A New Sexual Revolution
Before the sexual revolution, it was just sex
It’s funny to think about the concept of a sexual revolution. The fact that we need to “revolt” or instigate a revolution to reclaim something that is our right and innately natural is preposterous.
Throughout history, even today in some parts of the world, men and women have died terrible deaths because they defied the societal norms surrounding sex.
Excuse my French, but that’s fucked.
The fact that a revolution is necessary to take back what is rightfully ours is fucked, too.
Religion has turned sex into a taboo. You can argue with me all day long, but you’ll still be wrong.
How many of these “revolutions” have we seen throughout history? How many people have tried and failed to reclaim their eroticism, risking their reputations and even their lives in the process?
People take for granted the work that our predecessors did to get us where we are today. Whether you consider yourself a free spirit or religious, you’re reading this article, on a sex doll website.
That wouldn’t have been possible without the sacrifices of previous generations.
Now that you’re here, it’s time for you to hear a story. It involves a few characters you’ve probably heard of: the god Bacchus, Freud, and Jim Morrison.
Are you intrigued? Well, you should be. Let’s proceed.
The garden of good and evil
For ancient Romans and Greeks, sexual revolutions were unheard of, and frankly, unnecessary. Many people accepted sex for what it was and embraced their eroticism with wide open arms.
Seems simple, right?
Granted, there were still rules both spoken and unspoken about sex, mainly towards women (of course), but generally, it was a very open society.
Sex was accepted as a fact of life so much that the ancients created entire mythologies around gods and goddesses spurred by their sexual desires.
Ancient Romans and Greeks were two very distinct cultures that, despite their differences, shared several commonalities. One similarity is that these peoples were very in tune with their erotic nature, and it is evident in their tales about their gods and goddesses.
In Roman mythology, one of these gods, Bacchus, became a sort of patron saint of wine and fertility (and strangely enough, isn’t French). If you haven’t heard of Bacchus before, you may know him by his Greek equivalent, Dionysus.
In addition to wine and fertility, Bacchus also is affiliated with bountiful grape harvests, winemaking, ritual madness, religious ecstasy, and theatre. Now that sounds like someone who knows how to have a good time!
Even though religion heavily influenced these cultures and affected how they conducted themselves during their day-to-day business, it did not stop them from enjoying an unheard of level sexual freedom.
Of course, as it is, all good things must come to an end.
Christianity and the demise of eroticism
After the Roman Empire fell, Christianity dominated the continent and completely redrew the line between acceptable and unacceptable behavior.
Thus, the free love, laissez-faire attitude towards sex shifted to something that was heavily policed by church and state, which at the time, was one and the same. (And is frightfully close to happening in the US.)
As time passed, sex in any form became an unspoken taboo enclosed by guilt and shame.
No longer was sex a right; it was something reserved for marriage with the sole purpose of procreation. (Or those who were wealthy enough to purchase discretion.)
This new attitude towards sex made women nothing more than birthing vessels built for the continuation of the family line and the human race.
In a time when most children died before the age of 5, women were subject to an endless cycle of pregnancy and birth during their childbearing years.
Of course, this increased the chances of women dying while giving birth. Without modern medicine or any semblance of sanitation, death was almost a certainty for many.
For centuries, Christianity punished sexuality and systematically forced the death of eroticism.
And because of it, many became confused by their sexual desire, despite it being a natural part of human nature.
Eroticism and enlightenment
Over time, attempts were made to reclaim eroticism and embrace sexual freedom, but they were never successful.
During the Age of Enlightenment in the 18th century, people flocked to cities in droves, and urban populations skyrocketed.
This influx of people was difficult to police, especially when it came to monitoring sex. Police forces were forced to distinguish crime from sin.
Not only that, but the Catholic church found itself caught up in several scandals that lessened its credibility.
Funny how the more things change, the more they stay the same. Anyway.
While all of this was happening, society saw a rise in acceptance of heterosexual premarital sex, sex work, and mistresses.
Despite being frowned upon, infidelity became a matter for the state instead of the church. Where before cheating constituted the death penalty, it became a matter for the courts to decide.
Think about this: In 1660, out-of-wedlock births hovered at about 1%. By 1800, that number jumped to 25%, with an additional 40% of brides who were pregnant on their wedding day.
While all of this seems like a sexual revolution, it wasn’t. These behaviors were tolerated almost exclusively for whites, mostly wealthy, and nearly always men. Additionally, masturbation and homosexuality were still looked down on.
During the Age of Enlightenment, depictions of women changed from lustful sirens to passive partners whose reputation and purity was the same.
World War I brought significant changes to Victorian attitudes, which by 1870, people were already over.
Enter the Flappers, who instigated modern history’s first sexual revolution.
In 1920, women finally earned the right to vote. Suffrage, combined with the US Prohibition and countless deaths from WWI and the Spanish Flu, created the perfect concoction for a never-before-seen subculture dominated solely by women. [i]
The Flappers of the Roaring Twenties believed that life was too short to wait for a man to marry them.
The young women who joined this movement witnessed the effects of death and chose to control their lives, rather than let others do it for them.
WWI loosened rigid class structures, the new consumer culture gave women unique ways to express their independence through fashion, and cars gave them the ability to go where they pleased.
Cars were also a place for petting parties, which originated during the Victorian Era but grew in popularity on college campuses or anywhere that young people could hide away from prying adults.
The economy boomed, and women had a chance to work and find careers previously held only by men.
Despite all of this, the first sexual revolution was a bust. Most of society was staunchly against the Flappers, including other women. They believed Flappers threatened traditional values.
The end of the Flappers came with the start of the Great Depression. Crushing poverty left no room for hedonism, and laws that regulated hemlines and women’s’ physical appearances passed. [ii]
Freud gets freaky
Meet our next character, Sigmund Freud.
For all his faults, Freud was a trailblazer, and we can’t forget his contributions to the field of psychology.
(Or the caricature of the shrink modeled off of him.)
We can laugh at some of his theories because some of them are absurd, but the truth is, he laid the groundwork for some major innovations when it comes to studying the mind.
Men like Freud tried to understand sex and all its complexities. He saw the effects that sexual repression could have on people. He believed that tension and pleasure were the building blocks of life.
Not that anyone should visualize Freud having sex, but his theories make you wonder what his own love life was like.
For Freud, the pressure came from the buildup of sexual energy, and people derived pleasure from the release of said energy. [iii]
Of course, his ideas were brushed off by most, and the cycle of repression and punishment continued.
The New Dionysus
Eventually, the cycle culminated into one of the most significant cultural phenomena in recent history: the second sexual revolution, or the free love movement.
There were lots of well-known hippies who, in their own way, took Freud’s ideas and ran with them. One of them was Jim Morrison.
Morrison was but one of several icons of the sexual revolution, but in true Dyonisus fashion, he threw societal norms to the wind and in not so many words, furthered the call for sexual freedom.
His stage shows were theatrical events that transcended “Freud’s sexual neuroses of the crowd or Nietzsche’s Apollonian and Dionysian analysis of tragedy.”
And in their music, sex and death were front and center while Morrison connected Greek tragedy with the Doors’ performances. [v]
The Doors’ Dionysian-like desire for liberation carried on even after the counterculture movement died. The end of the 70s also meant the end of the free love movement.
But the damage was done. In typical fashion, the sheep in mainstream culture pretended the revolution didn’t happen. But whatever–they could pretend, but they couldn’t ignore the consequences.
The 1980s were a glorious time. Big hair, polyester clothing, and synthesizers–it doesn’t get better than that.
The glitz and glamour of the 80s were intoxicating. Media and pop culture found a niche and laid their roots to spread far and wide.
During this decade and every one since then, sex turned into something that people could buy and sell. And no one realized that better than the music industry.
Madonna, Blondie, and a host of new artists embraced their sexuality and shocked audiences around the world.
Then, came music videos, which gave artists new ways to express themselves. The public greedily slurped up this new form of media. It didn’t take long for folks to realize that music videos could be used to create new forms of sexual expression.
New dance moves and clothing styles gave men and women alike a chance to embrace their sexuality in a society still reeling from the counterculture movement.
Technology progressed. Phone sex, sexting, and nudes have become normal behavior.
And despite fears that pornography incites violence against women (thanks, Bundy), it is easier than ever to access it thanks to the internet.
And with all of this, we may have fallen into a new sexual revolution and not even realized it.
The sexless sexual revolution
The sexual revolution of today looks a lot different than it did during the flapper and hippie movements. Hashtags like “me too” and “yes all women” are a modern callback to times when women burned their bras and demanded equality in all spaces.
Additionally, smartphones have made it easier than ever to connect with others, leading to the so-called “hookup culture.”
With apps like Tindr, Grindr, or Bumble, connecting with one’s erotic side should be more accessible than ever.
But that isn’t the case.
People talk a lot of shit on Millennials, but they don’t seem to realize that Baby Boomers have left us only scraps of the American Dream.
It’s a guess, but perhaps one reason why we haven’t realized we’re in a new revolution is that our broke asses are too tired from working as wage slaves to our corporate overlords.
Obviously, there’s a bunch of logical fallacies wrapped up in that statement, but the sentiment still stands.
My generation is having less sex than any previous generation. A study showed that in the early 2010s, Americans were having sex an average of nine times fewer per year than they were in the late 1990s.
The researchers who conducted this study surmised that this drop is due to increased levels of unhappiness. Well, no duh.
Western society is currently experiencing more cases of depression and anxiety than any other place in the world, and it’s affecting our ability to enjoy sex. Basically, we are too tired and too depressed to fuck.
Younger generations are subject to a much more unstable quality of life than our predecessors. Job and housing insecurity, destruction of communal spaces, and climate change affect the youth’s need to have sex. [vi]
The future of eroticism
So where does this leave us?
Do we need a higher intelligence to reinstate long-lasting sexual freedom in the human psyche?
The benefits of a more sexually liberated society are apparent, and yet interest in sex continues to plummet.
Does rediscovering our eroticism only come after the planet is safe? We are living in a time where access to sex is impossibly easy.
The age of excess we are currently experiencing is something even Bacchus couldn’t believe.
And yet, somehow, we are more out of touch with our eroticism than ever before.
Earth Erotic wants to do our part to reignite the flame of passion that resides inside every person. We may not have the power to snap our fingers and fix the issues plaguing the youth and killing their sex drives.
But, we can do our part to help the environment and raise awareness of the problems we all face very soon.
We can make calls to action and awaken a new sexual revolution that finally brings the freedom our planet so desperately needs. But our calls will fall on deaf ears until we find a way to solve the problems facing us today.
Our friend Freud may be incorrect in some of his thinking; however, there is truth between the lines. When we ignore our sexual nature and lose our eroticism, we experience more tension and feel more troubled.
The problem arises when we try to release this build-up but run headlong into shame and guilt.
Together, we must work to build each other up and put a stop to the guilt. Our current culture might be experiencing a new sexual revolution, but the threat of climate change and other things may ruin any chance to bring back eroticism.
How about we do something about it?
A small note.
The timing of this article couldn’t be better; I am writing it about a week after Alabama passed one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the United States.
I am angry. The Alabama legislature and other politicians from like-minded states are pulling the country back in time. Back when sex was nothing more than an act of reproduction and women were merely incubators.
I hurt for the women whose lives are essentially over. I can only think of the lives of children who will be born into families that lack the proper resources and planning, no matter how hard they work.
They say to think of the children–but what about the children stuck in foster care, or those in unloving homes, or those without access to healthcare services, food, or a proper education?
We need to guard against religious extremists and zealots who want to control every aspect of our lives.
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