:: Sexual Revolutions

revolutionStigma seems to, at times, be a form of causation to change – especially when people begin to ask questions.

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.

feminismWomen 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.

6 thoughts on “:: Sexual Revolutions

  1. Great post! Coming in at the last moment of the fifties repression was still the dominant thought/practice of the women who raised us. Growing up in the sixties was confusion to say the least – caught between repressed mothers, a church telling me sex was a duty and peers/older siblings who were embracing their sexuality.

    It was well into my adulthood before I found my own sexual voice. So grateful that I did.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post. I don’t think of the Marquis de Sade as having caused a sexual revolution, although the if you read what he wrote, it’s shocking and scandalous by twenty-first century standards. But de Sade certainly wasn’t the only one to suggest sex was good hundreds of years ago. Consider 16th century metaphysical poet John Dunne, who used images of religious ecstasy to describe sex, and conversely used imagery of sexual ecstasy to describe the fervor with which a supplicant prays to a god. Consider the scandals he must’ve caused, especially given the fact that he was also a Minister.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many people have caused a stir, there’s no doubt! LOL. Thankfully, there have always – in every generation, around the world – been those who have caused a scandal. Some, like Dunne a mystic poet and priest, came from some very unlikely sources – which is a good thing too, me thinks.

      Liked by 1 person

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