History of Sex and Sexuality from 1881 to 1919

About the history of sex and sexuality from 1881 to 1919 A.D. including trivia about the diaphragm, Oscar Wilde, and Freud.

UNCENSORED HIGHLIGHTS IN THE HISTORY OF SEX

1882 Aletta Jacobs opened the world's first birth-control clinic, in Holland. She popularized the diaphragm, which was known as the "Dutch cap."

1885 Sir Richard Burton's 16-volume translation of The Arabian Nights-generously foot-noted with Sir Richard's comments on clitoral surgery, homosexuality, and bestiality--was published. In later years Sir Richard began an English rendering of The Scented Garden Men's Hearts to Gladden, which, he predicted, would be "a marvelous repository of Eastern wisdom: how eunuchs are made and married. . . female circumcision, the fellahs copulating with crocodiles." Following Burton's death, it was destroyed by his prudish wife.

1894 After being propositioned by a boy with purple-painted eyes, novelist Stephen Crane (1871-1900) was inspired to write a novel about an innocent boy coming to a big town and being forced into prostitution. After completing a few chapters of Flowers of Asphalt, Crane read them to his mentor and friend, the author Hamlin Garland. Garland was so shocked that Crane abandoned the novel.

1895 Arrested for "gross acts of indecency committed with persons of the masculine sex," Oscar Wilde was sentenced to two years' hard labor. At the time, one of the few people to say anything fair about him was the journalist W. T. Stead (famed for his exposure of child prostitution in London), who wrote, "If all the persons guilty of Oscar Wilde's offenses were to be clapped into jail, there would be a very surprising exodus from Eton and Harrow, Rugby and Winchester [England's most famous private schools]."

1895 Striptease shows began in Paris. The first, titled Le Coucher d'Yvette, showed a girl gradually taking off all her clothes as she vainly searched for a flea.

1896 The University of Philadelphia medical magazine described the case of a 19-year-old woman who had nine breasts, of which seven produced milk.

1897 The first legalized surgical sterilizations were performed in the U.S.

1900 Sigmund Freud wrote The Interpretation of Dreams, in which he underscored the importance of repressed sexual desires in human behavior.

1907 The British Parliament repealed a longstanding law making it illegal for a widower to marry his wife's sister.

1907 Charges were pressed against Hubert Wales, author of The Yoke, a novel about a mother who lures her son to bed to keep him from the clutches of a wicked woman.

1912 Dr. Paul Ehrlich discovered Salvarsan, a treatment for syphilis.

1913 The world's first nude calendar was published. It reproduced a prize-winning painting called September Morn by the French artist Paul Chabas (1869-1937). When the great antipornography crusader Anthony Comstock saw it on sale, he said, "There's too little morn and too much maid."

1916 Margaret Sanger opened America's first birth-control clinic (a phrase she coined) at 46 Amboy Street, Brooklyn, N.Y. To make sure that the poor were aware of its operation, she had circulars printed in three languages--English, Italian, and Yiddish. After a policewoman posed as a patient, the establishment was closed.

1919 Tubal ligation was introduced as a means of birth control.

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