| BROWSE BACK | | HOME | | LIBRARY CONTENTS | | BROWSE NEXT | 008-chap01
[WiiN Ed. Note: The following text is obtained from a 1918 copy of Marie Stopes' blockbuster Married Love, the pioneer classic on married women's sexuality and female sexuality in general. Although thousands, perhaps millions of male directed erotic/sex manuals appeared through the centuries since Gutenberg printed his first book in 1455, this British book was the first to address women as sexual individuals with their own desires and needs, not simply as aids to men's sexualality.
The author explained the success of Married Love some years later:
"It crashed into English society like a bombshell, its explosively contagious main theme - that women like man has the same physiological reason, a reciprocal need for enjoyment and benefit from union (sex) in marriage distinct from the exercise of maternal function - made Victorian husbands gasp."
Married Love was "Dedicated to young husbands and all those who are betrothed in love."
It is noteworthy that she did not (or could not) dedicate it to the women who would benefit most from it.
-- Irene Stuber]
physiological reason, a reciprocal need
for enjoyment and benefit from union (sex) in marriage...
She gave him comprehension of the
meaning of love: a word in many mouths, not often explained. With her,
wound in his idea of her, he perceived it to signify a new start in our
existence, a finer shoot of the tree stoutly planted in good gross earth;
the senses running their live sap, and the minds cornpanioned, and the
spirits made one by the whole-natured conjunction. In sooth, a happy prospect
for the sons and daughters of Earth, divinely indicating more than happiness:
the speeding of us, compact of what we are, between the ascetic rocks and
the sensual whirlpools, to the creation of certain noblet races, now very
Every heart desires a mate.
In all young people, unless they have inherited depraved or diseased
faculties, the old desire of our race springs up afresh in its pristine
beauty. With the dreams and bodily changes of adolescence, come to the
youth and maiden the strange and powerful impulses of the racial instinct.
However much he may conceal it under assumed cynicism, worldliness,
or self-seeking, the heart of every young man yearns with a great longing
for the fulfilment of the beautiful dream of a life-long union with a mate.
The search for a mate is a quest for an understanding heart clothed in a body beautiful, but unlike our own
In the modem world, those who set out on high endeavours or who consciously separate themselves from the ordinary course of social life, are comparatively few, and it is not to them that I am speaking. The great majority of our citizens both men and women after a time of waiting, or of exploring, or of oscillating from one attraction to another, "settle down and marry."
Very few are actually so cynical as to marry without the hope of happiness;
while most young people, however their words may deny it and however they
may conceal their tender hopes by an assumption of cynicism, reveal that
they are conscious of entering on a new and glorious state by their radiant
looks and the joyous buoyancy of their actions. In the kisses and the hand
touch of the betrothed are a zest and exhilaration which stir the blood
The more sensitive, the more romantic, and the more idealistic is the
young person of either sex, the more his or her soul craves for some kindred
soul with whom the whole being can unite.
It may chance that someone into whose hands this book fails may protest
that he or she has never felt the fundamental yearning to form a part of
that trinity which alone is the perfect expression of humanity.
It has happened many times in human history that individuals have not
only been able to conquer this natural craving for a mate, but have set
up celibacy as a higher ideal.
In this world our spirits not only permeate matter but find their only
expression through its medium.
If our race as a whole set out to pursue an ideal which must ultimately eliminate bodies altogether, it is clear that very soon we should find the conditions of our environment so altered that we could no longer speak of the human race.
In the meantime, we are human. We each and all live our lives according
to laws, some of which we have begun to understand, many of which are completely
hidden from us. The most complete human being is he or she who consciously
or unconsciously obeys the profound physical laws of our being in such
a way that the spirit receives as much help and as little hindrance from
the body as possible.
By the ignorant or self-indulgent breaking of fundamental laws endless
harmonies are dislocated. The modem, small-minded ascetic endeavors to
grow spiritually by destroying his physical instincts instead of by using
To use a homely simile one might compare two human beings to two bodies
charged with electricity of different potentials. Isolated from each other
the electric forces within them are invisible, but if they come into the
right juxtaposition the force is transmuted, and a spark, a glow of burning
light arises between them.
Many reading this may feel conscious that they have had physical union
without such spiritual results, perhaps even without an accession of ordinary
| BACK TO INTRO | | RETURN TO TOP | | GO TO CHAP. TWO |
| BROWSE BACK
| | HOME | | LIBRARY CONTENTS
| | BROWSE NEXT |
LIZNOTES TABLE OF CONTENTS | RESEARCH ROOMS | THE READING ROOM
GENDERGAPPERS | WOMAN SUFFRAGE TIMELINE | THE LIZ LIBRARY ENTRANCE
© 1990-2006 Irene Stuber, Hot Springs National Park, AR 71902. Originally web-published at http://www.undelete.org/
We are indebted to Irene Stuber for compiling this collection and for granting us permission to make it available again.
The text of the documents in the women's history library may be freely copied for nonprofit educational use.
Except as otherwise
noted, all contents in this collection are copyright 1998-06 the liz library.
All rights reserved.
This site is hosted and maintained by the liz library. Send queries to: sarah-at-thelizlibrary.org