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Interesting Facts About the Sex Lives and Beliefs of the Puritans

Updated 26 Dec 2019 250.5k views15 items

What did the Puritans think of sex? Was it all just like The Scarlet Letter? Actually, the sex lives of the Puritans were more progressive than you might think. As long as intimacy was happening between two married straight people, the Puritans, in fact, thought it was literally a gift from God. That might not sound super-progressive in the 21st century, but as historian Richard Godbeer puts it, "It's an important and radical departure from traditional Catholic teaching, which then saw sex, even within marriage, as morally tainted, as almost a necessary evil."

But sex in puritan New England was also all about procreation, with any “non-procreative” acts outlawed. So, Puritan sex beliefs centered on two straight people trying to make babies. But within that limited realm, the Puritans thought doing the deed should be enjoyable and loving.

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