The Married Man Sex Life Primer 2011
If you want to get good at something, you’ve got to tinker with it. Whether it’s mastering a new sport, a new musical instrument or trying to get stronger with a workout routine. You have to play around with the object of your interest so as to maximize growth.
But that’s not all you need. Let’s say you want to develop a better backhand in tennis. To do this, you need to practice doing backhands. But you also need some knowledge. Just picking up a racket and chopping at the ball will likely wind up being counterproductive. In the worst case, you may adopt some bad habits and practice them until they’re second nature, dooming your tennis game as a result of all of your hard work.
The same goes with marriage.
Husbands the world over want better relationships with their wives. By better relationships this means more and better sex. This is not shallow. This is serious business. Dennis Prager is fond of saying that sexual issues in marriage are responsible for a great deal of gratuitous pain. There has to be something that men could do to improve the situation.
Enter blogger Athol Kay with his new book The Married Man Sex Life Primer 2011.
I previously posted about Mr. Kay’s blog on this site. While his blog is excellent, it’s nice to have his ideas laid out in an organized way and given the deluxe treatment.
At 329 pages, the book covers a lot of ground. The book is divided into four main sections:
- What she really wants. This section is an exploration of what women want out of a marital relationship using neurobiology and evolutionary psychology as a guide. This is the part where I tell you to relax because this section is light on the just-so stories and provides a good background to thinking about the contents of the rest of the book.
- The Male Action Plan. The essential thesis of the book is that men can improve their marriages by improving themselves. This section details how men can make the right improvements in themselves so as to maximize their marital happiness. It also details some of the techniques used by “pickup artists” to seduce women, and points out that a marriage does not absolve a man of the need to seduce his wife.
- The Sexy Moves. This section deals with various ways a man can make his wife turned on. It is worthwhile to mention that most of these techniques (the 10 second kiss, playful teasing and, you know, actually talking to your wife) are things that do and ought to occur outside of the bedroom.
- When Push Comes To Shove. This section deals with the bad results that can happen if a marriage goes poorly and several miscellaneous topics. These topics include choosing a wife, and a section dealing with “Marriage 2.0.” Marriage 2.0 is, of course, the vestige of marriage that is leftover in the modern world after our politicians and our courts have wrecked the genuine article with their brilliant ideas. Unlike many men who write about marriage in the current climate, Mr. Kay makes an excellent case for men to get married. Seeing as how Mr. Kay is no longer religious himself, the case he makes is completely secular.
Mr. Kay makes an excellent point in his book. He says that only 30% of what a couple tries in the bedroom will “work” for them. I have a sneaking suspicion that only about 30% of the techniques that male readers try from this book will work for them as well. This may sound like I’m denigrating the book. I’m not. That’s where my tennis analogy from the beginning of the article comes back in. If you want Mr. Kay’s techniques to work, you have to play with them. To try them out and tinker with them until you find something that works for your wife and yourself. The wonderful service that this book does is to ground the reader in the knowledge he will need to make sure he’s practicing good form and not just “chopping away at the ball” and counterproductively reinforcing poor technique as a result.
Counterproductive behavior in a marital context is a real possibility. For instance, if a husband is not providing adequate leadership in his home, his wife may begin feeling contempt for him. Trying to remedy this by being increasingly “nice” is likely to be counterproductive, only deepening the contempt. The solution is more leadership and less “nice.” The exact opposite goes for those husbands who used to be naturals with women (or those husbands who have taken too seriously the rule of thumb that women fall for jerks). If a woman does not have enough comfort in her relationship, no matter how exciting the man, the relationship will not end well. Mr. Kay offers a way for such a husband to balance the exciting “alpha” traits with their comforting “beta” counterparts.
I’ve just told you the pros of this book. Now let’s get to a few of the cons:
- There is no index, making it a bit harder to find topics of especial interest quickly.
- The book does not deal with the woman’s hormonal changes during pregnancy, what to expect at this time, and how to maximize marital happiness during the pregnancy. That being said, he did deal with the issue of pregnancy in one of his blog posts.
- The book does not deal with menopause and what a man can expect from the hormonal changes during his wife’s menopause and how to maximize marital happiness during this period.
- The book is a little graphic in its descriptions of some sexual topics. The language, ahem, sometimes varies from what one would expect in polite company. I’m not sure how much of con this would be to many readers, but those of a more religious bent may not feel comfortable with this. I personally was fine with his level of exposition in this regard, but I’m hard to offend. Honestly, the book is not that graphic but if any religious authorities are going to recommend the book to their congregants, a word to the wise. (I would go ahead and recommend it anyway).
Those four cons are minor quibbles compared to the benefit that I think many men will receive from reading it. In an email exchange with Mr. Kay, he considered remedying items #2 and #3 in future editions of the book.
In sum, I am not just telling you to buy this book. I’m telling you to get it as a wedding present for the newlyweds in your life. I’m telling you to get it as a present for any of the married men in your life (including your husbands, if you are a wife).
The Ruth Institute is all in favor of lifelong married love. Well, here’s a guide for how to get it done in the modern world. Now go get it done.