Imagining sex: pornography and bodies in seventeenth-century England
Imagining Sex is a study of pornographic writing in seventeenth-century England. It explores a wide variety of written material from the period to argue that, unlike today, pornography was not a discrete genre, nor was it one that was usually subject at this time to suppression. Pornographic writing was a widespread feature of a range of texts, including both popular literature (ballads, news-sheets, court reports, small books, and pamphlets) as well as poetry, drama and more specialised medical books. The book analyses representations of sex, sexuality and eroticism in historical context to explore contemporary thinking about these issues, but also about broader cultural concerns and shifts in attitudes. It questions both modern feminist and psychoanalytical interpretations of pornography, arguing that these approaches are neither appropriate nor helpful to an understanding of seventeenth-century material.
Through discussions of sex and reproduction, homosexuality, flagellation, voyeurism, and humour, the book explores the nature of early modern sexual desire and arousal and explores their relationship to contemporary understandings about how the body worked. Imagining Sex presents a radically new interpretation of pornography in this period, arguing that concerns about fertility were at the heart of representations of bodies and sex, so that images of pleasure were entwined with ideas about conception and reproduction. It also shows that these texts legitimized the (sexual) pleasure of the reader by highlighting the pleasure of looking and the incitement to sexual action that it provided.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Lascivious Bodies: A Sexual History of the Eighteenth Century
No preview available - 2005
Publishers and Readers
Reproduction and Sexual Pleasure
Fantasies of Sexual Flagellation
7 other sections not shown
activity Adamites argues arousal authors ballads Bawd bawdy Buggery Cambridge characters Chorier Cloister conception contemporary context Culture described desire Dialogues ofLuisa Sigea dildo discussion Drollery Early Modern England eighteenth century ejaculation England English erotic Erotic Literature erotica explicit Fanny Hill fantasy female body flagellation flogging gaze Gender genitals genre heterosexual History homosexual Ibid images John Ladies Lady of Pleasure lesbian Lewd Libertine literary London Love Luisa lust Maid male and female Marriage metaphor naked narratives nature Night-Walker obscene orgasm Oxford pamphlets penetration penis Pepys period Poems political pornographic texts pornography printed printers prostitutes Ranters Rare Verities reader reading Renaissance representation reproduction satire scene School of Venus scopophilia seen seventeenth seventeenth-century pornographic sexual acts sexual body sexual flagellation sexual intercourse sexual pleasure shame Sinibaldus sodomy suggests Tribade Tullia Unfit for Modest Venice Preserv'd voyeur Wandring Whore whipping Whores Rhetorick woman women York