Who is Miss Abigail?

Abigail Grotke
Silver Spring, MD
email: missabigail at missabigail dot com
twitter: @DearMissAbigail

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Miss Abigail has a collection of over 1,000 classic advice books, spanning from 1822 to 1978 and covering a variety of topics, from love and romance to etiquette and charm. The collection sparked the idea for this site, then a book, Miss Abigail's Guide to Dating, Mating, and Marriage, which has inspired an Off-Broadway production of the same name!


Archive for July, 2010

Where Do Babies Come From?

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

their favorite ways of showing loveQ Dear Miss Abigail:

Where do babies come from?


A Dear Sam:

“The medical facts in this book were checked by Dr. Charles Birdsall…” reads the editor’s foreward to Wonderfully Made. So this little excerpt must be trustworthy, right? The book is one of six in the Concodia Sex Education Series aimed at students in grades four through six. Those poor, confused children!

1967: Married Love

One of the sperm from the father’s body must find and join an egg in the mother’s body before a new person can be conceived, or start to grow. Here the love of parents comes into the story. In an act of love the father puts the sperm into the mother’s body.

Married people show their love in many different ways. Kisses and hugs are among these ways. They also help each other. They share happy times and sad ones. They enjoy just being together. Your parents have their favorite ways of showing love for each other.

At times the love between two married people makes them want to be alone and very close together in an act called sexual intercourse. In this act, sperm leave the father’s body and enter the mother’s. One of the sperm may unite with an egg cell. The egg cell is then fertilized and begins to grow into a new human being. This is one of God’s ways of continuing His creation today. He uses the love of husband and wife to carry on the human race.

A new life doesn’t start each time a man and woman have intercourse. An egg cell is in one of the Fallopian tubes only a few days each month, and only then can a baby be conceived. Since it is through intercourse that a baby can begin, God wants only a husband and his wife to make love in this way. Husbands and wives have promised to live together always and to make a home for their children. They as parents will take care of the babies born to them.

This, then, is the story of how your life began. You may have heard the old tale of how the stork brings babies. It wasn’t the stork who brought you. The truth is that your parents’ love brought you to life.

Source: Hummel, Ruth. Wonderfully Made. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1967.
~[no pagination] ~

Should a Boy Toy?

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

it will not weaken the individualQ Dear Miss Abigail:

I’m a twenty-two year old male from India. I have this habit of masturbating, very regularly. I started it three years back, after my first girlfriend ditched me. I never had sex with her. I used to feel guilty, but now I don’t. But I don’t want to go about telling it to every one. Something tells me it’s not right for my health.

I have no other bad habits like smoking, drinking, hanging around in discos, etc. Tell me if I’m wrong in masturbating and what do I do to stop it. I seriously want to stop it.


A Dear Saagar:

You and a number of other readers, my dear. I think this is the perfect time to show how advice has changed across the years. Check out the difference between Sylvanus Stall’s harsh words in 1909 to the more tame advice from the 1950s and 60s. Let’s all take a moment to appreciate how far we’ve come. Shall we?

And Saagar? Stop worrying and spend more time dancing. What’s wrong with discos?

1909: No Boy Can Toy

No boy can toy with the exposed portions of his reproductive system without finally suffering very serious consequences. In the beginning it may seem to a boy a trifling matter, and yet from the very first his conscience will tell him that he is doing something that is very wrong. It is on this account that a boy who yields to such an evil temptation will seek a secluded, solitary place, and it is because of this fact that it is called the “solitary vice.” Because the entire being of the one who indulges in this practice is debased and polluted by his own personal act it is also called “self-pollution.” It is also called “Onanism,” because for a similar offense, nearly four thousand years ago, God punished Onan with death (Genesis xxxviii, 3-10). This sin is also known by another name, and it is called “masturbation,” a word which is made from two Latin words which mean “To pollute by the hand.”

Source: Stall, Sylvanus. What a Young Boy Ought to Know. Philadelphia: The Vir Publishing Company,1909.
~ pp. 107-108 ~

1952: Will We Go Crazy?

“Doctor? Is there anything we can do that will keep us from going crazy?”

The doctor guessed what had led to this question, for he had heard it asked several times before. It took a little cross questioning, however, before the boys would admit what had happened. The truth was that Tom’s mother had suspected that he was handling his genital organs, and had told him in horrified tones that “the insane asylums are just full of people who have gone crazy because of such self-pollution.” What made it worse was that she really believed it; and she as so certain about it and so upset, that the boys believed it too. Of course, Tom at once told Jim.

Both the boys had stayed awake the greater part of that night, and the next, too; and had brooded over the matter pretty steadily ever since. Then they heard the doctor talk in school; but hadn’t gotton up the courage to ask him about the matter. At last they couldn’t stand it any longer, so they came to him in terror to find out if there was anything they could do to save them from this terrible end. . . .

The answer he was able to give them was prompt, direct and reassuring. He explained that while the habit they had been indulging in was anything but a desirable one, and had once been considered even by doctors to be a very dangerous one, they had nothing to fear. He told them that it is now known to be a scientific fact that, while it is something to be discontinued, it is nothing to worry about, unless they were to carry it on into their later adult years. And he was sure that they had sense enough not to do that.

Source: Richardson, Frank Howard. For Boys Only: The Doctor Discuss the Mysteries of Manhood. New York: David McKay Company, Inc., 1952 (reprinted 1970).
~ pp. 55-56 ~

1963: Bugaboos of the Past

I want to emphasize the fact that the commonly quoted medical consequences of masturbation are almost entirely fictious. Masturbation will not impair the mind. It will not weaken the individual. It will not cause him to lose his ability to be a father. It will not interfere with the successful performance of the sexual function under normal conditions. Those are bugaboos of the past and should be discarded.

Source: Bauer, W. W. Moving into Manhood. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1963.
~ p. 14 ~

How Do I Explain Puberty?

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

one of the most interesting things a body doesQ Dear Miss Abigail:

I want to explain to my daughter what puberty is. Could you help me go about it?


A Dear Nancy:

In our continuing saga of “vague and slightly scary old advice to help teach children about sex and puberty” (see this other question), I bring you a little chat between a mother and daughter. Jane, “now eleven years old” has some questions that are probably similar to your daughter’s. Dr. Edith Hale Swift wrote Step by Step in Sex Education in 1947 for “those parents who feel their responsibilities and are perplexed about a proper approach to the subject of the sex education of their children,” so I’m sure it will help. And by the way, “Bert” is Jane’s brother.

1947: What’s In Those Machines?

JANE. (talking to Mother in a women’s restroom) What’s in those machines? I saw a woman drop a nickel in one and pull out a roll of something.

MOTHER. A gauze pad.

JANE. What did she want it for?

MOTHER. To soak up a flow that women have, once in a while, from the vagina. I have some pads home on my closet shelf in a box marked ‘Sanitary Pads.’ You see them in drug store windows frequently.

JANE. Why won’t toilet tissue do?

MOTHER. Because the flow lasts from four to five days, and the woman needs to protect her clothing.

JANE. When will I have to wear one?

MOTHER. When you have changed into a young woman ~ in two or three years. I’ll tell you all about it some day. Changing a girl into a woman is one of the most interesting things a body does. But we have a dress to buy now for a certain girl I know. What are you laughing at?

JANE. I was just remembering about Bert last Christmas, when we went shopping with Aunt Harriet for your presents. She wouldn’t let him buy those pads, at a special bargain. He said you used them somehow ~ he’d seen the boxes. But Aunt Harriet said he’d better buy something you didn’t really need, something pretty for the house. Remember how he bought the bed lamp?

MOTHER. I must explain to him, then, and also thank Aunt Harriet for steering him toward the lamp. I just love to read in bed.

Source: Swift, Edith Hale. Step by Step in Sex Education. New York: Macmillan Company, 1947.
~ 92-93 ~

I Think My Daughter is Having Sex

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

I'm a woman nowQ Dear Miss Abigail:

My child appears to be having sex. She is only fifteen years old. What shall I do?


A Dear Dickie:

I’ve been just waiting for a chance to use an excerpt from Dr. Edith Hale Swift’s Step by Step in Sex Education, which is written in the form of a play. Mother and Father start explaining the facts of life to their children at a very early age: Bert is “aged two years and a quarter” and Jane is a mere”three months old” when they begin. The narrative continues on throughout their adolescence, ending when Bert and Jane leave for college.

Unfortunately I think this advice is a little too late for you, but we should all admire Mother and Father for opening up those doors of communication. So let’s listen in on an important conversation between Mother and Jane (who is “now about fourteen”). Perhaps you and a loved one could sit down and read their lines outloud. Too bad there is no stage direction.

1947: Step by Step in Sex Education

JANE. Sue’s mother says it’s very thoughtful of you to have all of us go to the early show, and then come home here for some eats.
MOTHER. Has Sue been to the movies with a boyfriend before?
JANE. Once or twice. But she said her mother always makes her come straight home.
MOTHER. Just as you will be doing tonight. There’s nothing much for young folks like you to do at that hour. All you would have to talk about is school, and ball games, and so forth. You’d have that all said in a half an hour. I’ve known boys and girls to sit around in parks and pet just for lack of something better to do.
JANE. But it’s all right to pet, isn’t it? Lots of girls do. They say the boys will drop you if you don’t.
MOTHER. I’d take it as a sign I wasn’t much of a companion if a boy turned me down because he couldn’t hug me all the time. But as to your question, the answer can’t be a blanket yes or no. Everyone who loves likes to be close to his dear one. Real loving makes petting look dishonest. Certainly the girls that you speak of can’t love every Tom, Dick, and Harry they go out with.
JANE. They say it makes them all trembly and queer inside. Why is that?
MOTHER. That’s a long story, but now that you are beginning to “date,” you’d better understand it. Let’s see how many of my questions you can answer. Why do girls like you get interested in boys, and when they get a bid to the movies, spend hours dressing? You didn’t use to care so much how you looked.
JANE. Why ~ because I’m a woman now, and some day I want to have a home of my own. So I have to choose a husband.
MOTHER. Good beginning. Now, how are you to go about choosing?
JANE. That’s easy. Knowing lots and lots of boys.
MOTHER. Which will take a long time. How will you know when you’ve found him?
JANE. I’ll thrill when he touches me, dream about him, pine away when he doesn’t write, get jealous when he goes with other girls ~ oh, I’ll know we were made for each other.
MOTHER. Not so fast! You’ll be thrilling and dreaming and pining over a dozen, perhaps. Why so?
JANE. You said once that we would be pushed into being lovers and would like it, just as we do when we eat to satisfy our hunger.
MOTHER. Then you expect to enjoy loving and being loved?
JANE. Of course. I just can’t wait.
MOTHER. How do you expect to show your love?
JANE. Oh ~ by hugging and kissing.
MOTHER. I notice you didn’t say petting. Why not?
JANE. Because that’s different. You don’t mean anything when you pet. It’s just fun.
MOTHER. I wonder why it’s fun when it’s just pretending.
JANE. As I tell you ~ the girls say they get all excited inside. Why is that?
MOTHER. I expect it’s the way something inside has of saying, “more ~ more.” That’s where trouble comes in. That something doesn’t seem to know whether you have a husband and a home. All it wants is to get two people closer and closer, until ~ well, one takes the other in that union which we call sexual intercourse.
JANE. Is that the way it happened with that May Jacobs who had to leave school, and then had to have her baby adopted?
MOTHER. I imagine so. There are always a good many who lose their heads. You see, our heads build the dreams for the future, and try to remind us what the plan means. But if we get to wanting something very much, our brains become dulled, so that they can’t think or remember. Our feelings and our wants increase until, finally, we take what we crave. That is why it is called, “losing one’s head.”
JANE. But I am sure I can take care of myself.
MOTHER. Perhaps ~ but how can you tell? After all, you’re no smarter than other girls. You’ll want boys to like you; you’ll try to please them; you’ll enjoy their affectionate ways. Under these conditions, things may get out of hand. There is still much to learn about all this. What I want you to understand now is that young boys and girls can hardly care to get serious with each other and so shouldn’t find themselves reduced to petting to fill up the time. We’ll try to plan interesting things for you all to do together. Tonight I’ll have such good snacks that they’ll want to come again.
JANE. David said he hoped you’d have brownies.
MOTHER. Then brownies it shall be. 

Source: Swift, Edith Hale. Step by Step in Sex Education. New York: Macmillan Company, 1947
~ pp. 142-45 ~

When a Fellow Gets Fresh

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

If he tries something?This one comes from the first book in my collection (read about it here), and just happpens to be one of my favorite quotes. My friend Carita and I used to read this one over and over again, so we would know exactly what to do if and when those boys tried to take advantage.

1967: When a Fellow Gets Fresh

When a boy goes beyond what pleases a girl in his lovemaking, she faces a difficult problem. If she allows him to continue, against her wishes, she may be headed for more trouble than she will be able to handle. If she tries to restrain him, she must know how to do it without hurting his feelings or making him feel rejected as a person. This calls for delicate know-how that a girl must learn ~ in action.

The inexperienced girl may wonder, “If he tries something, shall I slap him and run, or just run?” The more mature girl knows that she doesn’t need to resort to either slapping to running in order to deal with the too amorous boy friend. She wards off unwelcome behaviour with a firm refusal to co-operate, accompanied by a knowing smile and a suggestion of some alternate activity. She may say, “Not now, Ambrose ~ let’s go get a hamburger; I’m hungry.”

Or she may take a tip from Marianne. When her date seems about to do something objectionable, she takes both his hands in both of hers, squeezes them affectionately, grins into his eyes, and says, “You’re quite a guy.” By doing this, Marianne lets her date know that she won’t go along with his intimacy, at the same time that she shows she like him as a person.

A girl’s best protection is in anticipating a situation and deflecting it. The wise girl who wants to avoid a necking session keeps up an animated conversation about things that interest her date until she is returned to her door, when she bids him a pleasant adieu and goes in. This is easier said than accomplished. But if the girl is sure of her objective, she avoids anything that points in another direction. She keeps to brightly lighted, well-populated places and away from dark lonely corners where the situation may get out of hand.

It is a wise girl who knows the variations on the “Come up and see my etchings” theme well enough to decline an invitation to drive to a lonely Lovers’ Lane “to see the view.” This kind of know-how often comes from talks with other girls. As girls pool their experiences they can share their knowledge of various boys and their approaches. And they learn from each other the skills for dealing with various problem-boy situations.

Source: Duvall, Evelyn Millis. The Art of Dating. New York: Association Press, 1967.
~ pp. 188-190 ~

Ready? Sex? No!

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

driving along a strange roadQ Dear Miss Abigail:

I’ve been seeing my boyfriend for six months. He pressures me to have sex, but I don’t think I’m ready. What should I do?


A Dear Dina:

“Wait until you are ready!” is the right answer, I believe. But for a bit more information, let’s read from Sense and Nonsense About Sex, co-authored in the fabulous sixties by Evelyn and Sylvanus Duvall ~ “top sex and marriage consultants” according to the back of the book. I can always count on the Duvall’s to provide useful tips about maintaining control. Lucky, lucky me.

1962: Expressing Feeling of Love and Sex

Our young people must themselves have a considerable knowledge of what conduct is right, and the self-control to behave themselves. Here are some suggestions that may help.

The first essential is to know clearly what your own moral standards are, and what you will or will not permit. It is the boy or the girl who is ‘iffy,’ who has not made up his mind in advance and developed the controls to stand by his decision, who is most likely to get into trouble, not only regarding sex but in all matters.

Secondly, if you want to maintain the ideal of chastity, it is not wise to permit yourself or your date to become unduly aroused sexually. Be especially careful about heavy petting. In many, many instances, fine young people who had no intention of actual sex relations have gotton into serious difficulties. It all began so innocently. They merely sat down in a secluded spot to watch the moon with their arms around each other. But one thing led to another. Before they became aware of what had happened, they had both become aroused to a pitch that fairly swept them off their feet. Sometimes they became parents of a baby for whom they were not at all ready to provide. Even if one or the other had ‘come to’ before actual intercourse had taken place, the result was a distressing experience that spoiled the date and placed a barrier between them.

How much petting is proper for you who do not intend to go ‘all the way’? One simple answer is this. Stop before, or at least as soon as one or the other becomes ‘uncomfortable.’ Who should decide? The one that becomes uncomfortable first should. The one who actually has the moral standards will. Until you know what the moral standards of the other person are, and have come to know him or her fairly well, watch your step. Be alert to the signs that the other may interpret as your permission to go further than you intend. Unless you know from previous experience how much the other can be trusted, don’t let yourself get in a position where the other can take advantage. . . .

But suppose that the other person either intends to go all the way, or is shy about telling how he feels, what then? Use the same sense that you would if you were driving along a strange road. Go slowly and with caution until you have had enough dates together so that you both know what to expect.

Who is responsible for upholding the moral standards ~ the boy or the girl? The answer to this is easy. The moral standards should be upheld by the person who has them. Furthermore, on any date, each person should know what the moral standards of the other person actually are, so that there will be no embarrassing misunderstandings.

Source: Duvall, Evelyn M. and Sylvanus M. Sense and Nonsense About Sex. New York: Association Press, 1962.
~pp. 85-86 ~

Oh, Miss Ab, He’s So Fine, He’s So Fine He Blows My Mind

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

the female's response is an all-over oneQ Dear Miss Abigail:

There is this really fine kid who wants to have sex with me. What should I do?


A Dear Linguica:

The question is, what do you want to do? Here’s a bit of advice, not surprisingly from the fifties, to help guide you as you make up your mind.

1956: How to Stop: The Girl’s Responsibility

Down through the ages it has been considered the female’s responsibility to keep relationships between the sexes under control. The big reason apparently is that women are less easily excited by sex stimulation and more slowly moved to demand sexual contact. It is true that on the whole girls are more slowly aroused and can stop love-making more easily than the average male can. The female’s response is an all-over one, generalized rather than localized, and more gradual in its build-up than that of the typical male.

Coupled with this physiologic difference is the fact that girls and boys alike, as well as almost everyone else, consider it the girl’s responsibility “to keep the boys in line.” If two lovers are swept off their feet, it is the girl that is blamed. She is held responsible. She should have known better.

Getting a boy to stop his love-making is hard for some girls. They are so hungry for loving that they cling to any expression of affection that they can evoke. Girls may be so afraid of losing the boy’s affection that they dare not refuse him intimacies that he seems to enjoy. Some girls just do not know how to say no to a boy without hurting his feelings or offending something fine in their relationship. Yet a girl can keep the expressions of affection between herself and her boy friends on a comfortable basis without losing his love, or his friendship, or the sense of everything’s being all right between them. . . .

Stopping love-making that is already advancing at a rapid rate is not easy. But it can be done. Cora was snuggling close to her boy friend in the car late one night. They were both relaxed and happy. They were very fond of each other. He began to kiss her, and she responded eagerly. Then something new came into their love-making as his hand slipped down between her breasts and his kiss took on an intensity that was frightening. Cora struggled free of his embrace, shook her curls with a jerky little laugh saying, “Ooooh, please, you are too much for me.”

Hazel takes a different tack. When a date’s hands begin to wander into the no man’s land which she considers untouchable, she firmly removes the hand as she says with surprise, “Why, this isn’t Tuesday, is it?” The humor, “corny” as it is, is usually enough to stop all but the most explosive of boys.

One girl reports that when she is parked with a boy who insists on going faster in his petting than either of them has brakes for, she turns the key in the ignition and sweetly says “Will you drive, or shall I?” The particular technique a girl uses in assuming her responsibility does not matter so long as it works. If she can do it without making either of them feel shabby, she should by all means. She does not need to preach or to use words at all. Anything she can do which will tell him that she likes him, at the same time that she cannot permit such behavior, will usually work. Some boys are so insistent, that a girl has to know her own mind and be able to back it up with effective methods if she is to hold to her standards.

It comes down, in the last analysis, to how sure a girl is of herself. If she knows who she is in her own heart, if she cares about building toward a rich and full future as a woman, she will be able to put off some of the blind-alley activities that lead nowhere except into crack-ups. Petting is neither good nor bad in itself. It is what it means and what it stands for in a long lifetime of relations with men that gives the perspective a girl needs.

Source: Duvall, Evelyn Millis. Facts of Life and Love for Teen-Agers. New York: Association Press, 1956.
~ p. 285-86, 288-89 ~

Putting on the Moves

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

I like the looks of your houseQ Dear Miss Abigail:

I like this man, but he keeps putting, you know, the “moves” on me. For example, when we are together in front of the folks he will grab my butt or say, “Got any fries with that shake?” Is he like other guys? Or have I found a diamond in the rough?

Konfused Kelly

A Dear Konfused:

This guy’s a diamond? Unless I’m confused, I have a feeling your man is more like a piece of coal. Here’s some advice that might help you sort things out. It was written by Gladys Denny Shultz, in her book called It’s Time You Knew, and she seems quite familiar with the type of chap you are currently involved with. Please read it, then repeat after me: “I am woman, hear me roar!”

1955: “Hot Spots” Girls May Find Themselves In

A certain number of boys, the kind called ‘wolves,’ have no interest in a girl aside from getting sexual favors from her. These boys are emotionally disturbed chaps. Something has happened to them in childhood that makes it impossible for them to love someone else unselfishly. They are usually pretty egotistical. It pleases their vanity to make a conquest of one girl after another, and this and the sexual thrills they get are all they care about. After they have succeeded in overcoming a girl’s scruples, they lose interest in her and start pursuing some other girl.

So a chap who tries to ‘sell you a line’ might be an average decent boy who is ‘trying you out,’ or he might be the kind of male with whom no girl can get emotionally involved without regretting it. I would be sorry indeed if any girl who reads this book were to get involved with the second kind!

The thing to get firmly in your mind, so that you haven’t the slightest doubt about it, is that no male in this world except your husband, when the time comes for you to marry, has any right to handle your body intimately. Some males may give you the idea that girls and women were made for the sex pleasure of any boy or man who comes along. In fact, some males today even carry it to a point of giving the impression that they actually do a girl a favor when they suggest such a thing!

Nothing could be more absurd than this. Your body is your and yours alone. This is true of your lips, of every part of you. If someone were to say to you, ‘I like the looks of your house, therefore I have a right to move in and take possession of it,’ you would see very clearly how outrageously false the reasoning was, and what a dope you would be to let the person get away with it. The reasoning is just as false when applied to your own person. You have the same right to resent an intrusion on what is even more sacred than a home ~ your body.

Source: Shultz, Gladys Denny. It’s Time You Knew. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1955.
~ pp. 196-97 ~

How To Say No If You Must

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Stop it ~ I'm serious. I'll scream.Let’s take a look at the fine art of saying “no,” because I am aware of quite a few people who have a difficult time with this issue. I think this advice from Nina Farewell’s The Unfair Sex might help us out. Um, I mean ~ help you out.

1953: How To Say No If You Must

Sometimes despite a carefully selected locale and well-executed evasions, you somehow find yourself encircled, and your only out is a direct verbal rejection.

A light touch is the prime requisite. It is ridiculous to get annoyed with men for trying. If you object to their vulgar advances, you had best stop associating with them. Maintain a sense of balance. Realize Man is your adversary, and that you must fight him, but realize it with a catch in your breath and a little thrill of anticipation, not with anger or resentment.

A man will be much less hurt if he is teased or gently discouraged from carrying out his dishonorable intentions, than he will if you sulk, struggle, or lose your temper. . . .

Sprinkle the combat with small favors and soft words. This will lessen the bitterness of the struggle and charm your foe into liking you regardless of who the victor may be. Above all, never let him become depressed. Do not let him see you distrust him. Keep smiling. Smile with your eyes, or dimple at him if you have dimples, or chuckle or giggle ~ and once in a while you may laugh outright ~ especially if you have pretty teeth, or if someone is tickling you ~ which someone may very well be doing. But be extremely careful that your gaiety is the right sort. He must never suspect you are laughing at him, even when he is making a fool of himself.

Your objections should seem carefree and artless, an effect one must be very artful to achieve. Here is a little experiment which you might make in front of a mirror:

First, say the following words with a scowling face and an angry voice:

Stop it ~ I’m serious.
I’ll scream.
If you don’t stop I’m going home.
Oh! Now I’m angry.

Didn’t you seem mean and stubborn? These are not qualities that will endear you to a man.Now ~ say the same words, but say them with a charming smile, and in a gently chiding tone. Or seriously, but interspersed with little giggles. Or with reproving but loving looks, as if you were speaking to a naughty puppy.

There ~ you have said the very same words ~ but how delightful you looked and sounded!

If may be argued that this is dangerous, as it makes you doubly desirable, and the man will want you neither more nor less. But the How and Why he wants you will be different. He will be determined to have the mean and stubborn girl out of spite. But the smiling, charming girl he will insist on having because she is so adorable. For Which Reason Would You Rather Be Had?

Any tyro can bluntly reject a man and thereby lose him. It take study and practice to acquire the agility to send him away happy though rejected. An accomplished girl can do this. She can hold him off, yet bring him back for another try. And bringing him back is essential. For unless a man is a complete boor (and sometimes, alas, even if he is) you will want to hold on to him for purposes of entertainment or advancement, or as a marital prospect. When you can, without offending, deny him the pleasures he so understandably desires, you will know you have mastered the delicate technique of passive resistance.

Source: Farewell, Nina. The Unfair Sex : An Expose of the Human Male for Young Women of Most Ages. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1953.
~ pp. 127-30 ~

Practical Aspects of Chastity

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

she should make sure that he is clean, honest, and worth whileThis week I was going to feature some words on the joys of petting, but I have had a sudden change of heart. My selection comes from a chapter entitled “Dangers of Petting” found in a book called Secrets of Love and Marriage.

1939: Practical Aspects of Chastity

[T]here is another matter to consider, since we are frankly and openly dealing with the practical reasons why the moral way is the best way ~ and that is simply this ~ the physical part of marriage is an art that cannot be practiced in haste, in furtive meetings, and in an atmosphere of worry, dread, and fear.

No, the art of love requires freedom from those very things which I have mentioned. Love cannot bloom and expand in an air of secret fear, but instead requires a sense of confidence, of mutual admiration and respect, and complete privacy.

How can young unmarried lovers hope to learn the rich, full flavored values of love and the delights of the senses in such adverse conditions? Their ideas of sex would be distorted, ugly, and wholly unsatisfactory, from a spiritual point of view. The feeling that they are committing sin makes the later legalized marriage relation seem like sin. Truly, the tasting of forbidden fruit by reckless lovers carried away by dangerous petting is bound to exact its tragic penalties.

The girl gambles a momentary thrill against a life-time of happiness and health. Such a gamble isn’t worth it.

In a practical age, young women demand practical answers, and I have given them straight from the shoulder in this chapter.

I have not touched upon the moral reasons why young women should be on guard against lowering the sex barriers before marriage, because those reasons can be more eloquently advanced by others.

When a man marries he wants a woman who is morally clean and strong. He wants a woman whom he can trust. Life, as young men know, is not all petting, and the girl whom he chooses as a life companion must be able to offer more than petting. She must be a girl with whom he can work and plan and build.

If a girl is “easy,” he may take what she offers and then forget her. It is particularly dangerous for a girl to start petting with a man the first few times she goes out with him. She should make sure that he is clean, honest, and worth while. She makes herself cheap by offering easily won kisses. And no man wants a bargain counter wife who has been soiled and manhandled.

Marriage requires a strong spiritual balance to succeed. If it is merely physical it is doomed to failure. That means the young man and woman should possess a deep sense of the spiritual quality of sex, obtaining from their married relations an exaltation of the soul as well as ecstasy of the flesh.

The dangers of petting are very real, and very serious. A girl does well to think twice before she encourages the sort of petting that may lead to disastrous results.

Source: Hendry, James Parker and E. Podolsky, ed. Secrets of Love and Marriage. New York: Herald Publishing Company, 1939.
~ pp. 99-100 ~