Lovers and mistresses

Skarhult continues to tell the history of women - now with their love stories in focus. We know plenty about the mistresses of kings and presidents, but what about the amorous adventures of women? Where they moral paragons of virtue , or were they just being more discreet?

Hamlet's beloved Ofelia, sculpture by Sarah Bernhard
Hamlet's beloved Ofelia, sculpture by Sarah Bernhard

Meet secret lovers and mistresses in the castle

The woman has always had a desire as strong as the man. Up until the discovery of the egg in the 18th century it was even believed that the female orgasm was a postulate for her getting pregnant. 

The female libido has always provoked. The church, state and current social norms have, for centuries, tried to control the temptresses. Adultery is punishable by death in the 17th century. Tales are told about warriors putting chastity belts on their wives to prevent her from enjoying pleasure elsewhere whilst men are at war. 

As a reaction to this comes the 18th century: palaces are filled with masquerade balls and sex orgies. But times turn again and horny women are locked into madhouses and being called hysteric. Women have suddenly become asexual and should lie still in bed. 

Den dolda kvinnomakten och  lskarna skarhult 2016 v18m  002

Pleasure and desire today

In the 20th century birth control pills become available. Women throw their bras but still have to go to Poland to conduct illegal abortions and selling condoms is illegal. 

Today women are allowed to love men and women, to live in celibacy, to have lovers or mistresses, to live in poly-amorous or open relationships, to live with someone with or without being married. Women may have one-night-stands or practice tantric sex. They may have a fetish for lacquer and leather, bondage or role play. More and more expressions for sexuality are being affirmed. Will time turn again?

From a historical perspective, it is not a long time ago since women had to hide their love and desire. It is not a long time ago since women had eight children when they really just wanted two. Societies are recreated but the human longing for love remains the same. That is why history repeats itself. Join us as Skarhult undresses emperors as well as maids in this non-prude exhibition for curious.

Armfelt

Write passionate love letters! 

The world does not need yet another website or app. What the world needs is much simpler, naked and often forgotten in the chase for followers, likes and status updates. 

Love letters. Old-fashioned love letters. Long, yearning formulations and trembling descriptions of closeness and touch that is impossible to fit in 140 letters. Who falls for "omg I miss u"? Have we forgotten how to write love letters? Young people of today testify to never having received nor written love letters in their entire life. This year's exhibition will have a whole hall dedicated to love letters and the visitors will be encouraged to practice on the spot. 

Three new, private halls are opened for the exhibition "The Lovers". The visitors are welcomed in to the castles guest room section where amorous meetings surely have taken place throughout the centuries. Book your guided tour.