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The Long Sexual RevolutionEnglish Women, Sex, and Contraception 1800-1975$
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Hera Cook

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199252183

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199252183.001.0001

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‘The Wonderful Tides’: Sexual Emotion and Sexual Ignorance in the 1920s

‘The Wonderful Tides’: Sexual Emotion and Sexual Ignorance in the 1920s

Chapter:
(p.187) 8 ‘The Wonderful Tides’: Sexual Emotion and Sexual Ignorance in the 1920s
Source:
The Long Sexual Revolution
Author(s):

Hera Cook (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199252183.003.0009

The impact of the gradual introduction of contraception that led to the separation of reproduction and sexuality is illustrated in the style of sex manuals from the 1920s. In Married Love, the most influential manual of the period, Marie Stopes constructed a biologically mandated active female sexual desire and reaffirmed female emotionality. In order to do this, she argued for the reshaping of male sexuality, which was highly contested by male manual authors. The influence of feminism is evident in the manuals of the 1920s. There was also a modernization of physical sexual activity taking place in response to the demands made by use of withdrawal and other methods of contraception.

Keywords:   Marie Stopes, emotion, female sexuality, sexual intercourse, sexual ignorance, sex manuals

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