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Dennis Prager: Divorce In A Bottle

By Jesse Taylor
Tuesday, December 30, 2008 20:33 EDT
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imageDennis Prager brings us part two of, I can only hope, two of his Why Is My Penis Not Inside You? manifesto. This one focuses on the theory that women deny sex because they think too much with their woman-brains (also known as their hearts and minds) and not enough with their man-brains (also known as their nonexistent penises).

Here are eight reasons for a woman not to allow not being in the mood for sex to determine whether she denies her husband sex.

Reasons number 1 through 7: They’re women.

Reason number 8: Didn’t I already give seven reasons?

1. If most women wait until they are in the mood before making love with their husband, many women will be waiting a month or more until they next have sex.

You ever have one of those moments where you say something under the assumption that it’s completely normal, and it reveals some deeply abnormal part of your life that you wish you hadn’t revealed, like when you ask your friends about how they deal with having to wash their sheets every night after they wet them during a work dinner with people you barely know and you’ve already been to the bathroom five times?

Yeah, this is one of those moments for Prager.

When most women are young, and for some older women, spontaneously getting in the mood to have sex with the man they love can easily occur.

In other words, when his ex-wives were younger, they were interested in sex, but after years of being told that their feelings about sex didn’t matter, they were no longer interested in sex at all. Dennis Prager has found the antidote to horny – congratulations!

But for most women, for myriad reasons — female nature, childhood trauma, not feeling sexy, being preoccupied with some problem, fatigue after a day with the children and/or other work, just not being interested — there is little comparable to a man’s “out of nowhere,” and seemingly constant, desire for sex.

Men, however, face none of these issues, because our naturally hearty constitutions allow us to work all day, survive child sexual abuse, be bloated in the middle of bankruptcy and still want to bone like boning was going out of style.

What if your husband woke up one day and announced that he was not in the mood to go to work? If this happened a few times a year, any wife would have sympathy for her hardworking husband. But what if this happened as often as many wives announce that they are not in the mood to have sex? Most women would gradually stop respecting and therefore eventually stop loving such a man.

What if sex with your husband was a job rather than a perk of marriage? Well, then, sex would be a whole different thing. Sex is not a job, it’s not something you’re on call to do – it’s something two people do because they want to. Another way that you know that sex is different from a job? If I don’t work for months at a time, chances are I’ll be hungry and homeless. If I don’t have sex for months at a time, chances are I’ll be whiny and spending a bit more of my income on tissues. If you consider a man the boss of a woman, able to demand her sexual duties be fulfilled at any time and place of his choosing, then sure, this makes sense. However, your fear at newfangled motorized horse carriages and near-orgasmic rage at your wife’s bare calves probably makes her less than horny at the thought of having to service your anachronistic ass.

What woman would love a man who was so governed by feelings and moods that he allowed them to determine whether he would do something as important as go to work? Why do we assume that it is terribly irresponsible for a man to refuse to go to work because he is not in the mood, but a woman can — indeed, ought to — refuse sex because she is not in the mood? Why?

We do everything because of moods – how much we let those moods affect us differs based on how vital the task is to our lives. Sex is fun, but unless you’re a prostitute (which may be where Prager is with regards to women), it doesn’t help ensure that you stay alive. Work, on the other hand, keeps us in shelter and clothing and food and stuff. Dennis Prager is obviously incredibly bad at marriage, relationships, sex and quite possibly the very act of breathing, but it doesn’t mean that every woman he’s interested in is duty bound to make up for his inadequacy at existing.

3. The baby boom generation elevated feelings to a status higher than codes of behavior. In determining how one ought to act, feelings, not some code higher than one’s feelings, became decisive: “No shoulds, no oughts.” In the case of sex, therefore, the only right time for a wife to have sex with her husband is when she feels like having it. She never “should” have it. But marriage and life are filled with “shoulds.”

Can’t you extend this rationale to virtually any situation at any time? Reject the Gestapo of Feelings! Life has certain demands, including, among other things: Wiis for Christmas, a cheeseburger for $2 or less, not giving out speeding tickets on Thanksgiving and anal. You wouldn’t quit taking insulin just because you “weren’t in the mood”, so why won’t you just hang out by that glory hole for a few hours? Bitch.

4. Thus, in the past generation we have witnessed the demise of the concept of obligation in personal relations. We have been nurtured in a culture of rights, not a culture of obligations. To many women, especially among the best educated, the notion that a woman owes her husband sex seems absurd, if not actually immoral. They have been taught that such a sense of obligation renders her “property.” Of course, the very fact that she can always say “no” — and that this “no” must be honored — renders the “property” argument absurd. A woman is not “property” when she feels she owes her husband conjugal relations. She is simply wise enough to recognize that marriages based on mutual obligations — as opposed to rights alone and certainly as opposed to moods — are likely to be the best marriages.

A woman’s “no” must be honored in the sense that she probably shouldn’t be raped after saying it, but it shouldn’t be honored in the sense that she should be able to actually say it or think it. This is why Prager’s advocating marital rape, no matter what he says – he accepts that a lack of consent should be honored if given, but then spends his time arguing that it should never be given, because she owes it to the man to always say yes. Accepting a woman’s consent or lack thereof to sex is kind of meaningless if it’s bracketed by the belief that there’s almost never a legitimate lack of consent to be given.

5. Partially in response to the historical denigration of women’s worth, since the 1960s, there has been an idealization of women and their feelings. So, if a husband is in the mood for sex and the wife is not, her feelings are deemed of greater significance — because women’s feelings are of more importance than men’s. One proof is that even if the roles are reversed — she is in the mood for sex and he is not — our sympathies again go to the woman and her feelings.

If someone’s not in the mood for sex, they’re not in the mood for sex. Because enlightened people care about consent in sexual relationships, our “sympathies” generally go to the person who doesn’t want to have sex being free from undue force or coercion in the process. But really, making shit up is more convincing. Did you know that between the ages of 35 and 55, a woman’s vagina actually turns into a space-like vacuum capable of freezing and shattering a wang in under three seconds?

6. Yet another outgrowth of ’60s thinking is the notion that it is “hypocritical” or wrong in some other way to act contrary to one’s feelings. One should always act, post-’60s theory teaches, consistent with one’s feelings. Therefore, many women believe that it would simply be wrong to have sex with their husband when they are not in the mood to. Of course, most women never regard it as hypocritical and rightly regard it as admirable when they meet their child’s or parent’s or friend’s needs when they are not in the mood to do so. They do what is right in those cases, rather than what their mood dictates. Why not apply this attitude to sex with one’s husband? Given how important it is to most husbands, isn’t the payoff — a happier, more communicative, and loving husband and a happier home — worth it?

A hint: barring abuse or adultery, none of those people wants to put their penis inside the woman.

Besides this manufactured post-60s theory that apparently is focused on nothing but denying men three to six minutes of forgettable humping, the question must be asked: is Prager such a narcissist that he considers his libido a need on the same level as, say, a parent needing to go to a doctor’s appointment, a child needing comforting in the middle of the night or a friend going through a breakup? We do plenty of things because our desire to help with other people’s needs or wants override our aversion to the inconvenience of dealing with them (including sex, even). But I don’t drop my life every time a friend calls, I don’t pick up the phone on the first ring every time my mom dials, and I don’t have sex with my partner every time they drop trou.

And can I just ask something? Why is it that when a man wants to have sex, it’s just a natural desire that must be dealt with, but when a woman does or doesn’t want to have sex, it’s a part of some ethereal “mood” that’s inherently selfish and destructive? Do men not have moods? Do they not owe their wives any happiness based on their desires? Are women simply incapable of happiness?

7. Many contemporary women have an almost exclusively romantic notion of sex: It should always be mutually desired and equally satisfying or one should not engage in it. Therefore, if a couple engages in sexual relations when he wants it and she does not, the act is “dehumanizing” and “mechanical.” Now, ideally, every time a husband and wife have sex, they would equally desire it and equally enjoy it. But, given the different sexual natures of men and women, this cannot always be the case. If it is romance a woman seeks — and she has every reason to seek it — it would help her to realize how much more romantic her husband and her marriage are likely to be if he is not regularly denied sex, even of the non-romantic variety.

Shorter Dennis Prager: you’re more likely to get what you want if you stop demanding it and show that you’re willing to accept a lesser and vastly deficient version of it. Also, if you just take this magic pill, you will poop diamonds. And it won’t hurt!

8. In the rest of life, not just in marital sex, it is almost always a poor idea to allow feelings or mood to determine one’s behavior. Far wiser is to use behavior to shape one’s feelings.

That sentence is literally meaningless.

Act happy no matter what your mood and you will feel happier. Act loving and you will feel more loving. Act religious, no matter how deep your religious doubts, and you will feel more religious. Act generous even if you have a selfish nature, and you will end with a more a generous nature.

Lie to yourself, and you’ll feel like a liar, too.

With regard to virtually anything in life that is good for us, if we wait until we are in the mood to do it, we will wait too long.

Sex with a spouse when you don’t want to do it doesn’t sound good for us – it sounds good for our spouses. I’m still not sold on this wondrous pot of benefits bequeathed upon a patient and understanding wife who consents to sex any time it’s demanded of her without discussion or consideration of her feelings. We all have doormats – when was the last time you walked outside and asked it how it was feeling?

The best solution to the problem of a wife not being in the mood is so simple that many women, after thinking about it, react with profound regret that they had not thought of it earlier in their marriage. As one bright and attractive woman in her 50s ruefully said to me, “Had I known this while I was married, he would never have divorced me.”

And then, Penthouse, you’ll never believe what happened! She brought in her daughter, who was a seamstress. And she was the best “hemmer” I ever did see!

That solution is for a wife who loves her husband — if she doesn’t love him, mood is not the problem — to be guided by her mind, not her mood, in deciding whether to deny her husband sex.

So, ladies: if you think, “Christ, he spent all of dinner talking about his band again,” you can deny him sex. But if you feel it, get ready to spread those legs.

If her husband is a decent man — if he is not, nothing written here applies — a woman will be rewarded many times over outside the bedroom (and if her man is smart, inside the bedroom as well) with a happy, open, grateful, loving, and faithful husband. That is a prospect that should get any rational woman into the mood more often.

Let’s reduce this to a Pavlovian stimulus-and-response exercise.

Dennis Prager

Man is inattentive and generally a poor husband to Woman.

Man asks for sex from Woman, and is denied for his prior behavior.

Man, in response to negative feedback, and because he is Dennis Prager, does not change his behavior towards Woman.

Dog wonders why Man is stupid, performs backflip for table scraps from Woman.

Woman finally bows to pressure for sex.

Man, having finally gotten sex after refusing to change his behavior, changes it in numerous ways because semen is no longer clogging his pathways of decency and respect.

Everyone is happy.

An Intelligent Man

Man is inattentive and generally a poor husband to Woman.

Man asks for sex from Woman, and is denied for his prior behavior.

Man changes behavior because he realizes Woman is a human being and not his purchased vagina.

Woman, appreciating behavior, is legitimately more attracted to Man, and begins to consent to sex more often.

Man finally understands the difference between “harder” and “faster”, stops waiting for simultaneous orgasms, learns that foreplay is as much a part of sex as penetration is.

Prager watches from across the street, stewing.

What we have learned from this exercise: Dennis Prager should be kept away from marriage like an AA meeting should be kept away from happy hour.

Jesse Taylor
Jesse Taylor
Jesse Taylor is an attorney and blogger from the great state of Ohio. He founded Pandagon in July, 2002, and has also served on the campaign and in the administration of former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland. He focuses on politics, race, law and pop culture, as well as the odd personal digression when the mood strikes.
 
 
 
 
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