Fooling around

Dan: You're quite right that the factors surrounding premarital sex were very, very different then. There were ways to deal with an illegitimate pregnancy, from some you don't want to think about, to sending a young woman away for a while on the pretext that she was "ill and going to convalesce with relatives." That subterfuge was so often used that it raised snickers all by itself (it was still being used when I was in my teens). Once the baby came, it was placed for adoption and the young woman returned to her family. That was the "loving" option; it was also possible for a young woman to be driven from her home, cut from her parents' wills and generally told never to darken the family's door again.

Condoms were actually illegal in many places, on the theory that their mere availability promoted illicit sex, though sophisticated people in major cities could usually find them in some seedy place or other. Sending them via the United States Postal Service was an easy, quick way to get brought up on Federal obscenity charges stemming from the infamous "Comstock Law" of 1872 (and remained so through the 1960s). In those places where they were available, condoms came in packaging that said "Sold for the prevention of disease only." Worse, there was no standard for reliability; accident-prone, highly permeable natural lambskin models were sold along with latex models, but early latex ones could be even worse than the lambskin - they had a bad habit of ending up in tatters, a most unnerving sight at the end of a rendezvous! In either case, the products still lived up to the 1671 appraisal of Madame de Sevigny, who wrote of them as "An armour against enjoyment, but a spider-web against danger."

In the Edwardian era, premarital sex didn't break down along "nice woman, naughty woman" lines so much as it did "sensible woman, self-endangering woman" ones. Pregnancy was bad enough. STD's were a whole different ball game, and there were no cures for any of them.
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I've watched a lot of programming over the past few years regarding the issue at hand here, and I've found that (in Britain, at least) promiscuity wasn't all that rare. You'd have a much harder time finding a lady who was up for a tumble in those days, however -nowadays, we have specialist sites and pubs that sell crap beer at £1.50 a pint to facilitate the "Pulling" process - and you were more likely to be a member of the aristocracy if you were indulging in such activities.
But the working class knew how to have fun too, in all degrees - clean, borderline, and downright dirty.
Though I am trying to keep the novel clean, the public wants some dirty I've heard. I'd like to get this thread going again with the help of my good friends.

The public wants what the public gets.
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Arun Vajpey

The situation might have been still rather "conservative" during the Titanic era and attitudes did relax a great deal after the First World War. Famous author Nevil Shute was one of the designers of the British airship R-100 in the 1920s. While working at Howden, Yorkshire on this project, he wrote that it was fairly common for male and female workers to be found "copulating" in dark recesses of the hangar at night.
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In A Night To Remember(book not movie) a crewman knocks on the door of a c deck cabin.A mans voice says "what is it?" followed by a womans " tell us what the trouble is." Of Ive always wondered what was going on in the cabin. It reminds me of someone in the act that's been startled by a knock on the door, then has that" what is it , I'll be out in a minute!" kind of tone.
Of course we all know that the honeymoon couples were doing something in those late night hours.The people bitten by the romance of being at sea as well.Its funny , we look at these people and don't really think of these things, but under all the clothes and Edwardian opulence, these were human beings just like anyone else.The difference is they knew what was personal and didn't advertise to whole world.Today everything is out there,including contestants ta tas on these trash talk shows. I think keeping the sex lives of yourself and partner more sheltered made it more of a thrill.When everything is put out there, the specialness of intimacy becomes banal.
Re: the incident of the couple locked in the cabin. Walter Lord's quotation apparently is derived from the testimony at the American Inquiry of Bedroom Steward Etches, who also gave the actual cabin number. Cross-referencing indicates that rather than an illicit tryst going on in the cabin, it was occupied by a middle-aged couple, Mr. & Mrs. Wm. A. Spencer. She lived; he died - so they did NOT 'go to the bottom locked in the cabin', as some ghoulish speculation would have it!

Arun Vajpey

There is still some discrepancy about this. Although Mr & Mrs Spencer are quoted as being the occupants of Cabin B-78 in most sources, The Cave List has them in B-76. Furthermore, Etches would in all probability have known in which cabin the Spencers were and if they were indeed in B-78, would he not have remembered the fact later? The fact that Etches did not appear to know the occupants of B-78 - those who talked to him through the closed door - might mean that he already knew that the Spencers had left their cabin, which then might have really been B-76 as per the Cave List.

If that was the case, the question remains as to who was in B-78 when Etches knocked on the door.
>>"I've always wondered how much of this happened aboard Titanic and how the various classes went about it."<<

The first class did it, if one pressed
(She did not want her hair-do messed)
They did not bounce too much though, lest
They might be heard by all the rest.

The second class did it with a zest!
Both sides engaged and all caressed
They put the mattress to the test
And hoped none of their shipmates guessed.

The steerage, it must be confessed
Are just not quite so class-obsessed
The lady showed her naked best -
But Billy kept his vest.

I can't breathe Im laughing so hard!!

Aly Jones

When I was on SOT, in our cabin ;) hint hint, my partner at that time came up with "I wonder if people had fun play on titanic"? - then we both thought, why wouldn't they? Look at us. :p

It's the major reason why (in 3rd class) they kept single lasses and single gents separated. The erge was too great and back then, there was no fun play before marriage. However, married and honeymooners couples we both thought they did it on board.
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Haha, fun story (I bet y'all had fun too ;) ;))
Of course, had the iceberg not collided with them, they wanted to be able to say "We did it on the Titanic"
What's SOT?

Aly Jones

Yeah we did, was a thrill. I bet that's what they thought too. SOT - spirit of Tasmania. Does the same kind of job like titanic but on a smaller scale.

Mark Baber

Staff member
Moderator's hat on:

Ummm...let's end the discussion of personal sexual histories and preferences here.

Moderator's hat off.