Birds, Bees, and Bundling?
Posted by Lou on August 09, 1998 at 02:43:39:
In response to Birds, bees and towns, written by Linden on August 09, 1998 at 01:09:04
What about Bundling? I'm not sure I understand it at all, or its purpose. Was it an American Custom or European? I read here that it probably began as an English custom.
I've been reading a book on Early American customs and here is what it has to say on the subject, although it gives no mention as to what social class at the time, this would pertain to:
Early marriage was encouraged and there was a tolerance of premarital intimacy and bundling was an accepted part of courtship in some colonies.
In warm months, lovers could walk off into the woods or meet in the barn or the spring house, but on cold or stormy nights they could be together only indoors-and it was pretty crowded around the fireplace. As a result of a genuine wish to hasten the courtship, an invitation might have been given to the young man to stay and share the girls bed; it was usually the only place where the boy could have slept, and the center board kept for such occasions theoretically discouraged close intimacy.
One obvious advantage was that the parents knew where the girl was and who was with her, whether or not the center board remained in place. If the bride was pregnant at her wedding, the ceremony sanctified it and, besides, bearing children was a woman's duty.
In places where bundling was not a practice, "natural children" were quite numerous.
From: "The Seasoned Hearth" by Adalaide Hechtlinger
I think you are correct Linden, that somehow men were more 'versed' in worldly knowledge, based on the number of prostitutes in London alone at the time. I don't believe that women discussed with their daughters anything about intimacy, just based on some of the entries in the above mentioned book, most of what women told their daughters were nice, quaint little sayings on how to be a 'perfect' housewife.
- Bundling Captain Everett 18:54:50 8/10/98 (5)
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