Between 1300 and 1700, multiple factors challenged the dominant sexual culture of France. At the beginning of the period, marriage was the only morally and legally acceptable locus for sex. Moreover, sex within marriage was supposed to be procreative in intent to avoid the sin of lust. Both sex outside of marriage that could result in procreation and non-procreative sexual practices were regarded as sins and often as criminal acts. Those who chose (or were forced) to remain unmarried had the option of taking vows of virginity or celibacy, and the sexual culture of abstinence was both prominent and highly valued. The narrow framing of acceptable sex as either marital and procreative or entirely abstinent never entirely disappeared, but several developments introduced alternatives and challenges to the normative model. The Protestant Reformation, especially in the form of Calvinism, devalued the sacramental status of marriage, but also insisted on closer policing of fornication, adultery, prostitution, and non-procreative sex. The Catholic response reasserted the value of marital sex and celibacy, but also tightened up surveillance and punishment of non-normative sex. At the same time, scholars engaged in the study of antiquity known as the Renaissance encountered ancient cultures in the Greeks and Romans that had different sexual values. Such practices as the toleration of homosexuality and provisions for divorce led to questioning of dominant practices. Encounters with New World populations and Eastern civilizations revealed variable sexual norms, values, and beliefs, as did contact with cultures discovered in the course of charting the Pacific. By the mid-seventeenth century, increased state control over the policing of sex was gradually displacing ecclesiastical courts and lessening the power of religious ideology over sexual activity. By 1700, sexual freethinkers questioned the marriage/chastity division that marked Christian sexual ethics and drew instead on the revival of ancient thought about sex as a positive good even when procreation was not the aim. At the same time, individuals were coalescing into groups centered on sexual identity specifically at odds with the premises of reproductive sex. Multiple versions of what sex could be and mean emerged to form a profusion of sexual cultures.