As regards domestic morality, the system offered constant facilities for libertinism, and tended to subvert domestic peace by compromising the dignity and ruining the happiness of the wife.
Even then Rousseau did not settle at once in the anomalous but to him charming position of domestic lover to this lady, who, nominally a converted Protestant, was in reality, as many women of her time were, a kind of deist, with a theory of noble sentiment and a practice of libertinism tempered by good nature.
On the one hand we have sects with a strongly ascetic tendency, on the other we find some characterized by unbridled libertinism; in some the most abandoned prostitution has come to be the most sacred mystery; in others again appears the worship of serpents, which here appears to be connected in various and often very loose ways with the other ideas of these Gnostics - hence the names of the " Ophites," " Naasseni."
Gradually people became sick of openly avowed gallantry, of shameless libertinism, of moral obliquity and of the flattering artifices of vice; a long shudder ran through the selfish torpor of the social body.
Then again asceticism sometimes changes into wild libertinism.