Sex

Screw upon a Screw: Sex Education in the Gilded Age

As you might imagine, this post is sexually explicit. You have been warned. When I started writing historical romance set in the Gilded Age, I needed to know what level of sexual ignorance I was dealing with. Did doctors of the day believe in “virginity tests”? Did they understand a woman’s body and how to bring it pleasure? …

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Sex

Married Love by Marie Stopes, the Book that Scandalized WWI Society

The war forced sexual matters to the forefront of society. Soldiers were sent to hospitals more often for venereal disease than bodily injury, young women were in contact with young men in an unchaperoned capacity for the first time, and there were even scandals over the supposed immorality within female military branches (Violet Douglas-Pennant was …

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Sex

A Vest Pocket Guide to Brothels in 19th-Century New York

I discovered this book earlier this year during one of my haphazard click-throughs on the New York Times website, and was very intrigued that it has survived for over 100 years (who purchased the book? Who preserved it?). Alison Leigh Cowan of the NYT blog, City Room describes it: Only this palm-sized book, published in …

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