In modern American mythology, the Puritans were characterized, by many Americans, as being nothing more than an extreme group of dour religious ascetics who abhorred anything that had to do with humor or sex. This image is fallacious. Furthermore, the Puritans were nothing more than another group of humans who defined their own world with their cultural norms, and values. To better understand the Puritans we have to expunge any mythology surrounding these people, and we have to study them on their own terms through their eyes if at all possible through the written record.
The first major myth that must be deconstructed is that the Puritans were sexual prudes. Americans believed that the Puritans considered marriage as nothing more than a necessary evil that was used for only sexual reproduction. Moreover, many Americans believe that the Puritans tried to hide the physical aspect of a relationship as much as possible. This stereotype is false. The Puritans held a very different perspective about marriage and sex. John Cotton, a Puritan minister, stated “Women are creatures without which there is no comfortable living for man: it is true of them what is wont to be said of Governments, That bad ones are better than none… for they are a necessary good.” The Puritans believed that marriage was a fundamental part of human life and that sexual intercourse was a fundamental part of marriage. Another Minister stated that ‘the use of the marriage bed is founded in man’s nature and