'the act of marriage': ch. 2 and 3 (his and hers)

See also: intro, chapter one.

We learned in chapter one that sexual intimacy between married hetero couples carries the God-seal of approval. Chapters two and three take us on a tour of "what lovemaking means to" men and women. Because men and women are different creatures, each creature gets their own chapter and hierarchy of meaning.

You see, the male creature gets five things from the act of marriage, as does the female creature. But because they are different species, what they get out of lovemaking is different in kind -- and when similar in kind, different in meaning.

I offer a Handy Dandy Chart of Comparison:

Males Females
1. It satisfies his sex drive.
Translation: Dudes be horny and must have with the fucks.
It fulfills her womanhood.
Translation: How do you know you're a girl unless a man puts his penis inside you? Also: Babies! And homemaking.
2. It fulfills his manhood.
Translation: Fucking things cures all feelings of emasculation. (aka The Magic Cock).
It reassures her of her husband's love.*
Translation: If you don't put out he'll leave you. Sex is the way to a man's heart.
3. It enhances his love for his wife. 
Actual quote: "When you have a Cadillac in the garage, how can you be tempted to steal a Volkswagen off the street?"
It satisfies her sex drive.
Actual quote: "Each thrilling lovemaking event increases her sex drive drive" (aka Married women who have good sex will become insatiable nymphos)
4. It reduces friction in the home.
I don't think they actually meant this as a double entendre, although they do spend a lot of time on the benefits of lube later in the book.
It relaxes her nervous system.
Because suddenly we're going to get all nineteenth-
century on your ass.
5. It provides life's most exciting experience.
By which they mean orgasms, which I'll be talking about later (really? the most exciting?)
The ultimate experience.
I'm struck by the slightly different wording here. Also, is there anyone else who can't help think of Wet Hot American Summer?**

SOOOO many questions!

Why is orgasm the "most exciting" experience for men, but the "ultimate" experience for women?

Why does sex drive rank #1 for men, but #3 for women?

Why does libido come before ego in the hierarchy of needs in men? Does that mean that masculinity matters less than getting it on?

How does affirming womanhood through sex lead to marriage, a house, and babies? (I mean, besides the obvious sperm-meets-egg thing)

If you're going to lubricate your marriage, what brand is best?

Why does sex "enhance" a man's love of his partner, while merely "reassuring" the woman? Is love something men do and women receive?

If women want sex more after every successful instance of lovemaking, how quickly will her sexual needs spiral out of control in the average Christian marriage?

Inquiring minds wish to know!

In addition there's an extra bonus section in the "males" chapter dealing with the issue of "mental-attitude lust" which basically instructs us that guys fantasize about hot chicks. ALL THE TIME. But they shouldn't. So men are counseled to police their thoughts and never have sexual thoughts that don't involve their wife. How they're supposed to do this isn't clear, except it's probably the wife's responsibility to play the role of Cadillac so her husband doesn't turn to auto theft as a hobby.

Women don't get the lecture on mental-attitude lust because, see, we don't have any. "A woman does not seem so readily tempted to fantasize as does her husband." (Let's just say there was hysterical laughter in my house when I read that passage aloud to the almost-lady-spouse). Apparently, we're only capable of "remember[ing] romantically those exciting experiences of the past. Consequentially each thrilling lovemaking event increases [our] sex drive" which presumably, over time, would turn us into succubi. Though he doesn't mention that bit.

Mostly, I just love how women here are incapable of original, imaginative sexual thought and instead can only harken back to good (and bad) sexual experiences that have previously happened to them. And my use of the passive construction is deliberate here.

IN SUM: The adequate lady-spouse metric

I figure I get negative points for all the ways I experience "male" sexuality and positive points for all the ways I experience "female" sexuality.

 -15 - for being spontaneously horny but
+15 - for also being an experience-driven succubi (the more good sex I have, the more I want!)
  -5 - for not believing that a dude's ego is lodged in his dick
+10 - because I do feel reassured of my lady-spouse love when we enjoy sexytimes but
 -2 - for not being an extrovert
  0 - for not having to train my sweetie in empathy (women automatically have "bedside manners")
 -2 - for not being interested in white knights and angels, except in the m/m sense
 -4 - while I respond well to treats, I generally put out anyway so clearly I'm a cheap slut
   0 - while my "passion" flares with my cycle, lady-spouse would say I'm only slightly capricious.
-10 - I'm confident my lady-spouse means what she says when she says she won't go stealing cars
+10 - and also don't plan on car-jacking myself***
  -5 - I'm a believer in the benefits of lubrication to ease friction
 +5 - and also find sex to have a beneficial effect on my nerves (I'm in that 10-20%)
+10 - for enjoying orgasms as a "most exciting" experience but
 -10 - for not experiencing "the ultimate" (p-i-v intercourse) with actual penes
 -30 - and obviously for being full of mental-attitude lust (slash fiction anyone?)

Chapters 2-3 score: +50/-83 = -33

Chapter 1 score: +35/-85 = -50

Cumulative: -83

*Bonus: Wives need five sub-types of love. We're just that high-maintenance. Companionable love (all women are extroverts by nature), compassionate love (sex somehow trains a man to practice empathy, a womanly virtue), romantic love ("my white knight/not a Lancelot/nor an angel with wings ..."), affectionate love (women, like pets, respond well to regular treats), and passionate love (the capricious kind).

**Wet Hot American Summer:
J.J.: He gets so uncomfortable whenever we talk openly about sexual issues. You know he's never been with a girl before.
Gary: McKinley needs to experience "The Ultimate" And I think you know what I'm talking about.
J.J.: You mean, penis-in-vagina?
Gary: No, dickhead. Sex.
***Though if we're doing car comparisons, I expect Hanna would rather be compared to an Impala than a Cadillac.


  1. I love that you're doing this. The text itself is awesomely horrifying/hilarious (horrorlarious?), and your commentary is perfect.

  2. My condolences to Hanna on her abysmal lady-spouse-to-be! She'll have her work cut out for her ...