From the Crap Archives: The Beauty of Sexual Love

Each Thursday (delayed by the holiday this week), your Crap Archivist brings you the finest in forgotten and bewildering crap culled from basements, thrift stores, estate sales and flea markets. I do this for one reason: Knowledge is power.

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The Act of Marriage: The Beauty of Sexual Love
Author: Left Behind creator Tim LaHaye and his wife Beverly
Publisher: Zondervan Publishing
Date: 1976
Discovered at: Good Will
The Cover Promises: When a married couple makes clean Christian love, they dissolve into beings of pure honeyed light. ALSO: The man must wear a three piece suit.
Representative Quotes: "Partners in coitus avail themselves of the God-given privilege of creating a new life, another human being, as a result of the expression of their love." (page 13); "Equally difficult to understand is why such a pleasurable and exciting experience has been hidden from so many women while their male counterparts almost universally have tasted the delight of ejaculation" (page 103).

It's been just weeks since your Crap Archivist last considered Tim LaHaye's 1968 crapsterpiece How To Be Happy Though Married, his guide to pleasing God while pleasing each other. The Act of Marriage offers all the hallmarks of his earlier work: indelicate phrasing, horrifying sketches, and holy admonitions to cleanse thine unclean ladyparts.

So, why cornhole him again so soon, especially when this book is in some respects admirable? After all, here's a his-and-her Christian sex guide lavishes attention on both his-and-her orgasms. It argues that mutually fulfilling sex is foundational to a successful marriage.

It's certainly the only book in your church library to include a chart to track your Kegel progress:

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But consider the introduction. LaHaye recounts how his publisher asked him and his wife Beverly to collaborate on "a book that is sorely needed today, written by a Christian couple [that] would concern the sexual adjustment in marriage."

As Tim tells it, "At first Bev was reluctant to get involved with the endeavor until the Lord gave her a specific sign. Within the next two months she counseled at least ten frigid wives."

The mind reels: ten frigid wives, all sent by God! That is either the worst day of the twelve days of Christmas... or the prize in Evangelical heaven for those martyred bombing a Planned Parenthood!

Reading this, I began to see signs myself. Could it have been a coincidence that God had in recent weeks sent me eight Tim LaHaye books?

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Is it His will that the oeuvre of Tim LaHaye is to thrift shops what REM's "Monster" is to used CD stores?

So, The Act of Marriage, given super-long post-Christmas treatment. Here's the LaHayes, practicing what they preach:

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See? A good marriage demands two hands on the wood.

The Honeymoon: In the "Learning by Doing" section of the "Sex Education" chapter, our coitus/writing partners discuss what prep a couple needs to bone up for the big night. The answer: this book. "Both the bride and groom should read the basic material separately beforehand and then study it together on the honeymoon." The advice is graphic.

● "Upon his wife's signal and while continuing to massage her clitoral area, the husband should use his free hand to take a lubricating jelly (which should be placed on the nightstand in advance) and lubricate the head and shaft of his penis before entrance."

● "Once inside the husband should try to remain motionless or he may ejaculate in a matter of seconds, abruptly terminating the lovemaking."

● "When she feels her passions mounting beyond control she should put her legs around her husband's hips and begin her own thrusting movements back and forth on the penis."

● "She should be very careful not to put pressure on the testicles located in the scrotal sac as this can be quite uncomfortable."

The key things to remember when making love LaHaye style: while it's the woman's role to respond, her orgasm matters. Foreplay lubricates her. And "there are only four positions used frequently enough to consider":

  1. The husband above.
  2. The wife above.
  3. Both on their sides.
  4. Husband seated.

Once armed with knowledge, newlyweds are free to climb Mt. Arousal...

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...or milk the upside-down udders of feminine pleasure.

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But keep it clean! The LaHayes write, "A man's sex drive can be relieved only by ejaculation. This can be achieved by (1) intercourse, (2) masturbation, (3) nocturnal emission, or (4) homosexuality."

Of course, the LaHayes feel only 1 and 3 are legitimate. The others are products of the "modern conception of man." The problem?

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They're missing the fancy chair of faith. (In sex position four, that's where the man sits.)

Shocking Detail: From the Q&A section at the end of the book:

What about oral sex before marriage? It isn't really intercourse, is it?

"Perhaps not, but it's much too intimate for unmarried people. Until they are pronounced husband and wife, they have no business handling each other's genitalia."

If sex starts in the mind, should a wife try to "turn on" by thinking or imagining sexually exciting things?

"Yes and no. Yes -- it is perfectly all right for a wife to visualize herself being embraced and caressed by her husband. No -- a wife should not picture herself in the arms of another man; that is lust, which is expressly forbidden by our Lord."

Why does a frigid woman get married in the first place?

"By no means did she set out to deceive you, for she probably never dreamed she was frigid."

(ALSO: to inspire Bev LaHaye to write this book.)

Highlight: Here's what those weeks of Kegels are all about.

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A glance at that thing confirms LaHaye's belief that marriage is essential to satisfying lovemaking. Remember: it only snaps to attention when it knows the ring is near.

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