When all prohibitions were lifted: the cyclical nature of sexual revolutions
When all prohibitions were lifted: the cyclical nature of sexual revolutions
Blonde Odalisque, François Boucher, 1752

The concept of "sexual revolution" is usually associated with the second half of the 20th century, when young people, who were born in a ruined economy after the Second World War, did not consider it necessary to adhere to the views of the old morality. But, in the past centuries, sexual revolutions also happened, starting from the time of Ancient Rome.

Homosexuality in Ancient Greece (530s BC)

If we take the ancient tribes as a starting point, then there was no prohibition on sex there. As soon as the concept of civilizations appeared, then intimate relationships began to be regulated. In ancient Greece, prohibitions of a sexual nature extended only to women, while men were allowed to make relationships with boys. But, nevertheless, the institution of marriage was revered.

Decline Romans. Thom's Couture, 1847. Fragment

In ancient Rome, the era of sexual permissiveness in any form begins in the 1st century AD. NS. with the coming to power of Caligula. It is known that the emperor proclaimed himself the embodiment of God on earth. He took his sister Drusilla out of her virginity, married her off, and then took her back. His orgies were legendary. Often Caligula chose the woman he liked at the feast, took her to his chambers, and then told her husband what she was like in bed.

Floralia. Prosper Piatti, 1899

If the emperor allowed himself such things, then the common people also rejoiced at the permissiveness. Brothels could be found on every corner, and even women from the ruling elite were engaged in prostitution. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Dark Ages began, and Christianity came to replace the pagan gods. All earthly desires (including sex) become sinful for many centuries.

Blonde Odalisque, François Boucher, 1752

The end of the Middle Ages is replaced by the Renaissance. The impetus for this was the Byzantines, who fled to Europe after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in 1453. They re-acquaint Europeans with the traditions of antiquity, and at the same time, with the concept of sexual liberation. People tired of the constant prohibitions of the Catholic Church and the suppression of worldly needs in themselves, with joy begin to re-learn the beauty of nature, and, of course, man. Sex is no longer considered sinful.

In the XVI-XVIII centuries, courtesans and favorites become a natural phenomenon. No one considered it shameful to give their body to influential persons in exchange for maintenance, precious gifts and position in society.

Catherine II and Prince Potemkin

There were legends about the love of Catherine the Great. They say that once the Empress's favorite, Potemkin, was away, and a handsome stoker of gigantic stature caught her eye. Catherine ordered "to light the fireplace in her bedroom." When the stoker began to kindle the fire, the empress grimaced, noticing, they say, it is not so necessary to warm up your empress. The next morning, the intelligent stoker was granted the title of nobility with ten thousand serfs and a new surname - Teplov.

Demonstration of suffragettes in London, March 1910

By the 19th century, the Protestant Church was again taking control of morality into its own hands. The era is called Victorian, because the British queen was overly strict in matters of morality. Intimate relationships outside of marriage were considered debauchery, and for homosexuality they were sent to mental hospitals or prisons.

With the development of industrialization, women more and more often received the opportunity to master "male" professions. Awareness of their importance leads to the emergence of the movement of suffragettes, and then the concept of "feminism" arises. Women began to fight for their rights: to demand the lifting of the ban on abortion, divorce and sex outside of marriage.If you trace the history of the XX century, it becomes clear that the sexual revolution was gaining momentum every decade. In the 21st century, there is practically no taboo on intimate relationships between both sexes.

Sexual revolution after the collapse of the Soviet Union

As for the Soviet Union, the unofficial motto of the October Revolution can be called the expression “Break everything,” including the country's patriarchal way of life. Revolutionary Alexandra Kollontai believed that "prostitution should not be a profession, but a hobby." Lenin's first decrees lifted the bans on homosexuality and sex outside of marriage. Former values ​​were considered a relic of the era. On the streets of Moscow and St. Petersburg, one could often see members of the “Down with shame” society, walking around with slogans and completely naked. But, when the general excitement from the revolution passes, the government again prohibits free love and welcomes marriage. In the following decades, the situation only worsened. The real sexual revolution comes in the country only after the collapse of the Soviet Union, when Western culture penetrates through the open borders.

The era of the 1990s was difficult for the people of the country. For that period, people still remember with warmth. These 15 typically "our" things, incomprehensible to the Western man in the street, Russians remember with nostalgia.

Popular by topic