«What was she doing in the bathtub without permission?»
Oneill guides the reader through sections about fashion and beauty trends, general hygiene practices or lack thereof , and expectations for courtship and marriage. That bitter, dark brew underneath, as it turns out, is rich with information that will amuse and sometimes horrify its readers. Other words she uses: dear one, missy, chubby little cherub, my virgin flower, my little dumpling, you tawdry thing, dearheart, my gosling, pet, fragile flower, and my intelligent companion. She oscillates between playing the role of the benevolent, all-knowing guide; the conspiring comrade and confidante; the whipsmart friend; and the expert Victorian slang translator. The reader, she presumes, is weary of 21st century fashions, and excited to wear elaborate dresses to ornate parties — surely a Jane Austenphile. Beauty standards were the same then as they are now — narrow, damaging and highly variable by class.
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Historical Sex: The Victorians – disease, pornography and royal sex chairs
Sex & Sexuality in the 19th Century - Victoria and Albert Museum
This article is the first in a five-part series about experimental utopias. Do angels have sex? John Humphrey Noyes thought so. Related question: If they do the nasty in heaven, is it really so nasty after all? Noyes reasoned not. While Noyes was patrician and ministerial, he was never a prude. Noyes was a man of earthly appetites, and would have perhaps never become interested in the seminary had a religious revival not rocked New England in his early adulthood.
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Victoria and Albert Museum
Imagine yourself as a young person during an era when there was no sex ed in high school. Sure, pornography exists, but you're more likely to get your hands on the smallpox virus than a properly illicit " French Postcard. And yet your wedding night approaches.
What happened behind closed Victorian bedroom doors was a taboo subject. Among the uptight middle classes the prevailing attitude was that sex was necessary for reproduction but not something to be discussed in polite society — let alone enjoyed. Most brides arrived at their wedding night having not even the faintest idea about what was expected and many were simply terrified.