Sexuality Throughout the Ages

Explore the history of sexuality.

Sexual Repression in the Victorian Era

Sexual Repression and Expression; photo courtesy of istock photo

At times, Victorian manners would not even allow for a person to name limbs around others–for example, instead of saying “leg”, “limb” was used. Even table legs were hidden with tablecloths and embroidery, according to a common myth, and though this myth has not been proven, it was used as a symbol for the extremism of the Victorian era (Trollop, 1832, pg 17).

When writing letters or poems, many in the Victorian era were too prudish to describe emotion or sexual feelings, so the “language of flowers” was used. Even today, many still use the colours of roses to represent certain feelings towards another–the red rose means passion; the yellow rose means friendship. White roses suggest virtue and chastity, while a strand of ivy means loyalty–something that would have been unheard of in our other eras! (Wikipedia, “Language of  Flowers).

The following video, while quite lengthy, is very good at illustrating the various authors within the Victorian Era and how they portrayed romantic and sexual relations at the time:

There was a good deal of “hidden lust” in the Victorian Era as well! There is evidence that Queen Victoria herself liked to draw and collect male nude figure drawings and even gave one to her husband as a present. (Gay, 1984, pg 26).


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This entry was posted on March 27, 2012 by in VICTORIAN ERA and tagged , .
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