting laid in addition to the usual seduction.
2. Smart men had his number.
It took a while for me to figure this out, but as the books wore on I started to see a pattern emerge. Casanova would arrive in a town and ingratiate himself into a series of social circles, often with a particular woman in mind. Almost immediately he’d make an enemy or two among local men. In itself, no big deal. Until, that is, I realised his enemies were usually high-ranking army men with careers in soldiering, or successful business men. It was wolves recognising a rabbit in their midst. Casanova is frequently run out of town by men who, to him, seem to persecute him without provocation. In volume six he arrives in Switzerland and is temporarily forced to restrain himself and not hit on women for a week. He comments that when walking the streets, locals look at him with respect and he’s not used to that! Other times his reputation precedes him, for good and ill.
3. Sexually transmitted diseases were a huge risk
Casanova is frequently sidelined by illness, sometimes taking painful mercury and nitrate cures to clear up venereal diseases, and out of action for months at a time. This was two hundred years before antibiotics and Casanova usually refused to wear “English sheaths”. There’s one funny time where he stays at a lodge and takes a fancy to one of the girls there, Raton, so offers her two louis to come round and shag him. After showing her to his bedroom he steps out to the lavatory and noticed a patron has scrawled “October 10, 1760, one week ago Raton gave me the clap and it’s killing me.” Casanova returns to find Raton naked in his bed and her shawl stuffed down between it and the wall. He pulls it out and notices its stains. She flees.
Another intrigue is centred around him getting the pox from a vengeful Madame F. and, because his Spanish valet Ludec has also just caught the pox, Casanova is able to turn the tables. It’s a squalid story I shan’t spoil.
4. He was ruled by his urges.
Casanova was an inveterate gambler in addition to his lustful wanderings. Most of his stories are some variation of this model: (1) show up in new town with letter of introduction from a notable in previous town, and with a full purse, (2) join a social circle centred around an aristocratic lady, (3) gamble every day, winning and losing large amounts, (4) target the lady or one of her retinue (5) get into some kind of intrigue behind the husband’s back, (6) leave town due to either a duel, the pox, or unpaid debts.
Casanova is an inconstant. He will fall in love with a girl and contemplate marriage. They’ll develop a serious relationship and then, just before proposing, the daughter of the local baker will catch his eye and he’s off after her instead. The old flame is simple forgotten.
5. There’s rather more murder than one would expect.
The last story of volume six concerns a mistaken identity with a nun. The thirty-five year old Casanova is walking home one afternoon when he sees a young nun (21yr old) chaperoned by an old battleaxe nun. He mistakenly thinks it’s an old flame called M.M. from five years earlier, so he follows them to their lodgings in a peasant cottage. An intrigue ensues. In order to deflect the battleaxe, the young nun (who is hiding a pregnancy inflicted by a fifty-year old hunchback) conspires with the peasant landlady to give the older woman a sleeping soporific. They overdo it and the battleaxe has been asleep for 28 hours. Casanova consults with them and they decide not to call a doctor, as it would reveal the pregnancy and the intrigue. So, they let her die and pay off the parish priest to get her buried without incident.
Years earlier Casanova ambushed a man walking home late one night, clubbed him with a blackjack, and threw him unconscious into a canal. The poor victim was only saved by revellers who saw him floating. There are other such events. Casanova appears to have had no scruples at all.
6. Degenerates seek him out.
There’s one story in volume five where literally everyone involved is on the make: He fancies the daughter of his inn-keeper but she’s been made pregnant by some random a month earlier, and nobody knows. So, Casanova consults an aristocratic lady friend who recommends a local midwife abortionist. Social pressure is immense, so they have a plan to go to a masquerade ball together then slip out, take a coach, and consult the midwife. They pay her a 50% deposit to buy the supplies, then tell the pregnant woman. Ultimately, they don’t follow through.
Months later, Casanova is walking in a park when the midwife recognises him. She’s with a rogue. She reports him the the Chief of Police saying he tried to procure an abortion and she refused. So Casanova is about to be prosecuted. Witnesses are “found” to support the midwife. What follows is a comedy of betrayal, pay-offs, and dissembly as literally everyone is trying to scam everyone else.
Another time, in volume six, Casanova shows up in town and is immediately targeted by three officers who slip him roofies, take him for a fortune in an illicit gambling den, steal his jewellery, and then pursue him through the local courts for payment. He ends up drugging the guard at his hotel, sneaking out a neighbour’s window, and fleeing town. In other towns he always seems to know the card sharps, pimps, abortionists, con-men, and other low-life. This despite him being rich and supposedly moving in high circles.
7. Logistics were a nightmare.
It’s not unusual for Casanova to rent a country house, full complement of servants, and host grand balls just in order to provide a plausible reason to snatch a quarter hour with his target. He’ll bribe staff, wear disguises, and communicate in secret codes with his target in order to secure a couple of hours isolation. Frankly, it sounds like a nightmare. We should be thankful for smartphones and urban anonymity.
8. AMOGing isn’t so special.
Casanova was considered a good amateur swordsman and several times he fights duels to first blood. Other times he challenges irate suitors to duels and they don’t show. Those of us growing up in the era of 2005-PUA are well aware of anti-AMOG tactics. Hey, great shirt pal. Cool story, bro. Seeing Casanova duelling with pointy blades is a reminder of just how faggy modern PUA is, as an expression of how faggy modern nightclubs and dating can be.
I should probably announce the release of Last Man Banging at some point, considering it’s already available on Amazon in paperback and hardcover. And, it’s way better written than old Giacomo’s effort.
 The latter is not actually a dog!
 Yes, The Natural Lifestyles, I’m looking at you.