Tidsskriftet Kulturstudier
Tidsskriftet Kulturstudier

Tidsskriftet

Seng, nat og seksuelle handlinger er knyttet tæt sammen i det moderne menneskes bevidsthed. Samtidig har vi vanskeligt ved at få vores forestillinger om det seksuelles forholds private karakter til at passe med 1700-tallets sovemønstre og senge centralt placeret i små hushold. Artiklen undersøger, hvordan det seksuelle forholds status som ægteskabeligt eller uægteskabeligt, som legitimt eller illegitimt, havde betydning for dets relation til nat og seng. Derigennem argumenteres for, at den uægteskabelige seksualitets illegitimitet blev understreget af netop afstanden fra seng og nat, idet disse faktorer samtidig konstituerede den ægteskabelige seksualitet.

English summary

Bed and morality

The article explores the significance of the status of the sexual relationship as marital or non-marital, as legitimate or illegitimate for its relation to night and bed. It is shown how the significance of the status of the marital bed as the domain of legitimate marital sexuality contained a sexual obligation but also pushed other illegitimate sexual relationships out of the privatized space of the marital bed. When a child died by overlaying – suffocated by a parent lying across it – the bed and the child’s status as legitimate or illegitimate established the framework for the interpretation of the nature of the action as premeditated or accidental, as a criminal act or inadvertence. The article illustrates how nonlegitimate sexuality took place away from the marital bed, either in other beds at the borderline of the household’s social control, or completely outside the
household in the public space, often connected with everyday working life. They were exposed and became official at the moment the public authorities began to interest themselves in connection with a criminal act. Up to then, the illegitimate relationships were also private knowledge and relationships that took place at the borderline of the household’s social control. The article also discusses the obligation of the master of the house to protect his household against the night, to prevent illegitimate sexual relationships and simultaneously his possibility of creating space for them by virtue of his organization of the day-today work.