Public Women: Sex in 19th-century America (Season 1, Episode 4)
Look for the word 'prostitute' in 19th-century America and you'll find it everywhere. But it went far beyond a job description: It was a line in the sand, a punishment for women who dared to step across and act out of line in the public sphere. Let's step behind the velvet curtain of sex in the Victorian era and look at how 19th-century ladies related to it, their bodies, and themselves as sexual beings. We'll explore the lives of prostitutes as well as your everyday lady, from how to find mail-order contraception to steamy pieces of correspondence, and what happens to women's sex lives - for better and worse - during the war. Let's go traveling.