Sunday, September 25, 2011
Sexual Desire was Taboo
In Lady \Seductress's Ball, the heroine, Olivia finds herself in a loveless, pleasureless marriage to a man three times her age. Her situation was not abnormal during a time when marriages were made for convenience, money, power, prestige, property. Because marriages were made based on contracts and not attraction and desire for your spouse, the bedroom could often be a cold and lonely place.
On top of that, women were taught that desire, pleasure were taboo. To want your partner was a sin, and only women with loose morals, and harlots had sex for pleasure. If men wanted to enjoy sex and have their partner return their sentiments, they sought out a courtesan or mistress. Wives were only available for breeding heirs. An awkward, coupling in the dark that was most often painful to a woman who was not properly prepared for the joining, and embarrassing in its quick, sudden and messiness. This would also be why often after a woman had an heir and the requisite spare, she would banish her husband from the bedroom.
Despite all this, Olivia does catch snippets here and there of women enjoying their lovers. She also feels and intense yearning for a man that is not her husband. He promises her pleasure... Pleasure she should not want, as it makes her wicked, wanton. What will she do? Will she succumb to her own desires and the scintillating whispers of an earl--Tristan, the man she dreams of making love to?
If she were to do so, it could dash her entire reputation into the fire--and a lady's reputation meant everything to her.
Guess we'll find out in December...