The Wright Perspective: Seven Right Ideas (Romance)

My Latest is up at Every Joe.

I will tell you the secret of the most amazing, mind-blowing, ecstatic, overwhelming experience of total sexual pleasure you can possibly imagine. I am not kidding and not fooling you. I know the secret and will tell you at the end of this essay, if you have not guessed it beforehand.

You would know the secret as well, except that you have been lied-to your whole life.

Yes, people you know and people you don’t know, people who have no worldly reason whatever to lie to you, have all been deceiving you. Some do it because they don’t know true from false, and they are just repeating what they’ve heard; but most know better, or should know better, but they have something they like better than they like hearing the truth, knowing the truth, telling the truth, and so their brains are full of feculence and their tongues are full of lies.

What they prefer to truth is flattery and self-deception and self-righteousness and all that heap of steaming manure called Political Correctness. What they prefer to their happiness is your unhappiness. The harpies are willing to eat filth and lick pus just so long as you don’t get to eat fresh bread and quaff bright wine.

But let us not pause to denounce sad falsehoods when the glorious truth beckons with her fiery lamp. How can one experience the perfect sexual experience?


  1. Comment by Joseph M (was Ishmael Alighieri):

    Great essay. I’ve been saying similar things for a while now, for example:

    The the emotional and spiritual freedom of total commitment may be paradoxical, but it nonetheless makes sex so much more than the physical act could ever hope to be.

  2. Comment by ConceptJunkie:

    Boom! Knocked it out of the park! Home run/Slam dunk/hat trick/touchdown/whatever-they-call-it-when-curlers-do-whatever-it-is-that-curlers-are-supposed-to-do-well.

  3. Comment by Zaklog the Great:

    I have two things to say about this article, one a comment, and one a question. Unfortunately, the comment is . . . not necessarily of a nature I want to share in a public forum. Nothing bad, just more of a conversation between two. If you’d like to hear it, I could email you.

    The straightforward question is this. What does obey mean in the context of marriage? I think you’re probably right, and that our culture in this area is mad. But . . . I haven’t heard a lot of Christians directly address this. I fear I am failing in my duty to my family because I’ve never had anyone clearly explain what that means.

    It surely does not mean that a woman gives up her will entirely upon marriage. It also surely doesn’t mean a man sitting on the couch, watching TV, and yelling, Make me a sammich! Paul’s instructions for husbands in the same letter rule out such an oaf, because it is impossible to believe that he would love her as Christ loved the church, and gave himself for her.

    I’m terribly afraid that even upon joining the RCC, I might have a difficult time finding clergy willing to address this directly, so when I hear someone talk about it, I leap at the opportunity.

    • Comment by The OFloinn:

      I have my grandmother’s marriage manual, enticingly titled Marriage and Parenthood: the Catholic Ideal, by Rev. Thomas J. Gerrard, Wagner (NY) 1910. A few excerpts and summaries of Ch. VI “Between Husband and Wife”:

      1. Paul was writing to correct certain abuses prevalent among the people to whom he was writing. He was “not necessarily giving a full and comprehensive description of the marriage ideal.” But it’s easy to see how a Sola Scriptura do-it-yourselfer could read the verse naively.
      2. He was not restricting the commandment to love strictly to the husband. The “very nature of love requires it be reciprocal.” Why assume he was restricting obedience strictly to the wife?
      3. No one at the time had to tell the wife to love; but the husband had so many demands upon his faculties that he may pay too little attention to love. (This was still the case in 1910. But the author notes approvingly the then-incipient emancipation of women; so it may be that a modern Paul would find it important to remind the wife as well to love her partner.) The manual then proceeds in that practical Catholic induction on the different factors informing a husband’s cultivation of his love for his wife.
      4. “Like all other social movements, the movement for the emancipation of women is fraught with the danger of rushing into the opposite error of that which is to be remedied” and “persist in confusing the true obedience with the false, in condemning an obedience which no Christian wife is supposed to render.”
      5. The woman was “taken from his flesh and bone” and so is “not to reckoned, among the rest of creation, as part of man’s goods and chattels.”
      6. We distinguish between servile obedience and filial obedience. The former is the obedience of slaves, informed by fear. The latter is the obedience of children, informed by love. Likewise is conjugal obedience distinct from the servile. A wife is not a slave; and no man (if he heeds the first part of Paul’s injunction) would treat her as one.
      7. “Doubtless there have been many husbands who have demanded of their wives the obedience of a slave. And doubtless such husbands are largely responsible for much of the present (1910) misunderstanding of the nature and limits of wifely obedience.”
      8. “The obedience of the wife is due to the husband only within certain limits. It is not absolute. It is due to him in all matters in which it is evident that he must rule. It is not due to him in those matters where it is evident that the wife must rule.”
      9. “Hard and fast rules, however, cannot be laid down. Much depends on the temperament of the individuals and the force of circumstances.”
      10. “Obedience must have its foundation in mutual love.” Without this determination, “it will be useless to try to decide by argument who has the right to command and who the duty to obey. “The love of marriage is a great mystery, and he who would reduce it to mechanical laws must possess a higher knowledge than that ever yet possessed by mere man.”

      Hope this helps.

      • Comment by Malcolm Smith:

        Remember what the Bible actually says. In Greek, “obey” is akouein. But there is another word, hypotassesthai, which gets translated “submit, be subject to, subordinate yourself to”: the proper action of a subordinate. St Peter uses the latter word in all situations, but St Paul tells slaves and children to obey, and wives and citizens to submit, and that we must all submit one to another. This, of course, recognizes the fact that slaves and children have less freedom of action. How much freedom of action the others have depends on the situation and the culture. No-one would suggest that a wife’s duties to her husband is the same as a citizen’s to the rulers.
        Generally speaking, a wife should be expected to be mistress wherever her husband is master. But, as C.S.Lewis pointed out, you cannot have a majority vote in a partnership of two. In contentious cases, one has to have the deciding vote.

      • Comment by Scholar-at-Arms:

        “2. He was not restricting the commandment to love strictly to the husband. The “very nature of love requires it be reciprocal.” Why assume he was restricting obedience strictly to the wife?”

        Because the very nature of obedience requires that it not be reciprocal.

        • Comment by The OFloinn:

          So when the electrician says, “Don’t touch that wire!” the cop has no obligation to obey him because when the cop says, “Pull your car over, sir!” the electrician is obliged to obey him instead?

    • Comment by KokoroGnosis:

      When we were choosing the readings for our wedding mass, my wife chose the passage in Ephesians that the obeying bit comes from, which actually sort of startled me in this day and age. (I guess I should have known better from a die hard, conservative catholic.) Since she’s a woman, her motivations are usually murky and found in the subtext at best, but I think her perspective is that if I am loving her as Christ loves his church, then I will do what is best for her. It may be the case that she sometimes doesn’t see the logic, but when she defers to me (Which has happened once, lol.) she knows I’ll sacrifice for her best interests.

      As a side note, I once told her to make me a sammich. She asked me what kind. Misogyny is no fun when they won’t play along. :(

  4. Comment by DGDDavidson:

    It is perhaps providential that you have posted this essay at exactly the moment when I am at an impasse in an argument with a New Ager who has uncritically absorbed various poisonous post-Modern ideas, including the one that a man must give free rein to his sexual appetite lest he develop that imaginary disease called a repression. I was unsure how to respond to him, but I think you have written a perfect summary of the topic. Your appeal to spirituality, a word of which he’s fond, might possibly break through to him.

    Thank you.

    • Comment by The OFloinn:

      Adam: “A man must give free rein to his sexual appetite lest he develop repression.”
      Betsy: “Oh, you must mean ‘self control’? What about his gustatory appetite, must he also give free rein to his eating?”

      • Comment by DGDDavidson:

        His argument, I think, was that if you don’t chase perverted sexual desires, you will end up falling into perverted sexual desires. Lack of sex causes sex, or something like that. I don’t think he had thought this subject through. I don’t think most of them have; they are rationalizing, not reasoning.

  5. Comment by Mary:

    I have, I kid you not, read a writer talking about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs lately, except that she lumped sex in with food and water at the base of the pyramids. Really, folks, if you aren’t getting laid, you can’t possibly think of anything except your material needs. . . . sigh

  6. Comment by Zaklog the Great:

    If a brief metaphor is permitted, it seems to me like sex as you describe it is an adventure in uncharted wilderness, part of a real world with real consequences. Sex as the post-moderns prefer it is a cheap theme park ride, self-enclosed and separate from the rest of life.

    (Of course, reality has hard edges and sharp corners, and they will never be able to seal this area off quite as thoroughly as they would like, but that is their ideal.)

  7. Comment by Legatuss:

    I have a simple way to say this:

    The difference between love and sex is like the difference between a hand grenade and a nuclear bomb.
    They will both blow you up, but the nuclear bomb will leave you with a warm glow that will last you the rest of your life.

  8. Comment by Malcolm Smith:

    A while ago I saw an article entitled, “The Best Sex I Ever Had”. Apparently the contributors had all had a few score of sex partners, and some of them were fantastic. My immediate response was: So why aren’t they still together? Did they get tired of great sex? Did they find something (temporarily at least) more exciting? Did that great sex partner grow stale, or was he lured away by someone offering even greater sex?
    Life can be so unfair! You test drive 50 or 100 bedmates, and just when you find the one which is just right, he or she slips through your fingers. Don’t you just hate it when that happens!

    • Comment by Malcolm Smith:

      Just one issue, Mr Wright. When I originally posted that comment, I deliberately used the term “s/he” rather than “he” in both paragraphs. I know you regard it as ungrammatical, and under normal circumstances I would never use it. But in this case it was completely necessary. As the comment now stands, it creates the impression that all the promiscuous contributors were female – or at least male homosexuals. I assure you, both sexes were equally involved.

      • Comment by John C Wright:

        In English when the sex of the antecedent are unknown or undetermined, ‘he’ is used.

        I did not ask your permission for the correction, because I posted a notice that says “politically Correct corrections of normal English are subject to summary deletion without comment or explanation.”

        I would be happy to change it to ‘he or she’ but s/he is so clearly and abomination, and so offensive, that I assumed it was unintentional on your part. I apologize for imposing on your text.

  9. Comment by bear545:

    One of the curiosities I have noticed over my 21 years of marriage is that, while our culture is obsessed with sex and discussing it, it seems to me that no one is interested in what married couples are doing- unless it’s something strange or deviant. I am not saying that married couples should spill the beans and reveal all to the world, but rather that if we did we would be talking to dead air for the most part. A coworker can come to work on a Monday and start telling about some mediocre hook-up he had on the weekend with some girl (whose name he can’t remember) he picked up at the bar on Saturday night, and he will have an audience hanging on his every word and begging him for more details. But if I, as a married man, were about to talk about some awesome, mind blowing, fist in the air Heck Yeah! lovin’ the wife and I had, the audience would disperse by the time I had said: “The other night my wife and I…” However, if I were to tell them I had cheated, they would return and demand all the gory details, no matter how pedestrian. People today seem to be obsessed with everything but the licit.

  10. Comment by John C Wright:

    Sad that there are over a dozen comments here, on my link, and no comment on the article at Every Joe.

    Hey, friends, if the publisher does not see people clicking through the page, they are going to stop paying me for the articles. Go over there and start an argument requiring 900 replies, please.

    • Comment by Zaklog the Great:

      I don’t know about an argument, but I copied-and-pasted one of my comments over there.

    • Comment by meunke:

      I REALLY liked this article. Going to set up a quick, couple of dollar click-to-website campaign on facebook and promote it in a right side page ad.

      Suggestions for the custom audience? I’m thinking participants in Cosmo, Men’s Health Mag, etc.

    • Comment by Zaklog the Great:

      Well, you’ve got your argument. I’ve done my share, but frankly these people are tiresome and I don’t have the time to answer all of them myself. If any of the other local blogizens would care to go over and get in the ring for a few rounds, I’d be glad to get back in later.

      If they had started off with good arguments, and went downhill as time went by that would be one thing, but almost every single one of them started off by arguing with things you never said. It’s . . . it’s just boring and obnoxious.

    • Comment by fabulous_mrs_f:

      I could go pretend to be an off-my-rocker angry feminist over there if you like.

    • Comment by R.Carter:

      Well, it’s been 5 days and the debate over at Every Joe rages on. Of course, I use the word “debate” in the loosest sense of the word. Really, I should say that some people are offering reasoned defenses of the article while the other side makes stuff up and throws around ad hominem attacks like they’re an argument. Fun stuff.

      Unfortunately, there are still only 163 comments as of this posting, but that still far outpaces the vast majority of articles I have seen over on that site.

      As an aside: if your choice of title was designed to draw in the trolls then you succeeded in a spectacular manner. It might not be Matt Walsh level hate, but it’s a start.

      • Comment by Malcolm Smith:

        My own blogs probably don’t get as many viewers as Mr Wright’s. However, recently I put up a 7-part post on the behaviour of the koala (my original Masters study). Guess which section has got the most hits? No, it’s not aggression, communication, or bringing up baby; it’s sex. And that’s just a furry marsupial! I tell you, a certain subject tends to draw people like a magnet.

  11. Comment by johnedko:

    Comment left on the main article, but cut-n-pasted here as well.

    First, a grammar quibble, one of your paragraphs in the middle (I know – bad directions, but just “find” the whole quote) begins with “Surely you also been told” – should there be a “have” in there?

    Otherwise, excellent article and a lot to think about – I think I will forward it on to the Mrs. to let her look at it.


  12. Comment by Malcolm Smith:

    Thank you for your response. I am reminded of a phrase I saw on another website:
    “The writer who produces an ungrammatical, an ugly or even a noticeably awkward phrase, and lets us see that he or she has done it in trying to get rid of something else that he or she was afraid of, gives a worse impression of himself or herself than if they had risked our catching them in their original misdemeanor; he or she is out of the frying pan into the fire.”

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