No, not a sexual guide, but more a lifestyle one. And less of a guide, and more of a discussion.
After all, no two women are ever the same, so the same theory applies to men, right? Or are they the less complicated of the sexes?.
According to my ex, all a man needs to be kept content by his wife is a hot meal at the end of the day and daily conjugal demands met.
A tad Neanderthal in mindset? He should really have married an escort who moonlights as a chef! I can think of many women and many men who would voice adversity to this simplistic outlook on marriage.
Yet apart from physical demands being satiated, is it as simple as wanting a woman to relinquish control voluntarily?
Is that the recipe to ensure that he a man is ‘pleased’ and will be yours for eternity. Is it all about understanding a man’s psyche, whereby reiterating his authority will confirm his masculinity, resulting in a happy man?
Does cultural indoctrination play a part? My elders, all alleged advocates of successful arranged marriage, informed me at the point of my marriage that the way to please my (now estranged) husband would be to greet him at the door with a smile, no matter how taxing my day had been, and to not speak until spoken to thereafter. Very healthy indeed.
I wonder how a marriage councillor would respond to that theory. And the following piece of advice, to ensure that dinner is always piping hot.
Well, there must be some truth in that, as after serving a lukewarm meal to my ex on one occasion, I was summoned home having left to attend a school mums night out to heat the plate in the microwave and serve the meal adequately. Perhaps I should have paid more attention to the wisdom of the elders.
But in reality, and for the bulk of men, is it as simple as domination and submission? Or is this a cultural myth? A fable that men would like to uphold for the fantasy alone? Do men really want a submissive woman?
Or in turn, should we as women adopt a certain role that appeases the husband- the persona of the mythical maiden?.
Should we allow men to believe they are in control, a manipulative ploy for sure, but one that inadvertently allows us to assume control and yield our own power albeit subliminally? Are all these games essential to ensure both parties are content?
I asked a male friend how he would feel about a subservient woman being his life partner, one that is wholly abiding and non questioning.
And to probe further, if it is servitude that is an attractive trait in a woman, then surely the traditional geishas of previous centuries were the type of woman desired. Attractive, abiding, and in return all that was expected was financial security. My delivery of this suggestion was weighed down heavily with a thick accent of sarcasm.
My friend in return, questioned dogmatically what the error was in that theory. The error is the obvious condoning of misogyny, I argue. But, he persists, it is consensual, therefore the power lies with the woman.
This brings me back to the penultimate theory, is it all about mind games. Is it straightforward to please a man by allowing him to believe what he will yet retaining control in a diplomatic and masked manner? Is this a sustainable lifestyle?.
Perhaps the world is made up of two types of women, the ones who play the game and have successful marriages. Or the ones who challenge it, attempt to assert themselves and end up with separation agreements and extortionate legal bills.
Perhaps the elders that offered me marriage advice upheld that piece of wisdom themselves, that the contrived image is in fact the idyllic one, which did in fact ensure the longevity of their own marriages.
Perhaps as culture and lifestyles have evolved, some things just remain the same.