Sometimes good marriages flatline, so I've included two essays that kind of belong together. Hopefully they may help couples recognize both some dangers and posibilities for marriages. Perhaps you should forward to young couples you love.
Sex, Rocks, The Biosphere of Marriage And The Pill
One of my favorite sayings and one that has proven to be dead on over the years is “If a marriage is on the rocks, the rocks are in the bed.” This column is dedicated to opening minds to possibilities for having sex be the glue that holds a couple together rather than the rock pile that sinks their love boat.
Before I continue, if the wife doesn't feel sexy anymore it may be her birth control medication. The pill keeps a womans hormones at the same level as if she were pregnant, eliminating ovulation which is a woman's natural “heat” cycle where her labido would naturally peak. Ask your doctor... I ain't lying. Rhythm with rubbers that week is an alternative... Now lets go on.
Monogamy is a challenge, particularly for the male of the human species who can reproduce several times a day versus women who can give birth only about once a year. Our primate relatives and other cultures allow a man's sexual desire for frequency and variety to be spread amongst several partners, for whom with their offspring he accepts responsibility to provide and protect. However, in the Americas and most of the modern world monogamy is the law of the land and marriage as a closed biosphere is between one man and one woman.
It is interesting to note that even in societies that allow for more than one wife, adultery is still taboo, and like many traditional taboos we now understand has a purpose, one of which is to protect the biosphere of a family, that family's collection of microorganisms, from invasion by sexually transmitted diseases. When married folk are true to their vows they don't bring these diseases to one another. Now adultery (or adding a new sexually experienced partner to a polygamous marriage) carries the potential of a death sentence for all the parties in a marriage. The idea of marriage as a biosphere adds credence to the ancient preference for virgins as brides. As a side note some of the rapid spread of AIDs in Africa is attributed not to promiscuity or adultery but to the polygamous practice of a man taking his brother's widow as a wife to insure she and her children are supported and protected.
This closed biosphere of marriage is how the Bible can declare in Hebrew 13:4 that the “wedding bed is undefiled"... because biologically and emotionally it is. The exchange of microorganisms by kissing or via any other body secretions can do no harm between healthy people. When you consider that there is a medical procedure that uses the feces of healthy people to provide needed beneficial microorganisms into the stomach of people suffering from chronic abdominal issues, unless someone didn't shower and wash off the world, there is no filth in a marriage bed... except in someone's mind.
One of the unfortunate things about America's culture is that it was founded by a group of religious fanatics, people who equated pleasure with sin, particularly sexual pleasure, particularly female sexual pleasure. They even defined a single position for what was often described as “the dirty duty”, the missionary position, in which the man was in the power position and “did it to” his submissive wife. Hell, the Indian Culture came up with 100 in the Karma Sutra, and here's a very non pornographic link.
Creative sex is a tool for monogamous couples to keep sex passionate and to help satisfy cravings for variety. Sometimes I ask people who are hesitant about exploring sexual possibilities with their spouse, Would you look forward to eating the same thing for dinner every day, or listening to the same song, or never seeing a different place. Variety really is the spice of life and denying it in the marriage bed is asking for trouble.
Pornography hasn't help good women feel good about creative sex because it often portrays creative sex as dehumanizing and victimizing women, treats them as sexual objects rather than partners in a love making act. Craving pornographic sex is usually a result of being exposed to such imagery, and is not healthy for any long term relationship with a secure biosphere.
Fetishes, sometimes are another thing and as long as they don't make a partner uncomfortable can be entertained. Actually, since you are in secret and you have the same microorganisms anyway, what the hell, if it doesn't hurt, give it a try.
So it is kind of true that men need their wives to be both wholesome, faithful women and sometimes, under the right conditions to find that hot girl that is lurking inside who is willing to just play with, perhaps entertain and have open minded fun in bed with the man she knows loves and respects her for being both.
But now fellows, what I've discovered is that a woman who is trying to get into her hot girl mentality doesn't cook or clean, is distracted if the kids are around and needs a little time being pampered and wining and dining, complements and flowers really don't hurt. So yeah, maybe you can have it, but you can't take if for granted and a good woman has to know that you belong to her.
I don't want to put all my business in the street but when we travel I avoid staying with family and friends... I wonder if that's why they call it the ho-tel.
The Other Woman's Siren Call
I've experienced it in my life, but I was a victim of it as a child growing up in a shattered marriage, so my antennae are out and my reactions are honed. My jaws tighten and my resolve is steeled as soon as and whenever I hear it coming.
As a man who is observably good to his woman, I know that I look like a pork chop to women who hunger for the affection and attention of that kind of man. Such a man really is God's gift to his woman, and I feel that way everyday in my marriage as I am sure my loving and supportive wife feels she is to me.
Trust me, I don't get to feel that way because of a stream of complements coming from my Boo. Like most black women she is not cultured to stroke her man's ego. However know that by her moves: her support is always there, she responds to my needs, she keeps herself attractive and she accepts my imperfections. I also hear her speaking ever so proudly about me and the things I do to her friends and family. I'm convinced that black women are afraid of stroking our egos to much lest we begin to believe that we are God's gift to women.
In Homer's epic Iliad, Odysseus was warned about the Sirens, whose seductive call was so powerful that the only way he resisted was to stuff his men's ears with wax and have himself tied to the mast. All those who tried to resist the Siren's call by will found themselves themselves dashed against the rocks. Thus is the siren call of the other woman, just listening can doom a man.
I brought up a man's ego because it is universally the target of the other woman's siren call. It is always begins with flattery and if entertained will lead to the ultimate and disorienting complement, “half of a man like you is more than enough for me”, your wife doesn't know/appreciate what she has... or some variation thereof. Talk about stimulation.
There were a couple of times in my life when I survived the Siren call, and it felt so damn good for someone to feel that way about me... but the experience of my childhood saved me. I actually got to experience the other woman, ultimately not satisfied with half of the man, try to force my mother out... and knew that I could not do that to my Boo. So, figuratively I guess I was tied to the mast by those ugly experiences.
So, now when an attractive and available woman pays me a complement, I say thank you and change the subject, usually something about my Boo or my kids or my work. My public persona seems to have made these occasions more frequent and varied: younger women, same age women, professional women, divorced women, white, latino, black women. The white women I've encountered are much more intense and doting with their compliments, almost worshipful.
And you know, I guess I can't really blame those other woman candidates because they may actually have talked/thought themselves into believing that half a man is better than none, but then what attracted them was how devoted the man was to his woman... and that's what they really want.. all that for themselves even if breaking up a happy marriage is involved. But then since her man is susceptible to the Siren call, her dilemma becomes who's going to be the next “other woman”.