Relationships are not all wine and roses. Sometimes you know you must break it off with a man you no longer find suitable. Well, ladies, never fear. Nina Farewell offers some advice for this type of situation in The Unfair Sex. I also am including a section from the same book titled “Some Ways To Make a Man Miserable,” just in case you get really desperate.
1953: How to Take the Pleasure Out of It for Him
It is just and fitting that one should suffer for one’s mistakes ~ but how much nicer it is to make someone else suffer for them. And who merits this punishment more than the man who has caused your sufferings?
The commonest cause of self-castigation is the realization that you have fallen for a Line or Technique, especially if it is one that has tripped you before, and more especially if you suspect you have been taken over by a Fly-by-Nighter. The best time to take the pleasure out of it for him is immediately after you become aware that you have made an error. And it is to be hoped that such an awareness will come to you before he has said good night ~ otherwise you may never hear from him again, which would deprive you of a chance to “get in your licks,” as the saying goes.
Start Equalizing at one. The principle behind the Theory of Equalization is a simple one: the happier and more self-satisfied you know the man to be, the more miserable you become. Conversely, as the man’s pleasure decreases, your own increases, until you come out even ~ often obliterating all memory of your unhappiness. . . .
The wounds inflicted at a love-fest carry more sting than those exchanged in battle. The following suggestions are valuable only insofar as they indicate what direction to take. Knowing your man and his vulnerable areas, you will be able to create specific torments to suit the individual.
Some Ways To Make a Man Miserable
Call Him By Pet Names
In the midst of a beautiful embrace, whisper “Darling Tommy” in his ear ~ or “My Johnnie Boy” or “Oh, Dickie.” This will freeze the muscles of his heart if his name happens to be George.
Give Him Gifts
Buy him a pair of sox several sizes too large for him. When he tries them on, laugh with fond amusement, and say you never realized he was so little. (Naturally this can be used only on small or medium-sized men.) You may carry this idea further according to your financial means. A huge sweater, or a sixteen-thirty-seven shirt, or tremendous gloves, or gigantic pajamas can make a man dwindle away to nothing ~ and likewise his ego. For the man who is the least bit pudgy, or putting on a little extra weight, reverse the procedure ~ buy him tiny garments.
But not in the things that interest him. Create a perfect setting, with soft lights and music ~ and after two or three kisses, start a conversation. Your voice should be clear and strong, and the subject a prosaic one ~ like the newest development in a comic strip, or how to remove ink stains. When the music stops, stop everything. Insist on silence while you listen to the commercials. Or encourage him to talk about himself, and when he has warmed to his subject, pretend you have fallen asleep.
Listen to the music with a dreamy, far-away look ~ and say it reminds you of something, but don’t tell him what it is. Or talk admiringly about a man you know ~ or one who do not know, like an actor or some other public figure ~ praising his appearance, his mind, his personality. Or arrange with some girl to phone you. Pretend the call is from a man, call him darling, and giggle and coo a great deal. Or send yourself a box of flowers, card enclosed, and have them delivered while he is there. Then devote the major part of the evening to arranging them, finding the right spot for them, feeding them aspirin and salt, smelling them, rearranging them, and admiring them. Or tell him he reminds you of someone you used to know ~ he dances like someone you used to know ~ he makes love like someone you used to know. Comparisons are always painful.
Accept his kisses and caresses with lifeless passivity. Let yourself go limp all over, like a rag doll. As he frantically tries to elicit some reaction, remark that the room is chilly and go for a sweater.
Avoid his kisses entirely and offer him sen-sens or a chlorophyll tablet. Or have your hair done in some elaborate style and spend the evening protecting it. Warn him frequently not to disarrange it, and every time he gains a little ground, pull away hastily. This is doubly effective if you hint that the special coiffure is for an important date the following night.
Notice things about him. Notice how thin his hair has become, or how the hairline recedes. Notice how soft he is getting, or how his tummy is starting to bulge. Notice some gray hairs. Notice the crowsfeet on his eyebags. (Men are as sensitive as women about signs of approaching age.) But do not criticize ~ commiserate. And be kind. Tell him looks are not important ~ that he may be far from an Adonis, but you don’t care what a man looks like, as long as he doesn’t bore you. This is a good prelude to a series of yawns, or a little catnap.
So mortified will the average man be by the treatment described that he will never be heard from again. There are some fellows, though, who are thickskinned and not so quick to take offense. With typical obtuseness this type will say to himself, “What’s eating her?” or “She must be off her feed.” And he will come back for a repeat performance before he disappears.
Whatever his reaction, immediate or delayed, it is a great comfort to know that you have cancelled out any pleasure he may have derived from you. In fact, and evening devoted to Equalizing, to making some deserving man miserable, can be so rewarding an experience that you may come through it happier than you were before you began to hate yourself.
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. 189-90, 192-96 ~