Married Love

^H Additions to the Sixth Edition

Addition i (to page 49 J

A curious rigidity of mental and physical capacity
seems to characterise some excellent and well-mean-
ing people, and among those whose marriages unac-
countably fail to reach just that height of perfection
in a physical sense which they may intellectually
desire, are those who are either entirely ignorant that
sex union may be accomplished in many various posi
tions, or those who consider any other position but
the most usual one to be wrong.

Yet, curiously enough, it sometifnes comes to
light that a pair do not even know the usual position,
and in my own experience several couples who have
failed to have children, or have failed to obtain the
complete delight of union, have revealed that the
woman did not know that it is not only her arms
which should embrace her lover. Consequently,
entry was to him both difficult and sometimes

In addition to this, the encouragement of that
spontaneous movement which comes so naturally to
those who are highly stirred, needs in far too many
of our moderns to be cultivated. A pair should,
impelled by the great wave of feeling within them,
be as pliable as the sea-plants moved by the rushing
tides, and they should discover for themselves
which of the innumerable possible positions of
equilibrium results in the greatest mutual satisfac-
tion. In this matter, as in so many Others of the
more intimate phases of sex life, there should not
harden a routine, but the body should become at the
service of intense feeling a keen and pliable instru-

Additions to the Sixth Edition ^^5

Addition i (to page 83^

It must be remembered that the parallel of the
more primitive creatures cannot be pressed too far,
because in a thousand ways we highly civilised
human beings have developed in fresh directions
away from our ancestral habits. This question, of
whether or not it is right and wise to have sex unions
during pregnancy, is one on which scientific research
should be undertaken. Far too few men and women
are clean-minded and frank enough to record their
feelings in this connection, and far too few medical
men delicately sympatheic enough to elicit the facts
even from those women who are personally conscious
of them. The little evidence which I have acquired
through direct personal confidences about this subject
points in absolutely conflicting directions, and there is
little doubt that in this particular, even more than in
so many others, the health, needs, and mental
condition of women who are bearing children
vary profoundly. From one distinguished medical
specialist I have acquired the interesting suggestion
that in one or two cases among his own patients,
where the prospSctive mother had desired unions and
the husband had denied them thinking it in her in-
terest, the doctor had observed that the children
seemed to grow up restless, uncontrollable, and with
an unduly marked tendency to self-abuse. On this
most suggestive and important idea, I would gladly
obtain evidence from parents and the medical profes-
sion, for only from a large number of cases can
reliable conclusions be drawn. But just as in popular
opinion it is good for the child and the woman to
gratify any harmless fancy for food which she may
develop, so, in my opinion, it seems probable that

^^^ Married Love

any desire for moderate and careful sex union
between the prospective mother and the father of the
coming child should be gratified in the interests of
all three. But this opinion is expressed merely
provisionally, and largely in response to a number
of inquirers who have asked me about this point.
Immoderate and excessive sex union must un-
doubtedly be looked upon as an unfavourable
symptom, and a practising doctor should be consulted
about it.

A woman who is bearing a child by the man she
deeply loves, has an intense longing that he should
share, so far as is possible, in influencing that child
while it is coming, and that he should be as near and
as close to it and to her as is possible. The basis of
this longing we may well imagine may be not only a
tender sentiment of the brain, but may depend on
that fine sensual interchange of ultra-microscopic
particles which must take place between skin and
skin during physical contact, the idea of which is so
beautifully foreshadowed in Carpenter’s ” Love’s
Coming of Age.”

A woman who is bearing a child should not —
indeed, she cannot — have the intensest form of
muscular orgasm, but this subtler and deeper sweet-
ening and harmonising union has not only a romantic
justification, but will, I think, be proved by Science,
when Science becomes sensitive enough to handle
such delicate things, to have a real bio-chemical basis.

As so many people lack a due visualising imagina-
tion, perhaps I should add that the ordinary position
of union is not suitable — indeed, may be very well
most harmful — to a woman during this time; but she
and her husband can easily so intertwine themselves

Additions to the Sixth Edition ^^7

that the weight of both is lying upon the bed or upon
pillows, and so no pressure falls upon the woman.

Addition 3 (to page 85 j

Although it is out of the province of this book to
give advice about the more material and better –
known details of the general management of the
health of the prospective mother, yet there are one
or two very important points generally overlooked
which profoundly affect both the woman’s health and
happiness, and may affect also the child. For in-
stance, leading medical experts are in the habit of
considering the ” morning sickness ” which is so
usual in the early months of pregnancy as a ” physio •
logical process,” and to look upon it complacently
as perfectly normal and to be endured as a matter o.^
course. This marks a deplorably low standard of
health. Why should this comparatively small but
nauseating experience accompany what should be
among the most rapturously beautiful months of .1
woman’s life.? In my opinion there is no reason for
this at all, except that medical men have been blind
leaders of the blind; accustomed always to deal with
invalids or semi-invalids, they have lost the instinct
to demand of humanity a high and buoyant state of
health, while women so harried by the undue drains
of unregulated sex experience, with vitality so
lowered by ” civilised ” life, have seen one another
suffering on all sides until they too have lost the
racial memory of radiant bodily beauty and health.

Here and there an exceptional woman has gone
through the months of pregnancy with no handicap,
with not even morning sickness. Instead of looking
upon her as an enviable exception, as all do now, look

^^^ Married Love

upon her as the normal standard which all should
attain! One of the aids to attaining this standard
for every prospective mother would be the know-
ledge by all adult women that, directly they know
they are bearing a child, they should instantly discard
not only all corsets, but all clothes of every kind
which are heavy and close or which have any definite
bands or tight fastenings. Specialists are content to
say no harm accrues if a woman wears ” comfort-
able ” corsets until the third or fourth month. I
denounce this as misleading folly. The sensitiveness
to pressure, often unconscious, at such a time is
extraordinary, and the penalty of even the lightest
pressure is th& morning sickness. The standard of
clothing should be so light, so loose, that a butterfly
could walk upon the bare skin beneath the clothes
without breaking its wings. This- may seem exag-
gerated to nearly everyone, but it is a very profound

Another aid to buoyant health during this time
is to add to the diet the largest possible amount of
uncooked fruit, particularly oranges, plums, and

Various books have been written on the health in
pregnancy, though few of these are enlightened.
Although one must deplore the many mistakes in
elementary chemistry which are made therein, by far
the best of the books on this subject known to me
is Dr. Alice Stockham’s ” Tokology.” In this book
it is only such comparative trifles as the calling of
carbonaceous material carbonates which, though
sufficient to prejudice the scientific mind against the
rest of her work, does not really affect the profound
truth of the gist of her message — a message which

¦Additions to the Sixth Edition ^^9

was first, given to the public by ‘a wise old English-
man long ago.

Addition 4 (to page 8 5 J

Owing partly to the incredible ignorance of our
bodily structure in which it is possible for a grown
man or woman not only to enter marriage but to be
married for years, sometimes apparently childless
unions are not in any sense due to the incapacity of
either partner for parenthood, but are due sometimes
to trifling impediments which can easily be removed,
or to trifling peculiarities of construction which can
very simply be overcome.

. While the great majority of married couples are
actually suffering, or would suffer, without the exer-
tion of definite control, from too many pregnancies
there are still — particularly in the middle and
upper classes — many would-be parents who long for
children but seem to be mysteriously deprived of
them.. Doctors may have examined both the man
and the woman, and pronounced them perfectly
normal, perfectly healthy, and perfectly capable of
having children together, and yet children do not
come. Sometimes this is caused by an undue activity
of a slightly acid secretion on the part of the woman,
a secretion doing her no harm and of which she is
quite unconscious, but which may be sufficient to
render the active sperm impotent. Sometimes,
•therefore, it is sufficient to ensure conception for the
woman to syringe the vagina with a little weak
neutralising solution such as sodium carbonate
shortly before sex union. Another cause which
• sometimes operates against the vital sperm pene-
trating to the waiting ovum is an excess of mucus

^~° Married Love

at the mouth of the womb. In such a case it is
important that a really complete and muscularly
energetic orgasm should be achieved by the woman,
not before but coincident with or after the sperm has
been ejaculated. It is often argued that it makes no
difference whether or not the woman has a complete
orgasm, for so many cases are recorded in which
women who have never experienced an orgasm have
had many children; but it is generally forgotten that
women are of many different types, and while one
type of woman, the very fruitful mother with a wide
vagma and but slight internal mucus, may conceive
a dozen times without an orgasm, the more highly
nervous, equally perfect, woman may only conceive
on the occasion when she experiences an orgasm
whilst the sperm are actually in the vagina.

Another slight obstacle to conception on the part
of a woman which is not infrequent is the position
of the mouth of the womb and the relation of the
vagmal canal, which may be such that the spermatic
fluid tends to be lost without any of it penetrating
the orifice of the womb itself. To overcome this it
is often sufl^cient for the woman to turn over directly
the act of union is complete and lie face downwards
for a few hours.

Without any question, all women have times of
greater or less reproductive vitality, but in some
women this is less marked than in others, and with
some conception may take place at almost any date
:n the menstrual month; but with other women there
is a group of days ranging from three or four to a
dozen or more, in which conception seems to be
impossible; while, on the other side of this group of
neutral days, the days grade upwards towards a date



Additions to the Sixth Edition ^^^

of greater reproductive potency. Therefore, a I

woman and her husband who desire children, but

have not after some years of marriage had the good

fortune to attain parenthood, should choose for their

acts of union those days on which conception is most

likely. It is generally found that the most certain

date for conception is — with very few exceptions —

about the last day of the monthly period, or the day

or two immediately after it; so that the husband who

ardently desires his wife to conceive should, with her

consent, concentrate their unions so far as possible on

such dates.

On the other hand, it must not be forgotten that
the effect on the whole nervous system of the desire
to conceive is very great. A too frantic desire, which
leads to too frequently repeated unions, will probably ‘
defeat itself, because it is not the mere coalescence
of the sperm with the ovum which completes concep-
tion, it is also the attachment of that impregnated
ovum to the wall of the womb, and intense nervous
excitement may prevent that. Indeed, it has been
stated by a medical man of considerable weight in
the last century that there are women among those
races to whom sex-knowledge is not taboo who can
voluntarily control conception at will and consciously
expel an impregnated ovum by mere exercise of
nervous force. A woman in modern society who is \^

in a highly nervous condition, which may find
expression in her constant need of cigarettes or
excitement, may be (though this is by no means
universally true) frequently impregnated and at the
same time continually throwing off the impregnated
ovum before the settling down of that ovum, which
results in true conception, can take place. If, there-

^^^ Married Love

fore, the woman who urgently desires to be a mother
finds herself continuously smoking, or notes in her-
self any other indication of a lack of placidity in her
nerves, she would do well — not merely to restrict her
smoking, which is nothing but a symptom of a
deeper need — but she would do well to restore so far
as possible a calm poise to her whole system by
longer sleep, more country air, plenty of fresh butter,
or whatever simple remedy it may be that will supply
her nerves with something lacking, and for which
she is unconsciously craving.

Although to many it may seem incredible, yet it
is not so rare as might be supposed, that the adult
pair may be married for years, and the wife still
physically a virgin owing to neither of the pair
knowing that penetration must be effected.
Amazing as it may seem, four or five such cases, all
of intelligent apparently average people, have come
to my direct knowledge in the course of one year
alone. Another cause, less extreme, is due to the
woman making full entry difficult or impossible by
not taking up a proper position during union. (See
also p. 1 14.) In such cases a knowledge of the true
details involved may speedily bring the desired

These very simple suggestions are of the kind
often overlooked by the medical specialist, to whom
a woman goes tremblingly asking if she is abnor-
mally formed in any way, because she does not get
the children she so much longs for. Such advice, of
course, will apply only to people who are essentially
normal and without deformity. For more serious
obstructions to parenthood, the pair, and not the
woman only, should seek medical advice.