Human sexuality has changed many times over the centuries, from praising sex as being it’s own god or creating the universe, to shunning it in the hopes it would disappear. Humanity has changed its stance on sex many times, always jumping back and forth on how they wish to view it.
In Ancient Greece mythology the universe was created by sex and sexual activities. Sexuality and love were deeply connected to the creation of the Earth, the Heavens, and the Underworld.
Greeks Myths consist of incest, murder, polygamy, intermarriage, and almost always required some sort of eroticism and / or fertility. From the beginning Greeks demonstrated woman's essential reproductive role in securing the cosmos, extending the human race, and ensuring the fertility of nature.
Masturbation to the Ancient Greeks was a normal and healthy substitute for other sexual pleasures. It was in fact a handy way to relieve sexual frustration which they deemed sexual frustration as destructive towards man.
In Ancient Rome not only was sex gratifying but it was also a duty. The men would delight in displaying the vitality, manhood, and sexual prowess, while the woman understood sex to be a great duty for replenishing the population with male soldiers and citizens. The female babies however contributed little to society while growing, but were still high cost as a large dowry would be required for any male who wished to marry her when the time was right.
In the 1800s, or more specifically between 1837-1901, the strict gender roles for males and females returned. Women were to be covered up in cloth at all times unless having sex for reproductive reasons. Some women took it so far as to still wear clothing during the act of sex. Males were supposed to maintain high morals. Expressions of love were looked down upon.
The women during this time were believed to not know much of sex and that they held no desire to have sex or sexual activities. To men the women were supposed to not be a sexual being, but merely a tool for reproduction. These strict views on gender and sex became what we now think of as the Victorian stereotype.
Prostitutes were quite common, the women engaged in these acts would be considered lower class. Men of this time flocked towards prostitutes, to help alleviate the sexual frustrations that built up inside of them. This was due to men valuing their wives as high quality non sexual beings and prostitutes as lower class tools.
Currently China is in what experts call a sexual revolution, according to many this started just over 20 years ago. China’s first female sexologist Li Tinhe, is carefully observing and recording the current sexual revolution in China.
In 1996 the owner of a bathhouse was sentenced to death for organising prostitution. According to Li in China’s current mindset the owner today would suffer a far less punishment, the most severe being closure of the business.
Up to 1980 publishers of pornographic content could also be sentenced to death, the same punishment as those that organized sex parties. Currently pornography is becoming more common, and in 2017 China released its first commercial film featuring gay sexualities. Swinger parties are still illegal but very common due to the lack of reports from the common people.
Li believes that one of the main driving forces for changing the attitudes towards sex, is the Communist Party’s one-child policy which was enforced from 1979 to 2015. "The one-child policy allows people to have one or two kids only. So unless you give up sex afterwards you are changing your purpose of having sex. Having sex for pleasure gets justified too." -Li Tinhe
The US’s culture is distinct, because it is currently treating sex as a scientia sexualis (an object of distanced, scientific investigation). Scientific studies mixed with the form of confession have begun to shape the US’s communication about sex and are expanding the knowledge base for their culture.
Many experts argue the the US’s and some parts of Europe sexual revolution began between 1960 to 1980, others state that is started as early as 1940s around the Great Depression.
Masters and Johnson’s studies held a smaller demographic than the Kinsey reports, having their focus more based on white college students, but the statistical data became so popular that a TV series was released about them in 2013 titled “The Masters of Sex”.