Many of the men in “The Rover” are constantly inebriated, especially the cavaliers. This article describes the derivation of the popular manly pastime of drinking. Originally, drunkenness was seen as unmanly because it altered men’s consciousness which separated them from animals. Yet drinking games began to associate getting drunk with the manly ideals of gambling, socialization and sexuality. These games made public inebriation socially acceptable for lower, middle and sometime upper class men.
This article discusses courtesans’ use of language as a powerful and manipulative entrepreneurial strategy. In the courtesan business sex and language worked hand in hand to encourage men into giving up their money. Their language was so seductive and exhilarating that courtesans were often described as witches and compared to deadly Greek seductresses. Yet, the courtesans were economically and socially a fundamental part of their cities despite being looked at with both awe and horror.
Working women were more often than not employed as servants, midwives or in childcare. Yet, these jobs had their risks with low pay, lack of respect, and risk of sexual assault and abuse.
Women during carnival are often put through the lens of the male gaze, represented through the minds of men. Behaviors and circumstances are often distorted as a result yet, women also have the ability to reverse their roles in society during carnival with the help of masquerade and the carnival open-mindedness.
First hand accounts of 17th century women’s relationships with other other women be them friends, neighbors or enemies.
A series of 17th century women discussing their relationships with their sisters.
If someone commits a minor crime during carnival their punishment keeps with the spirit of the festivities. Offenders were often subject to public humiliation, forced to do silly looking stunts like riding a horse backwards or being forced to walk the streets in improper clothing.
Learn more about festive punishment
In the 17th century sex was strongly discouraged outside of wedlock. Yet, casual sex began to arise with the commonality of prostitutes and courtesans. It was not uncommon for men, especially soldiers, to have sex with many women while abroad.
Pornography and Sexual desires in 17th century England
Primary sources detailing opinions and reflections on sexual experiences by women in the 17th century.