Come together to avoid falling apart: the benefit of “default yes”.

My husband and I have had our share of ups and downs in our marriage, but one thing we are both grateful for is that we have a good physical relationship.  I have joked here before that sometimes sex is the only thing that keeps us from hating each other; that isn’t true of course, but the marital act does serve a unitive function that helps keep our relationship loving.

I have had a lot of comments over the course of my two blogs from people whose marriages are (or were, if they’re divorced) unhappy, and these unions are very often marked by either a complete lack of marital intimacy or at least a very low frequency of it.  That is why my advice to women has always been Have sex.  Have it a lot.  Don’t deprive your husband regardless of how high or low your drive may be.  This advice is in accordance with Scripture:

Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” 2 But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. 3 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 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 7:1-5 (ESV)

However, there is another side of that argument, which has some valid points.  Athol Kay, for those who don’t know, writes a blog called Married Man Sex Life and is pretty much against the idea of default yes.

You cannot force a sexual response from someone who doesn’t want to give one, without risking seriously negative effects to your relationship. So when the relationship is down in the dumps [...] that may well mean a whole lot of not having sex at first.

and

Why the “default yes” is a bad thing

It’s basically like dumping three tons of fish into the dolphin tank at SeaWorld and wondering why the dolphins are no longer interested in doing any tricks.

If your wife is into you, she doesn’t need a rule to want to fuck you.

Athol’s point, I think, is that if sexual relations have dropped off due to one or the other partner losing attraction for their mate, you have to fix whatever it was that made them stop being attracted to you.  If you gained a ton of weight, you need to lose it.  If a woman became too bitchy, she needs to be sweeter; if a man became too passive, he needs to become more dominant.  Athol’s reasonable belief is that a genuine response of desire is better than only doing it out of a sense of duty.  There is no doubt some wisdom in his words.

But there is something else to consider, at least from the woman’s experience.  Sexual relations bond us to our husbands, but in addition to that, as we have discussed and as others have noted, non-contracepted sex has a positive effect on a woman’s health and emotional well-being.  By the same token, not having it quickly starts a downward cycle in her attitude and behavior, and her marriage will suffer.  And I’m not just preaching in the theoretical realm here; I know this because I’ve experienced it.  Recently, in fact:

September2

This disaster of a month started out with the children going back to school and my being pulled in fifty different directions at once while I tried to get everyone back into the swing of school, sports, homework, and practicing their instruments.  At the same time, my husband has been driven to distraction by dealing with preparing to list both our home and our rental property for sale so that we can move out into the countryside.

By the second week, everyone had caught colds, and we were all sneezing and coughing.  My husband and I started getting short-tempered with one another, snapping at each other over little stuff, which led to both of us nursing small grudges about the unbelievably difficult person we’d each married.  And so the drought continued.

By the third week, I was feeling anxious about everything and nothing, sleeping badly, picking fights with him over every little thing and just generally being an unpleasant bitch.  I was also prone to tears for no apparent reason.

By the beginning of the fourth week, I was panicking that we would never have relations again.  I concluded that he hated me and was probably having an affair.  I told myself to initiate it and then was paralyzed with fear and indecision and started baking (and eating) batches of cookies and pies every day.  We weren’t squabbling so much because we weren’t really speaking to each other much.

By the time we went to bed on Friday night, I just prayed and asked God to intervene, and boy did I get an almost instantaneous massive conviction from the Holy Spirit for my horrible, disrespectful, unsubmissive attitude.  Yes, it is unsubmissive to give in to the desire to be crabby and difficult to the point where you drive your husband away, ladies; part of being submissive is submitting your own selfish desires and doing what is right no matter how you are feeling.  The Holy Spirit also convicted me that I was going to have to swallow my pride and humble myself by making the first move toward reconciliation.  It was such a battle in my heart and mind; I knew what I needed to do but I was still trying to resist it.  Finally I just laid my hand softly on his arm.

That was all I did, but it was enough.  He just smiled and put down the book he was reading and forgave me and loved me in spite of my broken, arrogant, sinful self.  If he had rejected me and held on to his anger at that moment, which wouldn’t have been an unreasonable response, he would have crushed me.  The fact that he forgave me so quickly when I made the smallest step to humble myself showed me that he loves me as Christ loves His church.  This is the kind of submission and sacrificial love that husbands and wives are called to in Ephesians 5:22-33.

Later that evening, we cuddled up together and apologized for our mutual roles in making this month a lot worse than it needed to be.  His feeling was that he could see me spinning off kilter emotionally but he had failed to step in and set me aright.  The thing that probably would have calmed me down the quickest would have been for him to insist that we come together physically.  For my part, I apologized for being so cranky and emotional that he didn’t even want to touch me.  The problem was able to grow as much as it did because the more awful I felt and behaved, the less he felt like initiating marital relations, but the longer we went without it, the more awful I felt and behaved.

Physical intimacy is like a reset button for our marriages.  Waiting until things are perfect or even good in our relationships is only going to make things worse; it’s better to keep relations regular so that you don’t end up in a downward spiral.  This is why I do still advocate default yes to women.

397 thoughts on “Come together to avoid falling apart: the benefit of “default yes”.

  1. sunshinemary Post author

    Oops, I just realized that I had the comments turned off for this post. That’s because I originally considered leaving them off but tentatively decided to try opening them.

    Second, I have caught a shocking number of typos in this essay. My apologies to those who got the beta version by email.

    Third, I want to clarify that a married woman is capable of behaving herself if there is some reason why abstinence must occur in her marriage. For example, if her husband is deployed or ill or she has just given birth, she may have a period of celibacy to deal with. Women are capable of this, but they need to be aware of the struggles that they will be prone to because of it. For men, celibacy is experienced as unpleasantly intense sexual desire, but for women it is experienced differently, more as an emotionally out-of-control feeling. Also, if she has something to focus on, such as a new baby or a caring for a sick husband, this gives her a project that keeps her from becoming overly anxious. That’s very different from a situation in which relations are not occurring because of busyness or marital strife.

  2. Farm Boy

    The problem was able to grow as much as it did because the more awful I felt and behaved, the less he felt like initiating marital relations, but the longer we went without it, the more awful I felt and behaved

    There must be something in water in AA. I have seen this before. Up close. Really close.

  3. FuzzieWuzzie

    Selling a house must be stressful. I’ve seen enough of HGTV to have some idea. Is this an absolute “must do”?

  4. lgrobins

    “That was all I did, but it was enough. He just smiled and put down the book he was reading and forgave me and loved me in spite of my broken, arrogant, sinful self. If he had rejected me and held on to his anger at that moment, which wouldn’t have been an unreasonable response, he would have crushed me. The fact that he forgave me so quickly when I made the smallest step to humble myself showed me that he loves me as Christ loves His church. This is the kind of submission and sacrificial love that husbands and wives are called to in Ephesians 5:22-33.”

    Do you think it was your “smallest step” that brought on his response or is it that his unconditional love, which I believe is Christlike love, is what brought his response? Or is man’s love conditional on his wife’s submission? He admitted he failed to step in, so maybe that failure of him to lead you to the bedroom and take you caused the unsubmissive attitude in the first place.

  5. Artisanal Toad

    Wow. Just wow.

    Anthol has a point, I think, in a default rule of yes causing problems. You have some good points as well in terms of why physical intimacy is needed. I can say that from the standpoint of a marriage in which we had sex, on average, once a day for fifteen years… and there were times that the only thing that got us over the rough spots is sex was one thing neither of us wanted to give up. However, even that healthy of a physical relationship isn’t enough when the wife decides she unhaaaaaappy, and decides to the nuke to the marriage.

    And yep, the stuff I’ve seen in base housing when a major portion of the base is deployed… it was amazing more guys didn’t come home to pregnant wives with multiple STD’s.

    However, I believe wives ARE capable of keeping their legs crossed if they have sufficient desire to do so. Was your statement that wives are incapable of behaving themselves a typo?

    [ssm: Oh my goodness, yes, that was a typo and conveyed the opposite of what I mean to say. Thanks for catching that!]

  6. sunshinemary Post author

    @ lgr

    Do you think it was your “smallest step” that brought on his response or is it that his unconditional love, which I believe is Christlike love, is what brought his response?

    I think in this case, the Holy Spirit may have used my obedience in making that one small step – which was practically nothing – to spur him to show me that Christlike love. In retrospect, he felt that he showed a lack of leadership by not dealing with the problem that was developing, even though the problem was mostly my fault.

    Or is man’s love conditional on his wife’s submission?

    No, it is not, at least not according to the Bible. He must love her anyway, but it sure makes it hard for him.

    He admitted he failed to step in, so maybe that failure of him to lead you to the bedroom and take you caused the unsubmissive attitude in the first place.

    Women would very much like to believe that men’s failures are to blame for our lack of submission. This is an entirely unbiblical theory that is being put forth. St. Paul says wives are to see to it that they submit to their husbands in everything. There is no “but only if he is properly dominant” escape clause, however much some people would like there to be one. The position of husband is what we are to submit to, regardless of how well an individual man fills it. To say that we only need to submit to our husbands if they are sufficiently dominant is like saying that Ephesians 5:22:

    Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord

    means that we only have to submit to our husbands if they are as perfect as the Lord is. That is nonsense.

    We help our husbands to love us by being submissive. Our husbands help us to submit by being dominant. However, failings on either spouse’s part to do this does not relieve the other spouse of the burden of obeying God. Those who say it does are placing their own preferences above obedience to God’s Word.

  7. Amanda

    I don’t think the default yes is a bad thing at all, especially for Christians. I’m not sure why having sex sometimes even when not initially in the mood is such a big deal, or why anyone would be bothered by that. It’s very obvious that women’s and men’s desires are different, and this even changes occasionally as there are times the woman is the higher drive spouse. Married sex has its ebbs and flows. Like you, I don’t like it at all when my husband seems distant in that way; It’s something I’ve had to pray about as well. It creates insecurity.

  8. deti

    Athol’s advice on “default yes” being not so good really only addresses the flesh, the body/mind/will/emotions of sex. In this worldview, marriage and sex are purely transactional. He gives, she gets. She gives, he gets. If he stops giving, so does she; and vice versa. Wife withholds “default yes” as an incentive to spur the husband to improve. It says “if you do X, then, and only then, will I do Y for you”.

    Game addresses this too: The husband responds with “If you will not do Y, then I will find someone else to do Y for me. Even if I cannot find someone else to do Y for me, if you will not do Y for me, then I will no longer do A, B and C for you which will result in dire economic consequences.” This only works, however, if husband actually has something to bargain with.

    My pastor said something a few weeks ago about “women, respect your husbands and be submissive to them in all things” and “husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her”. A woman cannot obey the command to respect and submit without Christ in her heart. A man cannot obey the command to self-sacrificial love without Christ in his heart. Ideally the married couple does the “default yes” not so much out of love or respect, but out of obedience to God and the commands He gives to married men and women.

    But many, many women – even in the church — are not told that marital sex is an obligation she voluntarily takes on; but are instead encouraged to address sex without reference to any spiritual or biblical component. She is instead told to withhold sex; leading her husband to the conclusion that he is being rejected (because he is) and that nothing he can do will cause sexual relations to improve. So he has no incentive to do anything to improve himself, because even if he does improve, there’s no benefit to be realized. Even if there is a benefit, he’s not “rewarded” as he goes along.

    Another point that is lost on women, even Christian women, is that at bottom, when you get all the way down to it, the only reason your husband married you was to lock in the sex. Hear me out – this does not mean that he didn’t love you before. Nor does it mean he expects you to be a sex machine.

    To understand this you have to understand what it means for a man to be married. For a man, marriage is the assumption of tremendous responsibility and of severe limits on freedom. A married man has a wife and children to think about and can’t drop $1700 on the huge flat screen TV without thinking about it. A married man can’t go on this date or that, or chase girls; nor can he jump in his car and take a car trip whenever and wherever he wants. And this responsibility and limitation is absolutely hammered into men and pounded into them from the time they are young teenagers.

    A man is simply never, ever going to voluntarily take on that crushing responsibility or limit himself so severely, unless he’s going to get something out of it. And that something is sex at reasonable intervals and without a lot of hassle.

  9. sunshinemary Post author

    Amanda

    I’m not sure why having sex sometimes even when not initially in the mood is such a big deal, or why anyone would be bothered by that.

    Athol is writing toward a specific audience, which is probably why he gives the advice he does. His readers are often in marriages where desire has died. Sometimes this is so because one spouse has really let themselves go. His point is understandable: he has told women that if their husbands are fat, lazy, slouches who play video games all day, she shouldn’t reward him for that with sex. I perfectly understand his reasoning there; he is trying to help couples build genuine desire, a noble goal in my opinion (I believe he also counsels men to divorce their wives if they have let themselves go or continue to refuse sex with their husbands even after he has made an attempt to improve himself; Athol is not a Christian, so his advice will only go so far for us.). However, I believe that for those of us – and frankly this is a lot of us – where we still find our spouses generally attractive, there is a real benefit to default yes in order to avoid that pernicious spiral.

  10. lgrobins

    “We help our husbands to love us by being submissive. Our husbands help us to submit by being dominant. However, failings on either spouse’s part to do this does not relieve the other spouse of the burden of obeying God”

    I agree with this and that is what I am trying to say. Its very clear that if a man doesn’t do his part, then the wife still needs to submit, but it has not been made as clear or it gets lost in discussions that if a wife isn’t doing her part via active submitting, that he still needs to lead.

    [ssm: Oh, okay. I can agree with that. He still needs to lead as best he can, even if she isn't really following. It's hard, no doubt about it. I focus on what women's problems are here, but there is another whole side to this thing which we don't often discuss here, and that is the passivity and cowardice of many men in the modern age.]

  11. RichardP

    @SSM: Finally I just laid my – HAND – SOFTLY – on his arm.

    Yes.

    Men don’t read minds. Men want to please their woman. Men very often try to please by reading the outward signs (yours seemed to be “stay away”). It is a sign of love for a man to not force himself onto someone who appears to not want him.

    Your hand, softly – is all it takes to convey to your man that you are now ready to accept him.

    I wonder if women actually realize how powerful that gesture is – with the emphasis on “softly”.

  12. sunshinemary Post author

    Deti

    A woman cannot obey the command to respect and submit without Christ in her heart. A man cannot obey the command to self-sacrificial love without Christ in his heart. Ideally the married couple does the “default yes” not so much out of love or respect, but out of obedience to God and the commands He gives to married men and women.

    Ah, that’s so well-put. I don’t think default yes can’t be about love and respect, but the whole reason to do the love and respect thing is because we are obeying God. That is why love and respect, or headship and submission, are NOT predicated on the other person’s performance but rather on our own response to Christ.

  13. sunshinemary Post author

    Deti

    Another point that is lost on women, even Christian women, is that at bottom, when you get all the way down to it, the only reason your husband married you was to lock in the sex.

    As a quick aside, I have come to the conclusion that I very much disagree with this. I have been working out my thoughts on the matter for awhile. It would be audacious for a woman to have anything to say about why a man does anything, but the argument I am building is based entirely on what other men have written or said or what I have observed. Perhaps I will post about that soon.

    But suffice it to say that access to sex is one of the major reasons men marry and its importance to the marriage cannot be overstated. Of course, that’s not really the topic of this post, but it’s still an important point.

  14. Amanda

    I see. I havent really read his site, so that makes sense. We do still have attraction as well; I’m sure it is very difficult for people who don’t. Maybe that is a starting step to “default yes” as a rule, that the couple at least find one another attractive. I do wonder though, if wives tried to be more submissive and more available, it would maybe create more attraction for them? I don’t know lol!

  15. deti

    Do you agree when stated this way?

    “Another point that is lost on women, even Christian women, is that at bottom, when you get all the way down to it, one of the main reasons your husband married you was to lock in the sex.”

    [ssm: Yes, I agree it is one of the main reason and is perhaps even the most important reason, but I do not believe it is the only reason nor do I believe it is the only benefit. This is not a knee-jerk reaction I am having, either; I’ve really been thinking about this a lot over the course of a few months. I actually did believe for awhile that locking in a sex partner was the only reason men married, but I have since changed my mind based on what other men have written.

  16. deti

    The importance of sex to married men, and the expectation that sex from his future wife will be reasonably available at a minimum of effort, is pertinent to the post because it reflects the importance of “default yes”. It means he won’t have to game her to get sex. He won’t have to jump through this hoop and run that obstacle course, negotiate that emotional morass or navigate that mind game, to get what was promised him.

  17. Artisanal Toad

    @Deti
    We are all informed by our experience and I agree with everything you say. However, in studies looking at the Hasidim, we note they have the lowest rate of divorce of any definable group. We also note they obey the law with respect to not having sex when the wife is unclean from her menses. They don’t even make physical contact during that time. From interviews, it seems the self-control and discipline that imposes keeps the desire alive and the appreciation fresh.

    When they’re young, guys want it morning, noon and night. Perhaps they can find a girl that’s willing. It’s fun. For a while. At some point it’s healthier to have some discipline. I think there would probably be some variance, but it seems to me that 2-3 times a week is what most men would consider minimal sex for a healthy relationship. If they don’t want sex they need to have some bloodwork done to find out what’s wrong with them. At the same time, most women would probably consider sex 2-3 times a day to be excessive (If you’re a woman that’s eligible to marry and don’t think that’s excessive, I’d like to talk to you ;) ). Seems to me the minimum should be the obligation and anything after that is a reflection of how well the relationship is doing. Yet, from a doctrinal standpoint, neither gets to say no if the other wants it.

    From a doctrinal perspective, I believe 1st Cor 7:4 is literally saying that sex is so important within marriage that it’s off the table and cannot be used as an item of negotiation. Maybe she can refuse to do your laundry until you start hitting the hamper with your dirty socks and underwear, but neither is to turn sex into a quid-pro-quo.

  18. sunshinemary Post author

    The importance of sex to married men, and the expectation that sex from his future wife will be reasonably available at a minimum of effort, is pertinent to the post because it reflects the importance of “default yes”. It means he won’t have to game her to get sex. He won’t have to jump through this hoop and run that obstacle course, negotiate that emotional morass or navigate that mind game, to get what was promised him.

    Yes, of course. I understand. It’s just a different angle on the issue. My purpose here was addressing women; we become crazy and emotional when we aren’t having regular relations with our husbands. Why? I don’t know. I blame lack of semen. That explains why women who use barrier contraception have poorer mental health than those who don’t. But the salient point that men can take away is that if it’s been a while, she may have gotten to a point where she can’t help herself anymore. Don’t let her craziness drive you away; initiate relations anyway and be insistent. It’s for her own good.

    But mostly this essay is aimed at the ladies. Just say yes or initiate it if you have to and you’ll avoid a lot of bad juju in your marriages, girls.

  19. lgrobins

    “Yet, from a doctrinal standpoint, neither gets to say no if the other wants it.”

    I totally agree, except what about when a man can’t get an erection and the wife wants it! Its funny how all women have to do is get over themselves and have sex, sometimes men have much bigger challenges. Women just have to lay back and enjoy, men have to “perform”.

  20. sunshinemary Post author

    @ AT

    it seems the self-control and discipline that imposes keeps the desire alive and the appreciation fresh.

    I think Zippy advocates that married men practice occasional sexual continence. Personally I don’t even like looking at the words sexual continence, but his point is probably valid.

  21. Farm Boy

    Maybe she can refuse to do your laundry until you start hitting the hamper with your dirty socks and underwear

    Is that you, T?

  22. Farm Boy

    “Yet, from a doctrinal standpoint, neither gets to say no if the other wants it.”

    And then there is marital rape, which I am sure Whoopi believes is rape-rape.

  23. Artisanal Toad

    @lgrobins

    Any woman with a credit card can purchase Cialis online in complete privacy. She should send him to the doctor first and make sure it isn’t going to kill him, though. If the husband is middle aged, chubby with a spare tire around the waist, his level of testosterone to estrogen is probably out of whack and he needs to decrease his estrogen and increase his testosterone. Once the T to E ratio is back where it’s supposed to be that will probably take care of most of the problem. It is a little known fact that too high a level of estrogen in a man will cause his penis to shrink over time.

    What if the wife is simply uninterested in sex but would like to be? Believe it or not, there is a solution, a neat little compound called PT-141 (Bremelanotide). It’s sold as a powder and can be mixed for a nasal spray but works far better as an injectable (sub-q) with an insulin syringe. Takes two to three hours to take effect, but when it does, it has the same effect on both men and women: several hours of incredible, insatiable horniness.

    Palatin Technologies was developing this as the “Viagra for women” but people don’t like injecting themselves (unless they’re junkies) so they developed it with a nasal spray delivery system. Absorption through the nasal mucosa resulted in some elevated blood pressure in a few cases so the FDA wouldn’t give their approval. There were zero reported instances of elevated BP with the injections. This compound was originally separated from another compound called Melanotan, also known as the “Barbie Drug.” FDA wouldn’t approve Melanotan because of the side effects: appetite suppression and increased libido. Melanotan was developed to increase melanin in the skin for people with fair skin to prevent skin cancer from sun damage, but in clinical trials the weight loss and pervasive reports of increased libido caused the FDA to give them the thumbs down.

    It is all available for sale online. Google is your friend.

    So, there you have it. Ladies, if you want to be thinner, tanned and have a higher libido, do the research and get some Melanotan. If you just want the libido enhancement, go with the PT-141. BTW, the PT-141 works on men too without the side effects of Viagra, like nausea. No reported increases of blood pressure or any other side effects with the injectable delivery. If you want more out of your husband, buy him some Cialis online and forcefeed him a pill at an appropriate time. That’s it for today’s episode of “Better Living Through Chemistry”

  24. FuzzieWuzzie

    Farm Boy, “One can always try reproachment using M&Ms”. Are you saying, that if she witholds, the husband could withold M&Ms?
    Among avid M&M fans, this could be effective.

  25. Artisanal Toad

    @SSM
    Personally I don’t even like looking at the words sexual continence, but his point is probably valid.

    Only by mutual agreement. It’s a decision for quality over quantity, but a decision that’s much easier to make when you’ve settled into a routine in which sex is a daily event. I will say that the teasing can get to be a bit unbearable at times, but knowing that the drought is going to end at a specific point in time… it gets interesting. I learned that the teasing is a two-way street.

    @Farm Boy

    I’m shocked. Shocked I tell you… To be compared to that person… [shakes head… sighs… walks away muttering}

  26. jamesd127

    > You cannot force a sexual response from someone who doesn’t want to give one, without risking seriously negative effects to your relationship.

    This is not my experience. A man can force a sexual response from someone who does not, at first, want to give one.

    [ssm: Well, that's true. Victims of violent rape often report that they involuntarily became aroused and even reached orgasm while being assaulted. So someone who does not wish to respond may still do so. To a far lesser degree, people who act out ravishment fantasies are probably tapping into that dynamic. This is also why mild consensual aggression is arousing for many women. But I think Athol's advice is meant for everyday kind of sex, where the couple just wants to kiss, make love, and then fall asleep.]

  27. sunshinemary Post author

    One thing I didn’t make clear in my OP is that the problem with not having sex in marriage isn’t an issue of unfulfilled lust, or at least not only that or primarily that. The problem that developed for us wasn’t that we just needed to get off so bad that we couldn’t act right. It’s not a me-so-horny problem.

    The physical manifestation of the one-flesh union is profound. It has a spiritual aspect to it that is not a trifling thing. Cane Caldo has said it far better than I:

    Within Christian marriage sex is the sanctuary, the Holy of Holies, between a man and a woman; between the lover, and the beloved. No one, but the two consecrated by covenant with each other, are allowed to enter into that blessed union.

    On a side note, another thing he has mentioned is the need for discretion, which I have thought about a lot and concluded that he is right, which is why I have become rather more careful about how I broach this important topic than I used to be on my old blog. He writes:

    I have learned to loathe even the specter of “naughtiness” to be brought into discussions of the Christian sex. It is holy, and holy means dark and secret to those outside.

  28. roe

    Thanks, SSM, this post had some good insights for me – it’s very true for Mrs. Roe & myself that sex after a short period of circumstantial celibacy really has a “reconnecting” feeling to it. Dealing with the differences in our libidos is still a work in progress. But default yes… Ugh, star fish sex just doesn’t work for either of us.

    I’d also like to add:
    Towards the end of his book Thinking Fast & Slow, Daniel Kahneman talks a bit about mathematical models which are very simple, but surprisingly accurate. The one he cites for marriage is:

    Marital Satisfaction = (avg. amount of lovemaking) – (# of quarrels)

    Basically, if it’s a negative number….

    I wonder if there’s some sort of feedback system going on there, which your post seems to imply.

  29. Saint Velvet

    If I understand correctly, Athol writes from a secular pov. Unfortunately, while the advice might be useful to some, withholding sex based on behavior doesn’t square with the Biblical formula. Sex is not a reward to be doled out, like so many gold stars, it is part of the foundation of marriage, the singular act that recreates the perfect love/perfect submission exchange.

    Sex within marriage is the practice of love, a husband practices loving his wife, and the practice of submission, a wife practices submitting to her husband – practice implying seeking excellence and/or purification. The default “yes” allows the safe space in which, for all our failures, we seek to practice what it is we hope to achieve in all our actions within marriage. Remove that, on a given day, based on “she didn’t wash my socks” or “he doesn’t like my meatballs” or whatever, and you’re taking away the opportunity for both to recapture that essence of right marital behavior. Agreeing on a time apart is something entirely different, I’m not suggesting being absurd about it, but the default should be set to “yes”. If you haven’t stopped loving your spouse, the answer is yes. If you have stopped loving your spouse, the answer is yes. If you need to make 600 lavender sachets by Friday (don’t ask) the answer is yes. There is no NO in married sex.

    Also, as I believe we’ve discussed before, I have come to consider the withholding of sex within marriage a disobedient and decidedly feminine behavior, so again, it’s distasteful to think of it as some sort of training tool that would be used for any good end by either a woman or a man.

  30. jamesd127

    Men and woman do not have sex because they like each other, hence the dreaded friend zone. They like each other because they have sex, or very much want to have sex.

    It follows therefore that Saint Paul’s prescription (Marital “rape” is mandatory) is what is needed for a happy marriage, while Athol Kay’s prescription leads to bitter divorce.

  31. sunshinemary Post author

    @ james

    They like each other because they have sex,

    LOL, see that’s what I keep saying. We’d end up hating each other if we didn’t have sex. I’m kidding of course, but boy, it sure makes us a lot more patient and willing to forbear with one another and extend each other some grace. That is why I tell women it’s like a reset button for the relationship.

  32. sunshinemary Post author

    @ SV

    If you have stopped loving your spouse, the answer is yes. If you need to make 600 lavender sachets by Friday (don’t ask) the answer is yes.

    LOL, yikes. That’s a lot of sachets!

    But on Athol’s advice, I think, if I understand him properly, that he isn’t so much advocating punishing your spouse but rather providing them with feedback on how they are doing with making themselves more attractive. From a purely secular point of view, which of course I don’t share, it makes sense. We Christians can’t really do that, though.

  33. Leap of a Beta

    I’m very much of the opinion that marriage is a holy sanctification between two people in which they’re able to give each other God’s grace through marital acts of love – the most important of which is the physical and spiritual union of sex.

    It is articles like this that demonstrate that powerful bond that God has given us. The power, responsibility, and love that he invests in us with holy marriage is awe inspiring.

  34. donalgraeme

    A few thoughts:

    1) Sex is not the only thing a man wants from marriage (or what drives him to marry), although it might be the most important. Perhaps a better way of putting it is that intimacy is the most important thing that a man wants from marriage, of which sex is the most vital component. I think that intimacy serves as a physical and emotional release for men; not so much allowing them to recharge but rather to vent away the stress and worries of the world, allowing them to venture forth renewed.

    2) Zippy’s idea of sexual continence has some merit. There will be situations in a marriage where abstinence is required, for logistical or medical reasons. So having practiced a little of it beforehand might have value. Treat it like fasting: by withholding something you greatly value, you force yourself to truly appreciate its worth, and grow to a greater understanding and appreciation of it. In this context, “it” happens to be the marital act.

    3) Default Yes is Christian doctrine. Unless a married couple mutually agrees otherwise beforehand, any kind of negotiation or holdup is in blatant violation of St. Paul’s command.

    4) Lastly, that calendar and the dates on it explains an awful lot lately…

  35. Modern Drummer

    When things are going the wrong way some women say “we need to talk ” -wrong
    Put your hand on our arm and then make love to us.

  36. FuzzieWuzzie

    I guess that it is time for the non-marrieds to chime in. The tough part for the guys is that, we won’t know which way the gal will go on this point until we’re committed up to the hilt. I am beginning to believe that this is a standard feminine method of wresting control.
    I can’t remember who or when but, one commenter said that his future ex-wife was finally persuaded and said “Ok, you can pleasure ME”.
    Stories like do not promote marriage.

  37. earl

    Reading it again…I feel the need to bring this to attention. The most important thing in a marriage isn’t sex…it’s God.

    Especially the importance of prayer and having God being involved in the marriage. He is really the glue that holds two unperfect people together.

  38. Amanda

    Saint Velvet @6:14

    Great post! You really put into words how I personally feel about the intimate relationship. I haven’t read much Athol Kay, and I understand his line of reasoning, but I agree it’s not for a Christian. I really believe that when we are willing to apply the scripture to our lives, without judging it, it will eventually produce good fruit and blessing for us. I understand that people have difficult circumstances, and I don’t ever want to not be merciful about that, but the answer is really simple — do what the Word says. Leave the outcome up to God. He’s always good!

  39. Amanda

    I’ve thought about that before — guys have the tougher job in reality with the whole “your body is not your own” because they actually do have to perform. It’s much easier on women who can just receive. I don’t always understand the complaints from women, and even though I want to be merciful, I also want to say, “come on, if a prostitute can do it for money, surely out of love for your husband (or even the Lord) you could at least try!” I really appreciate my husband’s attraction and desire for me — it makes me feel really, well, womanly. I am sure people have their difficulties that I know nothing about, and I don’t like to make too broad of statements, but I hope if ever faced with sickness, injury, loss of attraction, or any other difficulty, I would be able have the grace to respond in faith and still be available to my husband.

  40. Cranberry

    SSM, all I can say is “thank you” for this post.

    Recently, my husband and I have had to discuss homeschool as a (non)option for our children. I want to homeschool, he thinks it’s not going to kill them to go to public school.

    He wins. He’s not a practicing Christian, though he is going to go through with convalidating our civil marriage and having our children baptized.

    Recently, I’ve been feeling overwhelmed by the demands of three under-5yo children who are not in school or daycare and need me all day long. I’m nursing a one year old who doesn’t sleep through the night – he’s up 3-4 times a night. I try to provide ample reading and learning activities for my kids all day, and in all of that, I’m behind on every household chore you can conjure up. I had it the other day and just laid it all out to him and expressed my frustration and fears and fatigue…and then he just physically laid hold of me, made love to me, and all was suddenly alright again.

    We got the laundry and dishes and sweeping and mopping done in what seemed like no time at all. We sent the kids to play with their cousins for an afternoon and disposed of their old toys in less than a half hour – leaving more time for physical contact between us.

    A comedian I admire (thought don’t always agree with) said once, of his realtionships, “you get along better then you’re fucking.” Sorry for being crass, but it’s so true.

    Sometimes, sex does heal all and help all. I find energy to put into our family that I didn’t know I possessed. Or maybe my husband gives it to me, by being the “man” to whom I want to be the “woman.” Either way, I will always say yes to my husband because it means more to me than my own satisfaction. It enervates the household.

  41. Carlotta

    @ Cranberry
    Regarding the homeschooling, if you are overwhelmed with your duties ( been there, done that) your Husband will want to protect you from adding to them. Declutter like a fiend. Set three priorities everyday and hit them. Find his sweet spot and make it happen. For instance, if your Husband hates dirty laundry, loves baked treats and wants lots of sex….hit only those three things consistently if you are overwhelmed. Try not to talk about being overwhelmed it will trigger him to protect you. Meet other Homeschoolers with littles, find some you genuinely like and let him get to know him. This has worked for me and a friend who both had husbands against it.

  42. Sarah's Daughter

    Awesome! I Love the sex posts!
    I completely agree with what you are saying about a woman’s well being being enhanced by regular sex. Especially in stressful times or uncertain times. It’s those endorphins or something (I don’t know the science of it, just the experience). A woman can go from fret and stress one day, have nothing change of her circumstance except that she’s had sex with her husband, and the next day she is smiling, reflecting…her whole countenance can change, It’s that warm fuzzy feeling that all is right in the world because she and her husband are right. And we all know stressful life circumstances are easier to handle when our mood is positive.

  43. Artisanal Toad

    @Cranberry

    If you can get him to read a book, have him read “The Underground History of American Education” by John Taylor Gatto. Maybe you could read it together. Gatto was the New York State teacher of the year once and the New York City teacher of the year twice. To the best of my knowledge he isn’t a Christian, but it’s difficult for any reasonably intelligent person to read the book and not get angry when they realize what the public school did to them. You can read it online for free at johntaylorgatto.com or you can buy it on Amazon. You’ve got one of those situations that was the opposite of me. I wanted the kids homeschooled, she agreed but eventually simply refused to do so. Then she filed charges against me for not having them in school. Take heart. I know what it’s like to have four in diapers at once, and this too shall pass.

    @Amanda
    Quite often it isn’t about love or sex, it’s about power and control. The marital bed devolves into the final battleground when a woman is either consciously or subconsciously trying to castrate her husband.

  44. Carlotta

    Good post. I think what is missed is that the physical act of sex is the spiritual act of marriage. It is an act you do to be married. Fat, thin, sick, healthy, poor etc…it IS marriage Iin the spiritual realm. It is comfort, connection…..it is the opposite of rejection by the one person who has the most to use against you. It is powerful. It is also a physical need designed to keep us married. It benefits body, mind and spirit when done this way. Otherwise it is a mocked and empty. It takes and degenerate s rather then gives and restores.

    Also, if you are ill, injured or even not your best weight I believe a default yes can be a great patch for that rough spot. It will still meet all the needs and the spiritual will help you hold on when the physical is damaged.

  45. Sarah's Daughter

    Stories like do not promote marriage.

    There’s a lot to be thankful for in not having the internet before we were married. We’d have thought that for sure, 100% guaranteed, no doubt about it we would fail. Keeping this on topic, when we met we had a very active sex life, after we got married it slowed a little – to the 3-4 times per week. His mother told me early on “Don’t ever use sex as a weapon.” I remembered her saying that every time I considered not being available. We went through plenty of challenging times, stressful times, where both of us were burdened with more than we thought we could handle. During those times, when I initially wasn’t “into it” – I would think on what my MIL had said and that is when I gave more.

    So, the tip here, is even with a woman who no man would bet on being a good wife, if there is a woman in her life willing to be a mentor, Titus 2 woman, that she will listen to, there’s a good chance you’ll have the marriage you desire. If I may be so bold, a woman willing to submit to an older, wiser woman should be just as high up on the list of priorities for who you seek in marriage, as a woman’s attractiveness and chasteness.

  46. Lee Lee Bug

    I guess that it is time for the non-marrieds to chime in. The tough part for the guys is that, we won’t know which way the gal will go on this point until we’re committed up to the hilt.

    Yes. That’s the risk we Christians must assume. It’s a lot like buying a car without first being allowed a test drive. Most of the time as long as you do your research you’ll be OK, but sometimes you end up with something that’s a bad fit.

    Based on my personal experience, I can attest to how you can have a strong marriage even if your sex life is less than stellar. It’s certainly not worth having an affair over or heaven forbid getting divorced. You can learn to live with it and even be relatively happy.

    I wish my husband was as sexually charged as I am, but trying to force him to change or guilt him into it when he’s not in the mood wouldn’t be very constructive. So, instead I try to focus on the ways in which we are compatible. We do a fine job of raising our children, managing our household and working together in ministry. We treat each other with kindness and respect and have never raised our voices at each other, which is a rarity with couples today.

    I would definitely advise you to have a frank discussion with your future wife about your sexual expectations and I wouldn’t ignore any red flags she might display, but if for some reason she didn’t meet your expectations after you tied the knot she could still make you happy in other ways.

    By the way, I agree with everything SSM has said about women saying yes and initiating and how sex is good for us emotionally. I really don’t understand why a woman wouldn’t want sex, but I’m sure that a myriad of emotional and physical issues can come into play.

  47. javaloco

    I whole heartedly disagree with Athol on the no ‘default yes’ strategy. It is just the same as churchianity’s empowerment of women in marriage. What really is the difference between “I don’t like how you look” and “I don’t like how you pray”?

    I believe that, overall, Athol’s strategy puts women in charge, final arbiter of if he is good enough.

    If we look at Maslowe’s hierarchy though, there are two points where sex shows up. One very low, presumably procreative and urge based. The other is very high, in the realm of communication. I would suggest there is a difference then between getting your rocks off and mind-blowing unitive sex. If either party wants ‘more’, this is where maybe Athol comes into play.

    I honestly don’t think the cliche scenario of the cheating wife going nuts with new lover while hubby gets scraps is so far-fetched. It is at that point of desiring great passion and wantonness that hubby would need to up his game.

  48. earl

    “I don’t always understand the complaints from women,”

    It is quite possible they never had desire for the man they married. They just wanted the wedding, the status, and a full time ATM…but they didn’t really want to have sex with the guy.

    It still boggles my mind how a woman could scheme her life like that.

  49. Amanda

    Artisanal Toad

    “Quite often it isn’t about love or sex, it’s about power and control. The marital bed devolves into the final battleground when a woman is either consciously or subconsciously trying to castrate her husband.”

    See, now, that’s some serious bitterness and judgment, not just “I’m not in the mood.” The devil knocks on all our doors in that way; it’s got to be nailed to the cross before it takes hold. I’ve found it’s in the little day to day thoughts and judgments, if not dealt with, that allow a root of bitterness to spring up. It’s God’s mercy to me that when I find myself getting a little judgmental toward my husband, He holds a big mirror up in front of my face and let’s me see the real me. That always knocks me down a peg or two. Of the women I’ve known who’ve gone “off the rails” (admittedly not too many thankfully), they all thought their situation was “different” or “harder” than other people’s problems. Perhaps. But they weren’t submitting to the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives either way.

    Earl

    I should have specified “Christian” women. I don’t fault women on the whole for that; most likely they don’t know Jesus from a load of coal, and are really just stuck stumbling around in the futility of their own minds. Being introspective and and knowing truth really comes from God mercifully shining His light on you. And that only comes from being humble enough to know you don’t have all the answers. Even now, Christians are often not taught the Word and how to apply it, and they have very few examples of grace to even see how it works.

  50. Pingback: Dark Brightness | Trained cowards avoid the short bus.

  51. Elspeth

    As a quick aside, I have come to the conclusion that I very much disagree with this. I have been working out my thoughts on the matter for awhile. It would be audacious for a woman to have anything to say about why a man does anything, but the argument I am building is based entirely on what other men have written or said or what I have observed. Perhaps I will post about that soon.

    Looking forward to your post. My husband disagreed with this theory also.

  52. Looking Glass

    Since homeschooling cropped up for a little bit, I wanted to drop the closest thing you’ll find to a “sure fire academic improver”.

    - Get a copy of the Bible *in KJV*. (KJV only for this to truly work)
    - From about age 6 months to 3 years, read several Psalm each night.
    - At age 3, add in Proverbs to the cycle.
    - At some point later, add in the Gospels.

    This is actually the harmonization of several things that “work” for training children, but the KJV part is very important for their future Literary & Academic skill sets. The KJV Bible is the basis of modern English (being the most printed version of anything in English helps matters). The Psalms, themselves, are songs & some of the most beautiful prose still in English. It also happens to be the old, old way to learn Literature & Writing.

    The “main” benefit is that it allows the child to learn to read (50% need 1-on-1 teaching for that), you bond with your child on a Trust level, their spiritual education becomes solid, your own mental abilities will increase and your own Walk in Faith will improve.

    It bothers me it took so long to harmonize the pieces of information I’ve come across over the years into this little tidbit, but it will work. Period. You Read to your Children (hyper-important for their education), you Teach them proper English grammar & cadence (brilliant way to give them a superior natural writing & music abilities) and your pray Blessings of the Word upon their Soul (the single most important task you have as a Parent). Plus a whole host of life-long side benefits for everyone in the Family. It’s brilliant and insane easily. Watch no one ever listen to me on the concept. (Feel free to send this idea to parents of young children you know)

    And, just as another benefit, you can also work in a foreign language Bible as well, if you want to give your children an education in another language. Though I can’t speak to translation choices for those.

  53. Miserman

    Finally I just laid my hand softly on his arm … That was all I did, but it was enough. He just smiled and put down the book he was reading and forgave me and loved me in spite of my broken, arrogant, sinful self.

    This really caught my attention.

    First, you made the initial act of repentance toward your husband. This is so counter to what is so common. Most women today stubbornly stand their ground and expect him to make the first move of reconciliation (and without any guarantee of reciprocation). Your husband instantly and without hesitation forgave you in response. An amazing moment of light in a dark world.

    Second, I think the reason why Christian women (in my experience) are so stubborn in such situations is because they expect their husbands to condescend to them first and wash their feet before they consider any sort of repentance because that is the model presented in the church. Because Jesus is said to come to the bride first and knock on the door before the bride repents, husbands are expected to first go to their rebellious wives and love them unconditionally and do so even if they do not repent.

    What Christians need to remember is that when a man says “I do,” he has already come to her and offered himself for her as Christ has already come and offered Himself for the church. At that point, the woman should not expect forgiveness until she has first offered a token of repentance. At that point, husbands can truly love their wives as Christ loved the church.

    The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent … Acts 17:30 ESV

  54. tbc

    Another point that is lost on women, even Christian women, is that at bottom, when you get all the way down to it, the only reason your husband married you was to lock in the sex.

    As a quick aside, I have come to the conclusion that I very much disagree with this

    I have to disagree with this as well, and strongly. The desire for sex is a strong motivator towards marriage especially when you are younger, but as a man who married at a bit older age after years of celibacy — I can do without sex and didn’t marry my wife to ‘lock in the sex’.

    That is a silly notion since there is really no guarantee that will happen. My wife could get sick, or have some injury that precluded us from ever having sex again. That is part of the risk of marriage and while I didn’t anticipate it, it would be foolish to think that sex would always be on offer just because I’m married.

    In fact after being single for so many years, the truth is I don’t need my wife for anything. But I want her. And that actually is what gives power in the relationship. ‘Game’ if you will.

    If my wife withholds sex… so what? I did without it for years before I met her. If she won’t cook, well I am a very good cook. If she won’t clean or wash, you know I’ve got that covered too.

    And since I don’t need my wife for anything, I am able to give to her freely and also receive from her freely. Sure I want things from my wife, but I don’t need them from her. And she knows that I am not needy of her, which makes her feel safe and desirable and eager to please and honoured, because although I don’t need her, I chose her.

    Is that not Christ and the church? At least that is what I’m aiming for in our relationship. Christ doesn’t need us, but he chooses us and we respond in willing sacrifice, submission, loyalty, and love.

    So the default yes should be there always.

  55. Elspeth

    And since I don’t need my wife for anything, I am able to give to her freely and also receive from her freely. Sure I want things from my wife, but I don’t need them from her. And she knows that I am not needy of her, which makes her feel safe and desirable and eager to please and honoured, because although I don’t need her, I chose her.

    Very well stated. My husband was quite young when we married but he foesn’t need me for a lot of things either. He mother and father had all boys. His late mother taught her boys how to do what they needed to live well because in her words, “These girls today can’t cook, clean, can’t nothing. You won’t be able to depend on that.” So she made sure they could.

    It really does make a wife eager to please when she knows she was chosen and not settled for out of some desperate need for sex or sandwiches, or whatever.

    I asked my husband about this and he repsonded, ‘Was I starving for sex or anything else when you met me?” (He wasn’t a believer when we married.)

    The one thing I did provide was solace as he suffered a tragic loss while we were dating and it was a turning point in our rleationship, but honestly, that was about it. It certainly wasn’t about locking in sex.

  56. Elspeth

    That was typo ridden. Should have read:

    My husband was quite young when we married but he doesn’t need me for a lot of things either. His mother and father had all boys.

    I’m much more literate than my comments indicate. I just can’t type worth a darn.

  57. tbc

    His late mother taught her boys how to do what they needed to live well because in her words, “These girls today can’t cook, clean, can’t nothing. You won’t be able to depend on that.” So she made sure they could.

    Your husband’s mother and my (also deceased) mother sound like the same person! She taught us (3 boys & 1 girl) how to cook, clean, sew(!), everything because as she said, “Y’all liable to marry one of these modern women that don’t know how to do nothing!”

    Exactly like that, with a strong Kentucky accent.

  58. tbc

    it definitely changes the dynamic though if my wife gets in a huff and decides she doesn’t want to cook and I just say, “Ok”, go in the kitchen and start whipping up something mouth watering. It takes ALL the winds out of her sails — especially if it is something that I cook better than her! (not that this sort of thing has happened often…)

  59. freebird

    Having put a temporary schism in the comfort zone,under the excuse of stress,then saying:
    “ok,sex now!”

    I can see where a fellow may need some reassuring behavior exhibited from his spouse other than sex.

    Such as not burdening him with constant talk of stressors and problems,fixing comfort foods,mood lighting,new outdoor recreational activities ect.

    While sex may ‘fix everything’ for the first few moments after orgasm,the mind begins to quickly work again shortly thereafter.

    There is contemplation and work to be done,I would be getting on that if I where you my friend.

    Tell HHG I got his back.

  60. Deep Strength

    @ SSM

    His point is understandable: he has told women that if their husbands are fat, lazy, slouches who play video games all day, she shouldn’t reward him for that with sex.

    Yeah, why would that be?

    Men in general respond to incentizes. So when there’s nothing about his wife that is rewarding (if she’s nagging, withholding sex, disagreeable, etc) then why is he want to be around her and rather play video games on the couch.

    It’s a perpetual cycle of spiral just like you had with your husband in your post.

    That is why I firmly disagree with Athol’s approach here. It’s pretty much trying to get him to “man up.”

    You can see this in the “dating” market as well. As PUAs et al can get the sex for free without commitment they are taking on jobs where they make less money and using their free time more to do things they enjoy. Likewise, Christian men see Christian women rejecting them so they just stop asking them out and do their own thing.

    This is what both the church and society are telling men who are in an “extended state of adolescence” — to man up without addressing both all sides of the equation.

  61. deti

    I understand the disagreement about whether sex is or is not the only reason men marry, or that it’s a primary reason men marry; or whether it’s really intimacy a man wants.

    I can only respond that there’s really no reason for a man to marry unless sex is part of the deal and the “incentive” or “compensation”, if you will, that will come to him. I’ll accept that for a lot of men (not for me, perhaps, but for a lot of other men) sex is a primary reason men marry. I’ll also accept that intimacy (emotional and spiritual proximity and joining together) is what most men (including me) really want. Sex is integral, even a sine qua non, to that.

    I also understand the notion that a woman can get injured and be unable to provide sex. Fine. That’s a risk one takes, but those problems are rare. That’s an exception that really isn’t helpful for the problems we usually face in marital sex.. The far, far more common problem is the woman who refuses sex for whatever reason, and usually because she’s simply not attracted to her husband for whatever reason.

  62. deti

    “If my wife withholds sex… so what? I did without it for years before I met her. If she won’t cook, well I am a very good cook. If she won’t clean or wash, you know I’ve got that covered too.
    And since I don’t need my wife for anything, I am able to give to her freely and also receive from her freely.”

    “so what:”?

    We’ve covered this ground before. A wife withholding sex is in open rebellion — against God, against Scripture, against her husband. It’s difficult for me to imagine a more brazen, more in-your-face form of disrespect and contempt a wife can have for her husband. It indicates an extremely serious, marriage-threatening problem and it needs to be addressed immediately.

    Barring debilitating injury or illness, a wife is obligated to have sex with her husband. Failure to do so is breach of the marital contract.

    [ssm: I agree that she's in sin if she is withholding sex. No problem with that. I'm not sure what you mean by "breach of the marital contract" though. But the question remains: do men only marry for sex? You have asserted that. Others disagree. You have amended your assertion somewhat now, to include companionship. I think there are other reasons, too, but companionship and sex are the big two, no doubt about it.]

  63. Zippy

    deti:
    I also understand the notion that a woman can get injured and be unable to provide sex. Fine. That’s a risk one takes, but those problems are rare. That’s an exception that really isn’t helpful for the problems we usually face in marital sex.

    No it isn’t a rare exception. You are like a child living only in the present on this issue. Death and disease happen to everyone, without exception, and for very many people that means long periods of doing without sex from one’s spouse.

  64. Carlotta

    I also have to disagree that it is only about locking in sex. Many couples have that before marriage now and still marry. Some clearly carry on without the marriage, with some even having the male have sex with others.
    I would venture to guess it may include not only locking in having sex with that women (but some men don’t need to and some certainly have plenty of options. I know Himself did and actually has more now) but perhaps her fidelity? I mean one of the standard things to do is if the guy won’t commit to you you “see other people” to give him a reason to think about whether he wants to share you. It would seem this only works if the male is programmed not to want to share her based on something. It can’t JUST be sex.
    I know there are women he may have sex with out of wedlock who he could care less who and if she moves on. But clearly there comes a time when he cannot stand the thought of sharing one of the women. This, of course works best, if she has options as well and is clear that she is looking to get married NOW and will be willing to find someone else willing to enjoy what she has to offer and make it official.

    Also, regarding Athol, he goes both ways on this. He is clear with his wife that if she doesn’t met his needs he is off to find someone who does. I did read where he counseled a women whose husband was basically a sluggard to stop giving him the nookie if he refuses to find a job. It seems more that he tells the person to get the power in the relationship and then weld it to make the other person do what they want or to leave with better options. Not something Christians should be doing. Or what is the point?

  65. tbc

    deti – I get your point and agree that a wife should not withhold sex from her husband. And your other points as well… no problem.

    My point is that women often use these things (or attempt to) as leverage to control their husband. If the things have no power over the man, then that leverage is removed. And there are other brazen, in-your-face forms of disrespect that wives can show towards their husband (open involvement in an extra-marital affair being one of them) than withholding sex.

  66. deti

    “No it isn’t a rare exception. You are like a child living only in the present on this issue. Death and disease happen to everyone, without exception, and for very many people that means long periods of doing without sex from one’s spouse.”

    It IS a rare exception if we are talking about people 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, even 20 years into marriage. You are talking about people being widowed, which usually happens 20, 25, 30, 50 years in. You’re also talking about diseases which prevent sex, which usually don’t happen until after menopause, around 20 to 30 years in. You’re talking like a man should EXPECT to be deprived of sex a couple of years in. That’s rare, and it disincentivizes men to tell them to prepare for debilitating disease or widowhood a couple of years into a marriage.

  67. deti

    I think people well understand that they can be widowed and that a spouse can suffer debilitating injury or disease. Thing is, that’s not a problem common to marriages that are around 5 to 20 years old. Does it happen? Yes, sure it does. It’s not common; and that’s the point that seems to be lost on you every time this issue is discussed, Zippy.

    What IS more common, and what IS a very real, very large problem that NO ONE is talking about, is women refusing sex simply because they can with impunity. What is more common, and what is a very real, very large problem, is wives refusing sex because they either were never attracted to their husbands in the first place, or have fallen out of attraction with their husbands, and so say “ewwww” when approached for sex.

    THAT’s the problem that requires addressing. NOT the issue of widowhood or disease.

    Does anyone here really think most husbands are so heartless and cruel they will require sex from a wife dying of cancer? Does anyone here really think most husbands are going to require sex from wives with 103 degree fevers and projectile vomiting?

  68. sunshinemary Post author

    Welp, I’d thought we’d have this discussion on a separate post, but I’m actually fine with having it here since I sort of don’t want to be the woman who writes the post about why men marry. That just invites all sorts of people to visit my blog with whom I don’t especially wish to interact at present, despite my significantly improved state of mind, thanks to nature’s little anti-depressant.

    I might be wrong, but what I have been observing is that more men marry because they are lonely and are hoping they have found someone to love and go through life with. Around the manosphere, the quip is, “I don’t need a woman for companionship, that’s why I have a dog.” My response to that is to shrug and say, “Well, okay. If you’re happy, that’s great.” The problem is, that doesn’t seem to be true for most men. Even the men who say that often present as being not terribly happy, though that could be for any number of other reasons.

    Genesis 2:18-24 really helps me here:

    Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” 19 Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said,

    This at last is bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh
    ;
    she shall be called Woman,
    because she was taken out of Man.”
    24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

    Does that sound more like God was trying to abate Adam’s lust or his loneliness?

    Which is not to say that sex is not important. It’s extremely important, which was the point of this post.

  69. tbc

    I will quote a good man who was happily married for many years until his wife died, and then remarried and been happily married for another 8…

    “Sex in marriage is important. It isn’t the most important, but it’s important.”

    When men overstate or overvalue sex, they really do nothing but make themselves slaves of their own desires. It is a mark of immaturity and a lack of temperance. Sex is good and extremely important for marriage, but it is not the end all and be all. When Christians behave as if it is, we demonstrate a capitulation to the values of a fallen and dissolute world that has rejected God and his Christ.

  70. deti

    From my experience, at 10 years into marriage, a man stands a much, much greater chance of being divorced or frivorced than being widowed or his wife suffering debilitating illness or injury.

    In other words, the usual cause of separation from his wife (and his source of sex) is much, much more likely to be her divorcing him rather than her death, illness or injury.

  71. Maeve

    But isn’t there any differentiation between “Babe, I’m just not up for it tonight” and “Ya know, I’m not into you anymore so we’re pretty much done here – too bad, so sad” ?

    I don’t see these as the same thing.

  72. deti

    “When men overstate or overvalue sex, they really do nothing but make themselves slaves of their own desires. It is a mark of immaturity and a lack of temperance. Sex is good and extremely important for marriage, but it is not the end all and be all. When Christians behave as if it is, we demonstrate a capitulation to the values of a fallen and dissolute world that has rejected God and his Christ.”

    1. When a man behaves in such a way toward a wife who doesn’t want him and isn’t attracted to him, i.e. acts as though he doesn’t care if she has sex with him, “so what?”, it isn’t going to generate attraction. It could repel her, and drive her to cheat. How does this help the marriage, and how does saying “so what” help the wife get to heaven? Saying “so what” excuses her from her marital obligation, assists her in disobeying God, and fuels her rebellion. How is this helpful to the wife or to the marriage?

    2. The problem is not overstating or overvaluing sex; rather, I think, it’s men being told to UNDERstate and UNDERvalue sex. It’s men being told to suppress their natural desires for sex at a time and in a situation in which that desire is to have its fullest expression, and where the man is ENTITLED to that desire blooming and growing and being fully satisfied.

    3. It disincentivizes men from marriage, and discourages marriage, when we tell men men that they have to wait until marriage before they can legitimately have sex, and then in the same breath tell them to expect sexual deprivation, or in the same breath tell them sex is overstated or overvalued; or tell men that their legitimate sexual desires in marriage are overstated and overvalued. Is this really the message we want to send young single men?

  73. sunshinemary Post author

    Just as aside, I want to state again that it is possible to live in marriage without sex if there is some kind of reason why it can’t happen. I don’t think it’s easy, but it’s possible to do it. I hope I don’t have to find out anytime soon, but if it became necessary to abstain, I would do so; I wouldn’t divorce my husband over lack of sex. I would just be aware that I would need to ask God in prayer regularly for His all-sufficient grace.

    But I think Deti is talking about situations where there is no good reason why it can’t happen. Then living without sex is far more torturous. If you are abstaining because your spouse is ill, you know that you are doing so as an act of love and you can feel good about that. But if you are abstaining for no reason, just because one of you is sinning against the other, it’s much harder to see it as an act of love about which you can feel good.

    But even so, there is something to be said for being able to control one’s passions even in the face of a spouse who is sinning against you.

  74. sunshinemary Post author

    When a man behaves in such a way toward a wife who doesn’t want him and isn’t attracted to him, i.e. acts as though he doesn’t care if she has sex with him, “so what?”, it isn’t going to generate attraction. It could repel her, and drive her to cheat. How does this help the marriage, and how does saying “so what” help the wife get to heaven? Saying “so what” excuses her from her marital obligation, assists her in disobeying God, and fuels her rebellion. How is this helpful to the wife or to the marriage?

    I don’t think it can end with “so what”. He has to confront her about her sin, but it has to come from a place of strength, which “so what” conveys. That shows her that it isn’t about his neediness; it’s about her sin, and how he is going to encourage her to repent of that sin.

    Oh, that reminds me of one other thing I wanted to mention about the benefit of default yes.

    Default yes removes choice anxiety. What I mean by choice anxiety is something I have observed by watching mothers and their children. Modern parenting practices tell parents, “Give your kids choices! Lots and lots of choices!” But I came to two conclusions early on about that:

    1. Giving kids choices all the time makes it harder for them to obey you because they always think they should have a choice about everything.

    2. Having a lot of choices makes children anxious because they are afraid that they’ll pick the wrong thing and regret it.

    I have watched a mother offer her child five or six different food options as the child becomes increasingly hysterical. They get choices about whether or not they are even going to eat at all. That’s just too stressful for children in my estimation. At our house, children eat at mealtime and they have the choice of eating whatever I’ve made. They are free to choose not to eat, of course, but no special alternative meals will be prepared and no snacks are allowed other than the fruit bowl on the table that’s always full and available to them.

    In the same way, trying to figure out whether or not to have sex can be anxiety-provoking for women. If it’s always up to her to say yes or no, she’s going to get all tense…in her mind, she will be thinking, “Do I want to? How much do I want to? What do I want to do? Do I feel like having an orgasm or would I rather just get this over with? Oh my gosh, do I even WANT TO DO THIS AT ALL? I’m so stressed out. I don’t think we should. I think I’m getting a headache.” Default yes removes all the pressure. She can just assume at bedtime that it’s probably going to happen, and then if it doesn’t, fine.

  75. tbc

    Deti you and I may be talking at cross purposes.

    I think we can agree that sex is crucial to marriage and can also agree that neither spouse should be withholding from the other.

    What I am emphasizing is that aside anything that the wife may do or not do, or even if the man is married or not, the desire for sex should not be his master. It isn’t a wrong desire, any more than the desire for respect or for good food. All too often however, it is because men have not learned self-control (self-mastery as some would put it) the whims of the wife become the determining factor of the man’s state of mind.

    Men sometimes marry unsuitable wives often for no other reason than that they lack self-control. Just like women go for ‘tingles’ and virtually shut down their reason, so too do men sometimes allow their desire for sex to push them here and there.

    Sometimes in a marriage no one is ‘withholding sex’ but for whatever myriad reasons, sex isn’t happening (as in the OP). The way some men behave however it is as if 3 weeks without sex would cause a man to lose his mind or give him license to cheat on his wife.

    It just isn’t so. A man cannot expect to have mastery over his wife and family if he doesn’t exercise it over himself first.

  76. deti

    “But isn’t there any differentiation between “Babe, I’m just not up for it tonight” and “Ya know, I’m not into you anymore so we’re pretty much done here – too bad, so sad” ?

    I don’t see these as the same thing.”

    They’re not the same thing, But what often happens is “I’m not up for it tonight” for consecutive weeks and months.

    Or “I don’t want to have sex any way other than lights off, towel underneath me, missionary, and as soon as you come you get off me so I can expel this icky beta sperm you just ejaculated into me.”

    Or “OK, OK, I’ll have sex with you, if you’ll just LEAVE ME ALONE about it. Hurry up and let’s get it over with”.

    These are all a breach of the marital contract. The letter of the contract is being complied with, but certainly the spirit in which it’s intended is not being met.

  77. Bike Bubba

    One angle that Earl (?) hinted at, but we’re not really delving into, is how our attitude towards sex reveals our attitude towards God. Remember–1 Cor 12 and Ephesians 5–that the wife is an image of the Church, the husband of Christ. And so our attitude towards the responsibilities of marriage–including sex–is going to indicate our attitude towards our Lord and His Church.

    Conversely, our attitude towards fulfilling marital responsibilities will tend to conform us to Christ, especially if we remember the Biblical mandates as we do so.

    Which is my answer to MMSL’s contention; as one is conformed to Christ–who does not deny His Betrothed anything she needs, no?–we will find that the need to “play games” ends as both parties are increasingly willing to do what it takes to not only make it happen, but to also make it a joy.

  78. deti

    “But even so, there is something to be said for being able to control one’s passions even in the face of a spouse who is sinning against you.”

    All well and good. But a main reason men and women are to marry is if they “cannot contain” and because “it is better to marry than burn [with passion]”.

    But some on this thread say “marry, but then learn to contain”.

    Then why should men marry? Why not learn to contain because you cannot legitimately have sex? Why get married, be promised sex, then have to contain?

    And yes, there’s a difference between having to contain and not letting your sexual desire rule you. Marriage is where that sexual desire is SUPPOSED to be unbridled, unshackled and allowed to roam freely. “The marriage bed is undefiled” and all that. The ENTIRE POINT of marrying is because they CANNOT contain; that the man is literally going to explode if he doesn’t get laid with his beloved. And now we’re telling men “no no, you have to restrain yourself and learn to do without”?

    If that’s the case, as I’ve said before, then there’s no reason men should marry.

  79. sunshinemary Post author

    Bike Bubba:

    And so our attitude towards the responsibilities of marriage–including sex–is going to indicate our attitude towards our Lord and His Church.

    Oh, that’s a good point.

    Also, if I go three and a half weeks without praying or reading the Bible, the result is going to be similar (and probably even worse) than going that long without marital relations. But you know what? When I commune with God, I’m strengthened and filled with joy from receiving His love, and it’s the same as how I feel about being with my husband…but if I hated my husband, if I were resisting being one flesh with him both physically and spiritually, or if he were only using me as a way to sate his lust and not loving me in the process, I don’t think I would receive that strength and joy from sex.

  80. tbc

    Marriage is where that sexual desire is SUPPOSED to be unbridled, unshackled and allowed to roam freely.

    This is, unfortunately, incorrect. Marriage is not a license for the revocation of the fruit of the Spirit, nor for the indulgence of selfish lust.

  81. Scott

    “Loneliness, I think.”

    It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a help meet for him.

    God created woman/marriage to solve the problem of loneliness.

  82. feeriker

    deti said What IS more common, and what IS a very real, very large problem that NO ONE is talking about, is women refusing sex simply because they can with impunity. What is more common, and what is a very real, very large problem, is wives refusing sex because they either were never attracted to their husbands in the first place, or have fallen out of attraction with their husbands, and so say “ewwww” when approached for sex.

    Yes, exactly.

    Oh, and yeah, it is of course the husband’s fault if his wife “falls out of love” with him or never felt any attraction to him in the first place. If it’s the former, then he’s obviously doing something that repels her – or not doing something that would re-ignite the flame. If it’s the latter, then, well, he’s just a fool for not having paid attention and having married her in the first place.

    Maeve asked But isn’t there any differentiation between “Babe, I’m just not up for it tonight” and “Ya know, I’m not into you anymore so we’re pretty much done here – too bad, so sad” ?
    I don’t see these as the same thing.

    You’re right, they’re not the same thing. More often than not, when a man starts to hear “babe, I’m just not up for it tonight” with regularity, what he’s really being told is “ya know, I’m not into you anymore, so we’re pretty much done here – too bad, so sad.”

    The former is easy to toss out, but very few wives have the guts or honesty to say the latter to their husband’s faces. (This mystifies me to no end, given that they have nothing to lose by doing so. What are their husbands gonna do? Divorce them for withholding sex and risk losing everything in divorce court?)

  83. deti

    “Marriage is not a license for the revocation of the fruit of the Spirit, nor for the indulgence of selfish lust.”

    Agree with the first clause; but disagree with the second. I said nothing about “lust” and even if I did, sexual conduct within marriage is by definition NOT lust. Sexual conduct within marriage need not, and ought not, be restrained. “The marriage bed is undefiled” and all that. Of course that has to be tempered with husbands doing other things within marriage because there are no couples who do absolutely NOTHING but have sex with each other.

    And please, let us not miss the point with nuances such as what constitutes sodomy or where semen must be deposited..

  84. GKChesteron

    Sounds like Satan temps the non married to have sex…and the married to not have it.

    That crafty little devil.

    Muhahahaha. Best line of the day and so true.

  85. deti

    Deti: “ Then why should men marry?”

    SSM: “Loneliness, I think.”

    Loneliness in single men is most often caused by a lack of sex and rejection from the opposite sex.

    Maybe I’m in a minority here; but I don’t agree that the main reason men marry is for companionship. The reason a man wants a companion to live with is to have sex with her, regularly and hassle free.

    To sum up:

    Loneliness = lack of sex. .

    Companion = sex partner.

    Companionship = sex.

    Now companionship = sex at the beginning for a man, so as to spur him into marriage. But sex takes on less importance as he ages and grows more secure in the marriage.

  86. Scott

    “And please, let us not miss the point with nuances such as what constitutes sodomy or where semen must be deposited..”

    Would some, reasonable Catholic be interested in explaining this to me in a private email?

    As a current RCIA attendee (married to Catholic girl) this topic was alluded to at a recent marriage enhancement retreat we went to. (SSM–I would LOVE TO discuss THAT with you, by the way).

    If it means what I think it means, and if Onan’s story is the rationale for it, I am going to throw my computer through the window.

  87. Bike Bubba

    I would suggest “companionship” would be a somewhat better description of “why” than “loneliness”, since it’s not clear in Genesis that Adam was lonely, or knew he was, prior to losing and regaining his rib.

    Another rationale for marriage; Malachi 2:14 answers “and why one?” with “because God desired Godly seed.” The fruit of a Godly marriage is children to add to the Church, the Bride of Christ. So our godly marriages are generating the Bride of Christ.

    Which is a limit on what can be deemed appropriate in the coitus, or marriage bed. It can’t be abusive or humiliating, and our appearances ought not be needlessly repulsive, per 1 Cor. 7. And per Malachi 2:14 (and Genesis 9:1 and elsewhere), it ought to be fruitful. Or, without going all Humanae Vitae on y’all (which I won’t as I’m a Baptist), sometimes the antidepressant’s got to go in the proper place.

  88. sunshinemary Post author

    @ Deti
    I can’t really argue with you very effectively because I’m not a man. But honestly, it seems like companionship is more all-encompassing than just sex; I’m only basing that on what I’ve read that other men have written. What am I to make of a comment like this one from The Shadowed Knight?

    The lack of the feminine is felt as an ache where she would be resting. When I lie on my side, there is sometimes a pain where she would be if she was cuddling up to you. Sometimes it will be where she would be if you were holding her to your chest. It depends on where it is felt, but one thing is always the same: the phantom touch of a woman that does not exist and pain and a sense of loss. It goes deep, her absence is felt on a visceral level.

    Or Donal Graeme’s post, The Need and the Void?

    While the lack of physical contact with a woman (sex) might cause physical symptoms like an ache, the real harm is mental [...] I think I will refer to it as The Void, because the lack of femininity in a man’s life leaves him with a terrible emptiness which nothing else can fill.

  89. Elspeth

    I hope tbc, that I don’t bore you to death with my constant agreement but once again, I agree with you.

    Deti, it seems to me that you are saying that it is impossible for lust to exist within the confines of marriage, and I disagree. The bar is higher and it’s easier to spot than when one is single, but I do think it is possible to indulge selfish lust in the context of marriage.

    I was pondering this topic a bit over the past couple of hours (gotta think about something whilst scrubbing toilets) and it occurred to me how often the perception of what is an “acceptable” amount of sex in the context of marriage and the blanket assumptions about men in general takes over in these convos. *LeeLee Bug’s comment coupled with Deti’s stuff made me think.

    I don’t think we’ve ever gone 3 weeks without sex unless I was post partum, but it has been years since we have considered sex 2 or 3 times a week as some sort of deficiency. And yes, I do know what my husband really thinks because he doesn’t pull punches. It’s not his way. He doesn’t know how to supplicate to or be fearful of me.

    When we married way back in 1994, we were very young and sex more than once a day was the norm. By 3 years in, with 3 children, once a day was normal. By 10 years in, every other day was normal. We’re 19 years in now, and every two or three days is normal. No complaints, no fears of cheating, no sexual frustration.

    I suspect that part of the reason we can be very satisfied is two fold. The first is something imnobody00 said a while back: My husband is not obsessed with sex. He knows he can have it when he wants it, and his mind is free to focus on other things, other aspects of our relationship and family life. There are times when frequency increases a great deal, and then goes back to normal.

    * The idea of a man who is always “sexually charged” as she put it, is an Internet caricature. Some men are like that, others aren’t. Some are like that most of the time, some are like that some of the time (like mine), some are just more sexually subdued. You can learn here, but make it your business to study your own husband and his needs well while prayerfully asking God to help you find that place of balance with respect to your own needs.

  90. Bike Bubba

    Scott, the story fo Onan is, after all, a great part of Humanae Vitae, but I would have to guess that the passages I cited (among others extolling the Godliness of fecundity) would also bring us to a similar, if not the exact, conclusion of Humanae Vitae. It’s been a while since I took a look, but per Catholic thought, Humanae Vitae also uses a fair amount of church tradition as justification.

    I obviously disagree with “Scripture + tradition”, and even disagree with the interpretation of Onan’s sin (Onan had a few other capital sins–disobeying the father, stealing an inheritance, annihilating his brother’s memory/almost murder in Hebrew thoughts–going on), but if I’m reading Malachi 2:14, Genesis 9:1, and other passages correctly, I believe Scripture does come somewhat close to Humanae Vitae in its clear intent.

  91. tbc

    No, just because one is married, doesn’t mean that all sexual conduct within marriage is not lustful. Lust really has to do with using another person as an object — it is dehumanizing at the core. Within a marriage it is using the husband or wife as a masturbatory aid. Or in the case of some wives, using the husband’s body solely as a means to get herself pregnant. Yeah, they’re having sex, but it isn’t arising out of the self-giving that is supposed to characterize marriage, but rather out of an entirely selfish desire to gain something for herself — in this case, a baby.

    That is why the default ‘yes’ position matters. Because the default ‘yes’ mitigates against the natural sinful tendency to use the other person as an object. It is not only wives who withhold sex (though they do so seemingly more frequently than men). But a default ‘yes’ says that the needs of the other person are more important than my own. The need for the husband or wife to have sexual relief and connection is more important than my low sex drive or energy.

    The biggest problem is (as Elspeth has put it) that so many women can’t keep their eyes on their own paper. They are so concerned about the husband doing what he’s supposed to be doing that they use it as an excuse to NOT do what THEY are supposed to do.

    The wife being bitchy doesn’t give the husband a free pass nor is the wife excused by the husband being a jerk.

  92. Rollo Tomassi

    You cannot negotiate genuine desire. This is what touchy-feely marriage counselors fail to understand when they’re trying to barter between a couple with sex problems. They create obligation sex for services rendered. A prostitute would be a better alternative.

    This is what Athol is getting at. The sad fact of the matter is you will have better, more intense, more memorable make-up sex after a a breakup or a fight than any preplanned, romantic ‘date night’ sex you could contrive. Make up sex is rooted in genuine, spontaneous desire. Date night sex is rooted in expectations and obligations.

    A solid understanding of Game is more necessary in marriage than when single.

  93. mojohn

    @ deti September 30, 2013 at 12:12 pm wrote: “From my experience, at 10 years into marriage, a man stands a much, much greater chance of being divorced or frivorced than being widowed or his wife suffering debilitating illness or injury.”

    While I may misremember, I am certain I’ve read comments from deti (and others) on this or other websites that accuse women of solipsism when they base their response to a situation against their own experience and say in effect “that’s not my experience.” How is that fundamentally different from what deti wrote above? Seems like male solipsism to me.

    If I’ve misinterpreted, please set me straight.

  94. Elspeth

    Whenever I find myself in agreement with Rollo, I find that I am slightly alarmed. LOL.

    I suppose there is a reason why ‘date nights’ in our marriage are rare and almost never planned, unless you count anniversaries. It is much more potent when I get the call or the dress and the command to “be ready by 7:30″.

    I just realized that this is another plus to being married to a spontaneous extrovert.

    [ssm: We rarely have planned date nights, either.]

  95. Elspeth

    I should elaborate. I didn’t intend to endorse Rollo’s endorsement of “game”. I tend to agree with Mr. Caldo’s assessment of all that stuff.

    What I agree with is that spontaneity and desire cannot be successfully negotiated and preplanned as the normal order of business in a marriage as one might schedule a play date. I hate play dates, which is why we don’t do them.

  96. deti

    SSM:

    I cannot speak for Donal or TSK. But I know exactly the feelings they describe, because I’ve been there. I have been in those ice cold, lonely caves; I have felt that longing. Every man here, if he’s honest, also knows them.

    I really can only speak for myself. But I’ll say that what Donal and TSK describe in those passages you cited is inherently sexual. It is a longing for touching, for closeness, for intimacy that, while it doesn’t necessarily lead at all times to a sex act, it has the possibility of leading to a sex act. It is not simple “cuddling and companionship and you’re my best friend and we eat and talk and hang out together”. It all ultimately leads to “we have sex together”.

    I have a couple of great male friends. They know me and I know them. We have been to hell and back together. I’ve helped them and they’ve helped me. We’ve talked, we’ve cried, we’ve laughed, we’ve eaten and drunk together. I know them intimately; and they know me intimately. We are “intimate”. They live in different cities and, at times, I miss them. But this is not at all, not even in the same ballpark, as the closeness and intimacy between a man and woman; between husband and wife. It is overtly sexual. It is designed to be so.

    This is why I said, and say, that any interactions between one man and one woman always, always have sexual undertones. It is so because we are sexual creatures.

    I will also say, SSM, that with due respect, I’m not sure you can grok this, because you’re not a woman, and you don’t understand that deep, deep need a man has to connect on every possible level with a woman, and how important the sexual bond is to a man. I think this is so, because the absolute highest form of acceptance a woman can give a man is sexual access. By contrast, the highest form of acceptance a man gives a woman are commitment, exclusivity, and access to his resources.

    [ssm: Should I assume that it's a typo when you say that I'm not a woman? :)]

  97. deti

    “but I do think it is possible to indulge selfish lust in the context of marriage.”

    How so?

    By a man asking for certain sex practices that his wife does not want to engage in? There are certain sex practices that are forbidden by tradition and arguably in Scripture. That said, I don’t know a single married man who would force himself on his wife, even if he’s entitled to do so.

    By a man asking for sex more than once a day? Surely a husband and wife can forge a compromise on how much is too much. And why is more than once a day “too much”? If they are both OK with the frequency, what’s the problem?

    How is it possible for a man to engage in sinful lust with a wife?

  98. Elspeth

    How so?

    tbc answered this question already, so I will simply quote him:

    No, just because one is married, doesn’t mean that all sexual conduct within marriage is not lustful. Lust really has to do with using another person as an object — it is dehumanizing at the core. Within a marriage it is using the husband or wife as a masturbatory aid. Or in the case of some wives, using the husband’s body solely as a means to get herself pregnant. Yeah, they’re having sex, but it isn’t arising out of the self-giving that is supposed to characterize marriage, but rather out of an entirely selfish desire to gain something for herself — in this case, a baby.

    Of course it is possible to behave in a lustful or dishonorable way within the context of marital sexual relations. Do you really not think it possible?

    And why is more than once a day “too much”? If they are both OK with the frequency, what’s the problem?

    When did I say that more than once a day was “too much”? I said no such thing. I remember that being pretty great, when we both had the youthful energy and were interested to that degree. I’m not sure what you read that indicated that I would prescribe a set amount of sex as too much or too little.

    That is to be decided by each couple and is none of my business. Either you misread my comment, or I did a poor job of articulating my point.

  99. Farm Boy

    picking fights with him over every little thing and just generally being an unpleasant bitch

    Why can’t we all get along?

    I am always on an even keel. I never pick fights. My ex used to feel guilty about starting fights with me, though she did it anyway.

    Don’t worry, be happy.

  100. Farm Boy

    when we tell men men that they have to wait until marriage before they can legitimately have sex, and then in the same breath tell them to expect sexual deprivation

    Society admitting that this is true in the modern age for all but the alphas would be refreshing.

  101. tbc

    While I may misremember, I am certain I’ve read comments from deti (and others) on this or other websites that accuse women of solipsism when they base their response to a situation against their own experience and say in effect “that’s not my experience.” How is that fundamentally different from what deti wrote above? Seems like male solipsism to me.

    It isn’t any different. It is natural for our experiences (confirmed by the experiences of those whose experiences match our own) to colour our perspectives, but to go from there to more general assertions is not really the best.

  102. Bike Bubba

    Deti, you may actually know men who have forced themselves on their wives, but simply don’t know who they are. I know at least two, and without going into details, suffice it to say that there are man who use their physical strength for more than carrying their bride across the threshold or good-natured horseplay. And yes, especially inasmuch as they view their brutality as titillating, I would characterize it as indulging selfish lust.

    For that matter, I have to wonder if “role playing” falls into this category, as more or less the participants are pretending to sleep with someone besides their spouse.

  103. Farm Boy

    as soon as you come you get off me so I can expel this icky beta sperm you just ejaculated into me

    Odd, the husband’s money need not have alpha characteristics.

  104. deti

    Bike:

    So do you subscribe to the notion of marital rape?

    To me, “marital rape” is fundamentally inconsistent with “default yes”.

    Again, folks: No Christian husband is going to make a wife service him while dying of cancer or projectile vomiting with 103 degree temp. So let’s just leave that aside.

  105. Elspeth

    Again, folks: No Christian husband is going to make a wife service him while dying of cancer or projectile vomiting with 103 degree temp. So let’s just leave that aside.

    Again, Deti: Who here ever suggested such a thing?

    [ssm: As I recall, Sheila Wray Gregoire set up that strawman argument by scolding men about not insisting on sex with a wife who is really sick or has just had a baby. As if anyone's husband would ever drive her home from the hospital with a new baby and tell her, "Well, old girl, I know you just pushed eight pounds through there, but I've got needs, so...her argument was so silly.]

  106. deti

    “ No, just because one is married, doesn’t mean that all sexual conduct within marriage is not lustful. Lust really has to do with using another person as an object — it is dehumanizing at the core. Within a marriage it is using the husband or wife as a masturbatory aid.”

    By this definition, the following are lustful:

    1. a man engaging in cunnilingus on his wife, and nothing more, for the purpose of bringing her to orgasm.

    2. A man digitally stimulating his wife, and nothing more, for the purpose of bringing her to orgasm.

    3. A man having intercourse with his wife while she is completely sexually unresponsive. She doesn’t want to have sex at all, but does so simply so he can have a release. . He wants sex, but she doesn’t want sex at all – the sexual desire and conduct is 100% on the male side. (this is arguably marital rape by some definitions.)

    It really all gets down to the condition of the hearts of the participants involved, and only God and the participants involved know that.

  107. deti

    Elspeth:

    No one suggested brute husbands requiring sex from sick or dying wives. But it seems we always get sidetracked when someone makes that argument so I tried to head it off at the pass.

    Similarly, whenever we talk about marital sex it seems we always get pulled into discussions about whether this or that sexual practice is appropriate or biblically sanctioned; or whether the wife wants to do this or that; and wives turning up their noses and refusing certain sex practices. I was trying to avoid that too because they’re beside the point.

  108. Farm Boy

    .Again, Deti: Who here ever suggested such a thing?

    Whenever the sex-in-marriage issue comes up, people always bring up the physically unable to case. Then it used as a club to derail the topic.

  109. Jen

    What a wonderful and informative post. The comments are very honest and helpful. I cannot add anything; I am just absorbing. Being raised by a feminist mother has left me quite ignorant about men, women, marriage…but I somehow managed to “stumble” into marriage and children…despite my mother’s objections!

  110. Elspeth

    I disagree with everything in your 3:44 comment except the last sentence. I’m not sure why you pulled those examples out of the hat, but the reality is that it depends on the heart of the participants and there’s no way for any outsder to assess what is lust and what is not. You’re assertion that certain acts constitute potential sexual sin fall short in my book because I’m not Catholic. I’m confused by your comment.

    If a woman is only engaging with her husband solely because she wants a baby, the fact that he doesn’t realize he’s being used in her lustful pursuit doesn’t mean she isn’t guilty of lust. Same in the case of a man who is using his wife as a masturbatory aid rather than desiring true intimate connection.

    But it’s not the outsider’s job to assess it and we can’t be so certain that it isn’t lust simply because they are married, as if married people are suddenly no longer susceptible to the sin of lust.

    We are supposed to examine ourselves. And we should do just that lest we think we’re behaving in a legitimate manner simply becaue we are married. We may not be.

  111. deti

    The more I get down into this discussion and I read the responses from tbc and Bike and Zippy, those responses about what is selfishly lustful in marriage pertain mainly to the man wanting sex and the wife resisting it. So if she’s resisting, for whatever reason, it’s “selfish lust”.

    So according to this view, the wife still has ultimate control over sex. If she doesn’t want it, and he does, he cannot use his brute strength to force her. She still has ultimate veto power over whether sex happens. If he forces the issue and overpowers her physically, then that’s selfish lust (and arguably “marital rape”).

    He essentially has no remedy other than to master his sexual desires, and learn to go without, as Zippy advocates. So even in marriage, the man must learn to curb, curtail, restrain and control his sexual desires. This is the prime reason a man marries; and even in marriage, he’s being told to cool it. He’s burning; he married because he’s burning, and he has no relief or release even in the one situation in which he’s supposed to have a biblically sanctioned outlet for that burning.

    At the end of the day, she controls the sex, the amount, the frequency, the regularity, and even whether it happens. Full stop.

    Now I know why Dalrock strongly recommends no marriage to a girl unless she’s head over heels in love with you and is submissive. Now I know why the only marriages which tend to succeed really well are the ones in which the wife is strongly sexually attracted to the husband. Because otherwise, it’s just not going to work. At all.

  112. Maeve

    @ Deti, I think maybe some of these issues are not beside the point because they “can” lead to the very situations you describe above – prolonged and/or outright rejection of marital intimacy.

    Here’s what I mean. Let’s say that John and Sally have a pretty good sex life. They’re intimate often and for the most part are enthusiastic. After some time, John asks Sally to try “X”. Sally isn’t keen on the idea and indicates that she doesn’t want to. That’s fine. Some time (days/weeks) John again brings up “X” – this is something he really wants to try. Sally again doesn’t want to – maybe indicates that she’s not ever going to want to engage in “X”. John feels that he can maybe wear her down. So, every time they’re intimate the issue of “X” comes up.

    Tension has now been introduced into that marital relationship. John wants to try “X” and is frustrated at Sally’s refusal. Sally is now wary because she knows that every time they engage in sex, he’s going to bring “X” up – and she knows he’s getting upset every time she turns him down with respect to it. So, now maybe Sally starts to not look forward to intimacy so much anymore. “X” keeps coming up; John makes his displeasure knows. Sally starts to retreat to avoid the issue.

    I think that this is a very real situation. I’m not sure how it gets resolved and I’m not saying that either party is wrong. You can’t dictate how people feel about things and you can’t dictate what a person does or does not find pleasurable. But now there is definite tension in the marriage bed and it real potential to lead to long-term problems if left unresolved.

    Anyway, that’s just my thoughts on the matter.

  113. deti

    “[Your] assertion that certain acts constitute potential sexual sin fall short in my book because I’m not Catholic.”

    I’m not either. I’m saying that according to the definition tbc advocated, those three practices are selfish lust, because they are examples of a husband or wife using the other “as a masturbatory aid”, according to tbc.

  114. tbc

    You know the reason I harp on this is that I have counseled far too many people who somehow harbour the illusion that marriage is the ‘cure’ for all manner of sexual issues that they may have before marriage.

    Young men who think their addiction to pornography and problems with lust will ‘go away’ because they have a wife.

    Young women who think their fantasies about ‘happily ever after’ and problems with lust will ‘go away’ because they have a husband.

    Marriage is a means of God’s grace and healing being mediated to his people, but that grace does not always look like fulfillment. And whatever hang-ups and issues you had before follow you into the marriage. But it becomes all too easy to blame the other person when you’re married.

    One of the benefits (if you can call it that) of marrying later was that for years I had no one to blame for any of my issues. I could never say, “well, if my wife was doing this or that then xyz.” So now being married when issues come up it is easier to admit which ones are mine and which are hers. Most long term successfully married people come to that point anyway, but usually after a long season of trying to fix the other person. so if I have a lust problem it has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not my wife is putting out (hate to be so crass but…). It is because I have a problem.

    Our spouses may never know what is in our deepest hearts about why we do certain things, but we do. A wife may be as outwardly sweetly submissive as can be, and her husband will enjoy it, but her heart may be full of manipulation and bitterness and so none of her so called submission counts for anything in the sight of God. A husband may do all kinds of things to ‘game’ his wife, and she may respond well, but if he isn’t really striving to love as Christ loved the church it is in vain.

  115. Elspeth

    A wife may be as outwardly sweetly submissive as can be, and her husband will enjoy it, but her heart may be full of manipulation and bitterness and so none of her so called submission counts for anything in the sight of God.

    Ugh. I used to be like that. Brings back painful memories.

  116. deti

    Maeve:

    Agree that wife not wanting to do “X” is a common problem in marriages.

    1. For us Christians it depends on what X is. Is X something that is biblically forbidden?

    2. Beyond that, is X something that could be physically harmful or painful?

    3. Does X involve orifices used exclusively for excretion?

    4. Is X something that Sally has never done before?

    5. Is X something that Sally has done before for a prior sex partner but is now refusing to do with John?

    All these things should come into account in determining whether a declined sex practice is something which should cause tension.

    Because you might not want to believe this, Maeve, but more often than not, if it’s not immoral, painful or unnatural, the act is something she engaged in with gusto and wild abandon with a prior, hotter, better sex partner; but doesn’t want to do with John because she’s not all that attracted to him. .

  117. tbc

    Deti perhaps I should put it more plainly. People are not objects. Wives should not treat their husbands as objects. Husbands should not treat their wives as objects. They are not things to be used to satisfy our lusts (i.e as masturbatory aids), but people to whom God has called us in a sacred covenant.

    [ssm: I agree with you. The same argument can be made for resources as well. A wife must not see her husband as a wallet just as a husband must see his wife as masturbatory aid. Sex and provisioning are good and right but they are not the basis of the covenant.]

  118. Rollo Tomassi

    What I find interesting is the discussion thread that SSM once had here about wanting to really come to terms with how men assess the sexual availability/viability of a woman within the first 30 seconds of meeting her. I think even HHG concurred that he, like all men, do in fact autonomously size a woman up as a sexual prospect (or not) at first sight.

    In that discussion (sorry, don’t know the link) it was a pretty cut and dried debate, men are built to assess sexual viability as part of our psychological firmware. So why is it such an eternal mystery for the women here to come to terms with how important sex is for men? Why is there even a debate as to why a man would want to get married – especially if conviction motivates him to ‘legitimately’ have sex – if not for the prospect of locking down a consistent supply of sex for himself?

    Women like to paint marriage with esoteric qualifiers like companionship, but at the end of the day your companion is still subconsciously evaluating every girl within visual distance. That doesn’t mean he’ll act on it, but that’s what it distills down to.

  119. Farm Boy

    Being raised by a feminist mother has left me quite ignorant about men

    Probably ignorant about women also. The Feminist model of reality is just plain lacking.

  120. Bike Bubba

    First of all, gotta love the name “tbc”. Short, blunt, and to the point.

    Deti, to answer your question, I believe that there can be such a thing as rape, Biblically speaking. If you look at 1 Cor. 7 closely, you will see spouses commanded to render due affection, but no permission for the other spouse to force the issue. Hence, if the spouse does force the issue, it is, Biblically speaking, rape.

    Recourse, then, for the spouse not gettin’ any because other spouse is a denier, is not to take it by force, but rather church discipline per Matthew 18. This is also the solution for “frivorce”; the offending spouse is told by the deacons/elders that due to their behavior, they are considered out of fellowship, or even out of the faith. Bible believing churches do ask about this for new members, and I’ve been part of these processes.

    And what is “selfish lust”? Simple. If it involves other people (e.g. porn use), playing like you’re other people (e.g. role playing), or you’re doing every kind of manipulation short of physical force to get your spouse to do act X, then you’ve got a case of selfish lust.

  121. Lee Lee Bug

    @Deti

    There is a difference b/w a wife, a mistress and a prostitute. A single man who expects sex whenever he wants it however he wants it should probably hire a prostitute. A married man could find a mistress providing he is wealthy enough to support her.

    Wives should be willing to satisfy their husbands within reason. They should not say no to be spiteful or manipulative. This does not mean performing every sex act under the sun on command like a trained dog.

  122. Maeve

    Deti,
    For the purposes of my argument, I was assuming it was something she had not done before nor had any desire to do – and that it was not a result of some lack of attraction to the husband. I just saw it as one of the ways that tension can get introduced into an otherwise happy marriage and, if not addressed to some mutual agreement, can really rot the relationship. I didn’t have a specific “X” in mind :-)

    And I agree, also, that there can be any number of motivating factors for not wanting to engage in “X”. The big question then becomes “how do we navigate through this?”

  123. Farm Boy

    At the end of the day, she controls the sex, the amount, the frequency, the regularity, and even whether it happens

    The law is key in this matter, as it trumps any religious doctrine. Both the threat of divorce rape and marital rape keep him in line.

    [ssm: Agreed. I trust readers know where I stand on frivorce and the ludicrous idea of marital rape.]

  124. feeriker

    Now I know why Dalrock strongly recommends no marriage to a girl unless she’s head over heels in love with you and is submissive. Now I know why the only marriages which tend to succeed really well are the ones in which the wife is strongly sexually attracted to the husband. Because otherwise, it’s just not going to work. At all.

    Yep. So should we dare ask ourselves what percentage of real world (important caveat there) marriages are characterized by women who are head-over-heals in love with their husbands, who have found the true loves of their lives to whom they feel an unquenchable sexual attraction that will endure for decades, if not a lifetime?

    Probably not a good idea to go there. To give ourselves or to accept an honest answer (in statistical terms expressed as a percentage of total marriages, the figure is no higher than the single digits and probably hovers down in the rational number range between 1 and 0) would to be to admit to ourselves that we cannot fathom how even a tiny fraction of the 50 percent of marriages today that don’t end in divorce after five years remain intact. We probably especially don’t want to venture into the territory that asks us to surmise what percentage of these marriages that are still technically and legally intact involve regularly physical intimacy between husband and wife.

  125. Scott

    “What I find interesting is the discussion thread that SSM once had here about wanting to really come to terms with how men assess the sexual availability/viability of a woman within the first 30 seconds of meeting her”

    Author and radio host Dennis Prager has been talking about this problem for at least the 25 years or so I have been listening to his show. In that time, it has always fallen on deaf ears (mainstream “conservatives” are his primary audience). He argues that women need to learn about the darkest sides of male sexuality and quietly take it in. They are scared to death of it, and most engage in a supreme amount of cognisitive dissonance becase it is just too painful. But truth can be like that sometimes.

    I have to give SSM credit though–she, through this site at least opens up the door to disussing this stuff. But as you poit out, when it gets too real, the “comanionship” and other other flowery languae filters in.

    [ssm: No, this is inaccurate. The idea that men might be marrying only for sex did not bother me in particular. I was a bit shocked on the old thread that Rollo referenced that so many men agreed that they evaluated almost all the females in their vicinity for sexual viability, but other than making me feel a little self-conscious in public, it didn't horrify me. The reason I bring up the companionship stuff is because I have seen so many comments from male readers, and men on other blogs, that convey an incredible amount of loneliness. Also, the verses in the Bible say that it was not good for man to be alone, so God made a helper suitable for him. The verses do not say it is not good for a man to experience unfulfilled sexual urges so I will make a sex partner for him. I can only conclude that the problem was loneliness and a desire for intimacy (including physical intimacy). If men only wanted marriage for sex, I could readily accept that, but I do not believe that to be the case and there seems to be a great deal of disagreement among the men on this issue.]

  126. tbc

    Assessing whether one wants to or would be willing to have sex with a woman is quite a different thing than assessing whether or not one wants to commit oneself in marriage to a woman.

  127. deti

    @Maeve:

    “ For the purposes of my argument, I was assuming it was something she had not done before nor had any desire to do – and that it was not a result of some lack of attraction to the husband. I just saw it as one of the ways that tension can get introduced into an otherwise happy marriage and, if not addressed to some mutual agreement, can really rot the relationship. I didn’t have a specific “X” in mind “

    For the purpose of argument I’ll assume your facts. Now I want to ask: Why doesn’t Sally want to do this? If she is loving and submissive, why doesn’t she want to do X? Is X biblically immoral? Then X is out. (This will vary widely according to biblical doctrine and personal belief so that needs to be fully vetted BEFORE the “I do’s” are said.)

    Is X painful? (I don’t mean psychologically or emotionally painful. I mean injurious to delicate soft tissues painful.) If so, then X is out.

    Is X unnatural? (again, personal preference is key here and will vary widely.) If so, then X is out.

    But most of the time, X is none of these things. So then we have to ask:

    Why doesn’t Sally want to do X?

    That’s the first step in navigating the issue.

  128. Bike Bubba

    “So should we dare ask ourselves what percentage of real world (important caveat there) marriages are characterized by women who are head-over-heals in love with their husbands, who have found the true loves of their lives to whom they feel an unquenchable sexual attraction that will endure for decades, if not a lifetime?”

    It’s worth noting here that “head over heels” love that has an “unquenchable” attraction is not, Biblically speaking, love. This is a big part where I part ways with “game”; they’re trying to maintain “tingles” and such, but that’s really all about a temporary lust, not real love. And when that lust becomes “unquenchable”–OK, folks, that’s not a virtue, that’s a pathology. That’s where people start treating their spouses like a sex toy.

  129. deti

    Feeriker:

    “So should we dare ask ourselves what percentage of real world (important caveat there) marriages are characterized by women who are head-over-heels in love with their husbands, who have found the true loves of their lives to whom they feel an unquenchable sexual attraction that will endure for decades, if not a lifetime?”

    The answer to your question is, of course, not many. There just aren’t enough men like that to go around to all the women who want them.

    This current SMP and MMP are based on hard visceral sexual attraction. This is true even in Christian and churchian circles. Most men just don’t produce those kinds of hard attraction cues in women. And so, most of these average men are either out of luck; or they marry women who are desperate for husbands, are in their late 20s or early 30s, and who wouldn’t have given them the time of day while in their sexual peaks. And because it’s so easy to get out of marriage, many of these men get chewed up in the frivorce meat grinder. Many of the rest of them remain in horribly miserable, sexless marriages.

    Of course it’s the men’s fault too. Most of them have no Game to speak of. Most of them let themselves go, and know next to nothing about female attraction and how it really works.

    The reason that the only marriages which seem to work well are those in which there is strong wife-to-husband sexual attraction is because that hard, visceral sexual attraction makes submission easier. It’s so much easier and more comfortable for a woman to submit to a man she really has the hots for This is particularly true in a culture which tells even Christian women that they do not have to submit to a man who’s “unworthy: of that submission; tells women they only have to submit to a man who earns it; tells them to drop kick any man who’s not doing it all for them.

  130. FuzzieWuzzie

    I have a mind that lends itself to the absurd and fantastic. So, when Maeve mentioned “X”, the first thing I thought of was swinging from chandeliers. However, I can’t see haow Sally would have a problem with this, it would likely be a one in a lifetime experience.

  131. Deep Strength

    I believe what deti is trying to say is:

    Storge — famial affection — if I need that I go to my family
    Philia — friendship — if I need this kind I go to my male friends, because they are inherently better friends than females are.
    Eros — sexual — husbands need a wife, and wives need a husband.
    Agape — if I need this I go to God (and it is what we should attempt to give out, but ultimately will fail as long as we have human bodies).

    The “void” as donal/TSK point out is inherently eros. It is a physical closeness + sexual intimacy and fulfillment we are lacking.

  132. feeriker

    @Bike Bubba:

    You make some good points here and I don’t dispute your characterization of the type of “head-over-heels-crazy-unquenchable-sexual-attraction” drive as lust. However, I don’t think that changes the reality of what deti pointed out, that unless a man gives off what we might describe as “alpha vibes” to a woman, leading her to feel an irresistible physical attraction to him, then she is NOT going to feel any sort of genuine physical attraction or affection for him that will lead to a healthy marital sex life. There simply are not enough “alpha” types out there among the male population for such mutual attractions to be the relationship norm. If, as deti implies, such dynamics are the only thing that will lead to a healthy and sustainable level of intimacy in marriage (exceptions to the norm and degrees of course apply), then it stands to reason that no more than perhaps ten percent of all marriages (and I’m being generous in my estimate here) stand any statistical chance of being happy and healthy ones. That being the case, it would be foolish for the average man to even consider getting married.

  133. Artisanal Toad

    @tbc
    Lust really has to do with using another person as an object — it is dehumanizing at the core.

    I believe the definition of lust must be viewed in contradistinction to legitimate desire. My sexual desire for another man’s wife would be lust because it cannot be legitimately fulfilled. In other words, if it is sin to fulfill the desire then it’s lust. However, my desire for my wife cannot be lust because it is a legitimate desire that is to be fulfilled within the bounds of marriage.

    So, the first reason I disagree with defining lust as using another person as an object is that it doesn’t deal with the legitimacy of the situation. A young man looks on a maiden with desire. Is that lust? Perhaps, and perhaps not. No, because he could legitimately marry her and satisfy that desire within the legitimate bounds of marriage. Yes, because he could be looking on her and desire to fulfill his desires outside the bounds of marriage (fornication). Who is the final arbiter of whether it’s lust or legitimate desire? I say it’s between the individual and their conscience as guided by the Holy Spirit.

    In contrast, to look on a married woman with desire is always lust because it is a desire that cannot be legitimately fulfilled. Another reason for wives to dress modestly.

    Now, go read Matthew 5:27-32 and see what it tells you. Christ starts off speaking about adultery. Then he discussed looking on a woman with lust… and having already committed adultery in the heart. He was talking about looking at a married woman. “And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out” That would be the roving eye that can’t stop looking with lust. “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.” That would be the hand that caresses the married woman’s body. He winds up with verses 31 and 32, in which the lust has given way to sin, and the husband now wants to put his wife away in order to marry another.

    Again, the young man who looks on the maiden with desire is not lusting in his heart and he cannot commit adultery with her for she is unmarried.

    The second reason deti has already alluded to, in that the objectification of an individual is in the eye of the beholder. 1st Cor. 7:4 is clear that the wife’s body belongs to her husband. To say that he can only desire what is his in a certain way, and that decided by someone else, is to invade the marriage and impose restrictions that God did not impose. Who are you, oh man… to speak where God is silent? Who are you, oh man, to judge thoughts and motives? These things are the prerogative of God and God alone.

    By defining the terms such as lust into normatives rather than absolutes, there is an opportunity for outsiders to invade the covenant entity that is family in which they have no authority. Anybody who truly wants to understand how a lot of this stuff came to be needs to read James Brundage’s book “Law, Sex, and Christian Society in Medieval Europe” I believe it would be helpful for many to take a look at how these rules of sexual morality were developed and by who.

  134. deti

    Bike:

    “Recourse, then, for the spouse not gettin’ any because other spouse is a denier, is not to take it by force, but rather church discipline per Matthew 18. This is also the solution for “frivorce”; the offending spouse is told by the deacons/elders that due to their behavior, they are considered out of fellowship, or even out of the faith. Bible believing churches do ask about this for new members, and I’ve been part of these processes.”

    Agreed. He can’t force her.

    I’ll just wait right here while you name the churches that will actually impose church discipline, up to and including excommunication, on a wife who refuses her husband.

    *crickets*

  135. deti

    “unless a man gives off what we might describe as “alpha vibes” to a woman, leading her to feel an irresistible physical attraction to him, then she is NOT going to feel any sort of genuine physical attraction or affection for him that will lead to a healthy marital sex life. There simply are not enough “alpha” types out there among the male population for such mutual attractions to be the relationship norm. If, as deti implies, such dynamics are the only thing that will lead to a healthy and sustainable level of intimacy in marriage ***”

    I want to be very clear here.

    The only reason this current dynamic dominates the US SMP and MMP, and even in the Church, is because the culture, the legal environment, and even the Church environment allow it. There are no restraints now on a woman other than the internal ones she imposes on herself. Even the Church encourages frivorce if he’s “unworthy” of submission.

    It’s always been the case that most women didn’t get to marry Alpha McGorgeous or Harley McBadboy. The difference is that back then, women got pretty damn realistic, and that right soon, about what they could really get in the SMP and the MMP. They were pressured by grandmama and mother to get their heads out of the clouds and their feet on the ground, and to get serious about marriage, and that it was gonna be one and done and you better pick well and you better do it soon because you don’t have forever, sweetie.

    None of that is in play now. None of it.

  136. FuzzieWuzzie

    It should be noted that Dalrock’s reccommendation for “head over heels” attraction is seconded by Susan Walsh. There is a problem applying this, while a guy is in the throes of infatuation, he is ready to believe anything.
    feeriker’s ten percent estimate is starting to sound viable.

  137. Looking Glass

    We live in the “Age of Unreality”, don’t forget that. The skews we see simply won’t exist in 100 years because they can’t sustain. Thus, we are in the aberration. Something to always keep in mind.

    As for the issue between Deti & SSM, let me bring out some fun terminology:

    For Marriage, for a Man, Sex is… “necessary but not sufficient”. A Man will rarely seek to marry (and probably never honestly) without the implicit sexual aspect. This is precisely why Paul calls those not given to “burning” as more blessed, because they are, as they aren’t feeling the “pull” of the Body in the same way.

    I’ll borrow a quote that I came across some years ago, that illuminates a lot of the First Order issue: “If the sex is good, it’s 10% of the marriage; if the sex is bad, it’s 90% of the problems”. This just happens to be a real world example of the “Unity” aspect of the sexual act in marriage.

    Also, a lot of people are getting tripped up by a very common mistake: as Christians, intentions *ALWAYS MATTER*. Where your “Heart” is, so you are. This is the reason Zippy keeps running himself into a lot of problems and coming across like a bought & paid for Churchian, on this subject. If you “fast” from sexual congress with a Spouse for the purposes of Prayer & Fasting (something that’s very good for you, it should be noted), then it is to the very benefit of your Soul. If you are “fasting” simply for the expectation of sexual denial later, you are simply doing it to sate the Lusts & Rebellion of your Wife. These are night & day different things.

    Intentions, even in debates, always matter to God. Never forget that.

  138. Bike Bubba

    Deti, my experience is that I have been in churches which have penalized frivolous divorce, and have brought people to repentance (some even remarrying) after moves towards “frivorce.” So my take is that in my realm of the Church–evangelical/fundamental Baptists–at least a lot of us are getting it right with regards to easy divorce. We do show “frivorcers” of both sexes to the door. Even the theologically liberal church (UMC) I grew up in offered counseling for those considering divorce.

    Disciplining refusers? I’ve been a deacon in three churches (total six years; I’ve moved around a bit), a member of seven churches, and a frequent attendee of two more, and I’ve yet to hear, quite frankly, of any cases where the pastor was approached regarding this, let alone discipline, except for one case where the “refused” had taken matters into his own hands, and was dating his second-ex-wife-to-be. Having just participated in discipline involving underdressed and slouching teens, however, I’d have to guess that my churches would be capable of dealing with it.

  139. Maeve

    @ Deti,
    I’m not avoiding your question – it’s just that I really didn’t have a specific “X” in mind.

    I suppose my own very personal perspective is that people should not be required to perform acts they find distasteful. In my opinion the farther one gets from flat-out vanilla, the more that mutual desire for “X” is absolutely necessary.

    I would need to think on it some more – you’ve made me see that I’ve put forth an incomplete thought and have not carried it out to its conclusion. I’m not copping out – I just don’t have all my thoughts on it and I’m about to burn dinner and become really unpopular with the people here.

  140. Christina

    Like you, ssm, I’ve noticed the effects of light to no sex on our marriage. He gets distant and abrupt and I get cranky and feel unloved.

    Our month has been kind of difficult, too. I’ve been stressed and tired from a new workout routine for weight loss and he’s been going to bed early while I finish up housekeeping. I’m not very good at default yes even w good intentions, but this was just rough.

  141. Farm Boy

    It should be noted that Dalrock’s reccommendation for “head over heels” attraction is seconded by Susan Walsh.

    Well then, I suppose that is settled.

    It is a real risk for a fella to bank on only that. My Dad knew that my Mom was taught to love the husband unconditionally. He had that to bank on. The results were five happy kids.

  142. feeriker

    My Dad knew that my Mom was taught to love the husband unconditionally. He had that to bank on. The results were five happy kids.

    Same dynamic in my own parents marriage, which lasted for nearly 52 years until Dad’s death two years ago. Yet I knew that even for their generation, the kind of mutual devotion and closeness they had within a Christian marriage was something of an outlier. If it was rare in an era when stable marriages were the norm and divorce the exception, it’s probably all but impossible to recreate now.

  143. FuzzieWuzzie

    Christina, you just reminded me of Ferdinand Foch, the WW1 French general. His answer to any situation was: “Attack!”. I could imagine a subordinate informing him that he was surrounded and hia response would be: “Excellent, we can attack in ant direction. Now, attack!”.
    In all seriousnes, please make the time for both your sakes.

  144. Farm Boy

    Lust really has to do with using another person as an object — it is dehumanizing at the core.

    But chicks like being objectified. Just ask the ones that hang around here.

  145. deti

    Good on you, Bike Bubba.

    Send the names of those churches to Dalrock. He has a post in which he’s been waiting for names of churches that support biblical marriage. Seriously, go to his site and tell him the names. Post them here as well.

    I frankly find your assertions hard to believe. I have been in and around churches for the better part of 35 years. I have never, ever, EVER seen anyone disciplined for divorcing without cause or for frivorcing. Divorced and remarried Catholics still receive Eucharist at local RCC churches. I’ve never seen any woman receive even a slap on the hand or a stern talking to, much less excommunication.

    Now, I have seen men lectured and tongue lashed for being the cause of their wives’ affairs and subsequent divorces. I’ve seen men being told “well, what did you do to cause all these problems in your marriage” while their wives stand there with knowing glances and making smug neck rolls as if to say “you know it, preeeeech, brotha!”

  146. Bike Bubba

    To continue, I’d guess there are some good reasons I haven’t heard of this. For starters, divorce is really rare where I’ve attended–in the past 15 years, I can only think of one divorce with about 2000 couple-years of marriage there. Hence I’d guess that refusal, while not nonexistent, would also be low–much less than the 20% national average for “low sex” marriages. I know of one case (friends that actually lived in my home for a while), but by the time I knew of what had happened, they’d repented and had a baby on the way.

    Speaking as a former deacon as well, I’m guessing that a big reason I never heard of such cases in terms of church discipline would be due to repentance on the part of the refuser, as well as bad habits on the part of the refused–porn, etc..–where the pastor simply says “hey, you’re driving your spouse away with that, it’s disgusting”.

    And one of these days, I’d guess I may come face to face with a genuine case of refusal where counsel didn’t work and the complainant wasn’t misbehaving. And in that case, you bet I’ll insist on Matthew 18 being followed.

  147. Christina

    It’s super easy to believe your immediate physical state. Being tired and exhausted from everyday demands easily overshadow any desire that exists… while my husband can easily awaken it if he tries, there are days I don’t even remember falling asleep.

    but really… if this were really that easy, you think paul would need to write a letter blatantly stressing this to a congregation?

  148. Bike Bubba

    Churches where I’ve seen disicpline used for the divorcing or otherwise adulterous:

    Bethany Baptist Church, Boulder CO (defunct, sadly)
    Fourth Baptist Church, Plymouth MN
    First Bible Church, Decatur, Alabama
    Grace Baptist Church, Waseca MN
    Northern Ridge Baptist Church, Erie, CO
    Bread of Life Church of Torrance, CA
    Sunago Grace Covenant Church of Compton, CA

    I’ll also note that I’m pretty sure good counsel was given to struggling couples at Flatirons Baptist Church of Boulder CO, Christ Community Church of Waseca MN, and First Baptist Church of Kasson MN. An attempt, but less effective, I’ve seen at First United Methodist Church of Chesterton, IN. (mostly smaller churches; I wonder if the big gap is in bigger churches where the pastor can’t get close enough to the members?)

  149. Christina

    Freeriker, I was simply expressing agreement and solidarity w ssm on the subject.

    it does have a needed and positive effect on marriage. Abstaining can cause problems, but its an easy trap to fall into in times of stress and fatigue.

    On the plus side, I read that simply holding hands is a major stress reliever and if you think you may be too stressed before hitting the sack, sit together for a little bit relaxing and holding hands.

  150. FuzzieWuzzie

    Christina, should you take my advice and it fails, feel free to blame it on a bear you met on the internet. That might be good for a disarming laugh.

  151. feeriker

    I’ve seen men being told “well, what did you do to cause all these problems in your marriage” while their wives stand there with knowing glances and making smug neck rolls as if to say “you know it, preeeeech, brotha!”

    Ah yes, the Gary Smalley school of “Christian” marriage counseling (husband = neglectful loser brute, wife = love and affection-starved victim).

  152. FuzzieWuzzie

    Farm Boy, don’t tell Foch got sucked into believing that the Maginot Line would work. Good grief, when the Nazis invaded in 1940 it only slightly modified from the 1914 version.

  153. Christina

    Fuzzie wuzzie,

    I didn’t really need the advice because its taken care of already… but thanks.

    It was an nfp faux pas, but I felt our situation necessitated it.

  154. Stg58/Animal Mother

    Bike Bubba,

    You can add Primitive Baptist churches to that list. There is a church in East Texas in danger of being out of fellowship with many other P.B. churches in Texas because the pastor is not applying church discipline to an adulterous female member.

  155. feeriker

    Bike Bubba said or starters, divorce is really rare where I’ve attended–in the past 15 years, I can only think of one divorce with about 2000 couple-years of marriage there. Hence I’d guess that refusal, while not nonexistent, would also be low–much less than the 20% national average for “low sex” marriages.

    Much more likely is that refusal within these marriages that you describe is rampant, especially among couples who’ve been married for five years or more. You’ll never know or hear about it because husbands know better than to confide the details of such an intimate issue with anyone within the church. They know full well that if they ever were to do so that 1) ridicule and shaming are sure to follow and 2) pastors or elders with whom they share this uncomfortable and humiliating truth will simply tell them to “man up” or blame them for their wives refusal, or 3) they know that there isn’t a thing they can do within a biblical framework to change the situation (and certainly not without their wives either threatening frivorce or actually going through with it), so they shut up and bear it in silence.

    Speaking as a former deacon as well, I’m guessing that a big reason I never heard of such cases in terms of church discipline would be due to repentance on the part of the refuser, as well as bad habits on the part of the refused–porn, etc..–where the pastor simply says “hey, you’re driving your spouse away with that, it’s disgusting”.

    Oooookay, so the default assumption then is that one party (read: the husband) is actively and consciously doing something that is driving the wife away and killing her physical attraction for him and that she is completely innocent of anything, rather than the possibility that 1) the wife is in open rebellion against her husband and/or 2) is not sexually attracted to him and never has been?

    How convenient. Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.

    This (typical) attitude also explains why “Christian” marriage counseling is such a repulsive exercise for most men.

  156. FuzzieWuzzie

    Christina, that is good news! I was going to post an inspirational music video on the open conversation thread. I’ll do it anyway for the benefit of any lurkers in the same spot.

  157. Zippy

    deti:
    It’s not common; and that’s the point that seems to be lost on you every time this issue is discussed, Zippy.

    This is where you are completely, utterly, indubitably, effervescently wrong. It is much more than common. Let me spell it out for you, since you are extremely thickheaded on this point. I won’t speculate as to the reasons.

    A very small percentage of married couples will die together, in say auto accidents. Lets say 2%.

    Of the remaining 98% of married couples, half of them will die before their spouse dies. That’s 49% of all married people who will have no morally licit sexual outlet for an extended period.

    Now add in all the folks who will have other reasons: illness, separation for economic reasons, military service, taking care of loved ones, etc etc.

    So more than half of all married people will go through periods of extended abstinence from sex with no morally licit outlet. If it hasn’t happened to you yet, chances are that it will.

    If something is going to happen to more than half of the people who are married it is not the rare irrelevant thing that you, with your childlike obsession with only what is Happening Right Now (stamp! stamp!), keep insisting that it is.

    People who turn themselves into slaves to sex are going to spiritually die on that hill.

    Note that this is, indeed, a separate and entirely distinct issue from spousal withholding, etc. And I very much agree with the spirit of the OP, as a partial facet of the truth about marriage.

    But folks who aren’t prepared to uphold their vows in full in the complete absence of sex, sometimes for decades, have no business making them in the first place. In sickness and in health, and all that.

  158. lgrobins

    “Of the remaining 98% of married couples, half of them will die before their spouse dies. That’s 49% of all married people who will have no morally licit sexual outlet for an extended period.”

    What age range are you talking about here? Once you get up to 70s and 80s, that is probably correct and at that point I don’t think sex is a high priority anyway. But, I am a bit confused then if you are saying by the time we are 40-50, that half of our spouses are going to die.

  159. deti

    @ Zippy:

    Instead of Dowdifying my quote, you might try quoting me accurately and in context.

    What I said was:

    “I think people well understand that they can be widowed and that a spouse can suffer debilitating injury or disease. Thing is, that’s not a problem common to marriages that are around 5 to 20 years old. Does it happen? Yes, sure it does. It’s not common; and that’s the point that seems to be lost on you every time this issue is discussed, Zippy./”

    And

    “It IS a rare exception if we are talking about people 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, even 20 years into marriage. You are talking about people being widowed, which usually happens 20, 25, 30, 50 years in. You’re also talking about diseases which prevent sex, which usually don’t happen until after menopause, around 20 to 30 years in. You’re talking like a man should EXPECT to be deprived of sex a couple of years in. That’s rare, and it disincentivizes men to tell them to prepare for debilitating disease or widowhood a couple of years into a marriage.”

    As I said, Zippy, you’re talking about things that frankly are not really relevant to today’s married couples. By far and away, the biggest sexual deprivation problem is married women refusing sex to their husbands; and single men being forced to wait a decade or more before they can legitimately have sex. The problem is NOT 32 year old husbands having to forego sex because of their 30 year old quadriplegic wives; or a 29 year old woman who suddenly becomes a widow when her husband is killed in a car accident. The problem is NOT wives going away on 2 week business trips, or a 40 year old hubby recuperating for six months from a heart attack.

    Do these things happen? Sure. Are they statistically a huge issue? No.

    Now, yes, it’s true that most of the time one spouse outlives the other. Yes. That does happen all the time — usually after 20 years or more of marriage, when the spouses are settled in. Being suddenly widowed, however, and then having to go without sex, is NOT a typical problem a 34 year old married man has to face. He might have to face it when he’s 54 and with lower sex drive. But that’s not a huge problem for today’s SMP and MMP. It’s just not, and no matter how you spin it, it isn’t

    The big problem is women depriving their husbands of sex because wife just doesn’t wanna because she doesn’t have the hots for him. Period. Full stop. End of story.

  160. sunshinemary Post author

    Note that this is, indeed, a separate and entirely distinct issue from spousal withholding, etc. And I very much agree with the spirit of the OP, as a partial facet of the truth about marriage.

    And just to clarify, the situation I was describing in the OP wasn’t one of withholding. Neither of us was begging the other and getting refused. We just got into a downward spiral of negative interactions causing us not to want to come together, which made us more unpleasant to each other, which made us want to come together even less, which…

    That’s why I say default yes is the best course.

    Separate but related issues are ones of withholding (a sin, and the one that seems to bug Deti) and loss of attraction (which is what Athol Kay addresses at MMSL).

    So more than half of all married people will go through periods of extended abstinence from sex with no morally licit outlet. If it hasn’t happened to you yet, chances are that it will.

    I actually agree with this, and furthermore I believe that this is NOT a downside of marriage because I do not believe that most men have the time or energy after their twenties to play pick up artist, even if they could somehow manage to seduce a lot of women, which few man can do.

    We are blessed not to have had any major extended periods of celibacy (this month not withstanding) but if you add up all the abstaining we’ve done post partum and during the first trimester (I am prone to severe morning sickness in the first trimester), it adds up to a lot. It wasn’t all at once, but still.

  161. earl

    “The big problem is women depriving their husbands of sex because wife just doesn’t wanna because she doesn’t have the hots for him. Period. Full stop. End of story.”

    Because she selfishly wanted the wedding, the marriage, and the ATM machine..but didn’t have any desire for the guy behind it.

    That to me is a fate worse than death…I’d rather be single and know they don’t have desire for me…than to be married to one and find out she never had it.

  162. Zippy

    lgrobins:
    So the plan is to be a slave to sex into one’s 50′s, hoping for the best, and then further hope to lose interest in sex before it becomes a problem?

    I know people in their late 60′s who have discovered the flaw in that strategy.

  163. deti

    “What age range are you talking about here? Once you get up to 70s and 80s, that is probably correct and at that point I don’t think sex is a high priority anyway. But, I am a bit confused then if you are saying by the time we are 40-50, that half of our spouses are going to die.”

    Exactly. I’m glad someone gets it. Is it POSSIBLE that a 30 year old married man is going to be suddenly widowed? Yes. Is this LIKELY? Not very.

    Is it POSSIBLE an 80 year old married man is going to be suddenly widowed? Well, he probably already is. But by then, sex isn’t that high on his list anyway.

  164. lgrobins

    How about “default withholding”? There should be a name for what happens when both spouses subconsciously deny each other, be it getting bogged down with life or whatever..there is a certain mode, a certain funk, a couple sinks into.

  165. sunshinemary Post author

    Good news, fellow Christians (atheists and agnostics, I can’t help you out here). We can stop arguing about whether or not men marry only for sex. God has already told us what the relationship between a man in his wife is and what it is for in Malachi 2:13-16:

    13 And this second thing you do. You cover the Lord’s altar with tears, with weeping and groaning because he no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand. 14 But you say, “Why does he not?” Because the Lord was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. 15 Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth. 16 “For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her,says the Lord, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.”

    Your wife is your companion with whom you are supposed to be making Godly offspring.

    If you only want a woman for sex and do not desire the special kind of companionship that marriage offers and if you plan to contracept 99% of the time, you should not marry. Marriage is the only morally-licit place for sexual expression, but the purpose of marriage isn’t solely to sate your lust. Got a problem with that? Take it up with God.

  166. earl

    As far as slaves to sex drive…I’ll ask.

    Would you still marry your wife if you knew she would cut off sex with you on a whim?

    I always took marriage as to be the vows said in front of witnesses…and then the physical act. Heck isn’t it true that it isn’t a valid marriage until sex happens?

  167. Zippy

    deti:
    Your approach appears to be to make a ludicrously wrong statement and then, when called on it, to qualify, qualify, qualify. Then pretend you never said anything ridiculous.

    I think you should just admit that your statement was ludicrous.

    But then, I also think you should stop pretending to characterize my point of view, and those of others, as seen through the distorted lens of your personal obsessions and the little tiny world you appear to live in.

  168. donalgraeme

    This sure has been an uplifting post with attendant comments. So much to address, but really quickly, I want to cover something which SSM just said.

    Sunshine, compare that passage from Malachi with 1 Cor 7:1-5.

    It seems to me that Paul is saying that you marry for sex. No mention of children there at all.

    [ssm: And really, it's just the first two verses in 1 Cor 7:

    Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” 2 But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.

    Does that verse say that men are to marry only for sex?

    Consider this: I pray in order to avoid giving in to sin. But is that the only reason, or even the primary reason, to pray? I don't believe it is. So, saying that we should marry in order to avoid giving in to sexual sin does not necessarily mean that sex is the only reason to marry.

    We should also consider that godly offspring, as the stated purpose of marriage from Malachi 2, cannot be gotten without sex.

    But I'm not a theologian or a Bible scholar. Maybe someone else can show where my understanding of these verses is wrong. I'm open to correction here if I'm in error.]

  169. Zippy

    Earl:
    In Catholic moral theology an unconsummated marriage between baptized Christians is valid, but it is not yet indissoluble. (It is dissoluble under certain very restrictive conditions).

  170. deti

    Laura Grace:

    Zippy is right that in almost all marriages, one spouse outlives the other. But the point is that this usually happens after a couple has been married more than 20 years.

    I just don’t think it’s a problem. If it is one, there are bigger ones to worry about, like, oh, I don’t know:

     Millions of babies aborted
     Good employable, clean cut, educated men who can’t get a date with even the homely church girls
     Rampant hypergamy, with chubby 4s thinking they’re 8s because they slept with Alpha McGorgeous once
     “Christian” women refusing to sleep with their husbands for months and years on end
     “Chrsitian” women frivorcing their husbands and financially raping them in court

    Sorry. With issues like these, I can’t be too bothered with Gladys’s sexual deprivation because she’s widowed after 40 years. I also can’t be too bothered with Herb either, who just got widowed after 43 years of marriage. At least they got spouses. I’m a lot more worried about the young men that Herb and Gladys neglected, the ones they failed to teach, the ones who have to live in the screwed up world Herb and Gladys left for them.

  171. lgrobins

    What is so unreasonable about qualifying? I am trying to learn from You and had an honest question. Trying to listen to those who are older and wiser in the faith, but sometimes the tone of these discussion is so off-putting.

  172. Jen

    Don’t you think the “head over heels in love” thing fades for both the husband and wife after marriage, babies, the daily grind?

  173. deti

    “Don’t you think the “head over heels in love” thing fades for both the husband and wife after marriage, babies, the daily grind?”

    Absolutely. The point is you start out that way, so you have that foundation to build on and to remember as part of the “glue” that holds you together through the tough times. If you start out with unreasonable expectations or not having any attraction or not taking vows seriously, then the foundation is faulty and makes the tough times even more grinding and hard.

  174. lgrobins

    Deti, Right on. Marriage advice always says try to rekindle what first brought you together, think about what attracted you in the first place before life got in the way? And if you don’t have that, if you settled, etc., there is nothing to come back upon.

  175. donalgraeme

    Posted before I was finished, sorry. To continue…

    Both of those passages appear to be somewhat at odds with one another. But set that aside for the moment. Consider this:

    What is it about marriage that makes it different from all other relationships that exist (at least, from a Christian perspective)?

    Sex.

    Sex is the difference. For Christians, sex is only acceptable in marriage. Which means that it is sex, and not anything else, which makes a marriage what it is. Sex makes Christian marriage, marriage. In fact, it is not even a marriage to begin with until the married couple has sex.

    A marriage without sex is broken. Now, that brokenness might not be caused by the married couple, as Zippy is fond of pointing out. But it is still broken. It is still missing its core component, around which everything else operates.

    Children come into play because they are the fruit of that union. If everything is working as it should, then you get this:
    Marriage—->Sex—–>Children
    Unless the married couple is outside of child-bearing age (and such a couple should still have children, see Sarah), then there should be children being born of their union. If there isn’t, then something is broken. And again, it might not be their fault, but that doesn’t mean something isn’t broken.

    SSM linked to one of my posts, The Need and the Void, wherein I described my thoughts on how men needed women. Perhaps I was less than clear in my writing, but it seems to me that she misunderstood what I was trying to say. I gather from her earlier response that she felt that men sought companionship from women, in addition to sex. This is not correct.

    I alluded to it earlier in this post, but what men need from women is Intimacy. And you cannot have intimacy without sex. At least, for a man you can’t. Perhaps women are different.

    Let me quote myself here:

    I referenced this sensation in my previous post as the Ache, but that isn’t exactly right. While the lack of physical contact with a woman (sex) might cause physical symptoms like an ache, the real harm is mental. Instead, I think I will refer to it as The Void, because the lack of femininity in a man’s life leaves him with a terrible emptiness which nothing else can fill. While a man might use porn or “sex-bots” or a Holodeck to satisfy the physical demands of The Need, that is the limit to their capabilities. The true harm of The Void can only be met by a real, live, flesh and blood woman, although I suspect much time and money will be spent to prove me wrong.

    What I was saying is that lack of physical contact (Intimacy, which necessarily includes sex) causes both physical and mental symptoms. That solace thing which I have talked about? We get much of it from sex, and the part we get from sex can’t be acquired any other way.

  176. FuzzieWuzzie

    deti, those four points that you mentioned at 8:04pm, has anyone addressed them save for our own little corner of the internet?
    The longer they’re ignored, the worse the fallout will be.
    I have to agree with you, in that, sexual deprivation in marriage is a substantial social threat. If the full scope of it ever hit the national consciousness… Whoa, Nellie!

  177. donalgraeme

    So I looked it up, and Zippy is right about the Catholic approach to the consummation and the validity of marriage. Not sure that I agree with it, but the canon law is clear.

  178. Farm Boy

    Separate but related issues are ones of withholding

    Another sore spot with men, this is.

    The force, it pulls all discussions this way.

  179. Looking Glass

    @Zippy:

    You’re getting badly stuck on a “How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?” debate, and this happened the time this came up last year, as well. If you want another idiom, you’re obsessed with a single Tree in a Forest that’s burning down around you.

    A Man’s absolute lower-bound divorce possibility, here in the USA, is somewhere around 25%. There are a few things you can do to lower it, but the government has granted all Women legal authority over their Husbands. He is simply at her Whim for the destruction of his physical Life. Her Walk in Faith is all that really stands between Him and destruction.

    So the American Christian Man, as he exists in this society & with his education, is left with the choice between “burning passion” and “slave to his Wife” for his options. You heap coals on top of him to also say he needs to just bite the bullet and abstain from sexual congress with his Wife for the explicit purpose of the future Blue-balling she’s going to do to him. You do your brothers a grave disservice.

    Your attitude & statements, on this subject, are defeatist, short-sighted, without Love, without Respect and are thus only vanity. You transgress against your brothers in Christ with your statements and I call you to repentance. Your counsel would be wise if it came from Charity, but it does not.

  180. deti

    For the record, Zippy, I haven’t “characterized” your point of view other than to state it accurately, which is your expectation that men simply learn to do without sex for extended periods of time. In my view this is unworkable, because it’s directly contradictory to scripture and human nature. You’re telling red blooded healthy men they just have to learn to do without sex. That’s just not going to work.

    You also seem to think that young men and women need to prepare to do without as well. As I’ve said several times, yes, it’s possible a 30 year old man is going to be widowed or have to take care of a severely injured, incapacitated wife, possibly for decades, and he’ll have to go without sex. Yes. This happens. How likely is this to happen? Not very. And it’s certainly not going to be a big selling point for men and women looking to get married. I kind of thought we wanted people to get married.

    This is not in any way a distortion. I have not distorted or misstated your views in any way, shape, manner or form. The fact that I’ve pointed out the weaknesses and flaws in your viewpoint does not mean I’ve stated them inaccurately or distorted them. The fact that you don’t like my pointing out these flaws and weaknesses does not mean I’ve distorted them.

    I’m out. I’m not going to change your mind, and you’re not going to change mine.

    SSM: Sorry that the withholding issue being brought up seems to bug you. Yeah, it bugs me. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt.

    [ssm: It doesn't bug me. I know this has been a problem in a lot of people's marriages, which is why I've written so many posts telling women to get with the program on this issue. Women are more prone to withhold sex than men are, and I've taken women to task repeatedly for that, so talking about it doesn't bug me. It's not the focus of every post I write, of course.]

    I’m out.

    [ssm: Night, deti. Get some rest and maybe you'll be less grouchy in the morning. :)]

  181. sunshinemary Post author

    Donal, I’m not saying marriages should be sexless, so obviously I’m in agreement with you about the importance of regular sex within marriage. I’m just saying that from everything I’ve observed and from what other men have written and from what the Bible says, the sole purpose of marriage is not the satiation of sexual appetites.

    SSM linked to one of my posts, The Need and the Void, wherein I described my thoughts on how men needed women. Perhaps I was less than clear in my writing, but it seems to me that she misunderstood what I was trying to say. I gather from her earlier response that she felt that men sought companionship from women, in addition to sex. This is not correct.

    I alluded to it earlier in this post, but what men need from women is Intimacy. And you cannot have intimacy without sex. At least, for a man you can’t. Perhaps women are different.

    Donal, I’m trying to be gracious here, but I’m starting to feel like you are intentionally misunderstanding me. Where did I say that men could have intimacy without sex? I said that men desire companionship (i.e. emotional intimacy) in addition to sex (physical intimacy). You are reframing my argument 100% and then arguing against your reframe. I have never, ever downplayed the importance of sex in marriage. It is not, however, the sole purpose of marriage nor is it the only reason either sex should enter into it, as Deti has previously argued. You are saying that I am saying sex is not important, then arguing against that using my very idea, which is that it is intimacy (the combination of physical and emotional congress) is what men – and women too, actually – desire in marriage, which is in accordance with what is written in the Bible.

  182. Zippy

    It isn’t just widowhood, economics, health, etc. People also have to do completely without sex when they are single, before marrying, which is generally for at least a few years after puberty.

    The “just gotta have sex to satisfy my NEEEEEDS” attitude is a kind of enslavement. If you want to help people, you shouldn’t be encouraging them to be slaves.

  183. deti

    I lied. I’m not out.

    Donal, you are exactly spot on with your explanation on love, companionship and sex. Sex is the one thing that differentiates a man’s relationship with his wife from all other relationships he has. Can he do without it? Sure. Does he WANT to do without it? No, not at all. No sex means no intimacy. Reduced sex means reduced intimacy. The marriage is broken without sex, even if that brokenness is caused through no fault of the parties to the marriage.

  184. sunshinemary Post author

    I NEVER SAID A MAN WANTED TO DO WITHOUT SEX! I NEVER FREAKING SAID THIS!

    Gah!

    This thread is beginning to remind me of how preschoolers talk. They do these things called parallel monologues; they look like they are talking to each other, but if you record and analyze what they are saying, they are each monologuing about whatever play script is running through their heads, so there’s no real communication. We’re all just saying the same things over and over, like we’re reciting parallel monologues.

  185. donalgraeme

    @ SSM

    My initial comment was to point out that we should be careful about grabbing a single verse from scripture, and count on that being all encompassing. 1 Cor 7 focuses only on sexual sins, while Malachi focuses only on children. They are both correct: marriage is for children as well as for avoiding sexual sins.

    As for the second comment, I looked back, and after re-reading all of your comments, I misunderstood you. But not intentionally (I just read through the comments really quickly). Perhaps some of the trouble comes from the fact that you use companionship and think intimacy, and I read companionship and think friendship.

    You are saying that I am saying sex is not important

    If that is what you read me as saying, then I must apologize because that wasn’t what I was attempting to communicate. Pray tell, what exactly was it that I said that gave this impression?

    [ssm: Well, since you said that I misunderstood you and then you made an argument for the importance of sex in marriage, I thought that you were saying that I did not acknowledge the importance of sex. Which I do. But I may have gotten a little excited there in my response to you, and I am sorry about that.]

  186. deti

    I said that men desire companionship (i.e. emotional intimacy) in addition to sex (physical intimacy).

    A man is not going to have emotional intimacy with a woman unless he will also have physical intimacy with that woman.

    For a man, emotional intimacy with a woman is probably going to lead to physical intimacy. If it does not, the intimacy is incomplete and broken and doesn’t work correctly. . That longing in a man seeks to manifest itself in a physical way.

  187. Farm Boy

    So the American Christian Man, as he exists in this society & with his education, is left with the choice between “burning passion” and “slave to his Wife” for his options. You heap coals on top of him to also say he needs to just bite the bullet and abstain from sexual congress with his Wife for the explicit purpose of the future Blue-balling she’s going to do to him.

    Let me kill myself. That’l show her.

    It almost makes you want to be a bear. At least they get some at least once a year.

  188. sunshinemary Post author

    You heap coals on top of him to also say he needs to just bite the bullet and abstain from sexual congress with his Wife for the explicit purpose of the future Blue-balling she’s going to do to him.

    I might be wrong, but I don’t think Zippy actually said that. I think he’s said repeatedly that women who withhold are sinning. But is it wrong to be prepared in case you are sinned against? We can expect people will sometimes sin against us; shouldn’t we be prepared to handle that in a Christian way??

  189. sunshinemary Post author

    Listen, I have to practice patience. I’m not very good at it, so I try to coach myself along and practice it. That way when someone inevitably tries my patience, I can respond in a Christian way. That doesn’t mean that whatever they are doing is okay, but it does mean I can remain calm enough to manage the situation. Remaining calm and patient allows me to show some of Christ’s grace to them.

    Upthread tbc said that men have to master themselves if they are going to be masters of their households. I think that’s brilliantly put. When Zippy says to practice controlling your passions, it’s wise advice because then, if and when you are sinned against in this way, you are calm enough to put aside your own desires temporarily to help your wife stop being in sinful rebellion. How are you going to help her with that if you are freaking out about wanting to get laid? That’s not going to help either spouse.

  190. deti

    “It isn’t just widowhood, economics, health, etc. People also have to do completely without sex when they are single, before marrying, which is generally for at least a few years after puberty.”

    Been there too, done that too, got that T-shirt too. Boys and young men in this society are not at all strangers to having to learn how to curb, curtail, restrain and control their sexual urges. They hear it all the time, everywhere, from everyone. (Women, not so much.) There is nothing new about this, nor about the requirement that unmarried singles are supposed to be celibate.

    (The folks who need to hear about the “singles should be celibate” bit are the Evangelical American Princesses and the average, ordinary Churchian girls with an average N of around, oh, 5 or 6 before they walk down the aisle, as well as the “reformed sluts” and single moms flowing into our churches, with bastards in tow. The young men have heard this quite enough, thank you very much.)

    “The “just gotta have sex to satisfy my NEEEEEDS” attitude is a kind of enslavement. If you want to help people, you shouldn’t be encouraging them to be slaves.”

    By all means, young single men and women should be celibate because scripture requires it. Young married men and women should be having lots of sex, because scripture requires that too. Young men should marry if they can’t contain because it’s better to marry than to burn. It’s not about “gotta have sex to satisfy NEEEEDS”. It’s about a married man getting what he’s entitled to. It’s about married women fulfilling their obligations.

    And, I just disagree with you that widowhood, economics, health etc are particularly relevant issues. Far more pressing issues are requiring men to be incels through college, through their 20s, through their 30s, until the carousel riders finally figure out that Alpha McGorgeous isn’t going to marry them.

  191. lgrobins

    Deti,
    I was going to say something like that–that spouses have to provide something unique to each other that no one else can–and that is sex. Some can argue that a special sort of companionship is unique, but it just doesn’t have the same weight.

  192. deti

    “I NEVER SAID A MAN WANTED TO DO WITHOUT SEX! I NEVER FREAKING SAID THIS!”

    I know.

    Zippy said that men should learn to do without sex.

    That was the point of contention.

  193. FuzzieWuzzie

    Farm Boy, “It almost makes you want to be a bear.At least they get some once a year.” I hate to tell you this but, a boy bear still has to find a girl bear. It’s been a while.
    Imagine bear gnawing on forepaw.

  194. sunshinemary Post author

    In the words of the Prophet Daltry, “I hope I die before I get old.”

    Ha. You know, I think being an old married couple will be kind of nice. I watch my in-laws (MIL is 79, FIL is 82); they’re so good to each other. My FIL still calls my MIL “my bride” when he speaks of her. It’s the sweetest thing. They are truly companions – not “friends” but companions and spouses of the sort spoken of in Malachi 2. I hope that my husband and I get to be like them someday.

  195. lgrobins

    “The “just gotta have sex to satisfy my NEEEEEDS” attitude is a kind of enslavement. If you want to help people, you shouldn’t be encouraging them to be slaves.”

    So, how do you not become a slave? Is there a step by step guide? Some sort of material for men that clearly spells out how to curb their passions seems like it would be useful.

  196. deti

    “Upthread tbc said that men have to master themselves if they are going to be masters of their households. I think that’s brilliantly put. When Zippy says to practice controlling your passions, it’s wise advice because then, if and when you are sinned against in this way, you are calm enough to put aside your own desires temporarily to help your wife stop being in sinful rebellion. How are you going to help her with that if you are freaking out about wanting to get laid? That’s not going to help either spouse.”

    Great advice – for marriage 1.0 and marriages before no-fault divorce. In the current age, if a man is going to be an incel and might have to deal with a wife who is going to deprive him of sex for months and years on end, then he is just as well to never marry in the first place and avoid the hassle altogether.

    [ssm: I'm probably going to get my ass kicked for saying this, but I think a lot of men are happier married and incel than single and incel (stipulating that they don't divorce, of course). I'll be accused of playing for Team Woman or the FI or some dumb thing for saying so, but that really isn't where I'm coming from. I don't care if men get married at this point. I really don't. It's just my observation that the ones who aren't married seem more miserable than the ones who are (on average, I don't mean every one; there are some happy single folks).

    The best, of course, is to be married and sexually active. But I'm not sure that second best is single and celibate. I'd like to believe it but I see an awful lot of evidence to the contrary.]

  197. donalgraeme

    [ssm: Well, since you said that I misunderstood you and then you made an argument for the importance of sex in marriage, I thought that you were saying that I did not acknowledge the importance of sex. Which I do. But I may have gotten a little excited there in my response to you, and I am sorry about that.]

    I share some blame with this, because I wasn’t clear in that I was addressing two separate points: the importance of sex in marriage, and my perception that you misunderstood me. In retrospect, I should have separated them into two separate comments.

  198. Farm Boy

    You heap coals on top of him to also say he needs to just bite the bullet and abstain from sexual congress with his Wife for the explicit purpose of the future Blue-balling she’s going to do to him.

    Well, that does sound like what Zippy is saying.

  199. RichardP

    There is a technical component to this discussion that we probably don’t have the ability or interest in persuing. But I think ignoring it leaves the conversation missing something important.

    Touch.

    There are multitudes of studies on monkey and human babies that demonstrate the connection between neuron growth and interconnection and touch. Monkey and human babies that are deprived of touch in their formative periods become adults with some serious personality issues. At least for monkey babies, and probably human babies, the lack of touch in the formative period sometimes leads to failure to thrive and then death.

    There are a lesser number of studies on the fact that we can’t tickle ourselves, and the likely reasons why.

    The void. Defined above. Statements about men – there are some things men can do for themselves to relieve the physical pressure – but it doesn’t fill the void. Something more is needed.

    We can’t tickle ourselves. We need the touch of someone else.
    We can’t thrive (not just survive) by ourselves. We need the touch of someone else.

    Sex is not just about getting our rocks off. It’s also about being touched by someone else in the process. Touch from someone else triggers neurons in our brain in a way that we can never trigger by touching ourselves.

    I think that is what God gave to Adam.

    [ssm: Good point, Richard.]

  200. donalgraeme

    Before I take off from the web for a while, I wanted to address the idea of mastery of self.

    I think that it is important for men to try and master themselves when it comes to sex. If a wife is in rebellion and sexually denying her husband, it not only does not help for her to see her husband’s panic, but will make matters worse. In and of itself, it is not a solution. But it is an essential part of the solution. Being able to display indifference and aloofness is essential to reestablishing mastery and dominance in the relationship.

    Going without is a part of life no matter what. As such, being able to cope with it as much as you can is a skill all men must work on.

  201. Maeve

    I don’t know if I agree with the idea of abstaining as a means of training oneself to accept some potential future marital celibacy. It would be like practicing fasting in anticipation of famine. It’s one thing to fast/abstain for spiritual purposes, but unless something else (some problem) is going one, it seems a little unnecessary to otherwise curtail such activities.

  202. Farm Boy

    It would seem that many guys develop the aforementioned mastery over sexual desires. Typically, the development of this ability is forced upon them by the law and women’s responses to them personally. These are also the guys most likely to be blue-balled in marriage. So, it would not seem to be a big issue, Zippy.

  203. sunshinemary Post author

    LOL, Maeve, that’s what I said, too, the first time I heard Zippy say that, which was a good six months ago. I was like, that’s literally the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. If I know there might be a famine down the road, I’m having seconds or thirds today.

    But he’s since explained it a bit more, and I think I get his point now. It’s like strength training but in the spiritual realm. You learn the skills you need not to sin before you are in a crisis situation and need to be able to use those skills. If you have the option to have sex but choose to practice abstinence for a brief period of time, it teaches you what your lust triggers are and what you need to do to control that.

    Ha, now I’m arguing for Zippy’s point after telling him last winter that it was dumb. Oh well, it’s important not to become so rigid on issues that you can never change your thinking about them as you learn more.

    Of course, I’m never planning on actually practicing marital chastity. I’ll agree to stop calling it a dumb idea, though. :)

  204. FuzzieWuzzie

    SSM, as to your thought about what second best is, the single man lives in hope of finding a mate while the deprived married man lives in hope of his wife relenting. There’s something to ponder there.
    I have an inclination to agree with your thoughts about companionship. A wife brings a lot more than sex to the relationship. There’s food for one thing.

  205. Dominic

    Default yes removes choice anxiety.

    Reminds me of this article about the “tyranny of choice”

    Salecl: …Today we believe we should be able to choose everything: the way we live, the way we look, even when it comes to the coffee we buy, we constantly need to weigh our decision. That is extremely unhealthy.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: Why?

    Salecl: Because we constantly feel stressed, overwhelmed and guilty. Because, according to this ideology, it’s our own fault if we’re unhappy. It means we made a bad decision.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: And if we make the right choice?

    Salecl: In that case, we constantly feel that there’s something even better hiding behind the next corner. So we are never truly content and are reluctant to settle on anything.

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/philosopher-renata-salecl-on-the-tyranny-of-choice-a-907961.html

  206. Maeve

    That’s funny SSM. I truly do understand and agree with the idea that having self discipline and control is very desirable and to be cultivated. I guess that when thinking about a purposeful abstinence, I defaulted to , “OK – well, that’s what Lent is for”. “Never say never” always a good idea. :-)

  207. Red

    >>If you only want a woman for sex and do not desire the special kind of companionship that marriage offers and if you plan to contracept 99% of the time, you should not marry. Marriage is the only morally-licit place for sexual expression, but the purpose of marriage isn’t solely to sate your lust. Got a problem with that? Take it up with God.

    As an agnostic I view marriage as a tool for producing high quality off spring and it makes little sense to marry if that’s not your goal. Marrying a women without wanting kids is like buying a prostitute for a 20 year period.

  208. FuzzieWuzzie

    Marital chastity=abstinence in marriage???!!!
    Who dreams up these cockamanie concepts?
    Killjoys! The last time that I heard that expression was a parting comment by Niel Oliver ina documentary about how the bones of all the Saxon kings were made a mess of during the English Civil War.

  209. RichardP

    These comments are about massage. But I imagine full-body skin-on-skin between husband and wife can trigger something similar. I’m intentionally leaving out the research studies – those interested can Google them or go to Wikipedia. But I thought this language makes my point about touch in a slightly more technical way.

    “Touch does a body and mind good by stimulating the brain’s endorphin-producing pituitary gland. That’s why two half-hour massages each week can trigger a 30 percent increase in the production of these feel-good hormones. Plus, massage cuts your blood levels of cortisol, the anxiety-triggering stress hormone, by 25 percent, suggest studies at the University of Miami’s Touch Research Institute (TRI). In addition, regular massages shift brain wave activity from the right side, which churns out negative emotions, to the left side, which handles positive feelings, says TRI researcher Tiffany Field, M.D. The result: A significant reduction in anxiety, mood swings and sadness … ”

    From here, pushing massage as a mood enhancer. I’m suddenly wondering if this link is going to show the picture. That is not my intent, so SSM, do what you wanna do if the picture shows up.

    http://www.ivillage.com/feeling-sad-13-all-natural-ways-boost-your-mood-and-feel-happier-every-day/4-b-454744#454769

  210. RichardP

    Forgot to add – someone else has to touch us for these effects to take place. We can’t trigger them simply by touching ourselves. I’m thinking that is the Void – the absence of someone else to touch us.

  211. Zippy

    One thing I agree with deti about: if men are thinking about getting married with the idea that marriage is there to satisfy their neeeeeeeeds, and that if they don’t get their neeeeeeeeeeds satisfied they will be unhaaaaaaapy, then they should definitely not get married. Men who think like that aren’t even beginning to approach self-mastery, and self mastery is something you should never get married without.

    A lot of the discussion looks to me like ridiculous false dichotomy: a trap of effeminate thinking. You are men, for crying out loud, the theoretically more rational sex, so you should hope for the best but plan for the worst. And there are lots of things besides a rebellious wife that can and do result in circumstances requiring continence. We can argue about statistics and ages all you want, but none of that is going to help you when it is your turn. That doesn’t excuse the rebellious wife, ever, even slightly. But a man who has mastered himself has, by the nature of that self-mastery, made it impossible for a rebellious wife to get the upper hand by denying sex.

  212. Farm Boy

    Do you think we could smuggle that into feminist sites?

    No, the way to explain it to feminists is like this: Imagine that you were Lindy West. And that you could never eat M&Ms again. And that you were continually with a friend who was always and for all time munching on luscious Peanut M&Ms

  213. FuzzieWuzzie

    Farm Boy, they could identify with that level of cruelty.:)
    About Peanut M&Ms, I did have a customer who had a fondness for them. She was a cancer survivor and , at one time, it was the only thing she could keep down. She deserved no guilt in that indulgence.

  214. imnobody00

    Yes, Zippy, men should learn how to do without sex for long periods of time. Agreed. And women should learn how to do without commitment for extended periods of time.

    The “just have got to have commitment to satisfy my NEEEEEDS” attitude is a kind of enslavement. If you want to help people, you shouldn’t be encouraging them to be slaves.

  215. imnobody00

    And, yes, I agree with you that young men should not be manipulated by denial of sex. But, once the woman has violated her commitment by denying sex, you can go elsewhere. Marriage implies monogamy not celibacy.

  216. Legion

    FuzzieWuzzie September 30, 2013 at 9:52 pm
    “A wife brings a lot more than sex to the relationship.”

    Yes, but if she is depriving you of sex, you do not want the other stuff that comes with it.

  217. tbc

    once the woman has violated her commitment by denying sex, you can go elsewhere. Marriage implies monogamy not celibacy.

    No. No. No.

  218. dannyfrom504

    it’s funny now that i’ve thought about it. my last three gf’s were ADAMENT that i blasted inside them. 2 were on birth control, the last one wasn’t. it was RARE for me to not pull out.

    broke up with her after 3 months. a year later she was knocked up and turned out to be the sponge i thought she was looking for a sucessful guy to mooch off of.

  219. Looking Glass

    @SSM:

    No, Zippy’s position is still as utterly Churchian because of its intentions. He put the *SINGLE* *BIGGEST* *CAUSE* of abstinence in Marriage as an aside. As Deti quite rightly pointed out, Zippy is playing for issues 20+ years into a marriage or due to some tragic event. This assumes you even get that far. I’m 30, the technical odds of someone my age getting a marriage that far are low. This is “assuming the system, without understanding the inputs” (for the more technically minded).

    Further, he completely screws up the ordering that Paul was talking about, which means the utility is also lost. What does Paul call acceptable to be apart for? Prayer & Fasting. —–> 2 SUPREMELY IMPORTANT PARTS OF YOUR WALK IN FAITH! <—– Do the arrows convey the point here? I hope they do.

    Priorities & Intentions. Always. Matter. To. God. By putting the major problems as asides to the actual issue, all value is lost what Paul was saying. What is the Greatest Commands? I'll let our Lord Jesus Christ answer that: (Matthew 22:36-40 KJV)

    "36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
    37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
    38 This is the first and great commandment.
    39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
    40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."

    To abstain from sexual congress in a Marriage for the purpose of "training yourself" is to only train a skill nearly all Men already possess. (Considering the average age of Marriage even among Christians, most guys are looking at a minimum of a decade after puberty; I think they've got practice) It's little different than training tiddlywinks or rapping your shins for Muy Thai. The Muy Thai practice likely has a far more useful practical skill set application, truthfully.

    But, if the point is to Fast & Pray, to Walk in Faith with the risen Savior and drink deep of the Living Water, then it serves an extremely valuable purpose to the Christian Husband. But those are very different intentions and recommendations. One is to Walk in Faith with your Creator; the other is to train yourself to be Blue-balled by your wife and not complain about it.

    The second is very Churchian in thinking. So Churchian, it surprises me quite a lot it's coming from a Catholic. This is specifically why I called him out. He transgresses against his Brothers with statements he makes.

    @Zippy:

    I called you to repentance because my natural instinct is to rip you limb from ideological limb. Something I'm quite capable of doing in real-time, in person and to brutal effect. But as I'm not standing next to you and I'm working hard to actually follow Paul's guidance in Ephesians 4:15, I won't proceed to destroy your mind with actual logic.

    So, I again call you to repent. You transgress against your Brothers in Christ. You encourage them to defeat themselves, debase their marriages and build up worthless skills, denying them opportunity to store treasures in Heaven & wash their Wives in the Word.

    We are to build our homes on Christ, the solid Rock. We are not to build our homes on sinking sand. You encourage your Brothers to use sand & clay. That is not how a Christian "masters" himself. Your own self-power is incapable of mastering the Body; only living in the Spirit is one capable of overcoming the Body. The indwelling of the One Who Overcame is the only means by which it is possible.

    Again, I call you to Repent.

  220. freebird

    Regarding men eying up and evaluating every woman in sight:

    Women know this and love it,it is their currency,the very water they swim in.

    They look for the male gaze just as quickly and deeply as men provide it.

    Just the other day I was driving up the main strip and saw a comely young woman.
    I was moving at around 40 MPH,but she clearly saw my gaze shift behind dark glasses at that speed,inside a fairly dark cab moving fairly quickly laterally.

    Being near 50 years old,should I have spun around and tried to approach this 18 year old on the sidewalk?

    Not in this legal climate no.

    Another would be wife approach stifled by societal convention.

    Given the changes in the way the colleges are circumventing the justice system to hold their own kangaroo courts regarding inter-relational matters,even college men will learn not to approach.
    Women seek the safety to falsely accuse the betas of impropriety in order to gain access to the alphas,an actual inversion of what would be safest for them.

    Also to note,that in the Bible men often had more than one wife,but you never hear of a woman having more than one husband.

    So that reinforces the idea of harems for alphas,not soft irresponsible harems where a beta pays and an alpha lays,but solid marriages where these women where taken off the market,so they could not use a beta to have their cake and eat it too.

    Question of the day:

    Why didn’t God create woman from the ether like he did Adam?

    Was he incapable,lazy,or is there a greater reason?

    Darn shame he did not pluck the materiel from Adam’s frontal lobe,we would be flung among the stars by now.

    Actually the Hebrew word is “curve,” given some justification to make DNA theories.

    It is also a a darn shame God did not give the helpmeets respect for their alleged Purpose to alleviate loneliness,it is not only a mockery to them,but it has also been weaponized.

    “Starter marriages.”

    Given that The Law and societal conditioning has become predatory to betas,the church has lost it’s foundation.
    Which they seem to embrace,they just want to fill the donation plate.

    Soon we will be over run with barbarians.

    Some look forward to that day,I do not.
    The again,it would revive the religion as the war tribe that it should be,the war it is made for is exactly the anti-family subversion we are experiencing now.

    Pastors should be calling to war,not making soothing sounds,but we know what pays better…

  221. freebird

    Also to note:
    Women denying sex is why men in the Bible had lots of wives,concubines,and mistresses.

    It is in their nature,thus polygamy.
    Also,as said before hypergamy leads to polygamy.

    Monogamy is an invention of the modern age.

    Of course if a wife denies sex a man can justifiably get it elsewhere.

    Otherwise we would be ruled by women in children.
    (Woefully,as in the last days)

    So why would a pastor preach in favor of the woes of the last days?

    Perhaps because the State profits best that way,and the two are hand in hand,hmm?

  222. lgrobins

    So, how do we master self-mastery? How? How? Howwwww? Is there a book? I keep hearing all about it, but no follow-up.

  223. freebird

    Also,it has been an ongoing annoyance what rollo said in the past,about men “needing’ sex (presumably with women.)

    Perhaps they do ‘need’ sex,but given the legal context (which SCOTUS uses) of justification by common usage,I could say:
    “Men Need internet porn for sex.”

    Men do not need sex at any cost,if we cannot broker a fair deal we can and will rightfully boycott in our best interests.

    That means the church doing it’s job of restraining hypergamy,and the courts denying payments to frivolous divorcees,and also legal equity in court.

    A second class citizen will always avoid the punitive measures that come from the preferred classes,and right now women by far have the unrighteous upper hand.

    A man in know,aware of the risk,does not ‘need’ to be a sacrifice to the unGodly system.

  224. freebird

    “male and female, God made them all.”

    An argument is made
    That when God said “It is not good for man to be alone,” that he was referring to enabling the reproductive process he had already created within the animal and plant kingdoms by male/female reproduction.

    Also ‘helpmeet,’ implies hard work!

    Woman was made for reproduction and hard work,and Perhaps ancillary to those two,to alleviate loneliness.
    But the condition of ‘loneliness’ is one of lacking a reproductive partner and life WORKER.

    Women resist Greatly their Purpose as Worker for Man.

    Thanks auntie pheminism.
    The lesbians now have greater access,and the State greater power than God’s order,the intent of the New Age philosophy.

  225. Zippy

    Looking Glass:
    I called you to repentance because my natural instinct is to rip you limb from ideological limb. Something I’m quite capable of doing in real-time, in person and to brutal effect.

    You are a hoot.

  226. feeriker

    SSM said I’m probably going to get my ass kicked for saying this, but I think a lot of men are happier married and incel than single and incel (stipulating that they don’t divorce, of course). I’ll be accused of playing for Team Woman or the FI or some dumb thing for saying so, but that really isn’t where I’m coming from. I don’t care if men get married at this point. I really don’t. It’s just my observation that the ones who aren’t married seem more miserable than the ones who are (on average, I don’t mean every one; there are some happy single folks).M.U

    Well, I certainly wouldn’t “kick your ass” over your statement (EIETTO), but, as a man, I call it several shades of wrong.

    A man who is married and incel is like a starving man who has been shackled to the wall of a dining room just inches out of reach from a buffet full of fresh food. It’s pure sadistic torture and utterly pointless except for the sadistic vanity of the person perpetrating the torture.

    An unmarried incel, OTOH, can be compared to the starving man on a quest for food. At some point in his hunting, he’ll probably find what he’s looking for and at least temporarily satisfy his hunger (he’d damned well better prepare himself for long-term famine, though).

  227. earl

    “So, how do we master self-mastery? How? How? Howwwww? Is there a book? I keep hearing all about it, but no follow-up.”

    Fasting is one way.

  228. Zippy

    lgrobins:
    So, how do we master self-mastery? How? How? Howwwww? Is there a book? I keep hearing all about it, but no follow-up.

    The tried and true method is prayer and fasting. I realize some folks might hope for a more secular option; but I don’t think that there are secular solutions to spiritual problems.

  229. Christina

    A = Physical intimacy
    B = Emotional intimacy
    C = Desire to marry or just marriage

    Ssm :
    Says A ^ B -> C
    She is not saying B -> C (not the same)
    She is not saying A or B -> C (not the same)

    Those arguing with her:
    Say A -> C

    In a logic nutshell, I hope I was accurate?

    On witholding,
    Years? Really? People do that?

    on circumstantial witholding (no outright request or refusal):

    This tends to be our rut more often than not… and it does cause tension.

    I do see the parallel to prayer life. My inability to make time for bible study probably translates very well into how I make time for sex.

    [ssm: Yes, thank you! You've represented the situation very well with the ABC formula.]

  230. earl

    Nobody ever seems to tell young women anymore that they should be just as celibate as young men before marriage. Men’s urges are overt and women’s are covert. I’m fine with going without because that is what God asks of me…I’m not fine with the other sex getting a pass because society will cover up every consequence of her bad behavior.

    Ladies aren’t supposed to follow every tingle that is generated.

  231. Zippy

    imnobody00:
    Yes, Zippy, men should learn how to do without sex for long periods of time. Agreed. And women should learn how to do without commitment for extended periods of time.

    Almost. Not commitment. Wives should prepare themselves, especially spiritually, to do without their husband’s provision for extended periods of time. It is not infrequent in the span of a marriage for the husband to be out of work, injured, etc. A woman who is unprepared for this, especially spiritually, is not prepared for the realities of marriage.

  232. Zippy

    (That’s why, in a different discussion with SSM, I compared men practicing sexual abstinence with women at least periodically practicing frugality, even when their present standard of living is abundant).

  233. earl

    “Regarding men eying up and evaluating every woman in sight:

    Women know this and love it,it is their currency,the very water they swim in.

    They look for the male gaze just as quickly and deeply as men provide it.”

    Those strong, independent women are still looking for someone to rule them. They can’t get over their own curse. God beats any Marxism humans create.

    It would be like men saying they need to toil for food like a fish needs a bicycle…but then still secretly yearn for it…and go crazy when we don’t. That would never happen though because we think rationally and know we go crazy or starve if we aren’t doing something.

  234. deti

    “So, how do we master self-mastery? How? How? Howwwww? Is there a book? I keep hearing all about it, but no follow-up.”

    Don’t worry about it, Laura Grace. Apparently according to Zippy, sexual self-mastery is for men only, and really means doing without sex for extended periods of time, and learning to live with it and have peace with it so that a woman can’t gain the upper hand through sexual deprivation.

    As I’ve tried to say and show many times to deaf ears and blind eyes, most men know very well about “doing without sex for extended periods of time”. The entire point of marriage is to sate that burning. Men expect to have that sated during marriage. I fully understand that I could be widowed. That’s not the most pressing problem men face, however, The most pressing problem they face is wife saying “no more sex for you because [insert Churchian/hamsterization here].” No discussion of wife’s disobedience. No discussion of wifely obligation.

    I think we should be focusing on compelling wife to obey and imposing severe consequences for disobedience and rebellion; rather than compelling husband to do without.

  235. Zippy

    deti:
    Apparently according to Zippy, sexual self-mastery is for men only

    Not at all. Try not to hurt yourself with that paraphrase-o-matic.

  236. deti

    Reading back over this comment thread just makes me think this place is becoming “Hooking Up Smart 2 – The Christian Edition.” Just men and women talking past each other and not listening to each other, and never getting to the root of the problem:

    1. Women being able to divorce too easily
    2. Christian women becoming essentially anti-abortion feminists
    3. Women refusing to submit and living in open rebellion against their fathers and husbands
    4. Women marrying men they aren’t attracted to
    5. Women not living up to their obligations and refusing to obey and submit
    6. Men not insisting that women live up to their obligations and failing to severely punish disobedience and rebellion
    7. Society and the Church hogtying and hamstringing men from requiring women to live up to their obligations, removing all consequences for female disobedience and rebellion, and in fact cheering on female disobedience and rebellion.

  237. deti

    “Almost. Not commitment. Wives should prepare themselves, especially spiritually, to do without their husband’s provision for extended periods of time. It is not infrequent in the span of a marriage for the husband to be out of work, injured, etc. A woman who is unprepared for this, especially spiritually, is not prepared for the realities of marriage.”

    Nah, imnobody had it right the first time. If husband has to learn to do without sex, wife has to learn to do without commitment. Besides, a man’s provision (resources, money, time, spiritual leadership) is commitment. Any man not getting sex should IMMEDIATELY withdraw them all. His provision is the most valuable asset he brings; while her sexual access is the most valuable asset she brings.

    Any woman who is doing without commitment or provisioning has brought it on herself. Any woman with a smidgen of attractiveness and basic intelligence can get a husband any time she wants. All she has to do is agree to exclusivity and sexual fidelity and to quell her choice addiction. But most cannot do it.

    I’ll say it again: Any woman age 30 or below who really wants to marry can do so anytime she wants.

  238. sunshinemary Post author

    deti:

    sexual self-mastery is for men only, and really means doing without sex for extended periods of time,

    Zippy:

    Not at all.

    Actually, I think practicing occasional sexual abstinence in marriage should not be initiated or directed by women, ever. She’ll get her practice when he gets his, but he should initiate it and decide how long it will last. Deciding when they will and will not have sex is a terrible burden for a woman, but she will feel like she has to do so if given the option. Thus, she ought not have the option to decide.

    deti:

    I think we should be focusing on compelling wife to obey and imposing severe consequences for disobedience and rebellion; rather than compelling husband to do without.

    It’s not either / or, it’s both / and. Compel wives to obey but teach men to do without. Obey should mean right away, but in practice there is sometimes a lag in a person’s coming to obedience after correction has been given.

    Zippy:

    Almost. Not commitment. Wives should prepare themselves, especially spiritually, to do without their husband’s provision for extended periods of time. It is not infrequent in the span of a marriage for the husband to be out of work, injured, etc. A woman who is unprepared for this, especially spiritually, is not prepared for the realities of marriage. (That’s why, in a different discussion with SSM, I compared men practicing sexual abstinence with women at least periodically practicing frugality, even when their present standard of living is abundant).

    Yes, well-said, and this is a very important point, one which I have experienced first hand, sort of. My husband was badly injured in a skiing accident a few years ago and was completely off work for a little over six months, so this is definitely something that can happen. In my case, there was no financial hardship because we are incredibly blessed that my husband has excellent short-term disability benefits (six months at full pay and then another six months at fifty percent pay). Because I grew up in a poor family, I know how to be frugal, but not all women do, so they should practice that before it becomes a necessity.

  239. Zippy

    SSM:
    Biblically any decision to remain continent for a time should be mutual.

    I am beginning to think that the idea “women are the gatekeepers of sex, men are the gatekeepers of commitment” contains a subtle error that is leading folks into error. It should be “provision” not “commitment”. Without men civilization lasts until the next oil change; but both men and women must commit for marriage to work, and the big SMP problem right now is that women won’t commit before having a nice long carousel ride.

    Men seem to like the “commitment” framing because it give them an excuse to back out on theirs when they aren’t haaaaaaaaaapy.

  240. deti

    “Men seem to like the “commitment” framing because it give them an excuse to back out on theirs when they aren’t haaaaaaaaaapy.”

    Put the hamsterlator down and back away from it. You’re not trained to use it.

    I see. To you, “commitment” means “sexual fidelity”.

    If she refuses her obligations, the issue of “commitment” is settled and any commitment between her and her husband is pretty well resolved, I think.

  241. deti

    Actually, men focus on “commitment” (provisioning, money, time, spiritual guidance, sexual fidelity) not because it gives them an excuse to back out; but because withdrawing it and forcing a woman to do without it is the only thing most women understand. Do X, then Y will be the consequence.

  242. sunshinemary Post author

    deti:

    If she refuses her obligations, the issue of “commitment” is settled and any commitment between her and her husband is pretty well resolved, I think.

    I see no Scriptural support for what you are implying there.

    deti:

    To you, “commitment” means “sexual fidelity”.

    Maybe we should each define what we mean by commitment; I have always used it to mean his provision and protection. Sexual fidelity is a moral issue, but I’ve not exactly thought of it as a commitment issue before, though I may be mistaken. I guess I never doubted my husband’s commitment to me, even when he wasn’t faithful, because he never removed his provision or protection. Nota bene: I’m not saying adultery is okay. It isn’t. I just see it as a morality issue more than a commitment issue. I guess it’s more of a commitment issue between a man and God.

    Zippy:

    Biblically any decision to remain continent for a time should be mutual.

    True. But that doesn’t mean she gets to initiate or direct it, does it? She just has to say okay or not right now. But I may be erroneous in my thinking about that.

  243. Zippy

    deti:
    I see. To you, “commitment” means “sexual fidelity”.

    Your skill at paraphrase once again distinguishes itself by its modesty.

    That is one of the things it means, and an essential one for the marriage to be valid in the first place. But that is hardly all it means.

  244. Zippy

    SSM:
    True. But that doesn’t mean she gets to initiate or direct it, does it? She just has to say okay or not right now. But I may be erroneous in my thinking about that.

    I’m not fond of the word “direct”, but I would suggest that if the wife is aware of a serious reason why a period of continence might be prudent, she actually has a positive obligation to bring it to her husband’s attention. The “default yes” status obviously doesn’t change until mutual agreement has been reached.

    [ssm: OK, I see what you are saying.]

  245. Farm Boy

    God beats any Marxism humans create

    This is a problem for the lefties. Try as they might to indoctrinate, lie, and bully their way through it.

  246. Farm Boy

    So, how do we master self-mastery?

    It used to be that a fella, if he wanted to attract a fine lady, needed to to be successful (or at least on the path to success). This required a form of self-mastery.

    This formula is not so effective these days.

  247. Farm Boy

    self-mastery is for men only

    The standard does seem to be lower for chicks. They can get away with more, they are more readily bailed out of problems, etc.

  248. feeriker

    deti said LActually, men focus on “commitment” (provisioning, money, time, spiritual guidance, sexual fidelity) not because it gives them an excuse to back out; but because withdrawing it and forcing a woman to do without it is the only thing most women understand. Do X, then Y will be the consequence.

    *Sigh*

    Alas, if only a man could do that in this day and age in the western world and get away with it (i.e, withhold ALL provisioning of his rebellious wife’s needs, be they financial, material, emotional, or sexual). Unfortunately (and I really think it superfluous to point this out, but I’ll do it anyway just for good measure), a man can rest assured that if he should even take the first steps toward reigning in his rebellious wife by depriving her of his provisioning and leaving her fend for herself, she’ll reflexively reach out for the weapon of the State to punish him for being “abusive.”

  249. Farm Boy

    Any woman with a smidgen of attractiveness and basic intelligence can get a husband any time she wants.

    Women know this to be true, but deny it.

    Why?

  250. feeriker

    deti:

    If she refuses her obligations, the issue of “commitment” is settled and any commitment between her and her husband is pretty well resolved, I think.

    SSM replies: I see no Scriptural support for what you are implying there.

    No, of course there’s no scriptural support for this position, but I don’t think anyone is saying that there is. First of all, just to be clear, it is not deti who is implying anything here; he is merely attempting to clarify/interpret what Zippy has said upthread. What I read here (and I hope deti will correct me if I’m in error in my reading of his interpretation) is that his interpretation of what Zippy has said upthread, even if unintentionally, is that the wife’s refusal of her obligations to the marriage bed constitutes a de facto “resolution” of the “commitment” issue between the spouses, unilateral and transparently unbiblical and rebellious as it clearly is. In other words, to put it in blunt terms, if the wife has decided that she “ain’t gonna put out no more,” then that’s that. Unless the husband decides to take her by force (a most unwise decision if he values his freedom, given the prevalence of ‘marital rape’ laws today), their sex life is over, done, ancient history – because SHE, as “sexual gatekeeper” has decided that it is to be so.

    We might not LIKE this inconvenient and painful little piece of reality, but that doesn’t make it any less of a reality in many marriages today.

  251. deti

    Any woman with a smidgen of attractiveness and basic intelligence can get a husband any time she wants.
    Farm Boy: “Women know this to be true, but deny it. Why?”

    You know why.

    Because they know they’d have to relinquish their victim status and take responsibility for their choices.

    Because they’d have to admit that they’re not attractive enough to snag the top men for commitment.

    Because they’d have to admit that they don’t want the men they actually can marry. They don’t want to marry those men, they don’t want to submit to those men, and they sure as hell don’t want to have sex with them.

    Because most of them would have to admit that they don’t bring anything to a marriage other than their bodies.

    Because they’d have to lower their standards and gratefully, graciously accept what they can get.

    Because humility, grace and gratitude are sorely lacking in today’s females.

    [ssm: Huh, I have a post all ready to go in which I used, almost verbatim, that same sentence as my thesis - "Humility, grace, and gratitude are sorely lacking in today's females." The post is about the downfall of assortive mating. Maybe I'll put it up tomorrow.]

  252. imnobody00

    I’m with Deti. No sex, no commitment including sexual fidelity. Marriage is not a woman using sexual deprivation to rule over his so-called husband. Marriage implies duties for both parts. Of course, I know that women and white knights don’t like that but it is the way it is. Otherwise, it is inviting the wife to abuse you.

    And don’t give me the Bible as an excuse. Biblical marriage has been impossible for forty years or so. What we have know is legal fornication promoted by the State and the Church. And moreover, if you are a Christian wife, you don’t get to pick and choose what parts of the Bible you are going to follow. Such as “no to giving sex to my husband but yes to demanding fidelity from him”

  253. Zippy

    fereeker:
    Part of the dynamic in this (and not only this) discussion is that whenever I make a specific point, some folks take that specific point and construct a whole edifice of theory – theory that comes from their own heads, reflects their own obsessions, and is only tenuously related to the specific point I made – around it. In manospherish terms you might think of it as discursive solipsism.

  254. earl

    Sex is probably the most pleasant thing between the two sexes. God gave it to us because the curses from the fall 99% of the time isn’t pleasant. Men have to wreck their body for fruitless work and women have to constantly worry finding a man to rule them or worry that the man they married isn’t paying enough attention.

    Sex is another form of toil for men since we have to do quite a bit of work…but it’s the fun form of work. And for women it is the deepest form of male attention they can get.

    So if a man doesn’t want to have sex…it is probably because he spent most of his day expending all his energy in other endeavors…it doesn’t have much to do with the woman unless SHE creates it. So don’t take it personally, ladies.

    If a woman doesn’t want to have sex…it’s because she doesn’t want that man’s attention. Personally I think most of their hem hawing is because they aren’t getting what they deem as enough male attention from whom they perceive as the right man. Well to those ladies I say “tough shit”. Men don’t get the right to complain when they are working some job they hate. Either we do it or starve.

    Pride is choking most women these days.

  255. Deep Strength

    Zippy,

    One thing I agree with deti about: if men are thinking about getting married with the idea that marriage is there to satisfy their neeeeeeeeds, and that if they don’t get their neeeeeeeeeeds satisfied they will be unhaaaaaaapy, then they should definitely not get married. Men who think like that aren’t even beginning to approach self-mastery, and self mastery is something you should never get married without.

    I don’t see how you can justify this against 1 Cor 7.

    1. Paul says specifically that if you burn with passion you should get married.
    2. Self control, in the context of sex, is established through mutual decision for prayer and fasting.

    It follows that your statements do not match up with these two facts from the Scripture.

    Not every Christian man is at the same place in the walk with developing the fruits of the Spirit (of which self control is one) and therefore encouraging them to disregard Scripture is foolish.

    This is the same trope as parents telling their children not to get married before they have gone to college and establish a career — you have to get an education and career before you get married vs. you have to get more self control before you married — but far worse since it disregards the Scriptures.

  256. Farm Boy

    Because humility, grace and gratitude are sorely lacking in today’s females.

    The money quote, this is.

    The biggest thing that differentiates the ladies of old from the females of today.

  257. earl

    So I give props to SSM.

    Instead of whining to get her man’s attention…being sweet and pleasant works much better.

    Now if only the majority of the female population would get that.

  258. imnobody00

    “Any- woman with a smidgen of attractiveness and basic intelligence can get a husband any time wants”

    True story. Last Sunday I went with a friend of mine to the beach and we visited my first girlfriend and remembered old times. My first girlfriend is the one who stole my company from me but I have forgiven her longtime ago. She destroyed the company and now lives in extreme poverty.

    Well, I saw her two years ago and she had balloon into a land whale. I didn’t recognize her at first. Think about Andrea Dworkin and you will have an idea. I felt very lucky not to have married her.

    Last Sunday I was prepared to meet this obese woman, but after two years, her physical aspect has degenerated even more. Now Andrea Dworkin is a real hottie compared to her.

    Well, the fact is that she was just married. After me, she married a guy a had a child with him. Now she has married another guy. She seemed very happy. She was all the time giggling.

    I said to me. If this woman can marry without beauty, in extreme poverty and with a kid, EVERY WOMAN CAN

  259. Farm Boy

    Pride is choking most women these days.

    Well, they have so much to be proud of, with their degrees and stuff.

  260. earl

    “Well, they have so much to be proud of, with their degrees and stuff.”

    If anyone is an Alice in Chains fan…listen to the song, Choke. It is a very eloquent description of what men think of prideful women.

  261. Zippy

    Deep Strength:
    Paul says specifically that if you burn with passion you should get married.

    He does, but he doesn’t give comprehensive advice about how to do so wisely. His silence on the matter should not be taken as an endorsement of marrying foolishly.

    Furthermore, Paul expressly says “But I speak this by indulgence, not by commandment.” To read him as excusing weakness and incontinence is nonsensical. He expressly says more than once that it is better to be as he is, that is, continent.

    So if you like being a slave to women, by all means don’t bother to develop self mastery; with St Paul’s “indulgence” of your weakness. But if you want a better life than one where a woman takes pity on you in your moral weakness, the possibility of self improvement in virtue and continence lies before you. My words won’t help someone who is enslaved to sex (and thus to women) and has no desire to escape his slavery. This I fully acknowledge.

  262. sunshinemary Post author

    Biblical marriage has been impossible for forty years or so. What we have know is legal fornication promoted by the State and the Church.

    Manospherians have left comments similar to this one here before. I want to point out that just because some men say this does not make it factual.

    Biblical marriage has nothing to do with the State. I live in a Biblical marriage. People can still choose to be married to one another and live by the Bible. The State, I will definitely grant you, makes this optional, whereas in days gone by the State enforced Biblical marriage. But that doesn’t mean that Biblical marriage is literally impossible. It just means that now it’s a choice rather than a legal obligation.

  263. feeriker

    Zippy said:

    fereeker:
    Part of the dynamic in this (and not only this) discussion is that whenever I make a specific point, some folks take that specific point and construct a whole edifice of theory – theory that comes from their own heads, reflects their own obsessions, and is only tenuously related to the specific point I made – around it. In manospherish terms you might think of it as discursive solipsism.

    Um, no, I think you’re giving both yourself and others here more credit than is warranted. What “some folks” (myself among them) do when you (or anyone else) make a specific point is to very simply weigh that specific point on its own merits and either agree with it or call BS on it. There’s no need to elaborately “theorize” behind something that conveys a clear contextual meaning on its own.

    “Discursive solipsism?” Might that not be the flip side of “philosophical solipsism?”

  264. Zippy

    imnobody00:
    I’m with Deti. No sex, no commitment including sexual fidelity.

    I presume that you are referring to the wife becoming rebellious some time after the honeymoon. In that case, if you are suggesting that the husband is justified in committing adultery, then whatever arrangement you are talking about it isn’t marriage, any more than two sodomites simulating marriage is marriage.

  265. earl

    deti has pointed out that if a woman withholds sex for rebellious purposes than a man should withhold his paycheck or any protection privileges…such as living in his house.

    An excuse to have sex with another woman is a no-no. God will not see eye to eye with that as that is one of the 10 things He pointed out a long time ago.

  266. Bike Bubba

    Might be missed here, but regarding the claim that marital sexlessness would be higher in churches where the divorce rate is low, that’s certainly not the impression that my wife and I have gotten in discussions with fellow church members over the years, nor is it the impression you’d get by looking at the full minivans and SUVs in the parking lot. We preach the Bible in our churches, and one result is that people get, to a degree, a Biblical view of sexuality. Maybe more of us ought to try this.

  267. Zippy

    SSM:
    I too am puzzled by the nominalist attitude that marriage is just what the State says it is, nothing more, nothing less. Certainly the State’s hostility toward marriage in general and men specifically makes things more difficult, as a practical matter. But since when have we conceded to Big Daddy Government the capacity to define reality by fiat?

  268. Elspeth

    Because humility, grace and gratitude are sorely lacking in today’s females.

    I totally agree with this but I vehemently disagree that any woman under 30 who is any kind of attractive and smart can get married anytime she wants.

    Further, while I completely agree that women have extremely outrageous standards today, even a cursory reading around the manosphere indicates that women are not the only ones with this problem.

    Seems to me there is a lot of cognitive dissonance here. You don’t want to marry a woman who isn’t hot for you, but you want women to marry men they aren’t hot for. Make up your mind already.

    If you hadn’t noticed, every time you make this assertion it touches a nerve with me.

    Looking forward to your post Sunshine.

  269. deti

    Fee:

    Exactly. What I do with anyone’s claims is to examine them and weigh them against Scripture, tradition, experience and reason. I examine, observe, weigh, evaluate, and conclude. That’s it.

    Zippy’s claims are no exception. What’s going on is that he doesn’t like his claims being held up to examination, scrutiny or criticism. No one is characterizing anything or constructing theories.

  270. sunshinemary Post author

    Well, allow me to White Knight – er White Maiden? Or maybe White Matron? Well, anyway – for a moment here: I don’t think Zippy is saying that men should live without sex in marriage, which is what everyone else seems to be interpreting him as saying. I believe – correct me if I’m wrong – that he is saying that men need to learn to control their passions in order to prepare for those times when it will be necessary for them to be abstinent for some reason. Everyone will be abstinent at some point in their marriages. The reasons for this may be valid – a sick spouse, post partum wait period, death of a spouse – or invalid – a sinful, withholding wife. I haven’t seen him say anything like, “If your wife is withholding, just suck it up and live with it.” It’s my understanding that he believes that wives who withhold are sinning and should be corrected, but given that she might not immediately come to repentance, be prepared to control yourself while the Holy Spirit and you work on her.

    Zippy, correct me if I’ve mischaracterized your assertions.

  271. earl

    “I totally agree with this but I vehemently disagree that any woman under 30 who is any kind of attractive and smart can get married anytime she wants.”

    I’m not kidding…I’ve seen marriage proposals from guys on facebook to attractive females they don’t even know.

    She CAN get married anytime she wants…she would prefer to have one of the top 20% of males instead of living in reality.

  272. sunshinemary Post author

    Seems to me there is a lot of cognitive dissonance here. You don’t want to marry a woman who isn’t hot for you, but you want women to marry men they aren’t hot for. Make up your mind already.

    Yep. And not only on this issue. Don’t forget about this one: “Wives have a duty to give husbands sex on demand whether they feel like it or not, but we husbands don’t want to have sex with wives who are only doing it out of a sense of duty and don’t really feel aroused.” Okaaaay, so that’s basically lose-lose for women then. We’re bad if we do our duty and we’re bad if we shirk our duty.

  273. deti

    Elspeth:

    I base my conclusion that women under 30 can get married anytime they want on my experience, on simply looking around, and on what I’ve read here. There are scads upon regiments upon legions of men being completely and totally ignored by, frankly, pretty plain-Jane types.

    I don’t see any halfway decently attractive woman who wants for female attention. Moreover, what women are really saying when they say they can’t find a man to marry is that the men available for marriage aren’t attractive enough.

    The women aren’t “hot for” the men who are available because their attraction standards are outrageously out of whack and they need to get reasonable.

    On what evidence do you base your claim that men in the manosphere have outrageous standards? Are these:

    Be pretty
    Don’t get fat
    Be nice
    Be available

    Outrageous?

    This is basically “put some effort into your appearance, don’t become a land whale, don’t be a stuck up bitch, get out there and make yourself at least a little bit approachable, and don’t be constantly busy on your iPhone or your friends or your job.”

    This is outrageous?

    Did anyone here say they expect 36-24-36, pornstar sexual skills, gourmet cook skills and willing to have 15 kids? No. Not by any stretch of the imagination does ANY man around here other than hardcore PUAs demanding ANY of this.

  274. deti

    “that he is saying that men need to learn to control their passions in order to prepare for those times when it will be necessary for them to be abstinent for some reason.”

    I see very, very little daylight between this and “men need to learn how to do without sex”.

    [ssm: Well, deti, maybe you need to put on the glasses, lzolzozlo. But actually, I'd recommend these "glasses" instead.]

  275. sunshinemary Post author

    There are actually a number of logical impossibilities presented as valid arguments on so-called “red pill” blogs, which is why I say the whole idea of the red pill is useless.

    Here’s another one:

    Women should be like they were in days of old, when they were attracted to men who were good providers, not cads who generated tingles.

    while at the same time

    Women should not marry men they don’t tingle for. Only gold-digging whores marry for provisioning!

    So, we’re whores if we marry for tingles and we’re golddiggers if we marry for money, AND if you say you married for love, it will be explained to you that women cannot love.

    Dear Manosphere,
    Kindly explain to me a scenario in which you think it would be valid for a woman to marry. If you can.

  276. earl

    I know that the woman I marry better desire me and my attention…in fact it is probably my #1 priority after seeing what happens when a man marries her only to find out she never did. The other stuff falls behind this.

    I enjoy my peaceful corner of a roof alone over the possibility of living with a cantankerous woman…and I will only put up with her bouts of hem hawing if she desires me.

  277. deti

    Oh, and by the way: for prospective wives:

    Pick up after yourself
    Learn how to operate household appliances besides the coffeemaker and microwave
    Be able to cook something other than a TV dinner

    This is outrageous?

  278. Deep Strength

    Zippy,

    >Paul says specifically that if you burn with passion you should get married.

    [1]He does, but he doesn’t give comprehensive advice about how to do so wisely. His silence on the matter should not be taken as an endorsement of marrying foolishly.

    [2]Furthermore, Paul expressly says “But I speak this by indulgence, not by commandment.” To read him as excusing weakness and incontinence is nonsensical. He expressly says more than once that it is better to be as he is, that is, continent.

    [3]So if you like being a slave to women, by all means don’t bother to develop self mastery; with St Paul’s “indulgence” of your weakness. But if you want a better life than one where a woman takes pity on you in your moral weakness, the possibility of self improvement in virtue and continence lies before you. My words won’t help someone who is enslaved to sex (and thus to women) and has no desire to escape his slavery. This I fully acknowledge.

    [1] I don’t see how you equate “marrying foolishly” to one of the primariy reasons is that a man marries is that he expects to have his sexual needs met.

    Now, if you’re saying that a man should not have such expectations for marriage then that’s something that must be discussed between the husband and wife in lieu of their sex drives, sexual expectations, etc for 1 Cor 7 which I would agree with.

    [2] No, you’re the one equating it with “weakness” hence why you are harping on self control. That’s why Paul qualifies it with “The husband must [a]fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband.”

    [3] I’m all for developing self control. More self control is always better. However, I don’t think that it’s a reason to delay or put off marriage to develop more self control. 1 Cor 8 passage on food sacrificed to idols provides an apt analogy.

  279. lgrobins

    “It used to be that a fella, if he wanted to attract a fine lady, needed to to be successful (or at least on the path to success). This required a form of self-mastery.”

    Given the chatter at my place recently, a man doesn’t have to do anything to be successful until she first submits and make him successful. It takes a woman’s submission to make a man master at anything. I don’t agree, but that is the message I keep hearing.

  280. deti

    “we’re whores if we marry for tingles and we’re golddiggers if we marry for money”

    Marry for tingles, money and love. It’s the only way a marriage in today’s day and age has much of a chance of being happy and lasting until one of you dies.

    “AND if you say you married for love, it will be explained to you that women cannot love.”

    BS. That is not the statement that was made, nor is it the argument that was made, and you know it.

    “Dear Manosphere,

    Kindly explain to me a scenario in which you think it would be valid for a woman to marry. If you can.”

    Dear SSM:

    Marry for tingles, money and love. If you’re one of the 98 percent who can’t have all three, marry for tingles and money. When the tingles go at least you’ll have money. If you can only have one, marry for tingles. You’ll be poor and he’ll cheat on you and mistreat you, but at least the sex will be hot and it’ll last. We know that in today’s day and age, in this screwed up SMP, marriages that work and that have the best chance against divorce are the ones in which she is strongly sexually attracted to her husband.

    This is the SMP and MMP women and alpha apex men wanted.

  281. Zippy

    It isn’t that complicated. It is just that obsessives like Deti insist on reading everything everyone says through his own template.

    First, no matter what situation you find yourself in – good marriage, bad marriage, submissive wife, rebellious wife, no wife, desert island, deployed in Iraq, the Hamptons in summer, the moon, under the ocean, in the boardroom, on skid row – in all situations in which a man might find himself, every single one whatsoever without exception, self-mastery in the sexual domain is better than its lack. If you don’t believe me, St. Paul says it right out in I Corinthians.

    Second, the great majority of men are going to find themselves in a situation where this has practical consequences in their lives, for one reason or other. Pretending that it is something rare that can be discounted, and by the way lets pooh-pooh it and instead talk obsessively about what Deti wants to talk about, isn’t going to help you when it is your turn.

    Third, if you are marrying precisely because you cannot master yourself sexually you are basically checking yourself into a permanent slave relationship to your wife. Maybe some guys need to do that to avoid sin, but lets be clear about what they are doing, and that they can and should work to grow out of it.

    So it is always and without exception wise for a man to develop self-mastery in the sexual domain. The attitude that it isn’t is self-defeating in all situations.

  282. Elspeth

    If you can only have one, marry for tingles. You’ll be poor and he’ll cheat on you and mistreat you, but at least the sex will be hot and it’ll last.

    We didn’t stay poor and he has never cheated. The latter is true. Guess one out of three is enough, huh?

  283. Farm Boy

    So, we’re whores if we marry for tingles and we’re golddiggers if we marry for money

    I seem to remember going through this before.

    (Most) Everything in moderation

    Especially hypergamy

  284. Farm Boy

    Women should not marry men they don’t tingle for.

    That comes from Dalrock, and is because of the messed up modern MMP. This is the only way that he believes a modern marriage could last.

    This is not necessarily how it should be; but an attempt to make the best of a poor situation.

  285. Farm Boy

    It would seem that if one wants to push SSM’s buttons, this is how to do it. The larger more complicated picture goes out the window, and we are left with a one line assertion.

  286. Zippy

    Deep Strength:
    I don’t see how you equate “marrying foolishly” to one of the primariy reasons is that a man marries is that he expects to have his sexual needs met.

    I don’t. What I am suggesting is that St. Paul doesn’t say far more than he does say, about marrying wisely. It is ridiculously unwise to marry anyone who is willing to marry simply if one burns with passion, no matter what.

    I’m all for developing self control. More self control is always better. However, I don’t think that it’s a reason to delay or put off marriage to develop more self control.

    I can kind of agree with that, with qualifications. If a man’s “burning with passion” has trumped his reason, he is sure to marry poorly. So even if he is going to marry because he burns with passion he still needs to develop [some] self control in the sexual domain before he makes the decision to marry. Otherwise he is guaranteed to make decisions with his little head rather than his big one.

    And we all know how well those decisions work out.

  287. Farm Boy

    It takes a woman’s submission to make a man master at anything

    I am successful, and the only women that ever helped me in a positive way was my Mom.

  288. deti

    Deti: “If you can only have one, marry for tingles. You’ll be poor and he’ll cheat on you and mistreat you, but at least the sex will be hot and it’ll last.”.

    Elspeth: “We didn’t stay poor and he has never cheated. The latter is true. Guess one out of three is enough, huh?”

    I rest my case. Women should marry for tingles in this SMP. If you’re lucky, Alpha McGorgeous will stop tomcatting around and will get a decent job. If you can’t marry for tingles, don’t marry.

    This is the SMP and MMP women created, and got the apex alpha men to create for them. Great, ain’t it?

  289. lgrobins

    RE fasting and prayer being the steps to self-mastery.
    So, a man is already not getting sex and now deprive him of food? Sounds like a recipe for explosion. Should we cut off his air too? I get the prayer part as that is always a tool for everything. Maybe its different for men, but no sex and no food at once–send me to the looney bin!

    Do anyone know anything on this books? Or other websites that may go more in depth.

  290. Farm Boy

    Elspeth, you and your husband are old school. It works.

    The modern school — everybody flunks eventually

  291. Jeremy

    …There has been some conversation lately about whether or not it is appropriate for Christians to discuss their sex lives online, and for the most part I have come to agree that we should use more modesty and reticence. However, sex will still occasionally be a topic of consideration here although I am making an effort to be more careful to treat it as the holy subject that it is, and therefore I won’t be discussing specific sexual practices or giving unnecessary details about my own sex life…

    To me, yes, it is appropriate.

    I’ve not visited many sermons in mixed faith or more mainstream faiths. However, I do recall noticing that the topic of circumcision is not entirely taboo in sermons, less so in random Christian conversation. Why is permanently scarring a baby a less-taboo topic than relations between a husband and wife?

    I think one of modern Christianity’s major failings is their continued approach to encourage that certain subjects are not discussed openly. This creates an atmosphere where violence against others is accepted and discussed, but details of a necessary act of love are repressed and ignorance is maintained. That is not christ-like at all.

    /and I’m not even a Christian

  292. feeriker

    SSM asked Dear Manosphere,
    Kindly explain to me a scenario in which you think it would be valid for a woman to marry. If you can.

    Well, I’m sure you’re not gonna like my answer, but here it is:

    Only when she can be honest enough with herself to admit that she feels genuinely attracted in all ways –emotionally, sexually, and spiritually– to a man for who he really is. If that means nothing but “gina tingles ueber Alles,” then so be it. She wants what she wants, she likes what she likes, she’s motivated by whatever it is that motivates her. To repeat a tired cliche, it just is what it is, irrespective of any form of judgement, or lack thereof, attached to her choice.

    That said, it might mean that she’ll have to wait for several years longer than she’d prefer in order to land the perfect alpha of her dreams. But “settling for less” (“less” in this case being one of the approximately 80 percent of the male population actually available to her at any given point in time) would mean not only being dishonest with herself (and thus making herself miserable for the rest of her life), but dishonest with the poor beta schlub she might otherwise eventually settle for, a man who will probably find out too late for his own good that he is nothing but a consolation prize.

    To put it in simpler terms: a woman shouldn’t “settle.” If she can’t get the dream guy she really wants and to whom she genuinely feels a sense of commitment, then she should do both herself and any potential “second tier” fallback choice a favor and just not.get.married. Period. Full stop. It’s unfair both to her and to any “second/third choice” man she would otherwise string along. IOW, it’s “the humane thing to do (it’s also the responsible thing to do, but I know better than to go there).”

    Just my two aluminum kopeks worth (and written from a male perspective, so that probably indicates its actual market value). I’m also sorry if I come off as overly cynical, but I calls it as I sees it.

  293. deti

    “It isn’t that complicated. It is just that obsessives like Deti insist on reading everything everyone says through his own template.”

    In other words: “Stop questioning me. Stop examining my viewpoints for their merit. Don’t weigh or evaluate what I say. Just accept what I say as fact.”

  294. Farm Boy

    If she can’t get the dream guy she really wants and to whom she genuinely feels a sense of commitment

    In the olden days when women were taught to be more modest (in all manners), they could appreciate a “normal” fella. And feel a genuine sense of commitment. This would be my Mom with respect to my Dad.

    Sorry ladies, but you have ruined it for all of your sisters except those that can land the alpha.

  295. deti

    Fee:

    Unfortunately, with the SMP and MMP the way it is now, and with the Churches cheering women on, I have to cosign your comment.

    Women should marry ONLY for tingles, and hope for the best. Hope against hope that he’ll turn out to be HHG or SAM.

    If you’re lucky, he’ll only have to make CS payments for one out of wedlock kid he sired before he met you.

    If you’re lucky, he won’t cheat on you too much, and if he does cheat, you’ll be the “number one”. And if you’re lucky, he’ll come to his senses and repent, and stop cheating. If you’re lucky, he’ll get over his promiscuity widower days.

    If you’re lucky, he’ll get a decent job and hunker down and stop partying.

    [ssm: You know, there really is no cause for you to be so hurtful. I don't make those kinds of comments to you about your past marital difficulties.]

  296. Farm Boy

    It is just that obsessives like Deti insist on reading everything everyone says through his own template.

    Deti’s template matches reality, so where is the problem?

  297. Calliso

    Actually Earl the reasons men and women do not want sex are not as black and white as you seem to claim. Personally in my case it was because sex was uncomfortable even somewhat painful at times. It had absolutely nothing to do with me wanting to be with another man besides my husband. I was even usually the one initiating most of the time! I would not have done that if I had wanted to be with another man besides my husband.

  298. Jeremy

    Why the “default yes” is a bad thing

    It’s basically like dumping three tons of fish into the dolphin tank at SeaWorld and wondering why the dolphins are no longer interested in doing any tricks.

    If your wife is into you, she doesn’t need a rule to want to fuck you.

    That analogy does not work.

    Dolphins do tricks in order to get a tasty treat. They’re fed 3 square meals a day regardless of whether or not they do tricks, or else the dolphin dies and that doesn’t do anyone any good.

    Sex is not a tasty treat that is held in reserve for special consideration. Sex is like breathing in a marriage, without it there is no bond. A better analogy for MMSL would be withholding food from a child until the child feels better. It’s ridiculous.

    [ssm: Jeremy, a couple of your comments got stuck in my mod folder. I think the problem is fixed now, though.]

  299. feeriker

    Farm Boy said: In the olden days when women were taught to be more modest (in all manners), they could appreciate a “normal” fella. And feel a genuine sense of commitment. This would be my Mom with respect to my Dad.

    Yes. As I’ve mentioned here before, that was my parents’ marriage of over a half a century.

    While she’s never actually admitted it, I can tell by the tone of her voice and the comments she makes when I talk to her that Mom is disappointed in both my brothers’ and my marriage. I don’t blame her one bit for feeling that way (oh, she ain’t nearly as disappointed as my brother and I!), but I’ve often been tempted to tell her:

    “Mom, unfortunately you and Dad set the bar too high – not because the bar height is unreasonable (it most certainly is not), but because the current culture/SMP/MMP has made a marriage like the one you and Dad had all but impossible for your sons and your grandchildren. It’s not 1956 anymore and we’re not likely to go back into a time machine anytime soon.

    “Oh, and before you talk about the role of the church in anyone’s marriage, stop for a minute to reflect on the number of men and women you know in your church small group, supposedly “life-long Christians,” who have been divorced at least once.

    “‘Nuff said.”

  300. hurting

    sunshinemary Post authorOctober 1, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    SSM, I infer from Zippy’s comments that he is, from a practical standpoint, telling men that they should not only ‘suck it up’ but learn to suck it up without letting the withholding bother them. If I understand his position, it is that self mastery (the ability to ignore sexual desire, even pure desire within the context of marriage) is required just in case the man finds himself in that position.

    I’d tend to doubt the likelihood that any appreciable number fo women who ever get in the habit of denying sex to their husbands ever get out of that pattern of behavior.

  301. Zippy

    hurting:
    Nowhere have I recommended that men do nothing but achieve self mastery. If I recommend that men eat right, it does not follow that I am against exercise.

  302. hurting

    hurting October 1, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    Zippy,

    And nowhere did I state that you held out self-mastery is the only path a man should pursue.

  303. deti

    Please accept my humble apologies, SSM. In my zeal to make a point I used your experience as an example and in doing so I see I stepped over the line.

    Won’t happen again.

  304. Elspeth

    I was not offended. I understood your point. I think however, you may underestimate how rare men like ours are.

    Whatever SAM’s faults or baggage might be he is still a cut above a lot of men. That is a generally held consensus, leaving aside my personal and obvious bias.

    Does that mean I would encourage my own daughters to sign up for some of the trials? No. There’s a lot that I did that I would not advise them to do. But I do believe that it is foolish for a woman to marry a man she’s not passionate about or who isn’t passionate about her.

    You can work through all kinds of issues and build a phenomenal life on the right foundation.

  305. imnobody00

    Biblical marriage has been impossible for forty years or so. What we have know is legal fornication promoted by the State and the Church.

    Manospherians have left comments similar to this one here before. I want to point out that just because some men say this does not make it factual.

    Biblical marriage has nothing to do with the State. I live in a Biblical marriage. People can still choose to be married to one another and live by the Bible. The State, I will definitely grant you, makes this optional, whereas in days gone by the State enforced Biblical marriage. But that doesn’t mean that Biblical marriage is literally impossible. It just means that now it’s a choice rather than a legal obligation.

    Yes, I know traditionalist people always says so, especially if they considered Biblical married and take this claim personally. But saying so doesn’t make it factual.

    For every time, I have said: “There is no Biblical marriage anymore”, somebody says: “You’re wrong. My marriage is Biblical”. Well, sorry, but no matter how much you want to believe it, it is not. And it’s not personal. If you want to believe this to be happy, be my guest. But I stand by the truth.

    Biblical marriage come with a set of duties and rights both for men and women. This is not possible anymore.

    Imagine a man from old times that married a woman according to the Bible and the Christian religion. He had duties and rights. One of these rights is to be COMPLETELY SURE that their wife and kids will always be with him (except if they died). This way he can invest in his family knowing this investment cannot be taken from him.

    This right does not exist anymore. Yes, the woman can be Christian, the marriage can be performed in a Christian community. Everybody can behave as a Christian. This does not change the fact that the wife can take the kids and the assets from the husband every time she wants. She only has to change her mind. The husband cannot be 100% sure anymore.

    You can say: But Christian wives don’t do that. And I will point you to Christian wives that have done that. And you will probably say: But these are not true Christian wives (“Not true Scotsman” fallacy) and this is not a true Christian marriage.

    What we have now is legal fornication. The spouses can behave AS IF she were in a Christian marriage. If them behave this way all her life, good for them. But it is not an obligation. There are always options to exit the marriage, especially for the wife. The time she changes her desire she can pull the plug. She couldn’t do that in a Christian marriage and the husband could sleep with tranquility. This is not possible anymore.

    This is Christian marriage…and pigs fly.

  306. Elspeth

    But it is not an obligation. There are always options to exit the marriage, especially for the wife.

    If she has a true fear of God, she doesn’t have the “option to exit the marriage”, regardless of what the state offers. The idea of a Christian marriage is about far more than the options available to sin against one’s mate. It’s about the obligation to Someone higher than oneself and the understanding that choices have eternal consequences.

    Using that Biblical standard, I am most definitely in a Christian marriage.

  307. Zippy

    hurting:
    I took the connotation of “sucking it up” to be “and do nothing else”. Perhaps others might take it that way too. But in any event I don’t recommend the “and do nothing else” part.

  308. Elspeth

    By the way Deti. I have to agree with Sunshine. Even though I wasn’t offended, neither she nor I have ever used the stuff you divulged about your wife and marriage against you. Unlike a lot of other people around these parts.

  309. imnobody00

    If she has a true fear of God, she doesn’t have the “option to exit the marriage”, regardless of what the state offers.

    The husband does not know whether she has true fear of God (“no true Scotsman”, again) until she or he dies or the woman divorces. There have been women who seemed very devout for years and then divorced.

    Marriage does not confer to the husband (or the wife) the right not to be divorced in any circumstance. He can guess, he can assume, he can minimize risk but he is not SURE.

    With Biblical marriage, he could be sure. He didn’t have to guess. He didn’t have to rely on his view of her wife being true or not. This is why it was a sacrament.

    Using that Biblical standard, I am most definitely in a Christian marriage.

    Sorry, you’re not. You can’t. But you are doing the best you can do, given the decadent culture we’re in. And if you feel better this way: you live in a Biblical marriage. Believe it or not, it is not about your marriage or SSM’s marriage. I am talking in general.

  310. Bike Bubba

    Nobody, it’s worth noting that 1 Cor. 7 clearly notes that Paul knew full well that unbelievers–to which group unrepentant adulterers would belong even if they’d been members of the church–could leave their spouses at will under Roman law. Also, the Torah (and Talmuds) clearly indicates that Jewish men could and did leave their wives for the silliest of reasons, and that no kings of Israel ever did much to stop it.

    In other words, your “Biblical” standard of marriage is not supported in either the Old or New Testaments. It ain’t Biblical. Marriage has always involved (e.g. Hosea) a degree of faith that the whole arrangement will last, and that one won’t be cuckolded.

    The Church can, and should, punish those who commit adultery by divorce, but of course the Church really does not have any compulsion to exercise on those who do not believe and are bound for Hell.

  311. imnobody00

    Marriage has always involved (e.g. Hosea) a degree of faith that the whole arrangement will last, and that one won’t be cuckolded.

    No. My grandparents and great-grandparents married and there didn’t need faith. They were sure they were going to be married until the day we died. This is what Christian marriage is.

    Yes, I know that Hosea married a slut but it was to make a point (God loving Israel although Israel worshiped other gods), not because this was a model of a Biblical marriage.

  312. Bike Bubba

    Your grandparents vs. the Biblical record. I’ll take the Bible, thanks. Reality is that “til death do us part” always has, and always will, require a degree of faith that the commitment will last for both parties. Let’s not desecrate the nature of faith by pretending otherwise.

  313. imnobody00

    Reality is that “til death do us part” always has, and always will, require a degree of faith that the commitment will last for both parties.

    No. Not always, as I have said. I don’t know the last century in America but, in most Christian countries, when the faith was strong, commitment was “til death do us part”, as the marital vows say. These are marital vows, not marital statements of intent.

    Faith is for God, not towards a fallen being. You desecrate the nature of faith by pretending otherwise.

    [ssm: I agree with your last sentence here. I keep my vows because I obey God. I mean, I also love my husband and like being married to him, but we've been through some difficult times together and I stayed with him because I vowed that I would. I'm sure that is why the Scriptures tell us to submit unto our husbands as unto the Lord, because our husbands, however good they are, are still fallen beings like us.]

  314. Farm Boy

    Reality is that “til death do us part” always has, and always will, require a degree of faith

    Vows just don’t seem to be what they used to be.

  315. deti

    “By the way Deti. I have to agree with Sunshine. Even though I wasn’t offended, neither she nor I have ever used the stuff you divulged about your wife and marriage against you. Unlike a lot of other people around these parts.”

    You’re correct, you have not. I sinned against a sister in Christ. I begged your forgiveness; you said you weren’t offended. I’ve repented.

    Is there something further you want me to do or say to make this right? Because frankly I don’t think there is anything else I can do or say, other than to remove myself from the conversation which I probably should do anyway because I think I’ve made my not very well received points.

  316. Elspeth

    Bygones, deti. I’m good. You have apologized and repented. There is nothing more that you need to do or say towards me.

    As for bowing out, that is ultimately up to Sunshine. It’s her house, where we all converse at her pleasure.

  317. earl

    “Actually Earl the reasons men and women do not want sex are not as black and white as you seem to claim. Personally in my case it was because sex was uncomfortable even somewhat painful at times.”

    Yeah just like my labor in this world is uncomfortable and painful at times. Guess who cares….nobody.

  318. Calliso

    Gee you sound like such a nice person Earl.. Really I do not expect you to care about my personal problems or whatever. My point was to point out that you are wrong that there is one reason why women/men do not want sex. I used myself as an example because well I know exactly what is going on in my own situation. What you described might have/be true in your own situation but it is not true for everyone. Actually your reason as to why men sometimes don’t want sex could work for a lot of women as well. I worked my butt off at my job and sometimes come home quite exhausted.

    Also by do not want sex I did not mean I refused my husband. So if you are thinking that you are wrong as well.

  319. Calliso

    Gah I mean work my butt off I made it sound like I no longer work in my last post by using the word worked..

  320. Red

    @Zippy
    “SSM:
    I too am puzzled by the nominalist attitude that marriage is just what the State says it is, nothing more, nothing less. Certainly the State’s hostility toward marriage in general and men specifically makes things more difficult, as a practical matter. But since when have we conceded to Big Daddy Government the capacity to define reality by fiat?”

    Since the church stopped enforcing church law adulteress wives. Civil law became the only standard the day a divorced women wasn’t kicked out of church for her sin.

    @SSM
    >>”There are actually a number of logical impossibilities presented as valid arguments on so-called “red pill” blogs, which is why I say the whole idea of the red pill is useless.

    >>Here’s another one:

    >>Women should be like they were in days of old, when they were attracted to men who were good providers, not cads who generated tingles.
    while at the same time

    >>Women should not marry men they don’t tingle for. Only gold-digging whores marry for provisioning!
    So, we’re whores if we marry for tingles and we’re golddiggers if we marry for money, AND if you say you married for love, it will be explained to you that women cannot love.

    >>Dear Manosphere,
    Kindly explain to me a scenario in which you think it would be valid for a woman to marry. If you can.”

    Women have always been attracted to cads in every age. It was mostly fathers, community pressure, and legal consequences for raising bastards that forced women away from following their natural instincts towards cads.

    Civilizations keeps women low status so that whoever they marry is a step up for them. When a women is lower status than all men, being married off to a good beta provider is gina tingle sexy time. Not as sexy as marrying a murder but good enough. This is why St. Paul won’t let women speak in church or have their head bare in church. The intent was to keep women’s status low so that they would be happy and turned on in their marriages to responsible boring guys.

    All this is lost on the manosphere because they don’t believe that women used to be low status. They think it’s a feminist lie when in reality it’s one of the only things the feminists tell the truth about.

  321. sunshinemary Post author

    Deti

    Is there something further you want me to do or say to make this right? Because frankly I don’t think there is anything else I can do or say, other than to remove myself from the conversation which I probably should do anyway because I think I’ve made my not very well received points.

    I’m not holding any grudges. I’ve been a total snot to you more than once and had to apologize, and you’ve always been gracious about it. No need for us to mention bygones.

  322. earl

    “Gee you sound like such a nice person Earl..”

    Thank you…I am.

    Plus the priest talked about the value of suffering in Mass yesterday. So perhaps a little physical pain isn’t the worst thing in the world.

  323. mrsdarlings

    Good post sunshine Mary!

    I also wrote this a while back, A man’s love is un-conditional. http://housewifesexuality.wordpress.com/2013/09/08/nans-love-is-un-conditional/

    I feel the only way a woman can love herself is to be “default yes”. This I feel is the only way that she can tap into his unconditional love.

    Gods love is unconditional. God gave us our men. And god talks to us through our men. Everything that god teaches us is to be applied to each other here. Not only to our husband but, to others. SO THAT we CAN create our own heaven. That is the only way to feel Heaven. Be ye “perfect” as I am. Modern words- HERE! COPY ME! And when you do as I do you will feel as I feel. You will have what I have. Eternal happiness. Because perfection only exists in the state of growth.

    Motion creates emotion which is why default yes despite how you feel will turn into happiness.

  324. Calliso

    “Plus the priest talked about the value of suffering in Mass yesterday. So perhaps a little physical pain isn’t the worst thing in the world”

    Oh I never said it was! Its not like I try to avoid all pain or anything. You can’t live life if you do. But I don’t think its unreasonable to try and reduce it or in some cases avoid the situation that causes it.

    Oh and I am sure you are a nice guy I was just not feeling well last night and you post kinda set me off. So I apologize.

  325. Farm Boy

    Civilizations keeps women low status so that whoever they marry is a step up for them

    And they were happy.

    More specifically, the aggregate happiness of men and women were higher.

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  327. earl

    “But I don’t think its unreasonable to try and reduce it or in some cases avoid the situation that causes it.”

    I hurt my hand pretty good after a good sparing with a punching bag…a little swelling and one of my knuckles is sore. It’s something that happens when you first learn. Guess what I can’t get off my mind…going at that punching bag again.

    Now certainly not the day after…but once I can handle it I’m going at it again just as hard. Soon I’ll either get used to the pain…or get good at it to where it doesn’t cause pain anymore.

    Now tell me if that is far off when it comes to sex. I don’t have experience in that area.

  328. Farm Boy

    All this is lost on the manosphere because they don’t believe that women used to be low status

    They may have been low status, but they were well taken care of.

  329. hurting

    Zippy October 1, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Noted. Seriously though, what can a man really do to solve the problem of a wife’s withholding? Prayer and fasting on his part would seem to be oriented to reifying his self-mastery.

    That was the point of my earlier hypothesis suggesting that few wives who’ve gotten in the habit of withholding ever get out of it.

    I’d also sign on to Deti’s premise that the problem of sexless marriages is not unreasonable men demanding that their wives sex them up when they are legitimately ill or physically incapable due to involuntary physical separation. I experienced a fair amount of the former situation in my own marriage and had no problem accepting those circumstances. Sadly I also encountered far more of the willful withholding that I believe is the crux of the matter here.

  330. earl

    “Noted. Seriously though, what can a man really do to solve the problem of a wife’s withholding? Prayer and fasting on his part would seem to be oriented to reifying his self-mastery.”

    You could be dealing with a spiritual evil that is causing her rebellion. If there is one thing the devil hates it is prayer and fasting…and some sins can only be driven out by prayer and fasting.
    Matthew 17:19-21

    And since in marriage the two bodies become one…you are actually helping out your wife with something by doing these things. It is an act of love.

    Don’t forget a lot of these problems are a spiritual one.

  331. Zippy

    hurting:
    Seriously though, what can a man really do to solve the problem of a wife’s withholding? Prayer and fasting on his part would seem to be oriented to reifying his self-mastery.

    One of the things that seems to frustrate men in these threads is that wives make their own choices, for good or ill, and there is nothing whatsoever that men can do to change that basic aspect of reality.

    The only thing on this Earth that you can choose is what you do.

    Let me repeat this obvious point: there is absolutely nothing a man can do to change his wife’s behavior. Only she can change her behavior. Therefore, if you want her to change her behavior, you have to find a way to convince her to choose to change her behavior. Sometimes this can be done and sometimes it cannot — it is not up to you, it is ultimately up to her.[1] But in all cases it is better to approach the problem from a position of strength – the basic foundation of which is self mastery – rather than a position of weakness.

    In the words of the Prophet Morpheus of Red Pill fame, “welcome to the real world.” This underscores the importance of marrying wisely, which can really only be done when, as a man, you have first mastered yourself. (This is not advice for women; I leave that to the sewing circle).

    One of the ironies in this discussion is that the whiny self-professed beta shlub, the Prophet of Beta Hopelessness who manned up and married etc, apparently has overshared details on how even he managed to alter his own marital dynamic with his high N poorly chosen (by his own account, afaict, which details none of us would know if he had any self-respect or respect for her) wife.

    [1] That’s one reason why Christian marriage is a kind of sacramental death to self, a sacrifice of one’s self for the good of one’s beloved, and simply cannot be viewed reductively as some economic exchange of sex for provision. Economic exchange of sex for provision is just prostitution. People who think of their “marriages” in those terms may use the label “marriage”, but the relationships they are talking about are not marriages.

  332. Elspeth

    What if you don’t have one?

    LOL. I get where you’re coming from Farm Boy as it’s one of my pet peeves about American evagelicalism.

    Whenever I hear someone preach that “God gave us this money, house, car, freedom, etc” I always wonder what that means for the beleaguered and persecuted Christians of like precious faith around the globe who were not “blessed” to be born in the West.

    The answer to your question is that what we have is either a result of God’s plan or our choices. Mostly it’s a combination of the two.

    I am fully, thoroughly, and utterly convinced that I did nothing to deserve such a good husband. So I make it my business to live in gratitude toward both God first and to my husband.

    And I don’t assume that a woman who is not living the same way is somehow less blessed or necessarily did something to make her unworthy of a husband. We all have to play the hands we’re dealt.

  333. hurting

    Zippy October 2, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    You’ve made my point, I think, that there is nothing a man can do to change his wife’s behavior, that falls within the context of what would be allowable, per Christianity’s laws. Certainly no worldly repercussions could be counted upon to prevail upon a rebellious wife (all of the high cards are held by women in secular domestic relations).

    I assume further that you are not insinuating that all men (or women for that matter) who find themselves in difficult marriages (plagued by withholding and/or other serious matters) are there as a function of not choosing wisely. Certainly chossing wisely is important, but more important is the equalization of leverage points between the sexes as it relates to ‘correcting’ (as the secular world sees it) bad choices. I am not convinced at all that people today are any less capable of understanding the obligations of marriage they were a couple fo generations ago – they just have readier access to ‘solutions’ from the state to destroy marriages that would have prevailed in an earlier time.

    I am also dubious of your theory (again, I am inferring here) that even perfect self-mastery would solve the withholding problem in any significant number of cases. The withholding wife doesn’t care if her husband is indifferent to sexual congress with her.

  334. Christina

    The argument to revoke commitment because the wife is in rebellion by not having sex (breach of contract) doesn’t seem to be upholding Ephesians 5:24-25.

    If Christ removed his commitment to us every time we rebelled, We’d all be heading for hell.

    But if we really want to talk breach of contract, my husband and I married agreeing to 3 kids. He changed his mind and doesn’t want more. Is he in breach of contract?

    If my husband loses his job and can’t provide anymore (because according to y’all, that’s the only reason women marry… like sex for men), then he’s in breach of contract? Or was that addressed in the vows while sex wasn’t?

    As for disciplining a rebellious wife, my husband’s method is really effective. He never raises his voice to me… seriously, it just doesn’t happen… unless I really screwed up.

    And boy was I put in my place.

    For everything else, his rebuke is quite gentle.

  335. Zippy

    hurting:
    Certainly no worldly repercussions could be counted upon to prevail upon a rebellious wife (all of the high cards are held by women in secular domestic relations).

    That’s generally true but probably an overstatement. What influence and leverage you have over another person depends a great deal on circumstances, and I’ve found that when I go looking for leverage I can frequently find it, sometimes in unexpected places. So I don’t think a counsel of despair for men in this kind of predicament is helpful: even though many will lose, some will win, and the crabs in the bucket should keep their counsel of despair to themselves.

    I assume further that you are not insinuating that all men (or women for that matter) who find themselves in difficult marriages (plagued by withholding and/or other serious matters) are there as a function of not choosing wisely.

    Heavens no. Good judgment is no guarantee of success. For that matter, bad judgement is no guarantee of failure. But judgment does influence outcomes, generally speaking; and the gravity of the situation recommends very careful, dispassionate judgement, which is something that only a man in control of himself can exercise.

    I am also dubious of your theory (again, I am inferring here) that even perfect self-mastery would solve the withholding problem in any significant number of cases. The withholding wife doesn’t care if her husband is indifferent to sexual congress with her.

    I have advanced no such theory. Certainly on its own, out of context, with nothing else happening, self-mastery isn’t likely to influence an already-rebellious wife. (It may prevent a not-yet-rebellious wife from becoming rebellious though).

    On the other hand the Game guys constantly harp on the notion that a man with options is a man who can’t be trifled with by a woman; and a man in control of himself has options that an out of control man does not.

    Heck, from the traditional Christian perspective a rebellious wife can give the incontinent man a fast ticket to Hell, because he lacks a virtuous option which is not mortally sinful.

  336. Farm Boy

    because according to y’all, that’s the only reason women marry

    Tingles, important they are

  337. Christina

    I thought the sex was for tingles and wedding bells for provision… isn’t that how this lack of sex thing got started? Women marry guys they aren’t attracted to?

  338. Bike Bubba

    Farm Boy, the link reminds me of something Walter Williams likes to note; two full time minimum wage jobs keep a family of four out of poverty. yes, two is better than one, and most of our welfare spending results from ignoring this principle.

    And regarding the topic of “what to do if your spouse does not uphold their end of the marriage contract”; well, at the risk, or certainty, of being a broken record, it’s time for Matthew 18, along with a good deal of the prayer Earl refers to in Matthew 17. As many note, many/most churches don’t do this well at this point, but if enough people raise the issue, people will start to clue in.

  339. Christina

    I would think that self mastery is an extension of self control (fruit of the spirit) and with our openness to change, prayer, and submission to Christ, he would change us and mold us.

    At least that’s how I’m approaching self control with respect to gluttony. For me, saying no to some addictive foods is close to torture (yes, I have a problem). We all agree that my gluttony is a problem, while eating in a healthy, appropriate way involves self control.

    Zippy’s approach doesn’t seem to be lacking in a scriptural basis, especially adding in the verses of not letting anything but God be the master of you.

    So really, not self mastery, but allowing God be master over you.

  340. Elspeth

    One of the things that appeared to be happening is that ideas were being ascribed to Zippy that he neither expressed nor meant. I never got the impression that he was saying that a wife withholding was alright, that a man shouldn’t be bothered by it, nor that a man should just “man up” and do nothing.

    He was simply stating something that I thought was one of the few commonly held beliefs around these parts: You can’t let your wife be in a position where she becomes your Lord and master through manipulating your desires.

  341. Elspeth

    And church discipline has gone the way of the dodo bird. I haven’t seen it exercised since I was a child and even then it was a power struggle that was the main motivator.

  342. Farm Boy

    Women marry guys they aren’t attracted to?

    Only when they are 33.

    If they could have had tingles at 29, they would have.

  343. grey_whiskers

    @Elspeth October 1, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    Because humility, grace and gratitude are sorely lacking in today’s females.

    I totally agree with this but I vehemently disagree that any woman under 30 who is any kind of attractive and smart can get married anytime she wants.

    Further, while I completely agree that women have extremely outrageous standards today, even a cursory reading around the manosphere indicates that women are not the only ones with this problem.

    Seems to me there is a lot of cognitive dissonance here. You don’t want to marry a woman who isn’t hot for you, but you want women to marry men they aren’t hot for. Make up your mind already.

    If you hadn’t noticed, every time you make this assertion it touches a nerve with me.

    Looking forward to your post Sunshine.

    The part in bold is answered thusly:
    Women are subject to hypergamy and must control it for society to function.
    For a man to require a woman to have the hots for him, you are (paradoxically) taming the hypergamy by limiting it, and preventing the woman from “continuing to climb higher on the ladder of her requirements” as she stops at the rung that man is on; by requiring a woman to marry a woman she isn’t hot for, you are taming the hypergamy by requiring the woman to renounce it altogether.

  344. hurting

    Zippy,

    Your points are well taken, but the Game guys, in general don’t buy into the notion of marriage that you and I do (RCC). Effectively all of them would argue that ‘threat game’ has a role to play; there is no place for such in marriage as defined by the RCC, unless you’d buy the argument that persistent, willful and illicit withholding would ever rise to the level of ‘making the common life unbearable’ per canon 1153 so as prompt the local ordinary to approve a separation and/or subsequent civil divorce and then perhaps a declaration of nullity.

  345. hurting

    Christina October 2, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    Your questions depend on the moral framework underpinning marriage. From a Roman Catholic perspective (the only view I understand somewhat fully and believe to be true), your pre-marriage decision to limit the number fo children you would have (whether 1, 2, 3 or 10) likely violates the RCC’s mandate that the spouses be open to life and would impinge on the validity of the marital bond.

    You are absolutely correct that the we are called as Christian spouses to aspire to what many may seem like an impossible goal. I’m a pretty good man, but a very, very fallen one, and I know many other very good men. Despite the fact that all of us have or will fall short at some point in time or another to ‘love our wives as Christ loves the church’ (the most perfect love, if you will), we are called nonetheless to strive thusly.

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  347. Calliso

    “Now tell me if that is far off when it comes to sex. I don’t have experience in that area”.
    In some cases it probably would work, it all depends on the situation. I mean for a newly married couple where the woman has not had sex before the first time might be rather uncomfortable. But future times as her body gets more used to it should be better. Of course there can also be medical issues that need to be looked into. In my case I later determined that it was most likely the birth control pill which I was on at the time. I am not 100% sure of this but about 99% sure since that is what all the evidence pointed towards.

  348. Maeve

    “The part in bold is answered thusly:
    Women are subject to hypergamy and must control it for society to function.
    For a man to require a woman to have the hots for him, you are (paradoxically) taming the hypergamy by limiting it, and preventing the woman from “continuing to climb higher on the ladder of her requirements” as she stops at the rung that man is on; by requiring a woman to marry a woman she isn’t hot for, you are taming the hypergamy by requiring the woman to renounce it altogether.”

    I’m confused. So a man does or does not want a wife who has the hots for him? Does he want to have the hots for her? I’m not being snarky here, but i’m kind of tired so I hope it really doesn’t sound that way.

  349. FuzzieWuzzie

    Maeve, hypergamy is all right as long as the woman is shopping. As consumers, don’t we all look for the best deal? However, once the deal is struck, no more shopping.
    Of course, men want women who are head over heels for them.

  350. Maeve

    You know, Fuzzie, I have to say that I don’t really understand what hypergamy is (to be perfectly honest); I guess I vaguely sense it’s wanting something good?

  351. FuzzieWuzzie

    My first introduction to the concept of hypergamy was an interview with Carrie Fisher in the 19801s. She remarked on the propensity of Hollywood wives to marry and divorce and always “trade up”.
    I don’t know who coined the word but, it was more recent than that.

  352. nightskyradio

    Maeve – I just bought a 65″ HD television. It’s awesome! It’s incredible!

    …until the guy next door shows me his 100″ HD TV. With 3D. My TV ain’t so great anymore. So I trade up for a new one. I’m happy.

    …until the new 200″ holographic Kaboom-Surround-Sound model comes out. I sell my current model on craigslist (for a loss) and buy this one.

    A week later I see an ad for the same model… but with 1 extra pixel per inch and a free 12 pack of Mountain Dew. Oh, how can I live with this craptacular model I have at home?

    No matter what I do, I just cannot be happy with the model I have, no matter how great it really is. I don’t even take the time to explore all the features it has, not to mention discovering little hidden bonuses, like how the acoustics of my living room really brought out the sound on one model, before trading it in for the new one.

    Some women can’t be happy with what they have, no matter how great it is, if they think there’s an available guy out there who’s even just slightly better.

  353. Calliso

    Calliso, “tingles” are a euphemism for feminine sexual interest.

    Ahh ok thanks I get confused by some of the terms I see people using haha.

  354. deti

    “ One of the ironies in this discussion is that the whiny self-professed beta shlub, the Prophet of Beta Hopelessness who manned up and married etc, apparently has overshared details on how even he managed to alter his own marital dynamic with his high N poorly chosen (by his own account, afaict, which details none of us would know if he had any self-respect or respect for her) wife.”

    Indeed I did alter my own marital dynamic. I was able to do so no thanks to pontificators like you and your ilk, who do little else than spout platitudes about “learn to do without sex” and then stop there. I did it by insisting on what was mine in my marriage, demanding that my wife live up to her obligations as I had lived up to mine; and imposing consequences for failure to live up to her obligations. If I had followed your advice, I’d simply be an incel within marriage, which adheres to neither the letter nor the spirit of scripture.

    If you really want to help people, then perhaps you might go a bit farther with your pontifications and platitudes and bring them down to a level people can actually use, where the rubber (heh) meets the road. There was a pretty cool carpenter Who lived a couple thousand years ago who was pretty good at that. Let’s be a bit more like Him, shall we?

  355. Zippy

    deti:
    If I had followed your advice, I’d simply be an incel within marriage, which adheres to neither the letter nor the spirit of scripture.

    I haven’t actually given any detailed or tactical advice, which seems to be one of your main beefs. Playing counselor to people with marital problems isn’t one of my interests. You can’t guess at what would have happened had you followed “my advice” when I haven’t actually given any.

    The only “advice” I offer is that in every situation without exception self-mastery is better than its lack, so it is something worth developing, categorically, for all situations. The other things I’ve said haven’t been advice.

    Reading comprehension and consistency are not really your strong suit.

  356. deti

    “Reading comprehension and consistency are not really your strong suit.”

    Nor do they appear to be yours. If they were, you might be less Pharisaical in your approach to life.

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  358. foo

    I read your assertion that “a lot of men are happier married and incel than single incel” and something about that being due to the companionship of the wife.

    It prompted me to reexamine my own thoughts on the subject. The sexual dimension of our marriage is in my estimation an abysmal failure. Our calendar looks like your calendar… if you drop the 2nd and 28th. It’s been a problem that has plagued our marriage from the beginning, and I had flights of fancy that were I able to tell 15 year old me one thing it would be to avoid marrying (in general) her (in the specific). Your assertion helped me to correct course on this point, but I have one thing to add.

    As I considered the parts of my life that would change if I was able to prevent myself from marrying 17 years ago it was not the companionship of my wife that I would miss. In fact, my marriage relationship kind of hampers my disposition and ability to foster other companionships that I otherwise may have developed. Concomitant to my wife’s companionship is a lot of sexual frustration, self-doubt, and self-loathing. I could replace her companionship with other non-sexual companions and avoid all that. If that is where I stopped considering the question I would still be of the same mind. Avoid marriage. Avoid her.

    However; I continued to consider the assertion you made, and quickly recognized the single factor that changes my position on the subject. I will suffer the frustration, doubt, and loathing that arise from her continued rejection because I value my children and I value my role as their father. If I were single, I would not have children (assuming I’d continue to live chaste). I am a much happier man because the relationship I have with them and my role in their lives.

    This actually kind of came up once in a session of typical churchian marriage counseling. The counselor asked me to describe my love for my wife. I said I loved her as the mother of our children. That statement still comes round to bark at my heels over a decade on. We’ll get in a disagreement and she’ll bring up “Oh, but you only love me because I had your kids.” It sounds mean, it probably is mean, it’s also probably true. I don’t really feel much romantic love for her. I used to. I used to burn for her, but that flame has died. Her companionship is interchangeable with any number of other individuals I may meet. She professes romantic love for me, it’s just that her romantic love is void of any sexual desire. I think she is probably asexual (no clue to this leading up to the marriage). It doesn’t bother her, so she hasn’t reflected on it either personally or with the assistance of professional counsel. Asexual romantic love.. does that even register with any of you?

    Anywho, I will chime in to say that yes, I am a sexually frustrated married man who is happier than my sexually frustrated hypothetically single alter ego, with the caveat that my happiness derives not from the companionship my wife provides, but from of the children that she bore for us. I still love her for helping me become a father.

  359. foo

    Asexual romantic love.

    Asexual marriage.

    Perhaps that is what we are supposed to strive for. Is it possible that when Paul counsels us to love our wives as Christ loves the church, he is counseling us to learn to love in marriage without sexual desire? Does Christ feel the a desire for his church that is in anyway similar to the sexual desire I used to feel for my wife? That just sounds wrong; almost blasphemous. Can we ascribe sexual desire to our Lord and Savior?

    Perhaps that is the self-mastery Zippy is espousing. When we have mastered our sexual desires they are no longer sexual and they are no longer desires. Sexual union simply becomes a task that must be performed to comply with the commandment to multiply and replenish. We take only the joy of obedience from it. It loses all feeling of innate pleasure and becomes solely a practice in obedience to the will of God.

    If that is true, then my wife is the truly righteous one, and I am in dire need of repentance.

  360. Zippy

    foo:
    Perhaps that is the self-mastery Zippy is espousing.

    Nothing so profound. Just a capacity to handle life’s vicissitudes, whatever they may be. They will be different for different people; but the moral imperative to do without sex gracefully is something that more people ultimately face than not; and these days most fail to do the right thing.

    Plenty of men in these threads would advise you to divorce your wife and go find another. They give that advice because they are slaves to sex. My words are not particularly profound, but they provoke outrage because of the sacred cow they threaten.

    You have chosen the better path, and your fatherhood and children are part of the treasure that is your reward.

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  363. TW

    Except that when I do a default yes I’m not particularly into it and it doesn’t feel good and I am not well lubricated and it hurts. So he ends up happy and I feel, kinda, disappointed in myself that I wasn’t able to make it good for both of us and I don’t really feel like it again because it hurts. So a default yes for us makes me not want to do it again, even when I am relatively interested, because I have associated it with pain. Leading to a downward spiral. And him complaining when I’m not into it makes me feel like I’m letting him down which makes me more likely to attempt a default yes which will make it hurt again.

  364. Professor

    Speaking from considerable personal experience, the opposition to the “default yes” is rooted in POWER. Women use sex to manipulate men and get what they want. If a wife is set at ‘default yes’ then she loses that edge and most of the time not even the threat of eternal damnation is enough to make her disarm. It really is such a simple thing and a pleasurable act that the only reason for refusing is about throwing one’s weight around like a bully. When my wife refuses me I always imagine her calling her girlfriends to laugh about how she can control me and how she doesn’t really need me after all. Not very loving on my part; not very happy for either of us. The cycle is pernicious and deadly and I fear that one day it will ultimately lead to an opportunity I will not refuse.

    If all it took to make my wife happy was to rub her body for 10 minutes 2-3 times a week I would do it even if it caused me terrible pain. If such an act ALSO gave me pleasure, even if only nominally, the only reason I can think of to deny her would be for purposes of punishment. If the withholding of this act ALSO caused her intense, soul crushing agony then the only reason I can think of for denying it would be to take some sadistic pleasure in inflicting pain on her. That is how I feel about my wife after a few days without sex. I think that is how a LOT of men feel about their wives after a few days. Nothing good can come of it and scripture could not be more clear on the subject.

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