1960’s Sex Manual

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(That ought to get some hits.)

Today I came across an excerpt from an early 1960’s sex education manual for (hopefully, dear Lord hopefully) older girls.  Shockingly… it addressed sex exclusively in the context of marriage.  ACK!  And then said terrible, terrible things!

It was a delightful look into the past.  The article cited is not long.  I’m not quite out to Fisk it, but to analyze its message, since I agree with about as much as I disagree with.  (For true Fisking, check out today’s upcoming article on my religious blog where I deal with a guy in serious need of Fisking.)

This is an actual extract from a sex education text book for girls, printed in the early ’60′s in the UK and explains why the world was much happier and peaceful then…!

Right.  Everyone has a bias.  Be sure to note here that this selection was chosen originally (Not casting aspersions on the blogger but pointing at the original author) with deliberate disapproval aforethought.  This is not a random bit of historiography but a cherry-picked excerpt from a textbook to demonstrate the evils of a bygone age.  Nowhere in the subsequent text are world peace or world happiness addressed, but because a marital sexual attitude exists with ideas that are unfavorable (and sometimes quite wrong) the whole era was terrible.  Implicitly, [the author’s] dissenting view and audience is far superior by comparison.

I suspect a bit of straw man, or at least the most offensive passage of an era in this.  I grew up in a doctor’s office and perused the medical library a fair bit, as well as digging through a lot of historical books on sex when puberty came about to Mamma Lagrandil’s Little Nerd, just because the library large enough that I wouldn’t die of embarrassment researching didn’t have modern texts.  I was a tween-ager and not thinking a whole lot about a subsequent literary career so didn’t write down info for proper citation.  So I have read about half a dozen textbooks on sex from this era, and none of this crap ever came through my head.  I would certainly have remembered it.

[In retrospect, probably a good thing.]

Shall we delve into the chosen selection that demonstrates the traumatic and terrible fate of the non-liberated married woman (and ignore the information that seems to indicate married heterosexual couples are the most sexually active and satisfied people in the world, almost like God wanted us to enjoy life and each other in the best possible way…)?

When retiring to the bedroom, prepare yourself for bed as promptly as possible. Whilst feminine hygiene is of the utmost importance, your tired husband does not want to queue for the bathroom as he would for his train. But remember to look you best when going to bed.

Try to achieve a look that is welcoming without being obvious. If you need to apply face-cream or hair rollers wait until he is asleep as this can be shocking to a man last thing at night. When it comes to the possibility of intimate relations with your husband it is important to remember your marriage vows and in particular your commitment to obey him.

Right.  I am a celibate monk.  Such mysteries are beyond me, but it is an interesting proposition.  The article (on sexual health and fulfillment) suggests that showing up at sex-time for your husband looking like a bride instead of a construction zone results in more sexual health and happiness…


*the horror*

Since men are sexually cued to visual stimulus, this seems like a pretty simple bit of good advice if the idea of your husband desiring you, showing interest, and attention.  Frankly, many of the sexual temptations in his life are going overtime to look like the object of his ideal desire.  There’s no way to spend as much time as porn peddlers and other nasty things, but the answer is probably not to quit the game altogether.  I have also heard from a woman or two that it is a nice thing to be desired sexually by someone who loves you.

There are a couple wrong things here that the next bit hows better.

If he feels that he needs to sleep immediately then so be it. In all things be led by your husbands wishes; do not pressure him in any way to stimulate intimacy. Should your husband suggest congress then agree humbly all the while being mindful that a man’s satisfaction is more important than a woman’s.

MAYBE loving and caring for your spouse means if he’s too beat to perform, you love him enough to let him recharge.  (Remember ladies that guys like sex in the morning as a general rule so there is a fair chance to pick up a rain check on this one, more horror…)

I CALL BULLSHIT on the rest.  One, guys pretty much love it when their partners initiate sexual activity.  The “I like it when they desire me” thing goes both ways.  Mans’ satisfaction is in no way more important than a woman’s.  This is one area where they are flat out wrong.  Check out how much of the Song of Songs is dedicated to describing the man’s sexual response, and how much is describing in a lingering foreplay sort of way the woman’s beautiful desirability.  There’s like a 5:1 ratio there.

Moreover, the Bible calls bullshit on this.  “Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control” 1 Corinthians 7:5.  Proverbs 5:18-19 sets a standard I think goes both ways interpreted by this passage.  I’m not quoting it here ’cause it makes me blush.

That being said, 3 seconds of internet research (with really good filter settings!!!) digs up all the proof I need to say that the experts say that people enjoy the sight of their loved one… um… pleased.  So by pleasing the other one pleases self.  Terrible secret lost to most modern schools of thought, feminists and chauvinists both.

When he reaches his moment of fulfillment a small moan from yourself is encouraging to him and quite sufficient to indicate any enjoyment that you may have had.

Um… Guys are turned on by audio/visual stimulation.  So… expressing yourself makes it better for him.  Check.  Making it better for him can make it better for you.  See above.  Mostly I think that whoever picked this as an item of horror had never been married to someone they loved who wasn’t impotent at this point.

Should your husband suggest any of the more unusual practices be obedient and uncomplaining but register any reluctance by remaining silent.

BULLSHIT again.  God commands your husband to love you like Christ loved the church.  That means not doing anything to you during intimacy that makes you uncomfortable, or causes you pain.  Shout out, girl!  This is a no-means-no moment if ever I heard one.  It’s not about being selfish.  It is about teaching him how to love you better.  So teach him how to love you better.

“Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.  Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word… Ephesians 5:24-26

Sometimes your husband has to give up his… ‘unusual practices’ out of love for you, his bride.  Period.  You’re worth it and that’s his command.

It is likely your husband will then fall promptly to sleep so adjust your clothing, freshen up and apply your night-time face and hair care products.

You may then set the alarm so that you can arise shortly before him in the morning. This will enable you to have his morning cup of tea ready when he awakes.

The sleep thing is not uncaring.  It’s simple biology.  So, factual statement there.  And afterwards, you have all the time in the world for yourself.  Also true.  I know that romance novels hold out the man who will do everything perfectly, then stay up all night just gazing at you the center of his world (cough, Twilight) but if you don’t want your husband to hold you to the really sick standards of porn for guys, don’t hold him to the standards of chick-porn either, eh?

I am not completely sold on the division of labor from the 50’s and 60’s as either Godly or necessary.  Neither am I sold that it was evil.  Proverbs 31 does seem to indicate some food prep, as the wife is a titan of industry, investment banker, self-employed Goddess of awesome.  I largely suspect it cut off here because the cherry-picker (again, not the blogger) thought that greeting your husband with food and drink you prepared for him was the final insult and injury.

That’s 180-degrees off of the Christian moral that serving others is better than being served.  But I’m going to hazard a guess that Christian morals weren’t a real big influence on the original author.  Outside of religious belief, selfishness is the rule, and making your husband breakfast is a crime against self I guess.

Dunno.  My dad worked 80 hour weeks when I grew up and made us breakfast every morning that I remember eating.

So, insofar as this article indicates that women in marriage MEAN less than men, and it does a couple of places, this is terrible.  Insofar as practical advice to get your husband to show you lots of… attention… um… Seems pretty straightforward and practical to me.

Someone both married, professionally trained, and very vocal about this sort of ideas is Dr. Laura Schlessinger.  She’s Jewish but has a pretty good book out called The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands.  I *ahem* don’t have a husband or a wife, but I have heard many, many women call in and say, “I tried this advice, dressing up for my husband, telling him I loved him, and praising him, and he turned into a love-puppy of service in my hands!  Thanks!” -Amalgamated paraphrase.

So if the goal for an article on sex for women is to have a better sex life (and that means security, love, and interest from your husband), there is more right with this article than wrong.  Though there are some glaringly wrong things here.

Wow.  Today has been full of unexpected topics.

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