Perforated nightgown - historically common or UL?

I’ve been packing up some of my books, reading or re-reading passages at random as I go. I came across this in A Change of Skin by Carlos Fuentes:
“Do you know that Javier’s grandmother used to sleep in a nightgown down to her ankles with an embroidered hole in it for screwing?”
Now, I’m reading this in English, and I suppose it’s possible that something was, um, lost in the translation. But let’s assume that’s exactly what Fuentes wrote. Is he describing a reasonably common historical practice, or is this an urban legend/tall tale of “how things are among some people who aren’t like us?”

Can’t answer the question, but there is a similar scenario in One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

The usefulness of such a hole seems doubtful. How hard is it to pull up a nightgown? Easier than fucking through a tiny hole, anyway.

The story also resembles the urban legend about orthodox Jews doing it through a hole in a sheet (which is not true).

crotchless underwear…has existed.

That would result in more nakedness than screwing through a hole. The object is not to make screwing easier, it is to make it less sinful.

So its the nakedness thats bad, not the fucking?

Yes, nakedness Bad. Sex GOOD.:smiley:

It’s also easier to pretend nothing is going on when you have small children running around.

I seem to remember that Spartan men had occasional sexual access to their wives only through a hole in a sheet, too. May be apocryphal.

Yeah, but that was to facilitate going to the bathroom while wearing 50 pounds or so of elaborate, complicated clothing. (And it incidentally made sex very easy–more so than this sounds.) Seems to me that simply pulling up the nightie would be a lot simpler.

Well if it’s really cold I could see a good reason for keeping the nightie down. I mean I’m thinking of Ma & Pa Ingalls…mostly Ma Ingalls, or Laura when she got older. Man she was smokin’ hot…where was I?

This I very much doubt. The Spartans, like the other ancient Greeks, had little to no stigma against nudity.

IIRC from a PBS documentary a few years ago, it wasn’t because of a nudity stigma but because Spartan men were supposed to be focused on preparing for war and not distracted by their beautiful wives. Sex was permitted only because it led to the birth of new future warriors.

It is the desire that’s bad. The fucking must be undertaken in a “lay back and think of England” spirit. The husband must do it because it is the couple’s duty to procreate, not because he’s horny: it is appropiate for a man to appreciate his wife’s beauty while dressed, but not to wish to see her naked, for nakedness breeds… I don’t know, probably dancing…

While I don’t know whether the famous holey nighties were used, my parents’ and grandparents’ generations did see them in stores’ windows in Spain (I’m a 1968 vintage). I remember my paternal grandma (the square one) mentioning that it did seem slightly too narrow-minded to her. This is a woman whose intended had only kissed her on the cheek during the time they were engaged, nobody would call her wanton.

That’s my take on gay marriage: if we permit gay marriage, next thing you know everyone will be eating cheeseburgers :slight_smile:

Let’s permit gay marriage, then, I like cheeseburgers (and I’m not even going to Hell for it since, being lactose intolerant, this sin comes with its own payback).

But what’s the point of wearing underwear if you’re just going to cut out a hole in the crotch? Doesn’t it defeat the point?

I always wonder how such customs developed – I mean, presumably, things like that indicate sex being a huge taboo in the respective society, so it seems unlikely that people conversed openly about the proper way to screw over their garden fences… The scenario’s elaborateness and apparent consistency seems at odds with the social taboo.

It wasn’t a hole; it was more like pantaloons with the inner crotch seam left out. You had two pant legs and a waistband, but almost no seam between the legs, which allowed you to spread the cloth apart and do your business without getting undressed. Like so.

Before that, women wore shifts, which had plenty of access, but were certainly underwear (and nightgowns as well). I don’t know when or why pantaloons developed–maybe around the time that skirts got large and stood out more from the body?-- but we’re talking about people who wore a heck of a lot more underwear than we do now. For one thing, you washed the underwear frequently, but not the outer clothing, which was much more difficult to clean. Then, wearing stays/a corset or a farthingale/crinoline/bum roll/bustle right next to the skin doesn’t sound very comfortable. And Victorians even wore corset covers!

I think many people here are describing a lot more marital modesty than actually existed for the vast majority of people. In Victorian times, all that underwear and clothing was quite sexy. You could imagine it coming off, layer by layer…the hair coming down… so intimate and titillating! fans self

An especially hilarious sentiment given your user name.

But that still begs the question as to why one would wear these sorts of underwear where the crotch bits had a chance of being exposed to the outer layers of hard-to-wash clothing. To be blunt, there is more sweat and other staining fluids flowing from the crotch area than elsewhere. I understand the utility of the flap on a union suit that covers up and unbuttons when necessary, for example, but not this version.