2.4.11

Circle of Love and Sex - Part 1

Article

Many people may think that the sexual freedom that is prevalent today has gradually evolved over time, or even ‘appeared’ suddenly with the sexual liberation of the 1960’s. However, sex has actually come full circle in the history of mankind, influencing the philosophies of love along the way.

Almost travelling in a perfect circle, sexuality has moved from the carefree and uninhabited days of the ancient world through a long period of repression and denial, and finally back to acceptance of old again.

Ancient Greece 1300 – 27BC
Although hard to imagine, back in Ancient Greece, women were honoured to the point of wielding influence over men and remaining relatively free to do as they pleased; although most chose to remain virtuous. However, with the Golden Age of Greece, beginning in 450BC, a new opinion of women and sexuality emerged. Temple prostitutes were seen as superior to wives and men who fell in love were considered to be ‘unwell’. Love was not connected with marriage, but considered an amusing distraction or hindrance.

The Roman Empire 27BC – 385AD
The Roman Pagans were highly sexual and indulged in lusty love affairs, with no guilt at all; often being unfaithful or deceitful. They preferred sex to be separated from philosophy and attached little significance to it, including any reverence towards procreation. Abortion as a means of contraception was common. Once Christianity permeated Roman society in 100AD however, the concept of guilt was introduced into the sexual act. Celibacy was promoted and an emphasis placed on procreation.

The Dark Ages 385 – 1000AD
Christians continued to preach that sex was a sinful affair. Denial saw Christians indulge in bizarre feats of self denial, such as burning their own fingers off to avoid temptation. Severe laws and Papal decrees were introduced. In 585AD the Catholics stated that women had no immortal soul, and by the 9th century women were seen as wasteful property, giving noblemen the ‘natural right’ to rape peasants and deflower brides. Marital sex was restricted to one position, and only allowed for conceiving a child.


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