Strictly speaking, the act of coitus should be considered as composed of four parts, or acts, of one common play, or drama. Not that there is a sharp line of demarcation between each act or part, for the four really blend into one_composite whole, when taken together, seriatim; but there are four phases of the act which may well be studied separately, in making a detailed review of a sexual meeting of a man and a woman.
These four parts are: first, the preparation for the act; second, the union of the organs; third, the motion of the organs; fourth, the orgasm.
In what immediately follows, these four stages of the act of coitus will be studied and traced in detail, with the utmost care, in the
hope that such pursuit may result in the best possible good to the student.
Regarding the first part of the act, let it be said that here, above all other situations in the world "haste makes waste." Put that
down as the most fundamental fact in this whole affair! Right here is where ninety-nine one-hundredths of all the troubles of married life begin! And the fault, right here, is usually (though not always) with the husband! But he doesn't mean to be bad. Not once in a thousand times does he deliberately purpose to do wrong. He is simply the victim of undirected and ungoverned passion, and of an ignorance which results in stupid blundering, or carelessness, or thoughtlessness. What such a husband practically does is to rush
blindly and furiously along a way he knows nothing of, but which he has been led to think he has a right to travel when and how he
will! The ordinary figure of a "bull in a china shop" can but faintly describe the smashing and grinding to powder of the most delicate
situation that can occur in all human experiences, that result from such action as this. Ideals that have touched heaven are tumbled from their lofty places and ruthlessly crushed to atoms; hopes that were beyond the power of words to express go out in despair; dreams become a hideous nightmare; and love, which was as pure as crystal waters, is muddied, befouled, and made into a cesspool! And all this because of ignorance or careless hurrying, of making haste where the utmost of time, caution and intelligent care should have obtained!
As has already been explained, when the act of coitus is to be engaged in, the sex organs of both the man and the woman undergo great changes. Blood rushes to all these parts, in copious quantities, till they become gorged. The result is that the penis is enlarged to
several times its dormant size, and the vulva and vagina should, and will, under right conditions, undergo similar changes and
But there is usually a great difference in the length of time it takes for these changes to take place in men and women. On the part
of the man, as soon as his passion is aroused to any considerable extent, the penis at once makes itself ready for action. It
"tumesces," or swells itself hard, almost instantly; and, so far as its mere physical stoutness is concerned, is as ready to enter the
vagina then as ever, even if it has to force itself in.
On the other hand, the tumescence of the parts in women is usually, (especially as girls are reared) not infrequently, a matter of
considerable time, not infrequently several minutes, and now and then, of half-an-hour or more! This is not always so, for in some very passionate women they are ready for action almost instantly. Indeed, there are some women whose sex organs tumesce if they (the women) even touch a man any man and occasionally a case occurs where a woman will experience an orgasm if her clothing brushes against a man! Such cases are, of course, abnormal. But, for the most part, it is true that women are much slower in making ready for the sexual act than men are.
Again, as the organs become ready for the act, nature has provided a most wonderful means for bringing about their easy and happy union. Both the male and female organs secrete and emit, or pour out, a sort of lubricating fluid which covers and sometimes almost floods the parts. This is a clear and limpid substance, that looks much like the white of an egg, and is much like the saliva that is secreted in the mouth, only it is a thicker substance. Chemically, it is almost identical with saliva. That generated by the man is called "prostatic flow;" that produced by the woman "pre-coital secretion."
Now, if time is given for this fluid to be secreted and exuded, all the parts become covered or saturated with it, and they are admirably
equipped for easy union. The glans penis is then covered with the slippery fluid, and the vulva and all the walls of the vagina are
laved with the substance. At the same time, the vaginal walls have widened and grown soft, and all the parts of the vulva (which are yet to be named and described in detail) are in like condition. The result is that, though the penis be what might at first seem of such size as to make its entrance into the vagina impossible, as a matter of fact, such entrance is perfectly easy, when the parts are fully ready to be joined. But not before or otherwise!
So here is where the trouble comes. If the husband is in haste, if he does not wait for the wife to become ready to meet him; if he forces his large, hard penis into the vagina before either is fully ready for such unionw hen there is no prostatic fluid on its glans, and the vagina is shrunken and its walls are dry if coitus is engaged in in this way, it is perfectly easy to see that only disaster can result!
The woman is hurt, sometimes most cruelly, and the man in reality gets only a beastly gratification from the act. Of all bad things in all
the world, such manner of coition is the worst!
And so, in this first part of the act, the one foremost thought to remember and observe is, take plenty of time!
There is another reason why, on the part of woman, this time should be extended, especially when she is a bride and inexperienced in these matters, and that is, that her "innocence," and all her education, make her feel that she is doing wrong, or at least permitting a
wrong thing to be done, and this holds back the proper growth of her passion, hinders the tumescence of her sex organs, delays the flow of the precoital secretion, and so keeps her from becoming properly prepared for her share of the mutual act.
Again, her fear of pregnancy may still further retard her coming into a proper condition. Indeed, this last is the almost common cause for her failing to be in readiness for meeting her husband. All of which items must be taken into account by both husband and wife,
and intelligently, lovingly dealt with, if the best results for both parties are attained.
As regards the item of possible pregnancy, special note will be made of this feature later on. It is here placed in abeyance for the time
being, because its consideration can be better provided for after some other points have been studied.
Now the one easily understood (and as easily practiced as understood) direction as to what to do by way of preparation for the act of coitus is: do as lovers do when they are "courting." And everybody knows what that is! And note this that nobody ever hurries when they are courting! They delay, they protract, they dilly dally, they "fool around," they pet each other in all sorts of possible and impossible ways. They kiss each other "long and passionate kisses, they again and again give and receive" they hug each other, nestle into each other's arms in a word, they "play together" in a thousand-and-one
ways which the "goody-goods" declare to be wrong, and the cold-blooded call nonsense or foolishness, but which all lovers know is an
unspeakable delight ("unspeakable" is the word, for who wants to talk when these blissful experiences are going on!).
Now, these things, and the likes of these things, in limitless supply, should always precede the act of coitus. It is right there that this
part of the first act of this wonderful four-act drama or play should be wrought out, and if they are omitted or disregarded, the play
will end in tragedy, with all the leading actors left dead upon the stage!
Now the chief, if not the only, reason why this part of the supreme act of married life is not always preluded in this way is found in
the false view of what the marriage ceremony means, and a wrong impression as to what it confers upon the parties who say "yes" to
its prescriptions. That is, the common idea is, that the taking of "marriage vows" bestows certain rights and imposes certain duties
upon the new husband and wife. It is thought that such ceremony makes certain acts right which would otherwise be wrong, and that it establishes the right to engage in such acts, with or without any further consultation or consent in the premises. It makes love a
matter of contract, a something bound by promise and pledge rather than a free and unfettered effusion of the soul.
The result of this is that, whereas, before the marriage ceremony both the man and woman take the utmost care to do everything in their power to increase, magnify, and retain each other's love, after they have been granted a "license," and the minister has put their hands together and prayed over them after this, they both think they have a "cinch" on each other, that they are bound together by a bond that cannot be broken, a tie so strong that it will need no further looking after, but which will "stay put" of its own accord, and which may therefore be let to shift for itself from the hour of its pronouncement! Nothing could be further from the truth than this is.
And yet it is a common feeling and belief among young married people!
Nor is it any wonder that this should be so. The very form of the marriage ceremony and contract tends to make it so. The fact that
marriage originated as a form of slavery, and that much of its original status yet remains all these things tend to establish these
wrong ideas regarding the estate, in the minds of the parties to it.
Nor are the evils that come from such wrong view of marriage all confined to one side of the house. On the contrary, they are
about evenly divided between husbands and wives, witness a few illustrations, as follows:
A couple had been married about a year. They had no children, nor were there prospects of any. The husband was beginning to spend his evenings away from home, leaving his wife alone. One evening, as he was making ready to go out, his wife said: "What makes you go out evenings now, and leave me alone! You didn't use to do it!" And the husband replied: "Why, you don't do anything to make it interesting for me now! You used to put on your prettiest clothes when I came to see you, fixed up your hair bewitchingly, had a smile for me that wouldn't come off, would sing for me, read to me, sit on my lap and pet me and kiss me, and now you never do anything of the kind." And before he could say more, the wife responded: "Oh, but we are married now, and it's your duty to stay with me!"
What wonder that the husband went out of the house, slamming the door
after him! The wonder is that he ever came back.
Again: A woman who was a graduate of a famous Eastern College and who had taught for a number of years, who was from one of the "first families" in the east, and was counted as a lady of the highest culture and refinement, finally married a Western business man. On their bridal night, as they were retiring, the man laid his hand on the woman's bare shoulder, and she threw it off, and said: "Don't be disgusting! I married you because I was tired of taking care of myself, or of having my relatives take care of me. You are worth fifty thousand dollars, and one-third of all that was made mine just as soon as the preacher got through his closing prayer, and you can't help it! That's the truth, and we are married, and you can make the best of it!"
These are both truthful tales, nor are they the only ones of the sort that could be told.
On the other hand, these are matched with acts of ignorant and careless young husbands, who do dastardly deeds to their brides
because they think the law and the contract give them the right! There is no need to go into details. The whole evil is revealed by the
words of the woman just quoted: "Oh, but we are married now."
These records, and all like them, lead to the remark that marriage confers no rights, to either the bride or the bridegroom, in the
highest meaning of the word. So far as its outward and formal observance is concerned, marriage is merely a sort of protection for
society which has grown up through the years, and which is probably for the best, for the present, things being as they are. But it should be well understood that it can never lead to true happiness if it is viewed and utilized merely on its legal and formal side. True
marriage is based on mutual love; and mutual love can never be traded upon, or made an item of formal agreement and contract._ People may contract to live together and to cohabit, and they may faithfully carry out their agreements; but this is not marriage! It is simply legalized prostitution, bargain and sale, for a consideration. It is blasphemy to call it by the sacred name of marriage!
Truly does Tennyson say: "Free love will not be bound." Indeed it cannot be! It must remain forever free if it stays at all. And if the
parties to it try to bind it, the more chains, fastenings, pledges and agreements they put upon it, the sooner and quicker will it escape
from all its holdings and fly away and stay away!
And so, to come back to where we left off (for we said there should be no hurrying or haste here) let married people understand that the key to married happiness is to keep on "courting" each other. Indeed, to make courting continually grow to more and more. During the whole extent of married life, never neglect, much less forget to be lovers, and to show, by all your acts, that you are lovers, and great shall be your reward. Don't ask how to do this! You know how, well enough. Do it!
And be careful not to do anything that a careful lover ought not to do! This direction should be heeded by both husband and wife. Make yourself beautiful for your husband, Oh, wife, and keep yourself so. As between the public, or your friends, or society, give them what of yourself you can spare, after you have given to your lover all that you can bestow upon him, or he can wish you to bestow. Don't give to everybody and everything else, church, society, work, children, friends, or what-so-ever don't give all of yourself to these, and let your husband "take what there is left." Don't do that, as you value your married success and happiness! Don't say: "Oh, but we are married now," and let it go at that!
The beautiful and delicate flowers of married love need to be watched and tended with the most skilful care, continually, by both husband and wife. Treated in this way, they will not only be fragrant and lovely through all the years of wedded life; but as, one by one, the blossoms shed their petals and change their forms so that luscious fruits may come in turn--as these changes take place, new, more beautiful and more fragrant flowers will continue to the very end of the longest married life. Don't ever forget this, or doubt it, as you hope for happiness in the marriage state! Mind what is here said, and act accordingly all the time, days, nights and Sundays.
Now if these truths are thoroughly inculcated, "kicked in" so firmly and deeply that they will never "jar loose" or get away, we will move on.
So, then, the first part of every act of coitus should always be a courting act, in which there should be no haste, but in which the
parties should "make delays," as John Burroughs says.
And this should be added: that, for married lovers, courting has a far wider range of possibilities than it has for the unmarried. Previous to marriage, there are conventionalities and clothes in the way! After that, neither of these need be in evidence, and this makes a lot of difference, and all in favor of the best results, if rightly used, and made the most of. One hardly need to go into details here, (though this may be done later on in this writing). If the lovers will be as free with each other unclothed as clothed; if they will utterly ignore all conventionalities, and do with and for each other anything and everything that their impulses and inclinations suggest, or their desires prompt; if they will, with the utmost abandon give themselves up to petting each other in every possible way that mother nature has put within their reach; if they will hug and kiss and "spoon" and "play with each other" just as they want to do if they will do this, and not hurry about it then, in due course, they will successfully execute the first act of the great play they are
performing; the sex organs will become fully ready for the union they are both longing for; the "prostate flow" will have added to the erect condition of the penis; the walls of the vagina and all the area of the vulva will be enlarged, soft, flexible and made smooth and
slippery by a most generous supply of the "pre-coital secretion" and everything will be in perfect readiness for the next part of the
performance, namely the union of the organs.
And here it becomes necessary to say something about the position of the parties in making such union. There are a large number of these possible, some of which may be noted later, but here, only the most common one will be considered (it is said there are more than forty different positions possible in this act).
The most common position is for the woman to lie flat on her back, with her legs spread wide apart, and her knees drawn up so that the angle made by the upper and lower part of the leg shall be less than a right angle. Her head should not be too high, there should be no pillow under it.
Into her arms, and between her spread legs as she lies thus, her lover should come. His body will thus be over and above her, and he should sustain himself on his elbows and knees, so that little or none of his weight may rest upon her. In this position, face to face (and it should be noted that only in the human family is this position of coitus possible! Among mere animals, the male is always upon the back of the female. They mere animals can never look each other in the
eye and kiss each other during the act! This is another marked and very significant difference between human beings and all other animals in this regard) it is perfectly natural and easy for the organs to go together, when properly made ready, as here before described. The woman should also place her heels in the knee hollows of her lover's legs, and clasp his body with her arms.
The entrance of the penis into the vagina should not be too abrupt, unless circumstances are perfectly favorable for such meeting and it is the wish of the wife that it be made in this way. It is only fair to say, though, that such bold and pronounced entrance is often greatly desired by the woman, if her passion has been fully aroused at this stage of the act. Such union is not infrequently of the
greatest delight to her, if everything is favorable for its being so made. But, if there is any pain produced in her by the coming
together, the meeting should be gentle and slow, the penis working its way into the vagina by degrees, till, finally, it is entirely encased therein. Once thus happily together, the vagina and uterine cavity will still further expand, till, in due order, the two organs will be fitted together perfectly, a single unit, one, in the highest sense of unity.
This is the second act in this wonderful play.
Once well together, and the organs perfectly settled and adapted to each other, the third act begins, namely, the motion of the
organs, the sliding of the penis back and forth, partly in and out of the vagina, though this is not really the best way of describing just
what should take place. What should actually be done is, that the two organs should engage in this motion, which is common to them
both. They should mutually slip a few inches, back and forth, each party to the motion doing a fair half.
It is often supposed, by both an uninitiated husband and an "innocent" wife, that all the motion should originate with the husband--that
he should slide his penis in and out of the vagina, while the woman should lie still and "let him do it all." This is, however, a great mistake, and one that has caused an endless amount of ill to untold numbers of husbands and wives. And for the following reasons:
In the position just described, if the wife has her arms around her lover's body and her heels in his knee-pockets, while he supports
himself by his elbows and knees over and above her, resting none of his weight upon her, it is perfectly easy for her to lift her hips up
and down, or sway them from side to side, or swing them in a circling "round-and-round" motion, as she may choose to do. She can thus originate her half of the in-and-out motion and is something she will delight to do, if given a fair chance. If, however, the man lies
heavily upon her, holding her down with the weight of his body, the possibility of such action on her part is prevented, and this results
disastrously to both parties. And so, in this part of the act, the husband should take the utmost care to give his wife the full and
complete freedom to move her hips as she chooses, and as a successful climax demands that she should.
Now if the wife be left free to move, as just described, and the in-and-out motion proceeds as it should, what immediately follows will
vary in a great degree. Thus, the time taken to reach the climax, or last act of the performance, may be a few seconds, or several minutes, may require a mere half dozen motions, or several hundred! All depends on the intensity of the passions of the husband and wife, especially the latter, and their skill in manipulating this part of the act.
The effect of this motion is to still further excite and still more distend all the organs involved. Normally, the motion grows faster and
faster, the strokes becoming as long as the length of the organs will possibly permit without separating them. The flow of the lubricating fluids, from both organs, becomes more and more copious, till, all at once, the orgasm, or fourth stage, is reached!
It is difficult to describe what this orgasm is like. There is no bodily sensation that at all corresponds to it, unless it be a sneeze,
and this is only like it in that it is spontaneous, and a sort of nervous spasm (a sneeze is sometimes spoken of as an orgasm). A sexual
orgasm is a nervous spasm, or a series of pulsating nervous explosions which defy description. The action is entirely beyond the control of the will, when it finally arrives, and the sensation it produces is delectable beyond telling. It is the topmost pinnacle of all human experiences. For a husband and wife to reach this climax, at exactly the same instant, is a consummation that can never be excelled in human life. It is a goal worthy the endeavor of all husbands and wives, to attain to this supreme height of sexual possibilities.
On the part of the man, the orgasm throws the semen into, and all about the vaginal-uterine tract. The amount of semen thus discharged at a single climax is about a tablespoonful, enough to entirely flush and flood the area into which it is thrown. Its use and action there have already been described, and so need not be repeated here.
On the part of the woman, the orgasm causes no corresponding emission of fluid, of any sort, that is jetted forth as is the semen. Yet the spasmodic action of the sexual parts, so far as nervous explosions are concerned, is exactly like that of her partner. Palpitation follows palpitation, through all the sexual area; the mouth of the womb opens and closes convulsively, the vagina dilates and contracts again and again, and the vulva undergoes similar actions. The sensations are all of the most delectable nature, the whole of the woman's body being thrilled, over and over, again and again, with delights inexpressible. This, however, seems to be the entire mission of the orgasm in woman. It has nothing whatever to do with conception; though many people, especially young husbands who know just a little about the phenomenon, believe that it is an essential to pregnancy. But such is by no means the case. All that is needed to bring about conception in a woman is the presence of the ovum in the uterus, and its meeting semen there, and so becoming fertilized. So far as becoming pregnant is concerned, the woman need have no pleasure at all in the act of coitus. Indeed, women have been made pregnant by securing fresh semen from some man and injecting it into the vagina with an ordinary female
The false idea, which largely prevails, and which usually takes the form that there is no danger or possibility of conception unless the
orgasm is simultaneous on the part of the man and woman, has caused many a woman to become pregnant when she thought such a result to be impossible, because she and her lover did not "spend" at the same instant. For the same reason, many a young husband has impregnated his wife when he least expected to do so, thinking that because he alone experienced the orgasm, that therefore conception was impossible.
Again, there are many married men and women who do not know that it is possible for a woman to experience an orgasm at all! The writer once knew a case of this kind, where a husband and wife, most intelligent and well cultivated people, lived together for twenty years, and to whom were born six children, who, at the end of that time were wholly unaware of such possibility! They afterwards discovered it by accident, as it were, and after that enjoyed its delights for many years. There are some, yea, many, women who never experience this sensation at all, but of this more will be said later.
All these phenomena seem to indicate the fact that, so far as women are concerned, the orgasm is entirely for her delectation and
delight. It forms no part of the act of conception, and its only possible function, beyond that of pleasure, is that, because of the
exceedingly delightful sensations it produces, it may lure women to engage in coitus when, but for this fact, they would not do so, and
that it thus increases the possibility of women becoming mothers. Indeed, there is no stronger temptation to a woman to run the risk of becoming pregnant than her desire to experience an orgasm! But more of this later.
As soon as the orgasm is over, a total collapse of the husband and wife takes place. They are truly "spent," a most expressive word,
which alone can describe their condition. On the part of the man the up-to-this-moment stout penis, becomes almost instantly limp
and shrunken, while all the female organs become quiescent. A most delightful languor steals over them; every nerve and fibre of the
whole body relaxes; and a desire to fall asleep at once, comes upon them irresistibly. And the thing for them to do is to avail themselves of such natural impulse, just as soon as possible. They should always have at hand, and within easy reach, a towel, or napkin, with which to care for the surplus of the seminal emission, which, as soon as the organs are separated, will, in greater or less quantity, flow from the vagina. Some of the same fluid will also remain upon the penis when it is withdrawn. The husband should absorb this surplus which remains with him with the towel, as soon as the organs are parted, and
immediately leave his super-imposed position, leaving his wife perfectly free, to do as she will. She should arrange the towel
between her thighs, exactly as she would a sanitary napkin, making no attempt to remove the surplus semen at that time, and turn over and go to sleep immediately. (It is said that if the woman goes to sleep on her back, after coition, she thereby increases the probability, of becoming pregnant. This is a point that women who greatly desire motherhood should note. The writer knew one case where a wife lay on her back for twenty-four hours after coition and so became pregnant after all other means had failed.)
Now it might seem that such neglect, on the part of the woman, to immediately remove the surplus semen, was uncleanly and unsanitary. But this is not at all true, and for this reason: The semen is a most powerful stimulant to all the female sex-organs, and to the whole body of the woman. The organs themselves will absorb quantities of semen, if left in contact with it, and it is most healthful and beneficial to them, and to the woman, to have them do so. It is for this cause that many women increase in flesh, and even grow fat after they are married and so can avail themselves of this healthful food. As a matter of fact, there is no nerve-stimulant, or nerve-quieter, that is as potent to woman-kind as semen. There are multitudes of "nervous" women, hysterical even, who are restored to health, and kept in good health, through the stimulative effects of satisfactory coitus and the absorption of semen, when both these items are present in perfection. On the other hand, there are many women who suffer all sorts of ills, when these normally beneficial factors are misused or wrongly applied. The results that follow all depend upon the way the act is done, and its products utilized.
So, after the act of coition is over, let the woman slip a "bandage" into place as soon as possible, and go to sleep. If she sleeps long,
so much the better, so much more will she be benefited by the presence of the semen and its absorption. When she naturally wakens, she may bathe the vulva region with warm water; but there is no need of, nor is it wise to try to cleanse the vagina and the uterine tract by the use of a vaginal syringe. Above all, never inject cold water into the vagina, especially do not do this immediately after coitus. Some women use a cold water injection immediately after coitus. There is no surer way to ill health and ultimate suicide. The parts are congested with blood at such times, and to pour cold water upon them is as though, when one is dripping with perspiration, he should plunge into a cold bath. Nature has made wise provision for taking care of all the semen that remains in the vagina. Let the parts alone, and they will cleanse and care for themselves.
Such, then, is a somewhat extended review of the act of coitus at its best estate, and in a general way. Its perfect accomplishment is an art to be cultivated, and one in which expertness can only be attained by wise observation, careful study of all the factors involved, and a loving adaptation of the bodies, minds and souls of both the parties to the act. It is no mere animal function. It is a union, a unity
of "two souls with but a single thought, two hearts that beat as one." There is nothing low or degrading about it, when it is what it
ought to be, when it is brought to, and experienced at, its highest and best estate. It is God-designed, God-born, God-bestowed! As such it should be thankfully received and divinely used by all the sons and daughters of men.