Women take the lead in Brazil’s private life revolution

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In Colonial Brazil, only the wealthy could afford to get married. Etiquette required men to express their affection for women with gifts such as fabrics or ribbons. Couples were not allowed to look at each other too much or meet alone, for fear of being criticized. Priests would ask for and regulate details about marital lives during confessions. Even if a couple was married, French kissing was not allowed. Sex was limited to procreation and involved penetration only.

Privacy was hard to come by indoors, as few houses had doors, and the coming and going of guests (including those outside…

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