Monday, December 1, 2008

Sex Tips For Wives

My dearest Readers,
I thought it quite appropriate to set this particular post on "sex tips for wives" to the above picture of an old maid handing off a dildo to the new bride with what I could only guess the advice being, "Go forth and climax, my dear, dear girl, for no husband will do it for you." As one might imagine, a woman back in the day had to be pretty fortunate to actually experience a climax during the act. Or at all. It was truly at a man's discretion as to whether his wife and/or mistress received pleasure. After all, the world evolved around men. Still does. What was more, most men back in those days didn't really understand how a woman's body worked (some men these days still don't know....ehm). Which only perpetuated a serious problem. Women were not being satisfied.

Now with every age, came a different understanding of sexuality. The picture you see above is actually Georgian. It was a time when sexuality was a bit more embraced and romping was not only fun but a way of life (for the most part). Then we move into Regency. Sexuality is slowly being clamped down on. And then we have our Victorians. Ah, yes. And this is where we officially begin. As the Victorian age is so easy to make fun of. There is a book called
"Sex Tips For Husbands and Wives From 1894" by Ruth Smythers. Allow me to highlight the fabulous points of this book. And I do mean fabulous....

*That the wedding day is the happiest and most terrifying day of a woman's life.
*And rightfully so.
*She has secured a man to provide for her for the rest of her days.
*She has also secured a man who will want "it" for the rest of her days. (Isn't *that* the truth)
*The terrible experience of sex must be faced.
*For those women who anticipate their wedding night with curiosity and hopes of pleasure...BEWARE!
*The one rule of marriage a wife must adhere to: "Give Little, Give Seldom, And Above All, Give Grudgingly."
*Otherwise a woman's proper marriage becomes "an orgy of sexual lust." (Heaven forbid!)
*"While sex is at best revolting and at worse rather painful, it has to be endured." (Hm. Submissive behavior. Sounds familiar.)
*If allowed, a husband will want it every day (and every night).
*A wise wife will only allow two very, very, very brief encounters per week for the first few months. To create children.
*With time, she should reduce the two brief encounters to one brief encounter. And then none.
*Illness, sleepiness and headaches is a lady's good friend in this matter.
*By the fifth year of marriage, encounters should be reduced to once a month.
*By the tenth year, all encounters have been terminated. (I rather like their used of termination. It's quite...appropriate)
*Sex is not what will hold a man in his home, but his children and social pressure.(You *have* to love the Victorians)
*Men by nature are perverted (isn't that the truth! LOL) and if given the chance would indulge in all sort of disgusting sexual activities.
*These disgusting activities include "performing the normal act in abnormal positions; mouthing the female body; and offering their own vile bodies to be mouthed in turn." (Those poor, poor women, not to mention those poor, poor men)
*A wife should never allow her husband to see her unclothed.
*A wife should also never allow her husband to flaunt his unclothed body.
*Sex should only be performed in utter darkness.
*The darkness creates yet another glorious opportunity for the man to stumble and hurt himself so that the act can be denied. (Snort)
*No body movement must be made by the wife during the act as it will be seen as sexual excitement.
*Kisses should be placed upon the cheek. Not the lips. (Okay, now this is where I bloody draw the line...shaking head yet again)
*Buttermilk toilet soap ought to be placed on the nether region to prevent a husband from mouthing the forbidden territory.
*The gown will not be pulled up above the waist.
*Above all, she will remain perfectly still and never moan. (Either in pleasure or in pain.)
*A wife's duty is to suppress a man's need for sex. Period.

So there it is. Sex Tips for wives from 1894. My response to the above? Where the bloody hell is that dildo?! And what about your response? Dare I even ask?
Cheers and much love until next time,
Delilah Marvelle


Minnette Meador said...

I'll tell you what...from now on, I'm keeping all the lights on and all the clothes off. So there! ~tongue~ :)

Eliza Knight said...

*Very very very long sigh*

That is just so sad... Can I just tell you how glad I am to live in the present? I like sex and I like being naked, and I like mouthing and abnormal postions, lol

Oh and my books are sooo off :)

Lisa Hendrix said...

Fortunately, I write about the Middle Ages, when they believed that a child could not be conceived without the woman experiencing a climax. Therefore, it was the man's obligation (since, of course, sex was *only* for procreation) to make sure his wife experienced pleasure--and the woman's to experience it.

They made up for that bit of liberality, however, by having so many days when sex was forbidden. Or as one of my characters complains after someone points out that sex is forbidden during preganancy:

"And on feast days and fast days and Sundays and Wednesdays and Fridays and Quadrigessima and Advent and and and. Even last week was forbidden, though we just had forty days without. If I bow completely to the Church's teachings, I will never lie with my husband again. It cannot all be sin."

Humphf. I'm with Minnette and Eliza! Let's raise a glass to the present and all our smutty randiness!

Delilah Marvelle said...

I'm with freakin' all of you, Lisa, Eliza and Minnette! Amen and Amen to my life as a woman in 2008 (though soon to be 2009! Yikes!). And yes, medieval times were very different in their approach to sex. They also believed that men squirted out already formed mini humans into the womb where they nested and then grew into their size. Gotta love history.

Jessa Slade said...

These are hysterical. And by hysterical I mean all the good ol' women-are-scary interpretations. Although you could possibly talk me into a return to the Red Tent on occasion, as long as I can take my romance novels...

therese said...

They say (whoever they are) that history repeats. This is one aspect of history I don't ever want to see repeat, anywhere on the globe, thru the however long centuries... All praise to the romance industry!

My mom, who married in 1948, wasn't sure what to expect on her wedding night. Her mom wouldn't tell her. So my mom went to her Pastor (Catholic Priest) for insight. I always got the impression he didn't explain it very well either. Fortunately, Mom was pleasantly surprised.

Bridget Locke said...

I've always been very, very thankful that my parents decided to let my brother & I know about sex when we were little. All I wanted to know was how babies were made...and I found out. LOL!

I remember when I was 12 & one of my friends got her period. She was petrified she was dying and I was the one who had to explain to her what on earth was happening to her.

In this day and age where sex is just a part of life, it's a tragedy that so many parents still think of it as a taboo. If more parents gave their children a head's up, there'd probably be a lot less teen pregancy than there is. *sigh*

I apologize for the rant.

As to your post? Loved it in a "Wow, I'm so glad I didn't live back then." Might have to link it on my blog.


Kerry Blaisdell said...

What strikes me about all of this is how *recent* it was -- barely a century ago! Yikes! Of course, I still believe there was some pleasure happening behind closed door, in spite of these "rules." And I don't just mean in the brothels -- I think we all would've died out long ago, if only half of us were having fun procreatin'. *;?)

And, on the flip side, I believe there were good, kind men, even in the Victorian era, who loved their wives and understood that sex is better for *him*, when it's also good for *her*.

Okay, so that's my rant! What's published in an era, isn't always a true representation of what went ON in an era!

Delilah Marvelle said...

LOL on the Red Tent and romance novels. Don't forget to add the dildo to that list *grin*

Learning the history of sexuality from our own families is really the eye opener. Fortunately, your mother sounds like she was one of the lucky ones!

I think you nailed it (no pun intended) at saying we as a society are still very puritanical. Although I would say that is the case more for at home social stuff as opposed to media stuff. The media pushes sexuality up the ying yang and not in a good way. Too much sexuality is bad and too little is bad. We need a nice balance in which it just simply *is.* And I'm so glad you enjoyed the post!!

You are spot on with what you're saying. There are always exceptions to the rule and of course men and women strayed! The problem is, with such rules lined up, women didn't really have an outlet to talk to anybody about sex *should* there be a problem. Which I feel was the bigger problem. Because boys could be boys and talk amongst themselves but women were isolated both socially and sexually. Which made for a complicated life of hopscotch.

Maggie G said...

Loved the post and hooyah, I'm glad too that I live now! I read The Sensous Woman in my teens and it has all been, shall we say, "downhill" since then, LOL. One thing that had me snorting about Victorian marriages was the factoid that as men age they "take longer", thus giving the woman an opportunity to climax. Image the woman's shock after all those years of lying on their backs and "dutifully thinking of England" (supposedly what Victoria's mother told her to do).

Maggie Jaimeson said...

*Otherwise a woman's proper marriage becomes "an orgy of sexual lust."

One can only hope the above is true, as I have always been entirely improper in marriage.

"By the tenth year, all encounters have been terminated."

I think I must put my husband on notice then. I'm sure he'll love the idea. :)

Thanks for the eye opener, Delilah. As for learning from one's parents, I'm convinced my mother wasn't sure of the connection between sex and pregnancy until the eighth child. Consequently, my sex education was fairly non-existent outside of the 4th grade required films that explained nothing about the act.

Jacqueline Keeler said...

Wow, who knew? Buttermilk toilet soap? Talk about washing your mouth out with soap.

Thanks for posting this Delilah! I'll have to send a link to Joe! He'll love it. 1894 was very different from 1994 when we got married.

Some Navajo wedding advice I got from my relatives:

"Always wake up first in the morning, so that everything in the house and the cattle and sheep will always belong to you (not your husband--Navajo's are matrilineal and women own everything and men go to live with their wive's clan AND they bring a male dowry . . . you get the picture)."

Julia Hunter said...

Hmm...seems like this would have been a good time period to work in the red light district - supply and LOTS of demand! :)

Delilah Marvelle said...

LOL Maggie G, on the whole men taking "longer." Bottom line is, if they weren't hitting the right spot, no matter how long you gave 'em, it wasn't gonna work...

Eek! Maggie J on your mom!!! Sounds like you found good, sound advice elsewhere...grin. Keep that husband of yours on his toes (which I'm sure you already do, LOL)

Jackie!!! Hello! Thanks for posting girl (for all of you that don't know, Jackie is actually my neighbor. Lives just a few houses down!!!) I absolutely *adore* the advice the Navajo women gave one another. It still is the truth, I'd say, and advice that should be given to *all* women.

Julia, you girl are *hilarious*
I practially snorted out my drink through my nose!!! You better believe men got themselves mistresses. Men would actually fight over their mistresses as opposed to their wives. Hm. I wonder why...

Susan Lute said...

Loved your post. Cracked me up. I always thought if I'd lived back in those days, I would probably be the mistress. I've never been that interested in "rules" :)

Delilah Marvelle said...

It would have been you and me tearing up the Red Light District, LOL. So awesome you stopped by and posted!

Amalia said...

but Delilah, Where are the tips for men?? I'm all curious now lol. I love the whole, "I hope he stumbles so we don't have to do it" line of thought. I for one find this a very tragic situation. these marriages could not have been very happy.

P.S: Bridget right on! I completely agree with you.

Delilah Marvelle said...

My dearest Amalia,
I would LOVE to put together a sex tips for husbands...sadly they didn't have books with tips for men because the men KNEW IT ALL...pfff...if I ever come across anything that will allow me to further research and entertain, I most certainly will do it and will dedicate the post to you. Seriously! And you're right...most of these marriages were not happy. Sadly. Thank you so much for posting!!!

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