As it relates to sex, there have been numerous forms of revolution(s) over the centuries all in and around times of great stigma.
During the Victorian age, when everyone was apparently supposed to be prim and proper Marquis de Sade, Rousseau, and others caused a sweeping storm with scandal. The scandal was simple: sex is good. This of course was during a time when values and morality as well as the views of how the cosmos worked came into question.
The notion sex was good, and shouldn’t be repressed was a shock to many (at least in public) – but refreshing to many others as well. It was something that people seemed to yearn for and grasp onto. But things seemed to die down, and go well under-ground for a while. In the 1920’s, after a world caught in war, there sex began to expressed in new ways again, but a depression devoured up the movement.
Another counter-culture movement arose that wanted to explore the personal aspects of sexuality following the works of Freud and Lawrence. This movement came on the heels after the second great war that also spurned out numerous varieties of a new sexual revolution from the gay BDSM community to women’s liberation movement and the Sex Positive movement.
Women especially began to view their sexuality as something to be their own. Urged to initiate sex, enjoy, and experiment led to a refreshing ideology that was much needed. There was this idea that men and women should embrace sexuality with little to no limits other than ‘safe sex’ and the importance of consent.
The revolution that continued into the 60’s was much bigger than any single demographic. Involved were feminists, gay rights campaigners, hippies and even political elements. This alone set it apart from the 20’s. Not to mention that sex began to find it’s way into mainstream magazines (Playboy and Cosmopolitan). Interestingly, this movement really began to pick up momentum after the fabled 50’s – a time and place where a woman’s place was barefoot and in the kitchen – totally suppressed by her man.
But the movement wouldn’t last forever. Right wing politics took off like a storm in the 80’s. the AIDS epidemic scared the shit out of everybody. And Evangelicalism and the televangelist preached the stigma of sex so much, that eventually human sexuality declined – but shadows of a sexual freedom always present – and slowly began to increase their way back into mainstream little by little to present day.