Plunging In

With all my books on the subject of love, marriage, and happy ever after, it’s sometimes refreshing to flip through the few in my collection devoted to the fine art of being single, something my friends and I have had a lot of experience with. Here’s a tidbit from one of these books ~ How To Be Happy While Single, authored by Jean Van Evera. And to all you “adventurous” young ladies of America ~ make sure you consider those angles very, very carefully.

1949: Plunging In

The subject of sex has a revolving fascination for everyone. Any way you turn it, it’s still interesting. Probably nobody finds it more so than the young woman who is anxiously pressing her face against the fence of the Maidens’ Reservation as she tries to make up her mind whether to leap over or staying where it’s safe.

There are times, of course, when sex sneaks up ~ even on ‘nice’ people ~ very unexpectedly. Healthy exuberance, which may or may not have been heightened by alchohol, physical chemistry and a warm spring (or summer) night (or cool autumn night, or cold winter night) may conspire to work together to produce surprising and unforseen results. The only excuse either or both can think of when they face themselves sheepishly the next day are those classic, all-embracing words: ‘It seemed the thing to do at the time.’

It is hard to determine how many girls allow this exuberance to trip them. And furthermore, heart-to-heart talks with them seldom if ever do any good because they never intend to be tripped anyway. Probably not many approach sex in this manner. It is too Serious a Business to most women who feel that they have to get their thoughts on the matter all sorted out before proceeding. . . .

The adventurous young woman who is wondering whether to plunge in, even though she is not in love (or at least not yet), has many angles to consider. She is fond of the chap and there is certainly sizzling attraction between them, even though she does not feel he would be ideal to have around for the rest of her life. She has no yearnings to keep his shirt buttons anchored or pick up his wet bathtowels. But she is intensely curious about sex and all the superlatives which have been expended on it ever since she can remember. If her background has been strict, it was the Ultimate Sin. If her reading has been of wide scope and her imagination sensitive, she has come to feel that it is Life’s Great Experience and who is she to pass up anything so earthshaking? Besides, our society is artificial anyway, and our sex mores have arisen out of economic exigencies. The Samoans ~ or one of those tribes ~ go for free love and everybody’s happy. Who is to say that we are right and they are wrong and isn’t it all relative? She has heard about frustrations and how dangerous they are and heaven knows she feels plenty frustrated. Doesn’t she owe it to herself to take the cure, when the cure is so simple?

Source: Van Evera, Jean. How to be Happy While Single. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Co., 1949.
~ pp. 122-26, 126 ~