Friday, January 31, 2014

How is Sexuality in the Victorian Era Different Than Today. By: Jordan Devan

During the Victorian Era, which was upon the 1800s, there were many different beliefs about sexuality then there are in today’s time.  In today’s time, it is common that women are seen to have sexuality and to want to be sexually active.  Back then, it was thought that women didn’t know about sex and shouldn’t have desire for it.  “These strict views on gender and sex became what we now think as the Victorian sterotype.” [1] One thing I came across in my research was that sexual desire was only seen in men and women in classes that were low for example prostitutes.  This was also proven by doctors during this time.  They even took it as far as removing sex organs doing so that “sexual desire” was removed from the body thinking that the sexual desire was a disease of some sort. 
            According to the book Sex Tips for Husbands and Wives from 1894 Ruth Smyther writes “guidelines about how newlywed women should “endure” sex.” 1  It was said that a bride was limited to only two “sexual experiences” weekly.  They also were advised to reduce these happenings as frequently as possible.  As you can see, compared to today’s time, they were very cautious and definitely had many more rules of how sexuality was treated back then.  Like in today’s time, nudity is shown everywhere and especially with your significant other.  Back then, wise women tried as much as possible not to show her body unclothed to her husband.  The book that I referenced before mentions other “rules” like wearing thick pajamas to bed to minimize the exposer of flesh.  Also, times when the husband would try and kiss her or even kiss her on part of her body she would avoid this at all possible.  Today, women are even the ones who seduce the men.  It is totally opposite today and women are very sexual and aren’t afraid to show that side but also because it is aloud today.  I think that the rules back then were too strict but I also may be biased based on the century I live in today.  I think all sexual matters should be equal between man and women and either sex can have the sexual desire

[1] "The Victorian Era." History of Human Sexuality in Western Culture. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2014. <>.

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