Sunday, November 9, 2008


I have been cajoled for several weeks now by an unnamed gentleman, who seems bent on proving that women, heaven forbid, have feelings beyond the generally accepted romantic ones. His main concern seems to be that Lady Hagar's decision to take a vacation from escorting will be a lasting one. His argument being that the lady loves the work too much and wil return to normal soon enough.
It is not up to me to go into Lady Hagar's private life and her reasons for such a decision. Likewise, I wil not endeavor to sojourn into the dangerous waters of the lady's apetites and make predictions. It does make sense to ponder on the hart of the matter though. Do women in the Young Queen's days like the procreative act ?
Often, the opinion that they don't is illustrated with a quote, ostensibly from a lady that gave this as advice to her freshly married and frightened daughter : "lay back and think of England". Unfortunately, there is no diary, letter, book or article that can be named as source for this quote and the earliest evidence suggests general use -in mockery or earnest- after Victoria's reign. In addition, as can be evidenced from Hagar's republication of the original 1879 Pearl Magazine, it seems that at least some men accepted and expected women to favour the carnal activities.
Also, sexual morals were different from person to person and also throughout the century. The outspoken freedom of the regency period probably triggered a period of reticence afterwards, but the 19th century also had its roaring 60'ies, and the 90'ies were a period with conflicting ideas. The great discussions seemed to have revolved on masturbation (as eagerly described in all details as it was denounced, as it was supposed to cause a wide range of ills) and prostitution, which changed from acceptance as a fact of life to open persecution from the 1840's onwards. By the 1870'ies, the Social Purity movement succeeded in banning indecent theatrical displays, which says more about what went on before as the largest tract on the subject. In all this disease was the central argument, as intercourse itself seems to have been regarded as natural, as evidenced from diaries of the period.
Recently, some data was published (in Dutch, I'm afraid) on behaviour of women inside virtual worlds. 1093 women that frequented virtual worlds were questioned. 54% had flirted at least once, even though they had a steady RL relationship and most of them (64%) consider a virtual escapade as infidelity. Women often (50%) prefer to keep their affairs secret for their partner and apparently most men do not bother to check, as it is the women that delve into the histories of their partner's cell phones and browsers.

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