Download e-book for iPad: 365 Nights: A Memoir of Intimacy by Charla Muller, Betsy Thorpe

By Charla Muller, Betsy Thorpe

In a candid and lightly funny memoir, the writer describes how, after years of a superb marriage and young ones, she launched into a plan to reconnect together with her husband and to revive intimacy to their dating by means of embarking on a plan of scheduled intercourse.

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Additional resources for 365 Nights: A Memoir of Intimacy

Sample text

It helps us understand that hierarchy of age was perceived (by the sexual partners themselves, and by the magistrate and his reviewers) as naturally conforming to a parallel hierarchy of roles in acts of penetration. Only the violation of that congruence required special explanation. The successful blaclzmail also indicates the powerful stigma associated with being penetrated-it was preferable to submit to a younger man in secret than to have it publicly lznown that one had been penetrated at all.

32 A Vision of Sexual Order Therefore, individuals should conform to the "All-Encompassing Way" (gong dao) in their personal conduct. Like jian, si could have both sexual and political connotations: si tong-literally, "illicit intercourse"-could mean either treasonous communication with an enemy or adultery. In legal texts of the late imperial dynasties, si often appears in conjunction. with jian, to stress the illicitness and criminality of that conduct. In the Ming dynasty, for example, some prostitution was legal and even conducted under official auspices; however, it was a criminal offense for commoners "to sell illicit sex privately" (si zi mai jian)-that is, without official authorization (see Chapter 6).

A similarly contentious issue has been Qing legislation against anal intercourse between males (ji jian, "sodomy"). Did what Vivien Ng (1987 and 1989) and Bret Hinsch (1990) call the "homophobia" of the Qing state have anything to do with contemporary popular perceptions? Or was this legislation simply imposed by an autocratic conquest state on a preexisting and widespread culture of tolerance? What did ordinary peasants in the eighteenth century think about male homosexual union? The ethnographic evidence in legal cases enables us to answer such questions in a satisfying way for the first time.

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