Sex in history, by Gordan Rattray Taylor

What strikes us most about this work is that the leading role is played not by the men but by the women, as the title is careful to emphasize. It is women who take the initiative in matters of sex, and it is for the gallant to live up to the challenge with which they present him. When the woman is tired of the man, or if she thinks he does not look like measuring up to her standards, she has no compunction about dismissing him instantly, and he does not contest his dismissal. The parallel with the pre-Christian Celtic period is so striking that we are entitled to infer the development of a matristic trend, and there is plenty of other evidence to confirm our suspicion. Nothing could be more revealing than the story of the courtly Spaniard who, passing a secluded arbour with the lady he admires, observes:

“That would be a good spot, if I were with anyone else but you.”

The lady, incensed that he should not have seized the opportunity without putting the matter up to her, makes her displeasure clear by replying:

“Yes, it would, if I were with anyone else but you.”