Follow TV Tropes


Playing With / Eternal Sexual Freedom

Go To

Basic Trope: A work set in the past, or in a very conservative present-day culture, has very liberal attitudes towards sex and sexuality.

  • Straight: In A Story from the Middle Ages, Alice has sex with several different men, and faces no scorn from other characters for doing so. In Real Life, Slut-Shaming would have been the least of her worries.
  • Exaggerated: Alice openly carries on a relationship with another woman, and no one blinks.
  • Advertisement:
  • Downplayed: Alice's marriage to Bob consists of her moving into his home, with little to no pomp and circumstance. (i.e. what we today would call "cohabitation," or perhaps "common-law marriage.")
  • Justified:
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted:
    • Alice becomes pregnant as a result of her having had sex outside of marriage, and her community begins to scorn her.
    • Alice, a Fish out of Temporal Water, visits a very sexually-liberated time and/or place, such as The '70s.
    • Alice is a prostitute, that being the only way she can earn a living after having been divorced.
    • Alice and Bob have a Shotgun Wedding, and Bob makes restitution for the bride price Alice's father would have received if Alice was married off as a virgin.
  • Double Subverted:
    • But soon enough, they forget about it, and the issue is rarely, if ever, mentioned again.
    • Alice has an abortion or a Convenient Miscarriage, or simply has a Shotgun Wedding, and life goes on.
    • Advertisement:
    • Or, Alice is able to win back the respect of the community somehow.
    • Alice brings back the culture of sexual freedom to her time, and no one protests.
    • But she is a High-Class Call Girl, and widely respected.
    • Alice uses this as a way to be able to pick and choose her marriage partner, in a setting where Arranged Marriage is the norm.
  • Parodied: In A Story from the Middle Ages, Alice is chosen as the first pansexual popess, and celebrates with a ten-day orgy. No one even bats an eye to this.
  • Zig Zagged: Different cultures in the setting have different sexual mores.
  • Averted: Shown Their Work
  • Enforced: Politically Correct History
  • Lampshaded: When Alice marries another woman the couple has their wedding in a Church and it's officiated by a Bishop. The narrator ends the scene by stating "this is so historically accurate!"
  • Implied: Sexual artifacts were found widely distributed throughout archaeological sites.
  • Invoked: The Libertine Towns were founded by malcontents and exiles from more sexually repressive neighbors.
  • Exploited: Alice becomes The Mistress to King Bob the Nth, and increases her status in society.
  • Defied: When word gets out that Alice has been sleeping around, her village (or her family) has her burned at the stake.
  • Discussed: "You know Alice, when you traveled back in time I thought for sure you'd get arrested by the inquisition or thrown in prison. But it seems like nobody minds."
  • Conversed: ???
  • Played For Laughs: When traveling through time Alice is puzzled to always see the same three sleazy buildings adapted to the time period.

Back to Eternal Sexual Freedom

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: