Lie back and think of England


This is a little racier than our usual fare, but it involves one of my favorite historical figures so I had to bring it up. Marie Stopes International, a British charity, is throwing a dance-a-thon in which everyone will be, shall we say, dancing with themselves:

Participants, who have to be over 18, can bring any aids they need [editor's note: including this picture?] and can take part in four different rooms — a comfort area, a mixed area, and men- and women- only areas.

Putting aside whether this event proves that the British are just a bunch of wa -- nah, we're not gonna go there -- the part that interests me is the charity named after Marie Stopes, a feminist best known for her controversial book Married Love. Stopes, pictured above, argued that husbands and wives should be (gasp!) equal. Seeking a publisher during the First World War, she was rejected by Walter Blackie of Blackie & Son with a curt: "Don't you think you should wait publication until after the war? There will be few enough men for the girls to marry, and a book like this would frighten off the few."

Stopes' book was eventually published -- and promptly banned in America for its frank discussions of sex. You can read the entire thing here, or, if you're interested, check out a couple of pics of the 1920 edition (from my personal library) after the jump.

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And boy, did it get graphic.

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