The Sex Manual for Puritans 2
Sex is fun.
Actually it would be much closer to the truth to say that sex can he fun, for we would do well to keep in mind that, although sex is the source of some of the greatest pleasure people can know, it is also the source of some of mankind's greatest unhappiness, tragedy, and heartbreak. One dare not assume that whenever he has the opportunity to bump and boin-n-ng it automatically will turn out to be fun.
Nevertheless, sex can be fun. The Impuritan establishment, of course, is founded directly on this premise, and there is no need for us to write their propaganda for them. So you choose how the point best can be made. Space is left on this page for you to clip and paste in the testimony of your choice from whatever book, magazine, or newspaper you prefer. It may even he easier for you to find a picture that will make the point more graphically than any paragraph could. But we have no intention of arguing the matter: paste in what you will, and we will be quick to grant the point.
However, where Puritanism steals a march on Impuritanism is in showing that sex can pay a profit even while it is being fun.
Now don't jump to a conclusion and assume that we are talking about prostitution; it does not meet the test at all. True, it does bring an income--although it does not represent as clear and easy a profit as one might think. But more to the point, Dr. Reuben indicates that prostitutes derive very little fun from their activity. Or if it is fun, it is fun of a most perverted sort. He says that prostitutes are motivated primarily by a hatred of men, and their satisfaction comes from taking the poor John's money and giving nothing--absolutely nothing of themselves in return. So not only does the prostitute derive no true pleasure from her sex, but the profit itself is nothing but stolen goods.
But if we could find a way in which sex would retain its fun and yet pay a good, honest income--that would be a real deal, because the pleasure of fun increases geometrically as one is paid for doing it. For instance, putting out 50¢ to ride on the merry-go-round is one thing; getting a free ride is something else; but to be paid good wages for simply riding a merry-go-round?--man, nobody ever yet has rated a setup like that!
Maybe not; yet this is precisely what Puritanism has to offer--and regarding sex even, not just bloodless and cold merry-go-rounds!
There is only one condition for reaping the double payoff of both fun and profit: the sex has to take place within that commitment called marriage.
We must be very clear at this point about what "marriage" is precisely. Although virtually all true marriages will be licensed by the state (and rightly should be), this is not to say that licensing is what makes a relationship a marriage. There are very many licensed liaisons which are not marriages by a long stretch, and in rare instances there may be true marriages which never have been licensed.
We need to give a moment's thought to this last point. Within the Impuritan establishment there is these days a great deal of wondering why it shouldn't be possible--because marriage is not dependent upon a license--to have our marriages without all the bother and rigamarole of licensing. A marriage would be the truer and more beautiful, they say, if it were not propped up by legal involvements and guarantees; one could then be free to love in the name of love alone.
There is usually a considerable amount of hokum--deliberate or otherwise--involved here. Just follow up these licenseless relationships, and my guess is that it soon would become apparent that in very few if any instances was it the case that the marriage commitment went so deep that the idea of licensing was an insult. Rather, the commitment was quite shallow--so shallow, indeed, that there was an instinctive fear that legal safeguards might impede its easy dissolution.
But consider what was said in the previous chapter about marriage being a commitment that normally and naturally leads to wider commitments involving children, family, community, and society at large. This means that marriage, although highly personal, is not a purely private affair. Society has a real stake in it and thus is entitled to know who is married to whom, who is responsible for supporting whom, who is obligated to take care of what babies may come. This sort of announced intention is what licensing represents; and there would seem to be very few valid reasons why a couple that desires true marriage should want to evade this responsibility to their fellowmen.
However, the point we wanted to make is that being married and being licensed are not at all the same thing. "Marriage" is that quality of mutual commitment in which a man and a woman determine that their respective slots in the plan of the universe are in fact one slot, that the humanity of each is to be found in relation to the other, that each is to seek the good of the other as being his own good, that they are going to stand or fall together--for richer or for poorer, in sickness or in health, until death do them part.
Given this sort of setting, sex takes on all sorts of great dimensions that it cannot begin to sustain otherwise. For a starter, the intimacy created by this quality of commitment makes the sex action all the looser, freer, and more fun; there are no inhibitions arising out of suspicion that one partner may not be giving himself as wholeheartedly as the other. And, catch this, the fun of the sex has the effect of driving the mutual commitment all the deeper. This is the snowball effect, in which the fun doubles the profit while the profit is doubling the fun; we will encounter the phenomenon time and again.
And in this regard it seems to be much more often the case that poor marriage commitments produce bad sex vibrations than that poor sex knowledge and technique hurts marriages. So let Dr. (M.D.) Reuben work his angle on the ways and means of bodily delight; there still is room for Dr. (Th.D.) Eller to work his angle of men and women under God becoming so committed to each other that all the delights of body, mind, and spirit are enhanced.
But we need to become much more specific about the actual profits that can be realized from married sex fun.
In the first place, there are babies--a priceless dividend. It may well be that we are moving into a time when the number of babies will need to be severely limited; but you better believe it, babies still are going to be wanted, valued, and loved. It is a true instinct that says that babies are nice things to have around and that they have a big role to play in mankind's progress toward a human universe.
A wanted baby, in a marriage, is a very valuable asset. Not only are babies fun, more often than not their coming is the most effective means possible for deepening a marriage relationship. It's the snowball effect again: sex fun produces baby; baby deepens marriage commitment; deepened commitment enhances sex fun.
A child born to unmarried parents (which, remember, includes those who have gone through all the motions of license and wedding but who are not truly married) generally is a liability. An unwanted baby, bringing with him unwanted responsibilities, obviously is a liability in the eyes of his parents. But further, it is not fair to the baby to bring him into any situation but a true marriage. Whatever lack of marriage there is between the parents is a detriment to the baby; and these days (as always) babies need everything going for them they can get.
But the profits do not stop with the production of babies; not at all. For the mother and father to be deriving deep satisfaction from their sexual activities is one of the best things that can happen to a child growing up in a home. The happiness of the parents, the rightness of their commitment, their fun, rubs off on the child and has a great deal to do with determining whether he will be a healthy and happy person for the rest of his life. Indeed, the happy marriage and sex relations of the parents constitute the best thing that can be done to insure happy marriage and sex relations for the child in his turn. It's the old snowball again: good sex in a good marriage produces good sex and good marriages from generation unto generation; poor sex in non-marriages (the licensed as well as the unlicensed) tends to perpetuate itself likewise.
But we are not done yet; sex profit can be compounded to achieve fantastic increments. Sex that is used to make a husband and wife more committed to each other and to their family produces a well-being that rubs off not only on their children but on the world at large. Sex, rightly applied, can be a major force in moving our untidyverse toward a universe.
That may strike you as a rather extravagant claim and a glob of high-flown religious nonsense. It is not; it is a scientific conclusion based on sound empirical evidence. A British social anthropologist, J. D. Unwin, spent seven years making a very extensive and detailed historical study of eighty different cultures old and young. His findings were then confirmed by the further researches of Pitirim Sorokin. The conclusion is that "civilization and culture depend on the regulation of sexual expression and the confinement of sexual intercourse to monogamous homes, and that where people are sexually 'free' and permissive, their culture deteriorates."
Sex, when its power is channeled through commitment, works toward bringing people together, building them into the social patterns that make for a harmonious, smoothly operating whole. Sex, when it is turned loose simply to seek experience, dissolves society into a swarm of isolated atoms. It is clear that we presently live in a society where the tendency is toward fragmentation rather than coalescence. Nevertheless, there is in this society a youth subculture which professes great concern about building a world of brotherhood, justice, peace, and love. Even so, this same subculture includes the proposal of going the route of increased sexual permissiveness. But this is to try to ride off in two different directions at the same time; it won't work. Puritan goals cannot be achieved by Impuritan means.
Sex for fun and profit? You bet! And the best part of the deal is that the way to have maximum fun is to play it for maximum profit at the same time.