I’ve lived through the greatest revolution in sexual  mores in our history.  The damage it’s done appals me
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The Sexual Revolution started 50 years ago.  At least, that was the view of the poet Philip Larkin, who wrote: ‘Sexual intercourse began / In nineteen sixty-three /(which was rather late for me) / Between the end of the Chatterley ban / And the Beatles’ first LP.’ Probably when today’s students read this poem, they understand the reference to the Beatles first LP, but need a bit of help with ‘the Chatterley ban’. D.H.Lawrence’s novel, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, had been banned for obscenity, and all the liberal-minded ‘great and the good’ — novelists, professors of literature, an Anglican bishop and sociologists — trooped to the Old Bailey to explain to a learned judge why Penguin Books should be allowed to publish it. To my mind, Lawrence’s account of how a sex-starved rich woman romps naked in the woods with her husband’s gamekeeper is risible. It is hard to read the accounts of them cavorting in the rain, and sticking wild flowers in one another’s pubic hair, without laughing. Yet the great English Literature professors of the Fifties and Sixties spoke of Lady C in the same breath as the most wonderful writings of the world, and the Chatterley trial in 1960 marked a major watershed. The prosecuting counsel, Mr Mervyn Griffith-Jones, lost the case when he shot himself in the foot by asking the jury whether they considered Lawrence’s bizarre novel was something they would wish their wives or servants to read. By putting the question in that way and referring to ‘servants’, he seemed to suggest that being loyal to one partner was as outmoded as having a butler and a parlour-maid. With the ban lifted, Lawrence’s book became the best-selling novel of the early Sixties. And by the end of the decade, hippies with flowers in their hair, or would-be hippies, were practising free love Chatterley-style. Those who could not classify themselves as hippies looked on a bit wistfully.   More...     Ruined by loving Jagger: Broke, alone and performing in seedy stage shows, at 66 Marianne Faithfull STILL pines for the Stone who sexually humiliated her 40 years ago     Former teacher at £28,000-a-year school jailed for sexually abusing boy, 14, while coaching him at rugby     'I wanted a baby with you so bad': Man jailed for poking holes in condoms to get his girlfriend pregnant Of course, Larkin — born in 1922 — was being ironical and humorous. But the 1960s were a turning-point, and the decade did undoubtedly herald the Sexual Revolution. I was born in 1950, 28 years after Larkin. And far from being ‘rather late for me’, the revolutionary doctrines of the Sixties were all readily adopted by me and countless others. From being schoolboys who read Lady Chatterley under the sheets, to teenagers and young men who had the Rolling Stones reverberating in our ears, we had no intention of being stuffy like our parents. The arrival of a contraceptive pill for women in 1961 appeared to signal the beginning of guilt-free, pregnancy- free sex. We were saying goodbye to what Larkin (in that poem) called ‘A shame that started at sixteen / And spread to everything.’ But if the propagators of the Sexual Revolution had been able to fast-forward 50 years, what would they have expected to see? Surely not the shocking statistics about today’s sexual habits in the UK which are available for all to study. In 2011, there were 189,931 abortions carried out, a small rise on the previous year, and about seven per cent more than a decade ago.  Next
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