Friday, January 02, 2009

There Might Be A Reason For Those Divorces, Dennis

I see that Dennis Prager has graced the blogosphere with When a Woman Isn't In the Mood: Part II. (My commentary on Part I is here.

The shorter synopsis is that Prager thinks that a woman should be willing to have sex with her husband whenever he decides he's feeling a bit randy. ... lovely. Just where do these clowns get these weird ideas about love and sexuality?

1. If most women wait until they are in the mood before making love with their husband, many women will be waiting a month or more until they next have sex.


Okay ... that's pretty rich. I have a feeling that Prager's ex's used this pattern to keep him at bay as much as possible. But he gets even more ludicrous, as we shall see.

2. Why would a loving, wise woman allow mood to determine whether or not she will give her husband one of the most important expressions of love she can show him? What else in life, of such significance, do we allow to be governed by mood?


Oh ... so the woman's sole contribution to a marriage and the loving relationship that a marriage is (hopefully) built around is to provide her husband with sex? Wow, that's an amazingly limited view of women, and of love in general. There are plenty of relationships out there where sex is a minimal part of the equation; and there are a surprising number where the 'not in the mood' comes from the husband, not the wife.

What if your husband woke up one day and announced that he was not in the mood to go to work? If this happened a few times a year, any wife would have sympathy for her hardworking husband. But what if this happened as often as many wives announce that they are not in the mood to have sex?


How 1950s of you, Dennis. I know of more than a few households where the wife is in fact the primary income earner. However, that's also amazingly denigrating to the contribution that men make in a relationship. Surely they bring more to the table than an ability to earn a living. (Something we expect of both partners in today's world)

4. Thus, in the past generation we have witnessed the demise of the concept of obligation in personal relations. We have been nurtured in a culture of rights, not a culture of obligations. To many women, especially among the best educated, the notion that a woman owes her husband sex seems absurd, if not actually immoral. They have been taught that such a sense of obligation renders her “property.” Of course, the very fact that she can always say “no” -- and that this “no” must be honored -- renders the “property” argument absurd. A woman is not “property” when she feels she owes her husband conjugal relations. She is simply wise enough to recognize that marriages based on mutual obligations -- as opposed to rights alone and certainly as opposed to moods -- are likely to be the best marriages.


So...sex is an obligation now is it? Really...this guy takes himself seriously. A woman is supposed to feel obliged to have sex with her husband - when he demands it. Strikes me that is a recipe for fostering resentment, stifling passion and generally deadening relationships. A wife is not the husband's favourite prostitute, and for Prager to suggest that sex should happen whenever the husband asks for it is demeaning, denigrating and downright insulting. A woman is far more than just a life support system for her husband's favourite sex toys.

So, if a husband is in the mood for sex and the wife is not, her feelings are deemed of greater significance -- because women’s feelings are of more importance than men’s. One proof is that even if the roles are reversed -- she is in the mood for sex and he is not -- our sympathies again go to the woman and her feelings.


My god man, have you ever been in a healthy relationship? You know - the kind where both partners actually respect each other and know each other's moods and mental state intuitively? If you had, you wouldn't even make such a ridiculous statement.

6. Yet another outgrowth of ’60s thinking is the notion that it is “hypocritical” or wrong in some other way to act contrary to one’s feelings. One should always act, post-’60s theory teaches, consistent with one’s feelings. Therefore, many women believe that it would simply be wrong to have sex with their husband when they are not in the mood to. ... Why not apply this attitude to sex with one’s husband? Given how important it is to most husbands, isn’t the payoff -- a happier, more communicative, and loving husband and a happier home -- worth it?


Again, I come back to the idea that the only thing a woman really contributes to a marriage is a 'sanctified outlet' for his sex drive. Frankly, if the only thing keeping the peace in the house is sex-on-demand, then I'd have to say that's a marriage already on rocky ground - or worse.

7. Many contemporary women have an almost exclusively romantic notion of sex: It should always be mutually desired and equally satisfying or one should not engage in it. Therefore, if a couple engages in sexual relations when he wants it and she does not, the act is “dehumanizing” and “mechanical.” Now, ideally, every time a husband and wife have sex, they would equally desire it and equally enjoy it. But, given the different sexual natures of men and women, this cannot always be the case.


That goes both ways, Dennis. When you make sex an 'obligation', it becomes something like 'taking out the garbage', or cleaning the bathrooms - it gets done because it is seen as 'necessary', rather than because it is there to be enjoyed.

8. In the rest of life, not just in marital sex, it is almost always a poor idea to allow feelings or mood to determine one’s behavior. Far wiser is to use behavior to shape one’s feelings. Act happy no matter what your mood and you will feel happier. Act loving and you will feel more loving. Act religious, no matter how deep your religious doubts, and you will feel more religious.


If the primary expression of love in your relationship is sex, then your setting yourself up for a very limited relationship in the long run. Contrary to Prager's apparent obsession with how often his partner deigns to have sex with him, real relationships are built on much more than sex. Even in your most optimistic of days, sex is what - 20 to 30 minutes of the day - you better have more than that to satisfy each other emotionally for the remaining 23 1/2 hours!

I think Prager's attitude all by itself speaks to why his marriages ended in divorce. Yuck - I can only imagine his overbearing demands on his spouse.

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