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Title: "Gushing our Blood": Defloration and menstruation in Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure
Authors: Read, Sara L.
Keywords: Defloration
Hymenal bleeding
Eighteenth century
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Springer Verlag / © The Author
Citation: READ, S.L., 2017. "Gushing our Blood": Defloration and menstruation in Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure. Journal of Medical Humanities, 39 (2), pp.165–177.
Abstract: John Cleland’s 1740s pornographic novel, Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure repeatedly depicts and eroticises the act of defloration. As such it is a revealing illustration of what Ivan Bloch termed the ‘defloration mania’ of the eighteenth century. This article maps narrative events on to contemporary medical depictions of first intercourse to show the ways that the theories and ideas presented in medical and pseudo-medical texts transferred into erotic fiction and demonstrates how in some instances the bloody defloration scenes can be read as being sex during menstruation, an act which was culturally forbidden at this time.
Description: This is an Open Access article published by Springer and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY 4.0), http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Version: Published
DOI: 10.1007/s10912-016-9426-0
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/23625
Publisher Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10912-016-9426-0
ISSN: 1573-3645
Appears in Collections:Published Articles (English and Drama)

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