It was a taboo not to be talked about and was for procreation not pleasure. If your family couldn’t field a football or hurling team on its own then you were a failure.
With the legalisation of contraception in 1980 and the popularity of shows like Sex and the City, sex was no longer a duty but a source of pleasure. It was still however an act of love.
But what is it today? With the rise of 50 Shades of Grey mania, has lovemaking become all about the sex?
At every turn women are looking for their very own Mr Grey with all his erotically charged expertise and titillating gadgets rather than Mr Right.
Dating and hand holding has gone out the window to a certain extent and been replaced with one night stands and erotic foreplay.
Some acts are not regarded as being as intimate as sex and therefore can be done with no thoughts as to the consequences. It is all harmless kinky fun.
The term sexting was popularized in the early 21st century and is the act of texting sexually explicit messages or photographs to others in the flirty hope of mutual arousal.
Sexting is by no means a new phenomenon and it has become not only acceptable in Irish life but a legitimate stage in the courting ritual of Ireland.
This behaviour has its roots in the union of the ever changing technological revolution of the last decade or so and the process of sexual liberation.
It is often used as foreplay; promises of what is yet to come are made and it is generally the modern gateway to coitus.
With Fifty Shades author E.L. James set to unveil a collection of branded sex toys inspired by her racy trilogy is it any wonder that it is now seen as acceptable to introduce sex toys into the bedroom.
A range of official merchandise that has been inspired by the erotic novel and developed in close association with the author include the infamous silver pleasure balls, handcuffs and crops immortalised in the trilogy.
The sale of sex toys is spiking since the release of the ultimate mummy porn sparking a sexual revolution on our little island.
Spicing up the bedroom is not only the penchant of toys but also movies. More and more women, men and couples are using porn to get ideas and in the mood.
Late night television is obsessed with sex chat line advertisements and it has never been easier to watch free porn on the internet.
Sex is no longer a naughty little secret that we should be ashamed of. Embrace the joys of sex, don’t be afraid to experiment but most of all be safe and use protection.
(Original text published in An Focal Issue 3 Vol XXI October 16, 2012 and also in the online version http://www.anfocal.ie/lifestyle/5871/are-we-looking-for-love-or-just-adventurous-sex )