Where does man stand today relative to love and sex? Where is he going? The answers to these questions come into clearer focus if one knows where man has been and the direction he is now moving. By objectively analyzing and studying the fascinating and sometimes startling history of love and sex, one can learn where man has been personally and sexually. Examining this history reveals the gradual but definite progress man has made toward identifying and developing rational and objective views of himself and of interhuman love and sexual relationships. The progress over the past 3200 years is outlined below. This table indicates that concepts such as love within marriage, the equality of women with men, and the mutual enjoyment of sex were unknown throughout most of recorded history. In fact, the concept of romantic love as the basis of sex and marriage has fully evolved only within the past century.
Although the course of progress zigzags dramatically over the centuries, progress of man toward fulfilling his physical, psychological and sexual needs has generally held an upward course throughout history. This progress closely follows his degree of freedom from the oppressive forces of government, the church and mysticism. Each major decline in human progress (such as the Dark Ages) occurred during periods when mysticism and religion dominated man's thought and crippled his rationality, which in turn allowed the government or church to oppress and diminish individual freedom and happiness.
Why is the history of love and sex important? Why should one be aware of where man has been and how his views on love and sex developed? This historical knowledge provides a helpful perspective for the objective validation or rejection of current views of love and sex. In addition, a person gains a clearer reflection of his own views when his position can be compared and contrasted to the undeveloped and erroneous views and positions of past history. Similarly, to fully know and understand what is right and good, one must know and understand what is wrong and evil. With a voyage through history, one can view the transformation of various undeveloped, erroneous, irrational, and invalid views on love and sex to the currently unfolding valid, rational and healthy views.
From a knowledge of history, a person can look optimistically into the future and predict that man will continue his climb toward more rational and healthier views about freedom, love and sex. Someday, in perhaps the not too distant future, most people will be sufficiently free from political, mystical and religious oppression to discover and apply the Advanced Concepts of Romantic Love. All people will then be free to exploit their potential for happiness through their own productivity and sexuality. This goal is not some distant, impractical Utopia. Quite to the contrary, this goal is now approaching as man, for the first time in history, has both the knowledge and the opportunity to break forever the dark grip of religious and political oppression and their destructive ethics of human sacrifice and altruism. Of more immediate importance, this goal, this freedom, this happiness can be experienced today by any productive individual in the Free World by applying the Advanced Concepts of Romantic Love .
Only by breaking the hoax of mysticism and altruism can men and women function in accordance with their own nature and objective reality. When the frauds of mysticism and altruism are exposed and rejected, the individual is then free to pursue psychuous pleasures, romantic love and long-range happiness.
Reviewing the history of love and sex in context with today's new and unfolding knowledge will help diminish the destructive influence of mysticism and altruism. Two well-researched and well-written books provide enlightening and fascinating reviews of love, sex and marriage from the Greco-Roman period to the present. One book is The Natural History of Love, written by Morton M.Hunt, an astute journalist who combines objective scholarship and in-depth research with an engaging style. Morton Hunt's book provides knowledge and insight into the evolution and development of the man-woman relationship in the Western world over the past 2500 years. Hunt's book is supplemented by Sex in History, written by G. Rattray Taylor. This book traces man's attitude toward love and sex from Grecian times to the present. Both Hunt's and Taylor's books vividly demonstrate the disastrous roles that mysticism, government and especially religion have played throughout the course of history in undermining man's means to his own well-being and happiness.
The following provides a summarized history of Western love and sex from 1300 B.C. to the present day.
THE HISTORY OF WESTERN LOVE AND SEX FROM 1300 B.C.TO THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
Ancient Greece (1300 B.C.-450 B.C.)
Homeric women (1300 B.C.-l 100 B.C.) were relatively free and exercised considerable influence over men, but remained virtuous and on double standards. With the high standard of living in later Greece, women became idle and lost their importance.
Golden Age of Greece (450 B.C.- 27 B.C.)
Wild bisexual love life of Alcibiades (450 B.C.), a student of Socrates and raised by Pericles.
High class prostitutes and courtesans were held superior to wives and "virtuous", women.
Greek men wanted faithful love, but tried to obtain it by gifts and trickery.
When Greek men actually did fall in love, they considered themselves as sick.
The Greeks never connected love with marriage. They found love either an amusement that quickly faded or a god-sent affliction that lasted too long.
Wives were considered only as housekeepers and mothers, not as lovers
Roman Empire (27 B.C.-385 A.D.)
Pagan love in Rome was guilt-free, lusty, unfaithful and deceitful.
Unlike Greeks, the Romans preferred sex without philosophy or significance.
Abortion and contraception were common. Babies were often discarded as garbage.
Octavian (Augustus) Caesar sought unsuccessfully to restore family unity and sexual "morality" via government force and the Julian laws . . . all were failures, even with death penalties.
Poet Ovid (2 B.C.) wrote a manual for sex and adultery, The Art of Love (Ars Amatoria), a brilliant, modern, fun, deceptive, cheerful and humorous book:
.Modern grooming tips.
.Sanctioned the use of tears by men.
.Sexual positions described that stressed mutual orgasm and satisfaction.
Most "liberated" Roman feminists failed to find emotional satisfaction.
Decline of the Roman Empire (100 A.D.-385 A.D.)
Roman empire (100 A.D.-300 A.D.) started surrendering to a bizarre new religion . . . Christianity. Rome then plunged into an asceticism of joyless and guilt-laden sex.
Christians linked all Roman evils to sex and pleasure.
Jovinian in 385 A.D. was excommunicated by the Pope for arguing that marriage was superior to celibacy.
Rise of Christianity and the Dark Ages (385 A.D.-1000 A.D.)
Rise of the unwashed hippies in Egypt. They developed and implemented the concepts of Christian sacrifice, self-torture and denial (e.g., St. Simon).
People became preoccupied with sex as Christians malevolently turned sex into a guilty and sinful activity (e.g., some burning off fingers to resist temptation). Neurotically inflamed eroticism continually increased with increased Christian condemnation of sex.
St. Augustine (born 354 A.D.)--promoted Christian guilt through his books: (1) Confessions--self-accusations of his personal dissipation during his pagan and lustful youth. He was converted to a Christian in 386 A.D. and turned his hatred against the goodness and pleasures of man. States we are born between feces and urine. (2) The City of God--his major work, speculates on how babies might be born from women untainted by sex. Demonstrates his hatred for human life.
In 585 A.D., the Catholics argued that women did not have a mortal soul.
By the 5th Century, marriage came under clerical domination.
The rise of Christianity brought the dark ages for civilization, love and happiness. Under Christian degradation, 6th Century Rome was repeatedly ravaged and looted. One million population was reduced to 50 thousand. The city lay in rubble and ruins. The hygiene, science, and culture of Rome was abandoned as Christianity and selfless altruism did their relentless destruction.
Christianity reduced sex to an unromantic, harsh and ugly act. Penance was cynically performed as often as required. Women became pieces of property.
Clergy turned to keeping mistresses. Scandal-ridden popes reigned (e.g., pope of 904 A.D. practiced incest and was a lecher with children).
By the 9th Century, Christianity dominated. Women were wasteful property. The church sanctioned wife beatings and leveled only relatively light fines for killing women. Noblemen had the "natural right" to ravish any peasant woman on the road and to deflower brides of vassals.
St. Jerome stated that he who too ardently loved his wife was a sinful adulterer.
Christian marital sex was performed only in one position and never during penance nor on Sundays, Wednesdays, Fridays, holiday seasons, and then only to conceive a child.
Pre-Renaissance Rise of Courtly Love (1000-1300)
The start of courtly love and the creation of the romantic ideal began in the 11th Century. In Southern France, noblemen developed a completely new set of love concepts from which a unique man/woman relationship arose that was previously unknown to Western civilization.
April 25, 1227, Ulrich von Lichtenstein started his incredible journey from Venice to Austria dressed as the female goddess Venus, challenging in a jousting battle every man enroute. He did this in the service of a woman who continually scorned him. Three centuries later this journey served as the basis for the satire, Don Quixote de la Mancha.
Courtly love or "true love" was a clandestine, bittersweet relationship of endless frustrations. Such a relationship was supposedly spiritually "uplifting", making the knight a better man and warrior. No love existed in marriage, but the pain of frustrated courtly love was considered uplifting, delicious and exciting.
The sex act was considered false love, but "true love" was kissing, touching, fondling and perhaps even naked contact.
Troubadours believed that unsatisfied passion improved one's character. They also believed that love could not exert itself between married people. They could give freely only without the compulsion of necessity (e.g., the compulsion of married people who were duty-bound).
For the first time, love was combined with character ennoblement (except to some degree with Greeks in their homosexual and courtesan relations).
Troubadour poets begged their ladies not to grant them sexual favors under any conditions (e.g., Dante's love for Beatrice in Vita Nuova who was a source of spiritual guidance rather than a sexual female)
In France, William II, Duke of Aquitaine (born 1071 A.D.), was the first of the troubadours. He introduced a new life style, love lyrics and social manners. His courtly-love concepts swept across Europe and are still with us today.
In 1122 A.D., William's granddaughter, Eleanor, became Queen of both France and England. She set up cultured courts and established the Court of Love, which codified and promoted courtly love. In Eleanor's court, a cleric named Andre wrote a love manual, Tractatus de Amore et de Amoris Remedio (Treatise on Love and Its Remedy). This was a serious exposition on courtly love and its rules.
Eleanor's court held that love should be an equal relationship, consisting of an interplay of mutual emotions. This was a radical idea for the 12th Century. The court also held that love can exist only in affairs and not in marriage.
Poet Chretien, on orders from Eleanor, developed the romantic story of Sir Lancelot and Guinevere.
Eleanor's gay, happy and civilized life lasted four years. King Henry II then swept in and ruined the court in 1174.
Courtly love introduced the elements of emotional relationships between men and women for the first time. This was a revolutionary concept where love was based on mutual relationships involving respect and admiration. Courtly love elevated woman from a servant and housekeeper to a more equal partner and an inspirer of progress.
The Church vs. the Renaissance (1300-1500)
Courtly love mocked religion. Churchmen fought this new, happy love (e.g., St. Thomas stated that to kiss and touch a woman with delight, even without thought of fornication, was a mortal sin).
Priests and religious fanatics began a 300-year period of flagellation where they paraded in hordes from town to town praying and whipping themselves and each other into bloody pulps.
The struggle was between the darkness of religion and the enlightenment of the Renaissance. Also the papal power struggled against the resurgence of pro-man, pro-life Aristotelian ideas.
The church moved in and a new breed of malefactors not known before appeared. They were the inquisitors who were backed by a series of murderous papal pronouncements and bulls.
By 1450, the official Catholic dogma was established that witches existed and could fly by night. All physically desirable women were projected by the church as evil sorceresses. The church was losing its power and this was their means to fight the rising rationalism and happiness brought on by the emerging Renaissance.
Inquisitors Jacob Sprenger and Henry Kramer, Dominican brothers and professors of sacred theology at the University of Cologne, armed with their influential book. Malleus Maleficarum ("The Witches' Hammer"), and with Pope Innocent VII's infamous Bull of 1484, extracted from women "confessions" they wanted with horrible tortures. They burned to death over 30,000 "witches" charged with having sex with the Devil, whom the Church insisted had a brutal penis covered with fish scales.
Crosscurrents and contradictions raged between the happy and pleasurable love arising from the enlightened Renaissance spirit and the hatred of women (wicked witches) arising from the dark and malevolent spirit of the Church.
Aging Pope Alexander VI had many teenage mistresses.
In the 16th Century, impotent Duke of Urbino and Elizabetta Gonzaga engaged in a platonic love affair that resulted in a handbook on courtly manners, The Courtier, by Castigliones.
Queen Marguerite of France was involved in intense but platonic love affairs with twelve men simultaneously She also wrote a collection of 72 tales titled Heptameron that were bawdy and ribald. These were tales of platonic and "perfect love" mixed with orgies, incestuousness, partner swapping, sexually insatiable priests, etc.
Marriage was based on both physical and financial aspects. Love was neither the basis for marriage nor any essential part of it. Marriage was a lifelong financial transaction. Marriage usually took place at 14-16 years old, and sometimes at 2-3 years old and included a dowry plus income and property guarantees.
Henry VIII in his youth (before his horrible self-debauchment) was slim, athletic, handsome and intellectual. He was the first major figure to combine love and marriage represented by his long battle with Bishop Wolsey and Pope Clement VII about divorce and marriage to Anne Boleyn.
Woman's status was changing. Writers were trying to play both sides of this change (e.g., a book by Pyvve titled, The Praise and Dispraise of Women). Contrasting approaches also appeared in classical literature (e.g., Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet vs. The Taming of the Shrew).
New concepts of joining the mind and the body in love and marriage were developing.
The middle class was being attracted to the romantic love concepts of the nobility.
Renaissance enlightenment with its atheistic echoes made sex seem not so sinful and disgusting as the church projected. The middle class began to associate sex with love.
The completely new concept that young married should live together alone in a dwelling of their own began developing in the 17th Century.
While the status of woman as a human being and as a love object was rising, her legal status remained little better than in the Middle Ages. All property belonged to the husband. Wife beating was still legal.
The Puritans (1500-1700)
Puritans were not anti sex. Quite to the contrary, they were value-oriented about love and sex, even romantically sentimental.
The Reformation combined the enlightened Renaissance (marital sex was held as good and wholesome) with the malevolent Christian position that continued to burn women as witches.
Dr. Martin Luther (1483-1546) battled against Catholic asceticism in advocating the enjoyment of every pleasure that was not sinful. Luther was lusty and vulgar in the "eat, drink and be merry" style. He claimed to have broken wind in the Devil's face and to have told him to "lick his ass". He fought Rome and claimed that celibacy was invented by the Devil and that priests could marry. He asserted marriage was not a sacrament at all, but a civil matter. In 1532, he held that Christ probably committed adultery with Mary Magdalene and other women so as to fully experience the nature of man. Luther asserted that sexual impulses were both natural and irrepressible. He broke from Rome and married. Luther's reformation rapidly spread across Northern Europe.
The Bluenoses-John Calvin (1509-1564) was the opposite of Martin Luther. Calvin was cheerless and had a viciously malevolent theology based on total human depravity and the implacable wrath of God. An unhappy and unhealthy ascetic, he had ulcers, tuberculosis, and migraine headaches and considered life of little value and God as a harsh tyrant. Calvin set up a brutal political theocracy in Geneva. No dancing, fancy clothes, and jewelry were allowed. Death penalty for adultery. Even legitimate love was stringently regulated. Solemn weddings with no revelry. The Calvin marriage had two functions: (1) to produce offspring, (2) to eliminate incontinence.
Most Puritans thoroughly rejected the inhuman joylessness of Calvinism, except for a vocal minority such as John Knox in the United States. His Blue Laws of the 1650s were against Sunday amusements, smoking, drinking, gambling, fancy clothing, etc. He also promoted public whippings, scarlet letters, execution for adulterers, and the Salem "witch" executions.
Stern puritan traits were often only expressions that masked moods of mischief and romance. Church trial records show that much sexual "sinning" existed. But only sex outside of marriage was attacked. Puritans greatly enjoyed sex inside marriage and condemned the "popish" concept of the virtue of virginity Most Puritans were tenderly romantic and good lovers.
The image of the sexless and heartless Puritan is false. Consider the 17th Century Puritan, John Milton (Paradise Lost); he was virtuous, but experienced a healthy view of sex. He displayed idealistic and romantic views about marriage. Milton sent tracts to Parliament urging modern-day, easy divorce (" with one gentle stroking to wipe away 10,000 tears out of the life of man"). Milton,s Paradise Lost projects a benevolent view of Adam and Eve in a romantic love context. Milton entirely rejected St. Augustine's malevolent views of women, sex and life.
16th Century Puritans tried to combine the ideals of love with the normality of sex into marriage. They also valued money more than leisure, and success more than culture. Woman's status improved under Puritanism (e.g., a woman could separate, even divorce, if beaten). Property rights and inheritance laws improved. Marriage became a civil contract.
17th Century Puritans were pious and severe, but also strongly sexed and somewhat romantic.
18th Century Puritans started hellfire-and-brimstone sermons.
19th Century Puritans developed the stifling prudishness of the Victorians.
The Age of Reason (1700-1800)
By mid-18th Century, emotional love had fallen out of favor among the upper classes and intellectuals (rationalists). They wanted a new approach that would be more stable and productive. They turned from emotion to reason. Theology and metaphysics yielded to mathematics and physics. They scorned enslavement to emotion. Emotionalism became intolerable to men in the Age of Reason. They wanted women of intellect. They separated or dichotomized the mind from the body.
The epitome of rational gallantry was Louis XIV, the Sun King of France. All Europe saw him as the ideal of the aristocracy and a model for all lesser men. He established elaborate rules of etiquette that served to suppress all evidence of emotion.
Nobility concealed feelings with the aid of detached reason and carefully rehearsed manners.
In between the gallant rakes and the subdued Puritans arose an upper-middle-class man (as described in Samuel Pepys, diary, 1683). The age of enlightenment had arrived. New scientific and rational outlooks replaced mystical and intuitive ones of the past. A humane and tolerant view of man that saw him as basically good, worthy and admirable replaced the Christian theology that saw man as besotted and laden with guilt and sin.
Never before had such emphasis been placed on manners. An artificial code of formal behavior was consciously and deliberately applied in order to control one's emotions. The emotional life of humans disappeared behind the facade of elegant manners and icy self-control.
Almost any behavior was acceptable as long as emotions were concealed. Even private intimate convensations were stilted with remote and detached words.
The rationalists scorned the gloom of Christianity. They scrapped the church's concept of women as evil, but they often viewed women as ornaments, toys or unreasonable nitwits and still held women as subservient.
18th Century love idealized the mythical Don Juan who was impeccably mannered, lustful, haughty and false. Love was often reduced to malicious sport with the motive to seduce.
Giovanni Jacopo Casanova (born 1725) was an adventurer who had a brilliant mind. He wrote two dozen books covering math, history, astronomy and philosophy.
By mid-18th Century, flirtation and romance were no longer an exclusive part of aristocratic tradition, but were common in the bourgeois or middle class.
Ben Franklin was a rationalist with guiltless views of sex.
During 19th Century Victorianism, the ideas of nobility and birthright were declining with the rise of capitalism and the industrial revolution. Newly rich entrepreneurs were growing wealthy and tried to copy ways of the upper class with lower class customs. Urbane control of one's emotions was losing popularity to "sensibility". A maudlin "sensitivity" became the ideal. Love now became a mighty force and noble goal. Men grew shy, inhibited and fearful of rebuff as they began backing away from sexuality. They sought not the dazzling flirtatious woman, but the shy, virginal one.
Victorianism stood for high "moral" standards, close-knit families and glorified views of women. At the same time, prostitution was widespread and the structure of marriage was crumbling as women began revolting against their oppressive "glorified" status.
Jean Jacques Rousseau was one of the most influential forces in forming a new, viciously oppressive political "liberalism" that was combined with slobbering sentimentality. His sex life was one of incompetence misery and frustration. He often displayed sick sentimental tears. He hungered for cruelty and beatings and lived with women vastly inferior to him in order to boost his low confidence and weak self-esteem. He gave away his own children. He wrote with maudlin sentimentality. Europe was deeply under Rousseau's influence. After his death, his ideas were eagerly adopted by the social "intellectuals" and "liberal" politicians and have dominated them to the present day.
Rousseau appealed to the seriousness of the middle class. Laughter and wit went out of style. Emphasis began to focus on female modesty. The social "intellectuals" gradually became anti-sex and anti-pleasure oriented. Thomas Bowdler censored Shakespeare's works in 1818. Immanuel Kant died at eighty, a virgin. Open displays of sentimentality, melancholy and tearfulness became chic. For example, the Irish poet, Tom Moore, got sentimental even for the stones in a road.
The clinging-vine personality in women developed: women should be modest, virtuous and sweet. They should be weak and anxious to lean on and be dominated by strong men.
With rising prosperity and development of public school systems made possible by the industrial revolution, children began to move outside of the home, depriving women of many of their functions. The reasonably affluent man no longer needed an all-work woman. He could now concentrate more on a woman's value as a love partner.
Togetherness concepts developed. With his sweet home-making wife, a new style of home-life patriarch arose. The stay-at-home husband was to spend every available hour with his good wife.(e.g., Corbett's book, Advice to a Young Man, frowns on social activities with others in stating, "If they are not company enough for each other, it is but a sad affair".)
Women had to be "morally" spotless. This led to excessive prudishness in word and actions. Prudishness then spread from sex to bathroom functions.
Encyclopaedia Britannica of 1842 stated that the female had no privileges except to barely consent or refuse a man. A woman being courted was permitted to summon up a "timid blush" or the "faintest of smiles" to convey her feelings.
The Brownings supposedly never saw each other entirely naked.
United States Surgeon General, William Hammond, stated that decent women felt not the slightest pleasure during intercourse. Many doctors considered sexual desire in women to be pathological and warned that female passion could cause sterility. Many thought only prostitutes could enjoy sex.
The woman's role was glorified and idealized, but this was only a new pretext for their continued subjugation by men. Women literally made themselves helpless through fashion. They immobilized them. selves in laces and stays.
Victorian men were patriarchal and stern, but they played this role at their own sexual expense.
Out of this Victorian repression arose a great hunger for a fantasy sex life. Flagellation, pornography and prostitution rose dramatically (e.g., 50,000 prostitutes in London in 1850 and over 300,000 copies of the pornographic book, A Monk's Awful Disclosures, were sold before the Civil War).
Nearly all written works about the private lives of Victorians, on the other hand, were "purified" by omitting all references to sex and love life.
Decline of Victorianism, the Rise of Capitalism, and the Emancipation of Women (1850-1900)
Emancipation started in 1792 with Mary Wallstonecraft and her attacks on marriage and the subjugation of women. Her work was undermined by her badly misguided condemnation of masturbation and her advocation of government force to stop prostitution. In 1833, Oberlin was the first college to admit women. In 1837, Mt. Holyoke became the first women's college. With the rise of capitalism, women gained economic rights never before enjoyed. Capitalism broke up autocratic church power and the feudal-nobility pattern.
During the 1840s, the new middle class began growing rapidly. Capitalistic economics were accelerating the dissolution of class differences along with ancient social ties and repressive customs.
The rigid Victorian home was threatened by female suffrage, divorce reforms and free love.
Victorianism was a desperate delaying action (in collusion with the church) against inevitable changes made by capitalism and the industrial revolution.
Victorianism and religion tried to fight change and to retain the subjugated position of women by government force and police activities.
Emergence of Twentieth Century Romantic Love (1900-1930)
With the partial emergence of capitalism grew a new age of romantic love. America's increasing divorce rate reflected not the failure of love but the increasing refusal of people to live without love and happiness.
Love patterns of all modern societies were replaced by America's model because so many people were drawn to the romantic love style that combined sexual outlet, affectionate friendship and family functions, all in a single relationship.
Romantic attraction not only became desirable, but became the only acceptable basis for choosing a lifelong partner.
Romantic love was made possible by capitalism and the industrial revolution. With romantic love, the sexual desires of both partners could be satisfied within marriage. All the tenderness and excitement of love could coexist with household cares and child rearing. Romantic love was the most difficult and complex human relationship ever attempted . . . but the most appealing and satisfying.
Soviets detached individual values from sex (e.g., they promoted the concept that sex was no more than drinking a glass of water).
The modern Sexual Revolution discarded the 19th Century prudish and patriarchal Victorian-Christian patterns. Sexual liberation has made achievement of sexual pleasure increasingly important.
Children were no longer an economic asset, but a costly luxury valuable only for love. For example, in 1776, Adam Smith estimated an American child was worth £100 in profit before he left home; by 1910 a city child cost thousands of dollars; by 1944 a child cost about $16 thousand to raise to adulthood; by 1959 a child cost about $25 thousand to raise. In 1975, costs for raising a child to adulthood will average $50-$75 thousand, not allowing for future inflation.
Isadora Duncan (1900-1927) was a symbol of flaming feminism with her free-love and unwed motherhood stances. She claimed that sexual love should be ecstatic for women. Margaret Sanger staged a heroic fight for birth control claiming that a woman's body belonged to her alone. She published birth control information in 1914 and opened birth control clinics in 1916. Catholic elements had her arrested and jailed. But her work spread. By 1930, over 300 birth control clinics had been established.
Margaret Sanger separated lovemaking from procreation. This brought the traditional ideal of a monogamous, faithful marriage under attack.
Complete freedom by each partner was advanced by intellectuals such as H. G. Wells, Bertrand Russell Havelock Ellis, Judge Ben Lindsay.
Havelock Ellis offered ideas in 1900 that were remarkably similar to those advanced in 1973 by the O'Neill's in their book, Open Marriage.
The Sexual Revolution also stressed the mechanical aspects of the sex act. In Marie Stopes' book, Married Love (1918), the woman's right to orgasm was promoted. Orgasm was described as a thing-in-itself. Wilhelm Reich proposed that orgasm failure was the cause of major mental and physical diseases. He even advocated masturbation to combat cancer via flow of sexual energy.
Modern Romantic Love (1930-Present)
Free love and open marriage developed in the 20th Century along with progressive polygamy via repeated marriage and divorce. Sexual enjoyment was accepted as a human right.
The need for reassurance of one's personal self-esteem made this new form of romantic love popular and desired. Themes of love, heartbreak and eventual happiness became popular and dominated the soap operas.
Dating started in the 1920s as a new way of mate selection made necessary by city life. Shy, passive femininity was being discarded. The crucial feature of dating was freedom from commitment while young people learned and experimented.
Dating was criticized by many altruistic sociologists and social "intellectuals" as a loveless, competitive contest. But dating was a healthy breakthrough and generally a cheerful and happy activity. Dating was an educational process, leading from playful heterosexual behavior to companionship and love.
Premarital relationships became more open and intimate than relationships of the past. Potential partners were able to know each other much more deeply through intimate dating.
This new romanticism was at once both idealistically romantic and practical.
Many conditions were similar to Roman times (economic and legal emancipation of women, well-to-do city life, children being a luxury rather than an asset, and sexual enjoyment deemed a right for all). One profound difference existed . . . Romans moved away from married life while Americans became more marriage-minded than ever before. And when marriage failed, Americans would divorce and head right back into another marriage.
Most altruistic sociologists have strongly criticized romantic love while praising conjugal love. Their attacks are, however, distorted and out of context. They project romantic love as it was idealized in the medieval period when love could not exist within marriage.
Romantic feelings are not only for new loves and adolescents, but are also for long-married couples.
Women have gained the right to be equal to men, but many women are afraid of the demands and challenges of being an equal; other women hold the erroneous fear that equality might cost them the chance for love and marriage.
Inequality for females is no longer a matter of law. Men and women now have essentially the same educational and economic opportunities, but most American wives still do not work.
To the average man, his job is what he is. To the average woman, a job is only to make money. The average American wife suffers from a chronic, low-grade dissatisfaction, diminished self-esteem and increasing boredom.
Most women are confused about their "role" and do not really know what they want to be in life. Surveys of two college campuses indicated that 40% of the coeds admitted "playing dumb" with interesting men because many men feel threatened by overtly intelligent women (M. Kamarovsky, Women in the Modern World, Little, Brown & Co., 1953).
Modern love makes sense and is exercising its immense appeal all over the world.
Modern romantic love is almost everyone's goal. Today, the value and purpose of romantic love is, above all else, directed toward the fulfillment of major emotional needs
Future Romantic Love (the next 100 years)
Instruments of force and coercion are identified and eliminated through a philosophical and intellectual revolution. All forms of altruism, religion and mysticism are identified and exposed as destructive fraud and are rejected. As a result, coercive governments and agencies of force are also rejected. The life and property rights of the individual are fully recognized and protected. Total physical, emotional and intellectual freedom is possible. Concepts of minority rights and women's rights are replaced with concepts of individual rights. Romantic love, psychuous pleasures and long-range happiness are experienced by most people and available to all people through the Advanced Concepts of Romantic Love.
Man's greatest and ultimate achievement, biological immortality, becomes a reality for all productive human beings.
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Okay, I may be dreaming here, but this sure sounds a lot better than Jesus coming back to destroy the infidels, don't you think?
Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)