Thursday, January 01, 2009

Dennis Prager's Conservative Man's Guide to Sex

Remember how, a while back, Ann Coulter would rant about how married couples have better sex lives than singles. And you couldn't help but wonder, "How would she know?" Dennis Prager has thoughtfully provided us with the answers: Married women have a better work ethic. (At least if they want to stay married.)

It seems almost gratuitous to make fun of Prager, not that it's going to stop me. He's apparently in the grip of a bizarre form of the whore-madonna complex for which the only cure is his demand that madonna "put out". According to Prager, here's how women think:
A husband knows that his wife loves him first and foremost by her willingness to give her body to him. This is rarely the case for women. Few women know their husband loves them because he gives her his body (the idea sounds almost funny). This is, therefore, usually a revelation to a woman. Many women think men's natures are similar to theirs, and this is so different from a woman's nature, that few women know this about men unless told about it.
Here's how men react:
A man whose wife frequently denies him sex will first be hurt, then sad, then angry, then quiet. And most men will never tell their wives why they have become quiet and distant. They are afraid to tell their wives. They are often made to feel ashamed of their male sexual nature, and they are humiliated (indeed emasculated) by feeling that they are reduced to having to beg for sex.
Prager admits that there are rare occasions when a husband "should not initiate sex", although the exceptions to his "24/7" policy aren't enumerated. But make no mistake, as much as the husband may be writhing in undisclosed self-doubt if his wife doesn't put out all the time, it's the woman's job to clearly communicate those times when the husband shouldn't ask for sex ("women should not expect men to read their minds"). I'm thinking Prager might forgive a wife's lack of accommodation at times of severe illness although, on the other hand, if she's already in bed....

Leisure Suit Dennis
Seriously, rather than writing columns lecturing women that, even though it's not in their nature to like sex very much, and certainly not very often, they should accede to their husband's sexual demands on almost all occasions he could have written a column lamenting to men, "Women don't like sex very much, perhaps not at all, so don't let your feelings get hurt when they say 'no'." Sure, people would still make fun of him, but maybe not quite as much. But at least it would be honest.

What sort of marriage does Prager envision, where a wife is to "give her body to" her husband as she acts "happy no matter what [her] mood", all the while keeping secret the fact that he isn't sexually attractive to her? For all of his whining about how women allow themselves to be "governed by feelings and moods", implying that men are rational beings, why not simply encourage men to be rational, accept their women for what they are, and build a marriage premised on mutual respect? Under Prager's logic, isn't it men who are being irrational, becoming angry, distant, ashamed, and unfaithful because they aren't willing to learn or accept basic "facts" about female sexuality?

This is where it gets interesting. When madonna doesn't "put out", the Pragers of the world feel justified in seeking out that other type of woman. Except Prager's already told us that there's really only one type of woman - there's no evil vixen of "the kind you don't take home to mother" who actually likes sex. According to Prager's columns, sex for women is always a quid pro quo. They don't get a great deal of pleasure from it, so they need to get something else. When Prager warns wives,
To ask that [your husband] also regularly deny himself sex with the one woman in the world with whom he is permitted sex is asking far too much. Deny him enough times and he may try to fill this need with another woman.
What type of woman is he suggesting would "fill his need"? Prager's attentions always turn to the material:
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.
Or maybe she would tell him, "Honey, you hate your job. Let's work on your résumé, and help you find a new one where you won't be so miserable."
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?
I almost wish there were a webcast of this, as I would like to know how much anger, fear, frustration, even rage at God explodes out of Prager as he cries, "Why?" But there you have it. Women benefit from men going to work and providing them with material stability, geegaws and doodads. And a woman's equivalent responsibility in marriage is to willingly "give her body to him" pretty much any time he asks. If only women worked for a living, maybe then they would understand....
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. Act happy no matter what your mood and you will feel happier. Act loving and you will feel more loving....
Okay, Dennis, if that's truly what you believe, how about trying this at home: "Act like you're getting lots of sex from your wife." Don't blame her when you feel dissatisfied in the marriage, feel insecure, or start picking up hookers.
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.”
I can almost imagine the conversation:
Woman: "I am so upset. My husband was cheating on me, sleeping with prostitutes, and now we're divorced."

Prager: "If he was sleeping with prostitutes, he obviously wasn't getting enough sex at home."

Woman: "Well, he would come home from work late, reeking of alcohol, lipstick on his collar. It was a real turn-off. Not to mention I was concerned about sexually transmitted disease.

Prager: "He went to work, and you still didn't reward him with sex on demand? It's the same thing, you know. We all have jobs we hate, but we gotta do 'em. He goes to work every day for the pay and, when you think about it, he's merely asking you to do pretty much the same thing. By rejecting him for sex you're making him feel ashamed and emasculated, and the only way he can recover from that is by getting sex somewhere else. Since women don't like sex very much, are you really surprised he sometimes had to pay for it?"

Woman: "Had I known this while I was married, he would never have divorced me."

Prager: "I told my ex-wives the same thing, and boy are they sorry now."
And there you have it - everything Prager knows about sex. Don't you feel silly now, that you were afraid to ask?


  1. Please tell me that you faked that picture and that it wasn't self-inflicted on his part.


  2. That photo is a fake. This one, on the other hand, may be real.

  3. I'm gonna get a bunch of us girls who like sex together and we are all going to go beat this guy's ass.

    Hey dude, the 1950s called...they want their sexual ideas back.

    There is so much more that I could say, but this is a family website....

  4. Actually, being spanked by a group of women who like sex together is one of my fantasies.

  5. "I'm gonna get a bunch of us girls who like sex together and . . . "

    This sounds like the beginning of a great many things . . . none of which I ever expected to read on this blog. : )

    Happy New Year Everyone


  6. Or maybe she would tell him, "Honey, you hate your job. Let's work on your résumé, and help you find a new one where you won't be so miserable."

    So are you saying that when the woman refuses sex continually the husband can say, "gee honey, you hate sex with me. I'm going to work on my dating skills, and help find myself a new wife who will enjoy sex and won't be so miserable saying yes."

  7. I would invite you to read what I said.

    In relation to your specific point, I have no ideological opposition to divorce. If two people aren't happy with each other, don't find each other attractive, and don't want to work through their problems, I have no problem with their moving on.

    But quite obviously, what I was pointing out is that it's not necessary to wallow in misery. Prager posits that a wife's role in a marriage is passive. If her husband hates his job and dares to complain about it, the only thing she can do is grow resentful. Obviously that's not the case, and it's never the case in a good marriage.

    If you wanted to extrapolate that to a situation where one spouse was no longer attracted to the other, it would not be for the "unattractive" spouse to act as you describe. It would be for the spouse to try to find out the source of the problem, and if there's anything that could be done to resolve it. In my world we call that "acting like a grown-up."

  8. After 35 years of misery when does a man throw in the towel. If a woman likes sex with her husband and wishes to keep things good between them she will work on it the same as the man. If a woman actually comes to hate sex with her husband she should flatly say so. That way the husband can pick up and leave. Then she can victomize the next sucker.

  9. I'm not sure how you missed it, but I was pointing out that Prager was using a bad analogy. But if it must be explained, the appropriate step would be to seek marital counseling. Believe it or not, there's more to marriage than sex.

  10. Wonderful piece...

    Dennis has a condescending attitude toward woman that perpetually leaks out without his realizing.
    Half his male/female hour he devotes to a woman's appearance (like a true porn addict) or a man's need for variety..He basically feels that women are satisfied forever with one man, but it'd take 100 women to meet a man's needs.

    How can a guy divorced twice pose like an expert on women?? I could just go on, better stop

  11. I hope to see an equal analysis of what a hypocrite and out of touch loser of a husband and father Bill Clinton is on your blog. Unless your opinion of Prager is based solely on his politics rather than his character, then I guess I wouldn't be seeing such a post by you. And you will attack me and tell me how it's 'apples and oranges'. Really? A man, who is the leader of one of the most powerful countries in the world, gets his pecker caught in another SUBORDINATE colleague's mouth, and humiliates his wife and daughter before the entire WORLD, how is that different as far as being a sexist idiot goes?

  12. Point me to an equally imbecilic commentary by Clinton, and I'll give it a shot.

  13. "I did not have sex with that woman . . ."

    Sorry, it was a cheap shot and slightly off topic, but I couldn't resist.


  14. "Sexual relations". ;-)


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