Once upon a time, Jane Austen wrote novels that were part satire, part romance, and 100% asexual in content. These were the penny novels, so to speak, of the time (from what I hear; correct me if I'm wrong, people).
When reading these novels, do you think people were more focused on the emotional, courtly love style of romance that these novels portrayed, or were they mentally translating it into sex? What I mean, I suppose, is: Do you think people in earlier centuries were less sexual or just more repressed (or, as a third option, more polite about it)?
When I read, say, Pride and Prejudice, what strikes me most is the social humor.
(This can be broader than Jane Austen, obviously; she's just what I thought of.)
(Inform me if this is an inappropriate topic. I'm not certain what is acceptable here and what's not.)