How was the sexuality of a single male in England in the Middle Ages?
Thoughts and values are varied according to times and cultures, what is now thought to be taboo is often accepted if the times change. Basically in Christianity in British society in the late Middle AgesPremarital negotiationAlthough it was banned, in England of the time single men's fire play was taken as "necessary for becoming an adult" as fire. NOTCHES summarizes the values of UK's sexuality at that time, which is also taken more extensively than now.
Sex and the Single Man in Late Medieval England | NOTCHES
"Adolescence" in the medieval society was about the same as the time when we think now as "youth season" and "early adulthood". Writers at the time often said that the adolescent season as "from the beginning of teens to the middle of their twenties" and said that the characteristics of people in that period tended to be "active, robust, noisy" . And of course there are books to tell people in the youth who have lessons learned such as "conceit and color, not to be distressed", but at the same time "young people like angels become devils as they grow old It was also the fact that the word 'was preferred at that time. In other words, before becoming an adult and settling, it was thought that young people needed to act wildly against social systems.
Richard and George, who existed in the Middle Ages, are good brothers born in merchant houses, and his brother Richard sent the following content to his brother George in 1482. The two are single, and from the frank letter exchange I can see how the society in the late medieval period captured "sex before marriage performed by young men".
"I have done a lack of fairness, but I can not accept advice from you, I think you will know everything if you come here.Mem got pregnant.Tuesday of Zen ZenI did it to you. "
If modern moralist read a letter, Richard would have been concerned about the relationship of woman "Em", but at that time there were many customs that a young generation would play girls to a servant's opponent, and in this era Was doneAnnual service providerThe agreement included the rule on prostitution.
Of course, religiously, the church prohibited sex before marriage, but at the same time there was also a medical view that "sexual intercourse is good for young men's health". Abstinence brought about an imbalance both physiologically and moodily, and it was considered to be dangerous for teenagers. So why did Richard write such a letter, despite social pregnancy sex tolerance? The writer Rachel Moss wrote as follows.
From another letter exchange, in the summer of 1482 my younger brother George was born with a baby boy. A woman named Marjorie of the servant bore a child of George in the summer and asked for a costume for a birth certificate expression ceremony. Marjorie sold food and ale, and was an employee of a bar in charge of prostitution. Meanwhile, between 1479 and 80, George had a relationship with a woman who called "My Lady Claire" in the letter and started living together at home. Because his younger brother George is more familiar with sexuality than his brother Richard and was also good at writing romantic sentences, Richard sent a letter to George as an "expert" is.
But there is another reason for Richard to write such a letter. Now I am imagining a poor, low-ranking person such as a servant when I hear "servant", but the "servant" in the Middle Ages is part of my life and was normal. At that time, many of the young people left their parents' house, lived with another family, it is unusual for sexual intercourse to be conducted between employees and their employers, employers, There was no. However, to read from the letter, the person "Em" is a servant with a family, but it is thought that its status was about the same as Richard. Richard feels uneasy about his "fairness", but this means "reputation" and "moral purity". Even though the society at that time was tolerant of sexual intercourse before the marriage of young people, the story is different if becoming a head of household, the family lord preserves the safety of the family and is considered to be a moral example It was. As Richard's father died in 1482 and he was already the lord of the family, he is concerned that "he has a relationship with his servant at home that is about the same as he is."
On the other hand, Claire is treated very carefully as far as "Claire" and "Marjorie" also have relationships with single George. This is because Claire was an independent mistress, not a servant. In those days George was able to introduce the existence of Claire to his family because he was thought that "men with mistress can afford economic". However, Marjorie had a low social status and worked in the vicinity of prostitution, so men with young men were in a position to facilitate casual sex. It is treated as a kind of prostitute, so to speak.
In other words, for medieval young men, sex before marriage was not only accepted by society, it was thought to be part of the cycle of life that can show men's financial strength. However, the opponent was limited to a person outside the house that was not an employee, or to a person who was not reputable or low in sexuality. On the other hand, it is unknown what women such as Claire, Marjorie and Em are affected by life by men. The women's words at the time are hardly left as documents.
in Note, Posted by darkhorse_log