Distinguish between sexual conformity, rebellion and hypocrisy. The conformist and rebel obey or disobey by degree, but the rule is the governing ideal. The hypocrite knows he or she is deceitful. The rebel thinks he or she is both honest and free but in fact the rule is as much the criterion as it is for a conformist. It’s one reason disappointed rebels swing back to being conformists and talk in dire tones about their ‘wild days etc.’
We have impulses that sometimes drive us beyond the boundaries of our beliefs, still that doesn’t expose any flaws in those beliefs.
If we don’t know how to understand our sexuality and whether some deeply rooted belief possesses flaws or falsehoods, the belief will likely reemerge even if we have gone far beyond the belief in our actions.
“No amount of license can cure our malaise in sexual matters so long as those who break loose continue to pay lip service to the notions of naughtiness, bawdiness, and sin. These are only the reverse of abstention and asceticism, and nobody can feel them who is not at heart a Puritan still.”
Dora Russell. The Right To Be Happy, 1927
In the picture above, I’ve translated Dora’s quote from the Edwardian dialect. And yes, there was free love in the 1920’s and Dora was a bold advocate.