Look, we even have a token feminist riding shotgun. Hi, honey.
Shiska Girlfriend: Just shut up.
Me: Fair enough. Let's take a look at this steamy two-for-one column. Take it away, Dingbat, I mean, Dennis.
First, women need to recognize how a man understands a wife's refusal to have sex with him: A husband knows that his wife loves him first and foremost by her willingness to give her body to him. This is rarely the case for women. Few women know their husband loves them because he gives her his body (the idea sounds almost funny).
Shiska Girlfriend: Everyone knows women have no sexual attraction to their partners. That would be unladylike!
Me: This explains why women don't care when men cheat, or can't get an erection. Or why I'm always seeing those infomercials at three in the morning with women who say that size doesn't matter, only whether a man appreciates them and has a good sense of humor. Oh wait.
SG: Did I mention I love you for the manly protection you provide, the future children you'll help sire, and the financial security we get from your cushy teaching job? Nothing sexy there, though.
This is, therefore, usually a revelation to a woman. Many women think men's natures are similar to theirs, and this is so different from a woman's nature, that few women know this about men unless told about it.
SG: Women totally think men and them think the same. That's why there are no books or magazines devoted to the subject, right?
Me: I'm amazed we can even speak the same language. It's a good thing Dennis is here.
This is a major reason many husbands clam up. A man whose wife frequently denies him sex will first be hurt, then sad, then angry, then quiet. And most men will never tell their wives why they have become quiet and distant. They are afraid to tell their wives. They are often made to feel ashamed of their male sexual nature, and they are humiliated (indeed emasculated) by feeling that they are reduced to having to beg for sex.SG: Surely there's no external cause that could prevent a woman from wanting to spend all her time in the sack with him. Could it be exhaustion or resentment? These women need to shut their traps, lie back and think of England because their husbands are hot sexy beasts.
Me: Hail Britannia.
When first told this about men, women generally react in one or more of five ways:Me: Five ways? Those crafty women. It's a good thing Dennis and his team of statisticians are out there crunching numbers on this important issue.
1. You have to be kidding.Me: What's with this building up men as sex-obsessed Neanderthals? Last I checked, plenty of women enjoyed sex, too. Can we call this "male-bashing" yet?
The most common female reaction to hearing about men's sexual nature is incredulity, often followed by denial. These are entirely understandable reactions given how profoundly different – and how seemingly more primitive – men's sexual nature is compared to women's.
Incredulity is certainly the reaction most women have when first being told that a man knows he is loved when his wife gives him her body. The idea that the man she is married to, let alone a man whose intelligence she respects, will to any serious extent measure her love of him by such a carnal yardstick strikes many women as absurd and even objectionable.
But the question that should matter to a woman who loves her man is not whether this proposition speaks poorly or well of male nature. It is whether it is true. And it is true beyond anything she can imagine. A woman who often deprives her husband of her body is guaranteed to injure him and to injure the marriage – no matter what her female friends say, no matter what a sympathetic therapist says, and no matter what her man says.
Me: That's right, we know it is empirically true because the Holy Dennis says so, the same theme and logic that carries through all of Dennis' articles and books.
2. If this is true, men really are animals.Me: I like how he just takes a giant crap on men right there. If someone on Feministe said men were horndog animals he'd be screaming it was a hate crime.
Correct. Compared to most women's sexual nature, men's sexual nature is far closer to that of animals. So what? That is the way he is made. Blame God and nature. Telling your husband to control it is a fine idea. But he already does. Every man who is sexually faithful to his wife already engages in daily heroic self-control. He has married knowing he will have to deny his sexual nature's desire for variety for the rest of his life. To ask that he also regularly deny himself sex with the one woman in the world with whom he is permitted sex is asking far too much. Deny him enough times and he may try to fill this need with another woman. If he is too moral to ever do that, he will match your sexual withdrawal with emotional and other forms of withdrawal.
SG: Hear that, ladies with adulterous husbands? Your fault.
Me: Damn you, society, with your un-natural, Puritan constraints!
SG: We really need to use the Roman model with the concubine system. If one turns you down, you can always move on to the next one.
Me: Hey, how come if men are such horndogs that are ruled by their sexual urges they willingly enter into these bad agreements? Also, how does Dennis explain the existence of people that are able to live celibate lives? I wonder what he thinks about the various teshuvot that require gays to be celibate?
3. Not my man.SG: Because all women have the same tastes and are in the exact same spot on the sexual continuum.
Many women will argue, understandably, "My husband knows I love him. He doesn't need me to have sex with him to know that. And this is especially so when I'm too tired or just don't want sex. Anyway, my man only enjoys sex with me when I'm into it, too."
The importance of mutual kindness to a marriage is impossible to overstate. But while necessary, it is not sufficient. Women can understand this by applying the same rule to men. Most women will readily acknowledge that it is certainly not enough for a man to be kind to her. If it were, women would rarely reject kind men as husband material. But as much as a woman wants a kind man, she wants more than that. If a man is, let us say, lacking in ambition or just doesn't want to work hard, few women will love him no matter how kind he is. In fact, most women would happily give up some kindness for hard work and ambition. A kind man with little ambition is not masculine, therefore not desirable to most women.
Me: What about stupid women who marry men who are both ambitionless losers and who treat them like crap? What's the appeal there? And where does Dennis get his stats? Is it nowhere? I think it is.
5. I know this and that's why I rarely say no to my husband.Me: In this world? What, but in Heaven we get to have sex all the time? I thought we only get 40 virgins under jihadist theology.
This is a wise woman. She knows a sexually fulfilled husband is a happy husband. (At the same time, men need to recognize that complete sexual fulfillment is unattainable in this world.) And because a happy husband loves his wife more, this cycle of love produces a happy home.
SG: Can you sing that song about the good woman being worth more than rubies again?
Not enough dreck for you? Fear not, Dennis has a Part Two!
Here are eight reasons for a woman not to allow not being in the mood for sex to determine whether she denies her husband sex.
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. When most women are young, and for some older women, spontaneously getting in the mood to have sex with the man they love can easily occur. But for most women, for myriad reasons – female nature, childhood trauma, not feeling sexy, being preoccupied with some problem, fatigue after a day with the children and/or other work, just not being interested – there is little comparable to a man's "out of nowhere," and seemingly constant, desire for sex.
SG: Maybe nobody just wants to have sex with you, Dennis. What is your sample size?
Me: Yeah, I wonder how many women are calling into his show telling him how frigid they are. Incidentally, Dennis has been married twice- one marriage lasted five years, the other for a whole seven. For someone with those stats, and who has been single for almost four years, you'd think he might be smart enough to get off his high horse about this thing.
SG: I guess he's just going around LA with that animal lust burning a hole in his pants.
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?SG: Could it be that going to work is a necessity and is not supposed to be fun? Whereas sex is supposed to be fun (and in fact there are biological components to encourage your mood towards having sex). What you're actually suggesting is that your wife be a prostitute, whose job is to have sex regardless of her mood. Unless she's sick, then she gets a pass.
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? Most women would gradually stop respecting and therefore eventually stop loving such a man.What woman would love a man who was so governed by feelings and moods that he allowed them to determine whether he would do something as important as go to work? Why do we assume that it is terribly irresponsible for a man to refuse to go to work because he is not in the mood, but a woman can – indeed, ought to – refuse sex because she is not in the mood? Why?
Me: So are you saying sex is not a necessity?
SG: Marriage is not a free pass for unlimited sexual favors, sorry.
3. The baby boom generation elevated feelings to a status higher than codes of behavior. In determining how one ought to act, feelings, not some code higher than one's feelings, became decisive: "No shoulds, no oughts." In the case of sex, therefore, the only right time for a wife to have sex with her husband is when she feels like having it. She never "should" have it. But marriage and life are filled with "shoulds."
SG: I can't figure out what that means. But it's good to know that Dennis thinks that you lose all personal rights when you get married.
Me: Only if you're the woman. Incidentally, doesn't Jewish law say sex is in part dependent on the woman's mood?
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.
Me: Yeah, yeah, more wanky, "blame the sixties" prattle. Moving on.
SG: Sex is not an "obligation." You have to earn it, by, I don't know... working at it?
5. Partially in response to the historical denigration of women's worth, since the 1960s, there has been an idealization of women and their feelings. 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.
Me: What's all this "us" stuff? No one asked me about any of this. I'd say they should have a damn conversation, not emotionally blackmail each other by referring to a Dennis Prager article. Besides, per the facts in "Dennis World," if men are such sexual creatures, then presumably we can be satisfied in other ways, and the woman's frustration ought not to happen that often, since she's usually not in the mood and the men are only to happy to oblige.
SG: I notice that Dennis never goes into the details of whether the partners owe each other good or satisfying sex, just that something needs to happen.
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. Of course, most women never regard it as hypocritical and rightly regard it as admirable when they meet their child's or parent's or friend's needs when they are not in the mood to do so. They do what is right in those cases, rather than what their mood dictates. Why not apply this attitude to sex with one's husband?
SG: I'm sorry, but there's a difference between making your hungry kid a sandwich and having sex when you don't want to. There are physical reactions that occur when you have sex and don't want to. Why doesn't Dennis tell the husbands to work on getting their wives in the mood?
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. If it is romance a woman seeks – and she has every reason to seek it – it would help her to realize how much more romantic her husband and her marriage are likely to be if he is not regularly denied sex, even of the non-romantic variety.
Me: You know, this is starting to make us men look really bad. "No problem honey, you just lie comatose while I do my thing. This is going to be awesome!"
SG: I wonder if Dennis has ever had a willing partner in his marriage bed.
Me: I like his rationalization shuffle- "Of course, in a perfect world, we'd all have everything we want. Unfortunately, due to the capitalist system, this is impossible. That's why we should rob banks, and good job for those who are ambitious enough to try to change their circumstances. That's positively American of them. George Washington would be proud."
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. Act generous even if you have a selfish nature, and you will end with a more a generous nature. With regard to virtually anything in life that is good for us, if we wait until we are in the mood to do it, we will wait too long.
Me: So the trick to a successful marriage is mindless artificiality?
SG: Yeah, that's why everybody wants to be a brainless Stepford Wife like the walking plastic surgeries they see on TV.
Me: You know, he actually has a point about waiting too long, but there's also the problem that being shamelessly insincere out of some strange belief that it will fix everything doesn't seem like that good an idea. Besides, isn't this the same guy that "faked" being Orthodox for numerous years only to ditch for a Reform shul? What happened to acting religious (frum)? And again, if Dennis' brilliant brain couldn't save his own marriage(s), what chance do the rest of us have?
SG: I guess we should just keep living in sin and save the divorce fees.
Me: Sounds good.
SG: Up for super hot, coerced sex?
SG: Too bad, I have a cold. Sucker!
Me: Damn womanly tricks.
Hat-tip: Moderate Left.