Mary Wollstonecraft was a very influential person during this time period.
In 1792, Wollstonecraft wrote about women’s sexuality for the first time in her book The Vindication of the Rights of Women (Crooks & Baur, 2011). It was here that she stated women are sexual beings and their sexual satisfaction is important. She voiced that women, like men, have sexual cravings too. Wollstonecraft also believed that sex outside of marriage is okay and that is can be done for pleasure. This work not only helped relieve some of the procreation only stigma, but also helped loosen up gender roles. She stated that gender roles are inappropriate and there are no reasons why women can’t do things (Crooks & Baur, 2011).
Below is a video that summarizes Mary Wollstonecraft’s major theories on the sexuality and gender roles of women and men.