Chapter 15 contained a
discussion of the eventual decline of the average woman's desire for sexual
intercourse. The subject matter of this chapter deals rather with early
aversions brought about by some specific known or unknown happening. Reference
has been made to the possibility of a woman's developing sexual restraint
because of the proximity in girlhood of her bedroom to that of her parents—not a
typical situation, however. Nonetheless, too many women are disinclined to
engage in intercourse as frequently as their husbands wish, however reasonable
the men may be in their demands.
If this condition exists, then the husband is faced with a grave problem, and
his wife with a still more serious one; she risks losing him to another woman,
and it will not be entirely his fault. However, since few women realize this
until too late, it is best for husbands to avoid the possibility by attacking it
at the beginning, at the wife's very first manifestation of excessive aloofness
to intercourse. This is the sole responsibility of the husband; the wife can do
nothing to assist except express herself, which she probably will not do.
If the husband's marital sexual behavior has not created this distaste for
intimacy in his wife or if there is no serious general incompatibility, then
only a few conclusions are possible: either she is not experiencing the orgasm;
she is not being thoroughly satisfied; the sex act is painful; her husband no
longer physically attracts her; she suspects him of philandering; she has
developed some mental quirk with respect to intercourse, subsequent to her
marriage; or some conception of pre-marital existence has asserted a greater
influence than she believed possible.
If the husband is constant, one possibility is eliminated; another, if she
admits intercourse is not painful; and a third if she has not fallen out of
While good sex relationship cements, preserves, and adds balance to domestic
life, there are women who can be constant and devoted wives and never experience
the desire for intimacy. They are, of course, completely frigid, at least as far
as their husbands are concerned. They can feel every other emotion—admiration,
respect, appreciation, affection, to mention a few—for their husbands, but not
However, if the wife is still in love with her husband, only common
possibilities remain for consideration. They may be regarded in this fashion:
since the husband knows that prior to marriage his wife was normally responsive
to love-making, barring the intercourse which may or may not have taken place,
he knows also that she did feel some physical attraction for him, and that his
caresses were not disagreeable to her. This makes it clear either that the girl
was not frigid or else was a capable actress, which is unlikely; no woman can
affect a convincing display of sexual affection over a long period of time. It
is reasonable to assume, then, that she found him physically appealing when she
Consequently, the fault must lie in the intercourse or in some pre-marital or
post-marital concepts concerning it; it is up to the husband to determine which.
The first move a psychiatrist makes toward destroying a phobia is to discover
its origin. Having succeeded, he next tries to make the patient realize that it
is a phobia. Also, a psychiatrist will admit that improvement begins when he
gains the patient's confidence. In sex life, more than any other type of
association, every husband must practice psychology, and psychiatry to the
extent of determining the nature of his wife's sexual inhibitions, if any. As
her husband, he already has the advantage of her confidence. If he hasn't, he
must gain it.
Gaining a wife's confidence with respect to sexual behavior is not the easy task
it might seem. In fact, it is a most difficult one. Frequently, regardless of
how much a husband may try to convince his partner that certain forms of
indulgence are perfectly proper, she will fail to be reassured.
One of the greatest mistakes a husband makes is in not realizing this. He
assumes a wife will take anything he says for granted simply because he is her
husband. However, no woman will accept a man's bare word for the propriety of a
sexual behavior that she has always regarded doubtfully, unless she has complete
confidence in his sexual knowledge. The thought persists that he may be fitting
his explanations to suit his personal desires; that such desires are peculiar,
perhaps, only to him. It is well to add, also, for the benefit of the male that
the casual approach to sex is not only the sophisticated way of dealing with the
matter, but is also the most effective means of establishing confidence in a
woman. Consequently, when a wife sees that a husband regards intimacy with a
matter-of-fact attitude, that everything which takes place is performed with the
same unselfconsciousness that characterizes eating breakfast, she is more
inclined to accept sex at its face value.
Unfortunately, when a woman is sexually aloof, most men try to attack the
problem in bed, the one place which should be avoided. They attempt to force,
persist, argue, and bully their way through a purely mental obstacle. Their
unreasonable and lustful attitude intensifies the woman's distaste for something
which is proving to be precisely what she regards it—disagreeable. She acquires
a dread of bedtime and its customary interval of bickering. She affects
headaches, pretends she wants to sit up and read, throws out a hint that she is
unusually tired, and invents a hundred and one devices to postpone the
inevitable moment. If through sheer weariness, she finally submits, the husband
has accomplished nothing but the satisfaction of his own desire and the
intensification of the irritation which disturbs his wife.
It is obvious also that whatever must be done cannot be effected overnight. The
husband must be prepared to expend time and patience in the destruction of a
mental block, if it is only that. Failing in this, he must rely upon whatever
professional services are available or be forced to look elsewhere for a
suitable mate. However, he should make every possible effort to solve the
problem before abandoning it.
Since the husband knows that, before marriage, his wife was affectionate and not
averse to conventional caresses, he can at least regard the situation as
hopeful. Also, since the process of elimination indicates that the trouble lies
in the intercourse or pre- or post-marital ideas concerning it, he has
definitely limited the field of consideration. And since the final analysis
suggests that whatever the reason, intercourse is disagreeable, he must
determine why. As long as he fails to do this, the situation will not improve.
Obviously, as a previous chapter advised, the logical approach is a direct and
frank discussion wherein the wife is asked specifically what phase of sexual
relation is repugnant to her and why. This she can certainly explain, but she
may be evasive for fear of hurting her husband. Therefore, he must be prepared
to bring out the answers and hear revelations possibly embarrassing to him.
For one thing, his breath may be bad, a fact which he does not realize; he may
be careless with respect to body odor; he may engage in distasteful practices;
he may wish to indulge too frequently; he may leave his wife unsatisfied; he may
neglect foreplay. These are only a few of the possibilities for which he himself
may be directly at fault.
On the other hand, none of these factors may present the difficulty. The wife
may know only that the sex act in general is disagreeable. Even so, she can
explain to what extent. Perhaps, she finds it sordid and an affront to her
modesty. At least, her husband has now isolated the cause. Although he may not
know what lies behind the aversion, he knows it is purely mental.
Since he has determined that intercourse is disagreeable to her, he undertakes
to make it agreeable. If the barrier is physical, it is the more easily removed.
The real problem exists when the aversion is mental. Should he be able to
discover that his wife's coldness has its seat in the past, his approach must
take this into consideration.
Assume, for example, that when she was a girl her parents engaged in constant
sexual squabbling; it is clear that her husband must refrain from such practice
if he is not to aggravate her aloofness. He must also intrude as little of
himself as possible into each intimacy. In a perfectly natural and relevant
manner, he can implant from time to time some thought that he wants to register.
This he does prior to bedtime to give his wife opportunity to turn it over in
her mind. He might avoid the bedroom altogether as the scene of intimacy; it may
arouse unpleasant memories in her. Whatever the procedure, its success depends
almost entirely upon his approach.
It must be emphasized that a woman, particularly the lowly and moderately
sensitive, will rarely complain or volunteer information in connection with
sexual activity. She will tell a man that she does not like his suit, his tie,
his disposition, his untidiness, his attitude, his behavior, his initiative, or
a hundred other things all of a purely personal and intimate character. But some
unaccountable modesty will prevent her from complaining about, or even
discussing, a condition regarding which the greatest frankness of all is
necessary—his sexual association with her.
Man, himself, is to a limited extent also a victim of this false modesty, but
not nearly to the same degree as woman. Regardless of his general ignorance, he
is by comparison more informed than the female, though it be only through
hearsay. A woman assumes he is more experienced and usually looks to him for
initial instruction. What he suggests or prefers in the early stages of marriage
she accepts and allows to become a habit, unless it conflicts too sharply with
her established, preconceived ideas. She regards their activity as a standard
procedure probably existent in every home. He is a man, and she believes he
should know. If she subsequently discovers certain elements are in opposition to
her emotions, she is inclined to believe that she, rather than the system, is at
fault. Her desires, she feels, may be out of proportion to what is usual, and
she does not wish to shock her husband. He seems to be perfectly satisfied with
the game as everyone is playing it. Consequently, she maintains patience until a
point of saturation is reached.
Unfortunately, she does not know that millions of women stand precisely on the
same ground: that they have drawn her conclusions and are likewise maintaining
silence. The result is that sooner or later this group decides that sex is a
highly over-rated activity. In the end, they look upon it as an obligation, and,
when pressed, submit to it passively, mechanically, and unenthusiastically. To
their husbands they are cold.
If a woman is married to a man in all other respects perfectly adequate, there
is no reason why he should not just as adequately satisfy her sexually. If he
fails, something is wrong; no woman can avoid enjoying sexual intimacy if it is
properly conducted and she loves her husband. Nine times out of ten, the fault
will lie with the male, but he will fail to realize it unless he is told.
It is true that desire tapers off gradually the longer a couple is married.
However, at those rarer intervals when the inclination does assert itself, there
is no reason why it should lack appeal any more for one than for the other. Nor
will it, if the couple has always maintained satisfactory sexual relationships.
Should it do so, it is only because a flaw has always existed.
When a couple have not grown tired of each other— there is nothing to be done
when that stage is reached— most discontent may be attributed to false modesty.
This is a deadly quality and, as has been said, imposes a firm barrier to the
complete abandon necessary to perfect sexual association. In connection with
normal sex, an invisible legend should hang in every bedchamber in the country:
"Nothing Done in Bed Is Wrong." If every reader would implant that statement
firmly in his or her mind and accept it, regardless of how far his desires may
impel him, the sexual intimacy of man and woman would be vastly improved. It
should always be borne in mind that millions of people are doing everything the
reader does or would like to do.
There is nothing indecent about the nude human body; it is only one's thoughts
which make it so. The penis is no less an organ than an arm or a leg, and a
woman's breast no more unusual than the buttocks exposed in a brief swimming
suit. Today, a reproduction of "September Morn" arouses hardly a flash of
interest. We are accustomed to it.
Nudism is not an intelligent practice, nor is it advocated. However
impracticable, it can scarcely be criticized on the ground that exposure of the
private organs constitutes an indecency. As long as many people regard these
organs as such, so long will they experience a guilt reaction every time these
organs are utilized for any purpose other than tending to necessary wants. This
develops inhibitions, and there should be none between sexual partners.
The artist looks at his nude model with a mind far removed from the pubic
region. He sees only those organs which he wishes to paint. The obstetrician
probes, and the surgeon removes an ovary, without becoming sexually aroused.
Their minds are clean, and all see the human body for what it is—an assortment
of organs. Others look at it and see only indecency. Let them examine their
Europe is a continent where an American can feel very uncomfortable in the
beginning but perfectly at home after he adjusts himself. It may take a little
time for an American tourist to become used to the experience of finding female
attendants in some men's lavatories. Street-corner urinals may embarrass his
wife and daughter, but the native pays no attention to them. Tending to one's
wants is as natural to him as nature intended it to be. Of course, we Americans
prefer our own habits not only because we are accustomed to them but also
because we see no reason to emphasize unnecessarily purely private functions.
But, having become exposed to these other environments, it is not difficult for
a person to adjust himself once he realizes that it is the order of another
With respect to sex, the European is just as informal. He regards it as a
perfectly normal function, as a routine practice. The attitude toward love is as
philosophical as the resignation to war. "C'est Vamour" is uttered with the same
imperturbability as "C'est la guerre"
Between couples, it must be remembered that one or both may be sexually
responsive either in a manner not within the previous experience of the other,
or not corresponding to adolescent conceptions. Consequently, when a wife in her
adult life begins to experience sexual desires which do not fall within her
previous concepts, she may conclude that she is outside the normal sphere and
must maintain a check upon her impulses.
Her husband, on the other hand, may hold a similar belief regarding himself.
Thus, two people continue to practice only conventional sex. Each hopes the
other will manifest some tendency to engage otherwise; each wonders if he dare
take the initiative and risk being misunderstood. This is unfortunate,
particularly when a knowledge of what is actually taking place between millions
of couples would assure one or the other, or both, that their desires are
perfectly normal and constitute proper sex practice.
How, then, should a woman go about expressing her inhibited desires to a man
whose response may be a state of outraged morals? If he never takes the
initiative, it is best for her to do so. The probabilities are almost entirely
in her favor that she will not shock him but will behave in a manner which he
himself has been wondering secretly how to bring about. The same applies to the
male, but he also runs little risk even should the woman be extremely reserved
in her habits. Under normal circumstances, she will be inclined to mark it down
as a general masculine tendency and not an exclusive habit of her husband.
With respect to second marriages, a great danger exists in the fact that those
who engage in it may be sexually disappointed in the new. The first partner may
have been highly passionate, and the second decidedly passive. This is
unfortunate, and there is nothing to be done except to attempt to develop the
sexual possibilities of the woman. However, a man's sexual disposition cannot be
altered. A passionate woman is therefore faced with the greater problem if her
newly acquired mate does not measure up to her demands. Since a man is capable
of gratification with any type of woman, his situation is less disturbing.
Though he might enjoy a more active partner, his discontent lies only in the
degree of his enjoyment, not in his ultimate gratification; a woman can be
affected in both respects.
It might seem, then, that the most fortunate combination would be both a woman
and man without any previous sexual experience whatever. It might seem that each
could enjoy the other, unimpeded by a knowledge that a still more suitable
partner for either of them might exist. However, even that situation may not
work out too well. It would be satisfactory for the husband, but his ignorance
might not enable him adequately to handle a wife whose emotional level might be
very high. Incompatibility could result in any case.
Regardless of conditions, sexual incompatibility is always a threat. That it is
so in fact is testified to by the tremendous amount of existing sexual
dissatisfaction. Occasionally, two people of perfectly complementary sexual
natures unite. It is rare, and they frequently fail to appreciate their good
fortune. Generally, however, sexual harmony is a grab-bag affair, a blind
article which can turn out to be anything once the couple are wed.
Actually, the most desirable situation presents a thoroughly seasoned male with
the capacity to adjust himself to whatever sexual temperament he may find in his
wife and the ability to develop her as far as her possibilities will allow. Such
an informed husband knows that the deep sexual attraction which initially draws
two people together is impermanent; that general compatibility is the most
important condition of all. He knows that when the physical desire dwindles, as
it is certain to do, there must be something more than the body to hold two
people together; he therefore strives only for the balance which good sexual
association will impart to the marriage. No happy state of wedlock can exist
permanently when it is based solely on a sexual foundation. While the spiritual
and mental factors are far more important than the physical, it is unfortunate,
nevertheless, that regardless of the importance of the other materials, the
entire matrimonial structure may topple unless bound together with sound, sexual
ribs. It is not the writer's purpose to elevate sex beyond its importance, but
to emphasize its actual value as a primary factor in keeping the marriage
Intelligent people will accept nature's impulses for what they are and respond
to them in whatever manner gives them pleasure, whether or not it coincides with
their preconceived notions of conventional sex. After all, what is conventional
sex? It is true that society may determine convention, but no individual group
has been elected to do so or has been designated as arbiter of the public taste.
Many try to usurp the position, but they may be disregarded. Consequently, there
is nothing conventional about sex, because no one has the authority to set a
fashion for it.
False modesty touches both sexes, but is largely confined to the female. The
assumption of every husband should be that his wife is to some extent a victim
of it. He should, therefore, take the initiative, and make a studied effort to
insure the fact that his mate enters into intimacy with complete abandon. In
fact, the thoughtful husband, whatever his mood, will be alert to anticipate his
wife's feelings. Since the average woman is reluctant to make passionate
advances, she waits for him to take the initiative; frequently she waits in
vain. On the other hand, a dutiful and considerate wife, unless she is
indisposed, tired out, or mentally upset, should be equally solicitous; this
assumes, of course, that no abnormal circumstances exist.
The female has very definite duties apart from her obligation to render normal
sexual service to her husband. She must remember that, while there are certain
regular periods in which intercourse is neither practicable nor convenient, her
husband may nevertheless require sexual relief. Should her period run five, six,
seven, or eight days, this is a lengthy interval for the male to practice
self-control. Of course, he should be able to do it, but there is no reason to
force it upon him when the simple expedient of the female hand or oral
connection can remove the necessity. Since many men are reluctant to force any
type of relationship upon their wives during this period, the woman herself
should take the initiative. Furthermore, in all probability this variation will
prove enjoyable to him and will be just as satisfying. A thoughtful wife will,
independently, look for these opportunities to gratify her husband's sexual
needs. It is true that she deserves first consideration, but not the only
consideration. It might be added, also, that in conducting sexual intimacy, it
is equally the duty of the wife to excite her partner by engaging in genital
stimulation. The woman who lies passively and overlooks these essentials is as
guilty of neglect in her way as the husband who fails to satisfy her. Sex in
marriage is not a one-sided matter. If excessive modesty or aloofness tends to
make it so, a wife had better adjust her conceptions; otherwise, she may find
her husband seeking the society of a more suitable mistress.
The male is usually direct in indicating his feelings. When his hands start
moving over the female body, a wife instantly recognizes in this a symptom of
his mood. Nevertheless, although they also are entitled to similar liberties,
and should not hesitate to stimulate the male organ as an expression of their
mood, few women will release their inhibitions to this extent. When they do,
however, the greatest degree of sexual compatibility usually exists, because
they feed the male ego and the partner is made to realize that he still has the
ability to attract his wife physically. As a result, an understanding of some
nature should definitely be arranged.
Many newly wed men, instead of proceeding leisurely, are impatient to run the
gamut of sex in the first few relationships. One can well understand the
reaction of a woman who, on the second night of intimacy with her husband, finds
him experimenting with the rear-entry position, the conception of which may be
completely new to her. If she assumes that he is utilizing her as a mechanism to
satisfy jaded tastes or as a medium of experiment, she can hardly be blamed,
particularly if she is uninformed. Virgins have been known to burst into tears
when their husbands first attempted this position, and accuse the men of lacking
respect for them. Obviously these women are naive. Nevertheless, a man should
consider these possibilities; there is no excuse for haste. Naturally, an
informed woman will regard the varying of a position as a perfectly common
procedure; even an uninformed bride will consider it in the same light, given
time for adjustment.
A woman who insists upon practicing sexual activity exclusively in the dark or
beneath the covers is, indeed, overdoing the matter of modesty. This is the sign
of an immature conception of sex and an indication of an inhibited nature. This
is bad not only for the individual so constituted but for the partner as well;
it eliminates, too, an element very necessary to sexual relationship: variety.
Indulgence conducted in the light has the capacity also to heighten the
excitement of the male; it gives him the opportunity of viewing the physical
charms of his wife. However, they should be casually observed and not gloated
There is an old axiom, the substance of which is that the perfect wife is a lady
in the drawing room, a capable cook in the kitchen, and a wanton in bed. There
is much truth in this. Many a prostitute can satisfy a man more completely than
a virtuous woman; she is a mistress of sexual technique, knows masculine
psychology, and has no inhibitions. Having consorted with all types, she
understands their sexual natures thoroughly and conducts herself accordingly.
This appeals to most men. The wife who abandons herself will be looked upon by
an intelligent husband as simply behaving like a woman. By so doing, she adds to
his pleasure as well as to her own. If a woman will bear in mind that there is
nothing she can do in bed that is not being done in this country and throughout
the world by women every bit as respectable, she cannot regard herself as an
exception in a sexual universe.
However, it is easily understood why wives who have never experienced the
orgasm, may be sexually indifferent. Passivity for them is a natural state. Many
such wives are mistakenly regarded by their husbands as being cold. Actually,
the fault lies in the ignorance of their male partners who do not recognize the
absence of a climax in their wives during intercourse. Obviously, no amount of
discussion can remove such a woman's inhibitions. She has no sexual responses to
appeal to and, therefore, finds no reason to alter her previous conceptions. To
her, intercourse is a disappointment and represents nothing but an indecent
coupling of the bodies. Had she been at all informed, the absence of any unusual
emotion or the disappointing unfullfilment of her desires might have aroused her
suspicions to the point where she would have talked over the matter with her
husband. Obviously, such a wife must become accustomed to the climax before a
discussion stage can be considered. Even then, the problem still remains of
removing inhibitions seriously ingrown during her years of passivity. If,
however, her sensations of orgasm are sufficiently overwhelming, this new
experience may offset the time factor and encourage a satisfactory
Removing these mental blocks to a point where a wife may eventually enter into
complete abandonment sexually, involves patience and persistence. Situations may
exist, however, where for some subconscious reason, having its existence deep in
the past, a woman may not be able to unharness her restraints. This condition
calls for psychotherapy, a treatment that can consume a lengthy period of time
and a substantial amount of money. However, it is possible to attack the problem
in a similar manner, but one less complex, less expensive, and more frequently
than not, one that produces speedier results. It is not at all a new science. In
fact it is as old, if not older, than modern psychiatry as fathered by Freud.
Furthermore, it is beginning to occupy a prominent position in the scientific
field. Many people, suffering from mental disturbances of various types, have
been successfully treated by this advancing medium of hypnotherapy, which has a
characteristic advantage of reaching the root of an established ailment with
surprising speed. Because under hypnosis the patient is more or less unaware of
his responses, he will answer questions and unburden himself with less hesitancy
and greater frankness than under any similar form of questioning. Hypnosis
directly touches the sub-conscious mind wherein lie our forgotten experiences
For this reason, costly sittings and tedious sessions, in which the patient
consciously attempts to probe his memory for unremembered incidents, are
eliminated. So far as the sub-conscious is concerned, our total experience is
impressed there. Little, if anything is forgotten by it, and hypnosis releases
this stream of data directly to the operator.
No one need fear hypnotism when practiced by an ethical member of the medical
profession, of whom there are many and of steadily increasing number. One day
posterity will look back on us with wonderment at our failure to utilize its
almost miraculous possibilities.
A few facts with respect to hypnosis will dissipate much of the mistrust
surrounding it, mistrust born of old wives' tales and misinformation.
Firstly, no hypnotist can force a subject to commit any act to which the subject
would be opposed in a conscious state.
Secondly, no subject can be hypnotized against his will. His full cooperation is
Thirdly, a capable hypnotist can function effectively before witnesses. In the
matter under discussion, a husband need not be barred. In fact, his presence
could be desirable.
Fourthly, the subject will awaken even though the command to do so may not be
given by the hypnotist.
The first reaction of the layman to the word "hypnotism" is the thought that,
like Svengali's Trilby, he can become the slave of the hypnotist. With women,
their minds immediately turn to the sexual helplessness hypnotism may induce.
Lastly, of course, is the fear of not awakening. None of these are causes for
Without going into a discussion of hypnotism, beyond its relationship to sexual
problems it is recommended that a couple who may be considering this form of
therapy, visit a reliable medical practitioner of the science. A professional
man who has not studied hypnotism is hardly a person to consult. In fact, he is
likely to know less about it than an intelligent layman.
Since a man is inclined to be thoughtless with respect to his sexual duties, his
wife, as has been said, is entitled to make her desires known. However, if after
reading these pages, she is still reluctant—as many may be—to approach the
matter directly, there is an indirect method of arousing a sluggish male. It
must be employed carefully, casually, and with seeming innocence if it is not to
lose its illusion.
A wife should realize that all normal men are sexually responsive to the
exposure of the female body. This is particularly true where strange women are
concerned, since the male perpetually seeks variety. It accounts for the
popularity of burlesque and girl shows in general, and for exhibitions of the
"strip-tease," bubble-dance, and fan-dance character. Few husbands, if any, are
totally indifferent to these attractions.
At the same time, they are also susceptible to stimulation where a parallel
situation arises with their wives. For example, a stockinged leg exposed to the
thigh has eye appeal for any man even though his wife may be the possessor. A
wife attired in brief lingerie has as much opportunity to arouse interest in an
apathetic male as the scantily clad chorines in a present-day musical. A
negligee, carelessly draped to provide an occasional glimpse of what lies
beneath it, will succeed in stimulating male desire where absolute nudity fails
completely. A sheer nightgown whose transparency outlines the female body has
greater seductive value than one of coarser fabric; otherwise a woman may just
as well wear a house dress to bed. In fact, any indirect exposure which would
stimulate a man if observed on another woman has a comparable effect when
provided by his wife; perhaps not in the same degree, but sufficiently extensive
to make him desire her. It is up to the wife to sense these opportunities and
utilize them subtly. Nudity is not effective when paraded.
It must be borne in mind that there is more to sex than intercourse, although
many minds rush to dwell only on that phase. Sex is comprised of numerous small
and incidental habits, such as the use of an enticing perfume, a well-fitted
brassiere, a tight stocking with the seam running straight up the back, a
high-heeled slipper—not a shapeless flat-heeled moccasin or ballet pump—to lend
grace to the leg, instep, and ankle, a clean house dress, unsmeared lipstick.
These and numerous other small and unneglected considerations are what keep a
wife sexually desirable to her husband and lead to frequency of sexual intimacy,
not merely periodic occurrence. It should be added that keeping sex vitally
alive in the marriage is a constant engagement against the forces of familiarity
and consequent indifference that follow. It is as important as the struggle of a
woman to maintain her figure, delay the wrinkles, and control her weight, a
struggle which needs every possible ally.
Since sex will not automatically retain its original vigor, a couple cannot
overdo their attempts to keep it active. In this respect, one of the most
important nutrients to sex life is variety, and it should be introduced at every
opportunity. By variety is not meant change of position exclusively, but change
in environment or locale, even though it be in the same apartment.
The sex life of the average couple is a deadly routine gone through with a
monotonous sameness, the same position in the same bed at the same time in the
same way. There is no reason why matrimony need interrupt all the pre-marital
habits of a wedded couple. An occasional drive to the haunts of yesteryear and a
petting party to recapture a measure of the old-time magic should not strike the
married reader as a preposterous suggestion. Neither should a weekend spent at a
modest farm or an occasional night at a hotel. If one cannot afford a periodic
vacation or does not own a car, there are always alternatives to the familiar
bed. Anything which breaks the monotony of sameness is desirable.
These are the identical procedures in which a man engages with his sweetheart,
in which a man at any age engages with any woman excepting, unfortunately, his
wife. If a husband feels too old and mature for such romantic nonsense, then let
him remember that his wife never does. Actually, neither does he. Let him become
smitten with an attachment twenty years his junior, and he will discover it
It is appropriate to discuss in this section a piece of folly characteristic of
both sexes, especially the female. It will never result in the slightest bit of
good, and it always has the power to inflict serious harm. This menace consists
of voluntary confessions of pre-marital and post-marital "affairs." The former,
in particular, are the more unnecessary and, of course, the more numerous,
although a guilty conscience has driven many a woman to confess to the latter.
Notwithstanding its utter stupidity, this honesty indicates, nevertheless, a
strong sense of innate though misguided decency which in itself should be
powerful enough to bring about complete forgiveness. Unfortunately it often
fails to receive the full consideration it deserves.
Never was a platitude more fitting to a circumstance than the one applying in
this instance, "What you don't know, won't bother you," and only a person who is
determined to tamper with future happiness will ignore it.
A woman, in particular, should never voluntarily confess indiscretions to her
husband unless blackmailed. At that time, there is no other sane course to take
but confess and prepare to accept the consequences. Regardless of what happens,
she will be more secure in the long run than undergoing the consistent mental
torture inflicted by an extortioner. In all probability, it will result in
exposure anyway. If a husband is not the type to forgive isolated infidelity,
then he is neither deep nor generous, and the woman is better off without him.
Some men will forgive, others will not, but it is regrettable that few, if any,
It does no harm and may even do good if the prospective husband should hint at
the fact that he has sown wild oats, provided he really has. Most women expect
this in a male. However, one or two pre-marital sex relationships hardly make a
man of experience; it requires considerably more before he can know how
adequately to handle even his wife.
But should he actually have some background of experience, the suggestion of it
to his prospective bride will allow her to take some confidence from the fact
that he will be at least an informed lover. This is quite heartening,
particularly where the female is actually innocent and consequently ignorant of
sex and its ramifications.
It by no means follows, however, that the voluntary confession of post-marital
philanderings is helpful in any degree. It simply means that the husband will
plant in his wife's mind unnecessary doubt regarding his behavior at all times,
even during required and innocent absences. This will result in coldness and
definite unhappiness for her.
With respect to a woman's voluntary admissions of pre-marital experiences, even
though the average man should at this date expect them to be the rule rather
than the exception, nothing at all is to be gained. At the least, it is likely
to remove the edge from her husband's enjoyment, since most men want to believe
that their wives were intact even if they must delude themselves into thinking
so. Furthermore, the husband can develop uneasiness since, if he is a novice, as
many men are, he constantly wonders how he may be comparing with a predecessor.
If for obvious reasons he knows that he has not been the only man, as in the
case of his marrying a divorcee or widow, the bride should bolster his ego by
making him believe he is by far the most proficient lover, even if she must
stretch the truth. Should she find him inadequate, her previous experience
should enable her to lead him tactfully in the right direction so far as she
herself knows it.
It has been said that a clever woman with favorable structural conditions can
delude a man into believing that she is a virgin. In the event this is
impossible by reason of the fact that entrance is completely painless and
immediate, there is no need for her to confess, if pressed, to more than one
affair of long duration. And she is unwise if she admits to more; one of length
could as readily have created the existing condition as could a prior marriage.
Naturally, if a husband asks no questions, which is highly improbable, it is far
better to let the matter rest and never refer to it.
However, should a woman ever voluntarily confess to infidelity, she can prepare
herself for almost an absolute certainty: never again will she enjoy her
husband's trust. He may forgive her, but no matter how broad-minded he may be,
he will always wonder, always doubt. A woman who creates this unnecessary
condition has behaved stupidly, no matter how lofty her motive. Although that
one dereliction may always remain the only one, the husband will never feel
certain. Men, irrespective of their own digressions, look for strict fidelity in
While it is urged that the practice of confessing voluntarily to infidelity is
unwise, the advice concerns only those who are not habitual in this respect,
whose lapses have been limited. The perpetually philandering husband or wife of
similar bent need take nothing said in this connection as encouragement for such
activities. Under any circumstances, it is only a question of time before
day-after-day inconstancy is discovered.
Deceit, if deceit this be, is for the best. There may also be children, upon
whose innocent heads the stupidities of the parents fall. A happy and successful
marriage maintained by some slight deceit, is far more to be advocated than
eventual divorce brought about by complete frankness. Only the naive or
hopelessly dull can believe that "confession," with matrimony hanging in the
balance, "is good for the soul.