Power, Status, and Sexuality

Is it time to stop thinking beauty is superficial?

For centuries, patriarchal men in the western world tried to persuade women that beauty was ‘skin-deep’, shallow, worthless. The Puritans went further, insisting that beauty, luxury and sensuality were temptations into sin. Luxurious clothes, dancing and even music were proscribed. Married couples were advised to engage in sexuality for health and procreation, but not lust.

These extremely sex-negative ideas may seem outdated, even silly, to us today – but their influence lingers on in prurient attitudes to sensuality and sexuality in the Western world.

In the 21st century, recreational sex has become dominant for everyone – at all ages, in all status and income groups. The contraceptive revolution of the 1960s uncoupled sexuality from fertility, but our moral systems have yet to be revised to match the new facts and the new scenario.

However, young people have already jettisoned the old norms and patriarchal ideologies surrounding sex. Given the

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