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Married Life in the Middle Ages, 900-1300$
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Elisabeth van Houts

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198798897

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198798897.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 October 2021

Sexuality and Love

Sexuality and Love

(p.87) 3 Sexuality and Love
Married Life in the Middle Ages, 900-1300

Elisabeth van Houts

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses sex and the married couple, beds and bedrooms, and love and affection. The chapter illustrates in a sense the enduring human experience of living in sexually satisfying relationships if couples were fortunate to have found compatible partners. Amongst the elites arranged marriages could result in disastrous unions, though they were probably exceptions rather than the rule. Once the couple were married the clergy became even more invisible than they were during the process of couples getting married. The evidence on sexual pleasure as compatible with happy marriages in fictional narratives seems in line with loving and affectionate married bonds. Admittedly, evidence of love and affection mostly surfaced in moments of crisis characterized by the threat of loss of the beloved husband or wife.

Keywords:   married couple, love potion, matrons, medieval beds, medieval bedroom, sexual love, affection

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