March 17th, 2009

Sex and places to have it in the 50's

I'm currently working a writing project that is set in 1950s America. The protagonists are both in their late teens and both live alone, in New York City. I have two questions:

1. What would a girl in her late teens from this era know/not know about sex? What would she be ignorant about

2. Where this couple, neither of which have a car and both are relatively shy find places to make out, kiss etc?
Also they can't visit each other's apartments societal norms and their own moral codes forbid it.

Note: I've searched teenage dating in the 50s, sex education in thew 50s, what did teenage girls know about sex in the 50s.

Scalding damage

I've looked up information about scalding, but most of it seems to talk about burns from steam or boiling water - the kind that happen very quickly.

So what about a scenario in which a thin stream of hot-but-not-boiling water is running down a character's back for an extended (5-15 minutes) period of time?

How hot could the water get without putting him into call-the-hospital-now territory? (Character is disinclined to seek outside medical help, and I don't want him dying just yet.) Could he develop a tolerance for the pain, or would that only happen in the case of serious nerve damage? Anything else to keep in mind?

La opera e' mobile

I need an opera, can be obscure but cannot be Baroque, that has a long-standing reputation of being hard tp do acceptably and almost impossible to do well.   The details aren't important; this is used as a sort of shibboleth between two opera lovers.

Japanese Funeral (clarification)

I've been reading up on Funeral customs in Japan, but I was wondering if there would be any specific changes to the preparation of the body if the deceased person - a woman, survived by her husband and six-year-old son, in case that changes things any - had been burned to death in a house fire.

All of the preparations I've been reading about seem to require that the body be in fairly good condition, something I don't think would be true after a large fire.