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This was unexpected. Not entirely sure how accurate it is, but . . . interesting.

Turns out that the Puritans weren’t all that puritanical <snip>

I had thought that colonial New England was as puritanical as it ever got among North American settlements. However, according to Bill Bryson, author of "Made in America," copyright 1994, Boston was "filled with prostitutes" while other colonial centers were equally well equipped with opportunities for sexual liaisons outside marriage and courtship relationships.

For example, Williamsburg, the capital of Virginia from 1699 to 1779 is on record as having had three brothels. However, interestingly enough, none of these has been replicated in the sanitized version of that community, so popular with visitors to the colonial site of the settlement, nowadays reestablished as a tourist attraction.

Sex among Puritans was considered as natural as eating, and was discussed casually among the Puritans, to the extent that, the historian David Fischer writes, "the writings of the Puritans required heavy editing before they were thought fit for print even in the mid-twentieth century."

Premarital activity was not just tolerated but effectively encouraged. Couples who intended to marry could take out something called a "pre-contract" or a license to have sex. It was the Puritans, too, who refined the custom of "bundling" or "tarrying" as it was commonly called, in which a courting pair were invited to spend time together in bed.

The puritans called it tarrying.

Congress calls it lobbying.
QUOTE(Provenance @ Aug 10 2007, 09:23 AM) *

Congress calls it lobbying.

Everyone else calls it loitering.
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