The contemporary politicization of sexualities has deep roots in the previous fin de siècle. Then as now, conflicts over sex acts and sexual identities were central points of articulation in a wide-ranging struggle over just how to produce, reproduce, and embody a moral and humane society. Like scholars of other western, industrialized nations, historians of the United States have identified the turn of the twentieth century as an important period of change in sexual ideology and practice. For decades, the chief framework for understanding this watershed has been a transition from “Victorian” to “modern” mores. One of the most sophisticated renderings of this transition appears in John D'Emilio and Estelle Freedman's Intimate Matters, a comprehensive survey of U.S. sexual history. The authors identify a shift from family- and reproduction-oriented sexual practices to “sexual liberalism,” the idea that sexual preferences and pleasures stand at the center of individual selfhood.