I was listening to “Siriusly Sinatra” yesterday when they played Jo Stafford singing Make Love to Me, one of her big hits in the mid-50s. The song struck me as a little raunchy, a sense quite out of place in a song so simple and simplistic.
As I tried to resolve this conflict of impressions, it dawned on me that “make love” means something quite different today than it meant in the mid-50s. Back then this phrase referred only to making out, canoodling, petting, cuddling up with someone you love, just hugging and kissing.
So what happened? Well, the pill happened and the major impediment to “going all the way” melted away. As it did, it pushed the meaning of “make love” all the way to what it implies today. Very different notions of boy-girl relationships.
In our Good Word series, I like words that tell us things about ourselves and our history. Words that reflect our prejudices, values, and ideas and especially how they change. Since this is a phrase, I decided that the blog is a better place to mention this one.