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If one is to believe the stories written over the centuries, sexuality has always been an unruly brute. Literature is teeming with thoughts on this human activity between virtuousness and the burden of shame, desire, and the euphoria of liberation. Women’s sexuality – and sexual conduct – has always given a compass reading for the sexual morality of a society. At times it has been applauded by women themselves. At other times they have protested loudly.

The literary works present it as an explicit challenge to sexual regulation and continuous scrutiny of the links between sexuality, love, and marriage. Much of the writing bears witness to how painfully aware women have been of having to balance between dignity and sensuality, reason and desire. All the while their claim for sexual liberation was taking shape and taking its first steps.