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Many of the deepest ideas and notions of sex that we hold today were formulated and laid down in the Middle Ages, especially by the Church’s sometimes confused and other times severe pronouncements.The Church had opinions and laws about every aspect of sex.One writer defined courtly love as something “at once illicit and morally elevating, passionate and disciplined, humiliating and exalting, human and transcendent”.Courtly love is associated with the Knight who falls in love with the married woman – or at least the idea of the pure woman.He admires her from afar, goes to war for her, and sacrifices his life.
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Adultery and fornication in some cases were sins punishable by death, but for a time the Church actually condoned prostitution, admitting that it was a necessary evil.
And in the early part of the Middle Ages, priests were actually allowed to marry and have children.
But despite the Church’s overall opposition to sex, it appeared to be very interested in the subject.
Descriptions of sex acts were often described in great detail that sounded as if they were written with some enjoyment.