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Conditions of the marriage market and sexual culture, and the needs of wealthy families and their members created social tensions in the late sixteenth and early-seventeenth century Venice. This study details these tensions and discusses concubinage– a long-term, sexual, non-marital union - as an alternate family model that soothed them by meeting the needs of families and individuals in a manner that did not offend the sensibilities of the authorities or other Venetians. Concubinage was quite common, and the Venetian community regularly accepted concubinaries, concubinal relationships, and the offspring concubinage produced.