This blog is about the story of my family here in America. We arrived in the 1630s as Puritans, and became the common folk of the New World.

Sex and making love in the days of our ancestors

The English language changes quickly. And especially when dealing with delicate subjects such as, well, the process that keeps the species going.

The term "sex" up until the past few decades, just meant whether you were male or female. If an insurance form asked "sex", you would check one or the other. Nowadays, with the use of the word "sex" to mean intimacy, the word "sex" on many forms has been changed to "gender". If our ancestors could hear you use the word "sex" it would sound strange to them, as in "tonight we are going to have gender". Personally, I have had gender since the day I was born. I am male, that is my sex.

"Making love" is another term that our ancestors would have been comfortable using in mixed company. Again, it didn't mean intimacy until late in the twentieth century, it meant romance, or courtship. If you hear a woman in an old black-and-white movie asking a man if he is "making love to her", she is simply asking if he is beginning a courtship. In modern terms, "making love" has been replaced with "asking out" or "dating". So she is simply saying to him, "are you asking me out? Are you asking me for a date?"

So, the next time you read an old book or watch an old movie and hear "obscenity", think again. Sex and making love have changed.
Post a Comment