Writing Women’s History: “Give little, give seldom and above all, grudgingly” – Victorian Sex Tips

“At best revolting and at worst painful,” shuddered vicar’s wife, Ruth Smythers (who may or may not be entirely fictional), as she penned Sex Tips For Husbands & Wives. Mrs Smythers’ advice to newly married women facing “the terrible experience of sex,” has been recently republished. Tips tested on poor Reverend Smythers include:

  • The wise bride will permit two brief sexual experiences weekly – and as time goes by she should make every effort to reduce this frequency.

  • Give little, give seldom and above all give grudgingly. Otherwise what could have been a proper marriage could become an orgy of sexual lust.

  • Men obtain a major portion of sexual satisfaction from peaceful exhaustion immediately after the act. Thus the wife must ensure that there is no peace for him. Otherwise he might be encouraged to try again.
  • Many women find it useful to have thick cotton nightgowns for themselves and pyjamas for their husbands – they need not be removed during the act.
  • Lie still as bodily motion could be interpreted as sexual excitement by the optimistic husband.
  • When it cannot be prevented, sex should be practised in total darkness.
  • Remain absolutely silent while he is huffing and puffing away – and never under any circumstances grunt or groan while the act is in progress.
  • By the tenth anniversary many wives have achieved the ultimate goal of terminating sexual contact. Social pressure will hold the husband in the home.
Sex Tips For Husbands and Wives from 1894 has been reprinted and is available on Amazon. I doubt that it is genuine, but it amused me!

/via @lucyinglis

It’s a wonder humanity did not die out completely! ;-)