Fifties Purity Advice

For a class, I had to scan several pages of a 1957 sexuality advice guide for Protestant engaged and married couples. I figured that while I had them scanned I might as well share them with the general public.

Unfortunately, since I do not have to scan them for the class, you all are missing the rather creepy chapters about the sacrifices a man has to make for his Beloved, the discussion of how couples may have sex “once every three weeks, ten days, or even more often,” the idea that birth control makes sex less sexy because you have it more often, and the discussion about how a man must bring his wife to “her satisfaction” through rubbing her clit if she doesn’t come. Nevertheless, I hope sufficient lulz are brought through the pages below the cut. (There are diagrams. They are not of what you think.)

Seven pictures, avoid if dial-up.


This entry was posted in lighthearted, noseriouslywhatabouttehmenz, relationships, sexuality and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Fifties Purity Advice

  1. Ted says:

    In the immortal words of Wash the pilot, “I’m confused”

  2. What is the name and author of this book?!

  3. ozymandias42 says:

    The Intimate Life, by J. Norval Geldenhuys.

  4. monojin says:

    Why does every one of those diagrams have “sexual life” as a vitality stream? Freud?

    By the way, I’m missing my religious life, so I’ll just become a hindu.

  5. Well, it could be worse I guess… At least they claim that having sexual urges is natural, and sex within marriage is a joyous thing rather than something to be endured in order to produce children.

    Funny how they completely embrace the Freudian idea of sublimination.

    When it comes to Saint Paul, he could be interpreted as saying that asexual people (presumably including himself) are superiour to others, but if you’re not asexual, you should get married and have married sex.

  6. f. says:

    Literally laughing out loud at how much of this stuff I was taught in a public school, in the 1990s

  7. Xiana GF says:

    I like how it starts all sex-is-natural-and-good and then…

    “[…] if its sluice-gate is opened prematurely (i.e. before marriage) SERIOUS DESTRUCTION WILL OCCUR. The partially completed channel will be damaged, the land that could have been cultivated into something beautiful as soon as it was ready for irrigation becomes swamped, WRECKING HOMES AND RUINING LIVES”.


  8. Seriously F? That’s insanse! Where do you live?

  9. Vicky says:

    I find it sad that there is no room for friendship in the Vitality Stream of the Married Adult.

  10. Hindu Wife says:

    “idea that birth control makes sex less sexy because you have it more often”

    I can sort of get this. In my culture its common for women to live with their in-laws after marriage. If the house is not very large then this can make intensely orgasmic sex between a couple a desperately sought after rarity. In my own life I lived in a medium sized house with my husband, his parents, his unmarried sister, his brother and and his brother’s wife and kids. And there was ALWAYS a visiting relative or 2 whom we shared our bedroom with. Hardly ever a private moment and when we did have sex we had to keep it quiet.

    After we moved out into our own place we had sex whenever and wherever we wanted and often walked around the house half nude or more. Sex became an everyday occurance to us, not something that we planned out in secret and desperately looked forward to. Yeah, you could say it became boring and began to value it less.

  11. Ozy, I highly recommend this book to you:

    The Masters of Sex: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the Couple Who Taught America How to Love by Thomas Maier

    GREAT READING, really.

    The big stunner was when we all learned (from this book) that part of Virginia Johnson’s JOB was to fuck William Masters, and that was sort of just understood. They basically got married for the good of the team and the business, it was some excellent PR. It is utterly FASCINATING, and only if you know the stuff you have just posted, do you understand how totally revolutionary they were… yet NOT so revolutionary that she didn’t have to fuck the boss to keep her job, you know?

    Women would not open up about sex to rather-gruff Dr Masters… if there was no Ginny, the whole thing would have been a bust. Women liked her and trusted her. Men liked and trusted Masters.

    And the rest was history.

  12. I did not mean to bold the whole thing, nor to post on my Twitter account, growf.

    PS: Remember I mentioned Ann Landers to you? “Advice to teens about sex” or somesuch, and that is where I first learned about “heavy petting” (couldn’t wait to try it!) …this sounds like where she might have cribbed a lot of it.

  13. Dvärghundspossen: When it comes to Saint Paul, he could be interpreted as saying that asexual people (presumably including himself)

    Yeah, but what is this?

    And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

    For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.

    And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

    Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

    2nd Corinthians 12: 7-10

    So, pay attention, IT DIDN’T DEPART from him.

    Was he gay? What do you suppose the thorn is? Consider all of his protracted carrying-on, it is probably something sexual.. coupled with the fact he never married?

    By the way, don’t mean to derail.. wait, its no derail is it? These people are still in the 50s:

    Anti-Gay Leaders Call for Prayer Movement to stop ‘Homosexual Tornado’ coming to ‘Destroy America’

    Was Paul gay? I say yes, and we force these people to accept it. 🙂

  14. Hindu Wife says:

    Regarding Paul, there is much homosexual activity amongst religiously celibate groups and in cultures where the sexes are socially segregated.

  15. QuantumInc says:

    There are a few redeeming moments in this text. It certainly acknowledges that having sexual urges is natural and good. It acknowledges that “suppression” i.e. trying to eliminate desire wholesale is impossible and damaging. There’s even a line that plainly says your circle of friends should include both sexes. “Sublimation” is straight from Freud. Much beyond that it’s all just religion. If you’re devout then sure, but otherwise these principles don’t apply.

    My cousin and her husband are very devout and did in fact stay virgins until marriage, but not long after as evidenced by two children in as many years. Actually I sent then a book about Catholic sexuality, though I read it myself before mailing it. I wrote a long post on comparing the points that agreed with feminism and those that disagreed. However all of the commenter apparently focused on the bad parts. I felt rather sheepish about it.

  16. @Daisy, thanks for the quote. I just remembered that he talks about how some people make themselves “genderless/sexless” for the sake of God, while for others it’s not a possibility, and these latter people should marry.

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