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mygif

So I’m not feminine unless I let guys fuck me even when I don’t want them too? That’s nice to know.

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mygif

I’m sure it will shock the assembled audience to discover that Prager is a divorcee.

Seriously, makes you wish they’d bring back chemical castration, just in hopes that it’ll shut him the fuck up.

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mygif

Hey, if you’re gonna judge him based on appearance, we Canadians get sex advice from Sue Johanson.

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mygif

The disturbing thing about Sue Johanson is not that she gives sex advice, but that she gives *very knowledgeable* advice. The mind recoils at trying to understand the implications of how she got that much experience. It’s Lovecraftian in nature.

As for Prager, after looking at his picture nobody should be surprised that he has such an high opinion of marital rape.

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mygif

A husband knows that his wife loves him first and foremost by her willingness to give her body to him. This is rarely the case for women. Few women know their husband loves them because he gives her his body (the idea sounds almost funny). This is, therefore, usually a revelation to a woman.

Silly me! Here I was thinking that my boyfriend and I express our love for each other through mutual respect, admiration, and support, and, you know, having sex whenever we both feel like it and not having sex when one or both of us don’t. Apparently we’ve been going about this whole relationship thing wrong.

I like how when a woman doesn’t want to have sex, she’s selfish and mean, but when a man wants less sex than his wife does, it’s TOTALLY DIFFERENT, YOU GUYS. Only women should be forced to have sex when they don’t want to, because they’re all bitches anyway.

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mygif

Fuck doing it chemically. That must come from taxpayer dollars and I don’t want to support some dude getting drugs every week to keep him down.

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Fred Davis said on December 24th, 2008 at 7:14 pm

But if we’re going to start chopping things off, then we should just chop him off at the neck, and then reattach his choad-esque face parts to a particularly unlikable z-list celebrity’s groin.

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mygif

from Wikipedia:

Dennis Prager (born August 2, 1948) is an American syndicated radio talk show host, columnist, author, ethicist, and public speaker. He is noted for his conservative political views and for his study of the consequences of secularism in the 20th century.

Why am I not surprised?

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mygif

Here is my Dennis Prager story: Several years ago, I interned for a small Jewish lifestyle magazine. At the time, Dennis Prager was one of their columnists– because he was Jewish and moderately successful and willing to have hs column in our magazine, I guess.

One of my responsibilities was helping to copy-edits proofs of the magazine. When I copy-edited Dennis Prager’s column, our EIC told me gently that “Dennis doesn’t like us changing his work.” Even on the level of correcting minor grammatical errors, apparently.

This isn’t even getting into the content of the column, which made me vaguely uneasy the way conservatives talking about Israel always does (It’s a sort of “please get off my side” feeling).

On the basis of that experience and this story, I am totally willing to assume that Dennis Prager is an asshole. Ugh.

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mygif

Gosh.

“But, to repeat the key point, rejection of sex should happen infrequently. And it should almost never be dependent on mood.”

I notice this proclamation does not exclude the traditional headache escape clause.

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mygif

If you take this view to the logical extreme, does that make BDSM the ultimate expression of trust and affection?

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mygif

“But, to repeat the key point, rejection of sex should happen infrequently. And it should almost never be dependent on mood.”

Good to know that as a woman, it is my duty to screw on demand. And not wanting to have sex IS NO EXCUSE.

Funny, I have another word for people who don’t care if the other person in the equation wants it…

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Jason McCulley said on December 24th, 2008 at 11:55 pm

I declare him non-human.

That way I don’t have feel ashamed for my species.

Also? To hell with castration of any kind. I know a guy that does ‘work’.

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mygif

Well, I finally know what I want for Christmas: for Dennis Pager to have his nuts roasted in a cheery holiday fire.

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mygif

You can’t call the jewish rape-advocating guy non-human. there are many ways that can end, and none of them are good.

It’s also a rather cheap way to avoid the issue of what the hell is wrong with this dipshit. He’s not a skrull or a number but a human being who just happens to be unable to empaphise with his fellow human beings beyond what is neccesary to use roofies on them.

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mygif

I find it particularly amusing that this comes so close on the heels of your critique of MacKinnon and Dworkin. Guys like Prager go a long way towards making them seem right with no qualifiers.

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mygif

Wow, these reactions are kind of silly.

Read the article. He’s very clear that these statements only apply to a long term, committed marriage.

It’s simply human nature that to men, sexual attention is the most profound form of expressed love. If we use the analogy of currency for forms of expressed love, sex is a man’s Gold Standard.

Yes, he likes being told he’s loved, and appreciates the emotional support and empathy you give him, but sex means you’re talking turkey. It bypasses the rational mind and he just knows that he is loved, wanted and appreciated.

Sex simply doesn’t have the same visceral effect on women. It isn’t wired into their brains that way. For women, the Gold Standard is emotional support, empathy and reassurance. “Kindness” if you will.

With this in mind, basically what he’s saying is this: How different are these two situations:

A woman who’s not “in the mood” has sex anyway, out of love for her husband

A man who isn’t “in the mood”, spends hours talking to his wife about the problems her family is going through, supports her as she talks to him about the way it makes her feel and encourages her to make a good choice, because he loves her.

Both situations are examples of a person in a relationship putting the other person first, out of love and a healthy respect for their partner’s needs.

Guess what? That’s what makes marriage work. After the honeymoon, after the luster is gone. All you have is the desire to make each other happy and work together to make life better. It often requires doing things you might not want to do, but know that your partner needs.

And to those calling this man a rape advocate: Shut up. Seriously. A wife choosing to have sex with her husband when she doesn’t especially feel like it is completely different from a person forcing themselves on another. Rape isn’t about sex, it’s about power. So yeah, if he was saying, “Husbands, nag your wives into having sex every time you want.” That might be about power. But it isn’t what he’s saying, and not what it’s about.

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mygif

Y’all are going to be shocked, but with MANY MANY MANY caveats, I have to say that I partially agree with him.

I was actually thinking about this earlier. I’d had this dicussion with my mom, of all people, when I was in high school at a Lutheran Youth Gathering. My first instinct was that it was rapist bullshit.

My mom actually took the other approach for a few minutes, and we talked about it. The point ending up that there’s a difference between “not really in the mood right now” and “no way in hell right now.” In the first case, one person is technically able to be convinced. It’s more of a matter of whether or not the person wants to make time to make love with the other person.

When your life gets really busy, especially once you have kids, it gets difficult to carve that time out. It’s easy to put off things that need to be done. And maintaining a physical relationship is one of those things that needs to be done. [nb– my mom also told me stories about the neighbors locking their kids out of the house, after calling mom and another neighbor first, just so they could have time to have sex without being bothered!]

So, my guess is that he’s not talking about the typical happy marriage that’s working fine, where *both* partners feel like they’re having enough sex on a regular enough basis. My guess is that he’s talking about the type of marriage where the sex just really isn’t happening anymore. That can happen when one person habitually is not in the mood. Unfortunately, since women and men reach arousal states differently, it tends to happen that men are more likely to be in the mood in a moment’s notice, and women are more likely to need more time to get used to the idea.

Again– this is not the case of being forced. This is not the case of sex happening against one’s desires or one’s will. This is not the case of marital rape. This is the case of two people in a loving relationship who perhaps aren’t making enough time for each other and aren’t making enough love with each other. If one partner asks the other partner 20 times in one month whether they can have sex / make love / get busy / whatever, and the response always ends up being that the other partner is “too tired” or “not in the mood” or “busy with a project” or something along those lines, then that’s a problem.

Believe it or not, sometimes when you’re “not in the mood,” you can be convinced. Too tired? Snuggle and caress a bit. Not in the mood? Give him or her 5 minutes to try to seduce you. (It’ll be worth a giggle if nothing else.) Too busy? Put down the laundry basket, get off of the damn computer for a few minutes, stop composing that email that doesn’t really need to be sent, and look your partner in the eye, and consider maybe just going ahead and having sex with the person who loves you.

Yes, it’s absolutely possible that this guy was a complete IDIOT who decided to publish part I of his article without the much-much-much-needed context that’s supposedly in part II, and that his thinking is more along what I’m trying to describe here.

Yes, tt’s also entirely possible that he is, as many of you suggest, a complete and total asshole who believes that wives should always submit to their husbands no matter what. But I’m not necessarily sure that that’s the point he’s trying to make here…

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mygif

Hahahaha, exar and I were writing the same thing at the same time! HIVEMIND ATTACK.

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mygif

Sex simply doesn’t have the same visceral effect on women. It isn’t wired into their brains that way. For women, the Gold Standard is emotional support, empathy and reassurance.

Bullshit! One of the worst relationships I had when I was younger was with a guy who was constantly turning me down. Take sex out of the equation, and, in my opinion, I’ve just got a good friend, which isn’t anything particularly special. I have lots of good friends of both sexes.

The actual, real problem here is that people shouldn’t get into long-term, serious relationships with different views and needs of physicality. (Among other things, of course.) The only way to gauge that is to, essentially, try-before-you-buy, which isn’t going to fit into this conservative’s guy mindset at all. Some people want to have sex more than others, period. There are people of both sexes that consider it a trivial matter, those who consider it really important. If you’re not having sex at all, you may have no idea how often you really want to do it or how much it means to you.

As time goes on, there may be a need for compromise on one partner’s part or the other, which implies a two-way street, of course. But I have a feeling a lot of the people he’s giving advice to didn’t even take the sexual compatibility aspect into the question when they took their relationships to the next level.

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Andre_Alliterate said on December 25th, 2008 at 4:05 am

Please don’t let this asshole be from L.A., please don’t let this asshole be from L.A., please don’t let this asshole be from L.A….

/checks Wikipedia

FUCK. In the words of Gob Bluth, “C’mon!”

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Kate the Short said on December 25th, 2008 at 1:35 am edit

Y’all are going to be shocked, but with MANY MANY MANY caveats, I have to say that I partially agree with him.

I was actually thinking about this earlier. I’d had this dicussion with my mom, of all people, when I was in high school at a Lutheran Youth Gathering. My first instinct was that it was rapist bullshit.

My mom actually took the other approach for a few minutes, and we talked about it. The point ending up that there’s a difference between “not really in the mood right now” and “no way in hell right now.” In the first case, one person is technically able to be convinced. It’s more of a matter of whether or not the person wants to make time to make love with the other person.

When your life gets really busy, especially once you have kids, it gets difficult to carve that time out. It’s easy to put off things that need to be done. And maintaining a physical relationship is one of those things that needs to be done. [nb– my mom also told me stories about the neighbors locking their kids out of the house, after calling mom and another neighbor first, just so they could have time to have sex without being bothered!]

So, my guess is that he’s not talking about the typical happy marriage that’s working fine, where *both* partners feel like they’re having enough sex on a regular enough basis. My guess is that he’s talking about the type of marriage where the sex just really isn’t happening anymore.

If this was Dan Savage talking – as he has many times – about the need for regular sexual intimacy that satisfies all parties in a relationship, I’d buy that explanation in a heartbeat. But it isn’t Dan Savage; it’s Dennis Prager, a right-wing nutjob, and the repeated generalizations and stereotypes in his article which just aren’t true reinforce my argument that this is Asshole Town talking, not Clumsy Speaker With A Heart Of Gold-Ville.

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mygif

I agree- I think most of you are being silly or overreacting. Something that conveniently didn’t show up on your list of quotes:

“Of course, there are times when a man must simply refrain from initiating sex out of concern for his wife’s physical or emotional condition. And then there are men for whom sex rarely has anything to do with making love or whose frequency of demands are excessive. (What “excessive” means ought to be determined by the couple before the refusals begin, or continue.)”

He’s really not saying that being a good wife means being a mindless sex receptacle or that men are Neanderthals.

Also- if you’re going to bring up something that genuinely makes you angry, fine. If you’re going to mock some funny-lookin’ old guy- well, this is a humor blog. But ridiculing an (older) person’s ability to give sex advice based on their looks just makes you look really, really stupid. Good sex is only for beautiful young people? What the hell, seriously.

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mygif

Silly me! Here I was thinking that my boyfriend and I express our love for each other through mutual respect, admiration, and support, and, you know, having sex whenever we both feel like it and not having sex when one or both of us don’t.

Hear hear!

I mean what, Dennis, sometimes you’re just obligated to acquiesce to sex when it’s going to be lousy or even miserable for you? Well, you’re the “expert”…

(Seriously, I don’t think that’s even what most people who are into BDSM believe.)

I like how when a woman doesn’t want to have sex, she’s selfish and mean, but when a man wants less sex than his wife does, it’s TOTALLY DIFFERENT, YOU GUYS.

I hear ya, Laura. I mean I am a man and I know that I am therefore expected to want to fuck all the time, but I don’t. Like if I’m tired of if I’m not feeling well or if I’ve just tripped and fallen onto a doorknob ‘nads first or whatever.

If you take this view to the logical extreme, does that make BDSM the ultimate expression of trust and affection?

Actually, it is arguably the ultimate expression of trust, NCallahan, but not because it’s anything like Prager describes. It’s basically “I know that this person won’t do anything to me that I’ll hate or that is abusive, even though I’m allowing myself to be put in a position where they could.” Which comes after getting to know the person really well and establishing that level of trust (if the people involved are smart), and also learning about one another and learning what kinds of things your partner likes and what kinds of things they don’t. Plus, there are safewords, so that if you’ve reached your limit with…well, whatever…you can let the other person know and they will stop.

Whereas what Prager is saying is more along the lines of “women should spread their legs any time their man asks them to, whether they feel like it or not.” That’s apparently without any regard to their desires, their likes, their boundaries.

…rejection of sex should happen infrequently.

I hate to agree with him about anything, but this part doesn’t seem like complete bullshit. If you’re in a relationship where sex is being rejected all the time, then you should give serious consideration to seeing other people.

A woman who’s not “in the mood” has sex anyway, out of love for her husband

A man who isn’t “in the mood”, spends hours talking to his wife about the problems her family is going through, supports her as she talks to him about the way it makes her feel and encourages her to make a good choice, because he loves her.

I don’t know if women are that averse to sex, Exar. I mean I’m not exactly Gene Simmons or Wilt Chamberlain, but I’m experienced enough to know firsthand that there are plenty of women who do enjoy sex, shockingly.

I think that on average men are hornier creatures, but it’s not as though sex for women is always “Oh I don’t really enjoy this all that much, but I’ll put up with it so that later he’ll put up with listening to me talk about emotional stuff later.”

If you love somebody then yes, you ought to sometimes do things for them that don’t thrill you. BUT. There’s a big difference between doing something for your S.O. because you genuinely want to make their day a little easier or better, and doing it because you see it as an unpleasant chore you feel obligated to go through with. Prager appears to be saying that the latter is what women ought to do, and that’s not something I agree with.

If this was Dan Savage talking – as he has many times – about the need for regular sexual intimacy that satisfies all parties in a relationship, I’d buy that explanation in a heartbeat. But it isn’t Dan Savage; it’s Dennis Prager, a right-wing nutjob…

MGK, for a moment I confused Dan Savage with Michael Savage and was stuck in a WTF feedback loop. “Savage ISN’T a right-wing nutjob?”

Then my brain self-repaired and I thought “Oh, DAN Savage…the guy who made ‘Santorum’ into a word…yes, Bird is right, Dan Savage is not a right-wing nutjob.”

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mygif

From a few comments up:

“A wife choosing to have sex with her husband when she doesn’t especially feel like it is completely different from a person forcing themselves on another.”

The operative word is CHOICE. Being told that it’s essentially my DUTY to have sex WHEN I DON’T ESPECIALLY FEEL LIKE IT (read: when I don’t want to) expressly takes choice OUT of the equation.

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mygif

A man who isn’t “in the mood”, spends hours talking to his wife about the problems her family is going through, supports her as she talks to him about the way it makes her feel and encourages her to make a good choice, because he loves her.

Yes, because nodding in a vague way is exactly the same as having a penis shoved inside you against your will. Won’t someone please think of the millions of men who are conversationally raped every day by their brutal and uncaring misandrist wives.

I’m not even touching the problem you have understanding that if you marry someone you should probably care about their thoughts and feelings slightly more than some random volunteer at the samaritan’s suicide hotline. “Fuck, is she complaining about her stressful life AGAIN!? Fuck’s sake, I have a stressful life and I merely repress it until I become a huge man shaped ball of rage that forces my wife to have really awkward and unsatisfying sex with me night after night. sheesh is she still talking? ‘wah wah wah my mother died wah wah wah’. Pussy.”

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mygif

Yes, because nodding in a vague way is exactly the same as having a penis shoved inside you against your will.

I don’t think anybody’s advocating rape, Fred. What they do seem to be saying is that women ought to let men have sex with them whenever they man wants to or at least almost every time the man wants to.

So it’s the difference between “having a penis shoved inside you against your will” and “being guilted into reluctantly letting the guy shove his penis into you.” Neither should be done, but the former’s worse than the latter.

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mygif

The theoretical guys should just cultivate gay friends. Doesn’t the stereotype say we’re all ready to go with anyone at any time anyways?

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mygif

So if you were in bed with a close friend of yours, and they suddenly turned to you and said “Rob, we’ve been friends a long time, we’ve been there for each other for years and supported each other when we were having bad times and had fun during the good times, but right now I’m going to stick my penis into you and you’re not allowed to refuse or stop me because otherwise you’re a terrible friend and not really a man.”

Remember that you’ve not actually allowed, according to Prager, to in anyway stop or refuse your friend’s sexual advances because of that one time you declared that he was your best mate ever and the two of you fistbumped. What is the resulting unwanted sexual act called?

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mygif

I’m not even touching the problem you have understanding that if you marry someone you should probably care about their thoughts and feelings slightly more than some random volunteer at the samaritan’s suicide hotline.

How in the world do you get that out of what I said? And nodding vaguely? How is that emotional support for my wife?

I’m an active listener, which means asking questions, paying close attention, and doing my very best to understand the situations we talk about and offer the best support and counsel that I can. Why? Because my wife’s happiness is the world to me.

But you know what? Her emotional needs aren’t always convenient. Sometimes, I’ve got plans to go hang out with the guys, or I’m in a WoW raid, I’m simply tired, or I’m trying to do homework, maybe I just got off work and just want to relax.

The point isn’t that it’s exactly the same as having sex when you don’t especially want to, but it’s an act of personal service that entails a bit of sacrifice. Of course I care about my wife’s feelings, deeply. But I do have things I’d kinda rather be doing. But she comes first.

All this guy is saying, is that wives might wanna put their husbands first sometimes, rather than blowing him off cause they don’t really feel like having sex.

He is not saying that men should pressure their wives into sex (that being spousal rape). Nor is he saying that there is no excuse to reject sex. He’s saying it shouldn’t be a habit, and you should really have a good reason, if you want a happy marriage. Why is that shocking?

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mygif

I’m amazed at the trivialization of rape that you always see from earnest university students. Being talked into sex that you freely consent to is not even slightly the same as being raped, regardless of whatever bullshit they’re serving up in your women’s studies class this particular week.

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mygif

“I’m amazed at the trivialization of rape that you always see from earnest university students. Being talked into sex that you freely consent to is not even slightly the same as being raped, regardless of whatever bullshit they’re serving up in your women’s studies class this particular week.”

Being told that a marriage liscense means that my husband has on demand access to my body, and that refusal isn’t an option… what do you call that?

No, he’s not advocating holding a woman down and beating her into submission. But coersion into giving up control of your body, that’s so much better?

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mygif

I *am* surprised that nobody on the “a woman should be able to be convinced into sex even when she doesn’t feel like it” camp has suggested/clarified that it doesn’t have to be penetrative sex every time. It’d probably relax the debate, and it’s a compromise I see as completely reasonable and devotedly subscribe to.

I’ve expressed my feelings on the presumption, though, that Prager isn’t talking about anything less than intercourse.

Will: (Recent graduate, art history/classics major here; does that qualify me to speak?). I don’t know if you’ve ever let your caring, loving boyfriend fuck you after you decided it was something you could just “do” for him, but it feels amazingly wrong.

Maybe it’s just me … but it only takes a moment for me before I start feeling deeply uneasy, then scared, and then downright terrified.

Maybe I’m just crazy (although if anybody is assuming I have some past traumatic experience, they’re incorrect). Or maybe it’s knowing that unless he had chosen to stop when I asked him to (which, of course, he did), there was no real way for me to stop him, because he’s stronger and bigger than I am.

You could say that maybe I should just realize that sex I don’t particularly want with my boyfriend is quite different from sex I don’t particularly want from any stranger is not the same, but I don’t see why I have to.

Also, gents, I’ve had to listen to your boring prattle too (my god, you, like women, have also interests and expound upon them, expecting me to care!) and pretend I’m interested, so I can confidently say that nodding and asking pertinent questions is somewhat different.

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mygif

And Exar: I don’t know how to tell you this, but if my boyfriend cared about me in every way BUT refused to have sex with me (which comments on my physical attractiveness, my sex appeal, which appear to be things women almost neurotically worry about), I’d feel incredibly shitty regardless of how many hours he spent listening to me gibber.

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Craig Oxbrow said on December 25th, 2008 at 3:59 pm

Can we just skip the mocking and break out the pitchforks?

(… Merry Christmas!)

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mygif

People, he’s talking about marriages, so any of you spouting gibberish about your boyfriends / girlfriends are not in the group he is speaking to. Furthermore, calling the persuasion of a spouse to have sex with you rape is over the line.

Merry Christmas, I guess. :(

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mygif

at Qseal00

Yeah because a piece of legal paper and some I do I do church bullshit makes a relationship that fundamentally different. Sorry, I don’t buy that line. And this is from someones whose been married 10 years. This is about more than spousal issues, it is about Pragers prick mindset that women should accept mans need and urges. The same mindset that created ye old laws of a man cannot rape his wife (or in Tennesse, a man can only rape his wife if he uses a weapon).

It isn’t over the line at all, it depends on what type of persuasion is used. It toes a line, it toes a damn fine line. It tip toes back and forth and can cross the line and come back. Sure sometimes it might be sweet nothings and slight begging. Sometimes it’s guilt trips etc, but in any case, it’s not taking the general rule/perception that no means no.

While Prager is a douche, the left out parts of the quote shows he is not as big of a douche as I thought (in this case). But in the end he is still arguing that the mans needs are king.

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mygif

Commenting a second time, because people seem to be missing the point a lot.

There’s a difference between having sex when you know you aren’t going to get off, and performing sex acts other than intercourse because you’re not into intercourse but still want to express affection for your partner. There’s a difference between getting your partner off because you love them and want to do stuff for them and what Prager is advocating, which is the idea that a husband owns his wife’s body and should be allowed to do whatever he wants with it whenever he wants to.

There is a difference between consensual acts between partners that serve one person more than the other, and coercing an unwilling person into having sex with you because it’s their “duty”. The former is an expression of affection that is freely given and graciously accepted. The latter is creepy and disgusting, and doesn’t allow for something to be freely given because it doesn’t really allow for the other person to say “no” without guilt.

Incidentally, I am also really sick of the assumption that men and women view and experience sex in such fundamentally different ways. How is emotional support the same thing as fucking? And what the fuck is up with comparing this to BDSM? BDSM is a consensual thing.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE.

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mygif

Remember that you’ve not actually allowed, according to Prager, to in anyway stop or refuse your friend’s sexual advances because of that one time you declared that he was your best mate ever and the two of you fistbumped. What is the resulting unwanted sexual act called?

It’s called something that doesn’t happen.

I’d say “Yeah, I don’t think so. You can’t just go sticking your dick into my ass like that and expect me to go along with it. I mean at the very least you could ask nicely.”

Then maybe he’d say “But Dennis Prager said that you weren’t allowed to say no!”

And I’d say “Well, Dennis Prager is a moron, and what he says doesn’t matter.”

On top of that, I just looked at what Prager wrote–the whole thing, in case there was a relevant quote I didn’t see in MGK’s post–and nowhere do I see him saying that women should be deprived of the right to say no. I see him saying that women should almost never say no, and that if they say no then they’re bad wives, and that’s idiotic and offensive. But it is not the same as saying that women should not have a certain right.

So in your hypothetical my supposed best friend might go on to say “Well, if you don’t do it then you’re a bad friend and you don’t really care about me.”

And I would say “I’m a horrible friend and I don’t care about you then.”

Now if he went on to say “well I’m going to fuck you anyway” and overpowered me and fucked me, THEN it’d be rape.

And what the fuck is up with comparing this to BDSM? BDSM is a consensual thing.

I know that Laura, and I’m sorry if it seemed I were saying otherwise at any point. When I originally mentioned it I said “Seriously, I don’t think that’s even what most people who are into BDSM believe.” I know enough about BDSM to say that there is no one type of BDSM relationship, because some people are more into bondage than pain, or the dom has more power in one relationship than another, etc.

Usually, the sub’s got the final say in what happens and what doesn’t, and will make it known if things are progressing in a way that makes them so uncomfortable that they want to stop. However, that’s not always the case. I know that some subs actually do pretty much what Prager is saying women in general should do here; they do whatever they’re told regardless of how they feel about it, because that’s the kind of BDSM relationship they decided they wanted and they actually do put their dom’s wishes above their own. Whether that’s right or wrong, going too far or not, is something to talk to actual people who do that about. But the point is that sometimes in some people’s BDSM relationships, one partner’s wishes are given a higher priority than the other’s by mutual agreement.

When I originally mentioned BDSM and said “I don’t think that’s even what most people who are into BDSM believe,” what I meant was “What Prager is saying it stupid, because not even a submissive person who wants to please their dom and tries their very best to do so is not going to agree to do anything their dom wants, anytime, under any circumstances, no matter what. They have limits, and sometimes they exercise their right to say no.” So even in relationships where there is an exchange of power, where one partner gives up control, they don’t give up as much control or freedom as Prager is saying married women should here.

When I responded to NCallahan, I wasn’t sure what he meant when he said “If you take this view to the logical extreme, does that make BDSM the ultimate expression of trust and affection?” But in my response I don’t believe I said anything that could be taken to mean “BDSM relationships are by their nature non-consensual and/or abusive,” and if I did then I apologize.

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mygif

Okay… I was going to just leave this and not comment again. But now I’m commenting again. Goddamn it, this thing is getting the better of me!

Is Prager explicitly stating that woman can never say no? Perhaps not technically. However. Suggesting that a wife ought not refuse sex, really shouldn’t refuse sex, etc, is a soft way of making the same point. “Well, yeah, honey you CAN say no, but REALLY, you SHOULDN’T.”

And that’s the issue. Making it a wife’s duty to be an on demand sex provider is the issue.

Because it takes away the right for a woman to have complete control of her body. Her role as a wife, then, demands that she comply with her husbands desire all the time no matter what.

That’s NOT the same as a woman DECIDING for herself that: “well, I’m reading the paper and this article is really interesting and actually I’m kinda lazy and the couch is comfy but he’s whispering dirty suggerstions in my ear and he seems to really be in the mood and, oh what the hell, okay, let’s have some sex.”

That’s different. That’s called real life, and a relationship, and, you know, ACTUAL CHOICE. It isn’t: “well, I’m reading the paper and this article is really interesting and actually I’m kinda lazy and the couch is comfy but he’s whispering dirty suggerstions in my ear and he seems to really be in the mood and, it’s my role as a wife to fulfill all of his sexual desires when he wants it no matter how I’m feeling at the moment, so I guess it’s time for the sex again…”

See the difference? It might look like a small difference, but it’s actually a BIG difference.

(Also, the idea that for a woman sex always equals LOVE and for a man sex is a biological NEED is total crap. And it’s this nonsense that allows for these kinds of arguements to be presented as sounding “reasonable”. Newsflash, Mr. Prager: For both men and woman, sex can be an expression of love. For both men and woman, sex can be just sex. For both men and women it’s a biological drive.)

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mygif

See the difference? It might look like a small difference, but it’s actually a BIG difference.

Absolutely, it IS a big difference and women should not be made to feel that it is their duty to let their husband have sex whenever he wants, that their feelings don’t matter. They are people, and their feelings certainly DO matter, and they should not feel pressure to do something they don’t want to. Nobody has the right to apply that pressure.

As bad as that is, though…I don’t know if it’s accurate to call it rape.

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mygif
Fred Davis said on December 25th, 2008 at 9:40 pm

I don’t know if it’s accurate to call it rape.

And accuracy is very important, because you know who the real rape-advocates are? People who aren’t accurate.

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mygif

How did I get to be the bad guy here? You’re acting like I think this douche Prager is right, when nothing could be further from the truth.

All I’m saying is let’s keep things in perspective. There’s a difference between him saying “women, let your husband have sex with you even if it makes you miserable because that’s your wifely duty” and saying “men, don’t take no for an answer, have sex with your wife even if she says no.” The former is sexist but won’t result in anything bad happening unless the women he’s saying it to actually take it as gospel (which they hopefully will not). The latter is telling people to assault their wives.

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mygif

y’know, as much as I like Korean food, I wouldn’t have a problem not eating rice and kimchi four or five times a week. I’m usually not in the mood for Korean food, but my wife is Korean and she likes to have Korean food when she comes home from work so even if I’m in the mood for a steak or Mexican food or spaghetti, 70-80% of the time I’m sharing a Korean meal with her. I do that because I love her and I care about her and I will do anything in my power to make her happy and if that means rice and kimchi most of the time, rice and kimchi it is.

It’s called being a loving spouse.

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mygif

I don’t think anybody’s saying that you shouldn’t do things for your spouse even if it sometimes gets on your nerves, buzz.

But using the food analogy, if you got so sick of Korean food that you said “Can we have something non-Korean tonight?”, and cooked yourself a steak or something to eat if she refused to make anything non-Korean, that wouldn’t make you a bad spouse. It would just mean that you didn’t want to eat the same thing every night and that you can’t reasonably be expected to put another person’s wishes first all of the time.

And you’ve got a right to have the final say on what you put into your body and what you don’t, and when. Which is the same reason why it’s wrong for Prager to tell women to make their husband’s sexual fulfillment their #1 priority all of the time (or 95% of the time or whatever), no matter how it makes them feel.

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mygif

Rob, we are in agreement, and I think that is what Prager is saying, too. What Prager is talking about is the spouse — not the casual dating acquaintence — who adamantly refuses to have rice and kimchi ever, not one who doesn’t care for it but agrees to have a Korean meal every so often.

And I don’t think Prager is talking about instant gratification, either. I think anyone is within their right to say “no rice or kimchi for me right now, thank you” so long as rice and kimchi is not taken off the table, so to speak.

“I’m not in the mood for rice and kimchi now” does not preclude “we can have rice and kimchi this weekend.”

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Fred Davis said on December 26th, 2008 at 4:32 pm

Well actually Prager states that men are instictively requiring of kim chi on a constant basis and that it is beholden of a wife to provide kim chi should he profess any vague urge for it – even if he point blank says that he only wants kim chi if she is also in the mood for kim chi, because lies and emotional self-mutilation are what makes good marriages work – otherwise both he and the marriage will suffer VIOLENT AND PAINFUL KIM CHI RELATED BLUE BALLS and he will then be forced to aquire kim chi by any other means neccesary and it will totally be the wife’s fault for him doing so.

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mygif

I know the post-modern world would like to view marriage as identical to friends-with-benefits, but it’s not, Fred. A marriage involves commitment and reciprocal duties and responsibilities and rights. There’s nothing wrong with a sexless marriage so long as both parties know and agree sex will not be part of the marriage prior to exchanging vows; likewise should illness, injury, or other trauma make sex impossible after the wedding, the healthy spouse is supposed to buck up and take it like an adult, loving and supporting the debilitated spouse even though marital relations are out. That is Prager’s position on the matter.

However, it is the norm by custom that both spouses are entitled to marital relations and if either spouse is capable of participating in such relations, it is their duty and right to find a way of doing so at a time and manner mutually agreeable to both.

This does not mean they are required to perform at the drop of an undergarment or that they can’t defer relations until later. It does say that the relations can not be indefinitely denied without good cause, which can be for reason of mental or physical health.

Yes, a spouse is not obliged to immediately have marital relations with the other spouse whenever asked. A spouse is not required to talk to the other spouse either if they are not so inclined. Stop talking to your (rhetorical) spouse and see how long it takes to wind up in divorce court.

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mygif

Well, I do think this guy is kind of a douche, but he’s not entirely wrong. If one person in a relationship is consistently shooting down the other person for sex, it’s going to hurt the relationship. I don’t think either person is obligated to have sex, but if you just don’t want to have sex with them a great deal of the time you may want to reconsider why you are in that relationship.

So kind of a dick, yeah, rapist, no.

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mygif

So kind of a dick, yeah, rapist, no.

That’s about how I see it, except he’s also a sexist dick because his position appears to be that what the man wants is more important than what the woman wants (in this case the man’s desire to have sex is more important than the woman’s desire not to). He thinks women ought to accept this fact (that he made up) and quit getting crazy ideas about marriages being equal partnerships.

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mygif

God. Okay. I have to stop commenting on this thread.

“All I’m saying is let’s keep things in perspective. There’s a difference between him saying “women, let your husband have sex with you even if it makes you miserable because that’s your wifely duty” and saying “men, don’t take no for an answer, have sex with your wife even if she says no.” The former is sexist but won’t result in anything bad happening unless the women he’s saying it to actually take it as gospel (which they hopefully will not). The latter is telling people to assault their wives.”

About the nothing bad will happen unless the women take the statement as gospel and hopefully they will not bit: yeah. But a critique of an argument ought not be predicated upon “well, that would be TERRIBLE, but as long as people don’t listen to it we’re all okay.” Obviously I hope people don’t listen to it. It’s fairly unlikely that all of a sudden the majority of the western world will take up this douche’s views as doctrine. Thank god. But a critique of an argument should be on the argument’s own merits. So, I question his reasoning AS IF what he’s saying ought to be, actually came to be. What kind of a world is it that he is proposing? And then I say why that is bullshit.

Now, critiquing what he says OUGHT to be from the position of what the world will look like if his OUGHT becomes IS… the idea that “it’s not rape because she didn’t say “no”” becomes a bit of a hollow argument.

In a world where it is the wife’s duty to be on-demand sex provider, regardless of her own feelings in the matter, no isn’t an option. When you take the POSSIBILITY of “no” out of the equation, you also take away the possibility of “yes”. she cannot consent, she cannot decline. So, what is sex, for her, then?

Let’s not forget, that for a long time there WAS no such thing as “rape” within a marriage. Why? Because Prager’s opinion WAS the common one. Sex was a DUTY. A woman ought never say no to her husband, so, a man CAN’T rape his wife, because he is just recieving/having/taking/forcing what is rightfully his.

When “no” doesn’t matter, are you going to scream it at the top of your lungs? Some people might, some people might think that it’s futile.

NOW, to the people sho think I’m therefore saying that in a modern marriage the persuasion of a partner to have sex with you is rape… no, I am definitely not. Because it’s not rape. Obviously. And I would never argue that it is. And obviously, in real-life modern marriages, sex is an important part, and if EITHER partner is CONSTANTLY refusing sex… then your marriage has some major issues. That’s not what I’m talking about either.

But, if we look at the system that Prager is setting up… what is consent, if sex within marriage is, for a woman, a duty? An obligation? An unconditional requirement? What does “no” mean in a system where “no” isn’t an option?

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mygif

Bea, show me anywhere in Prager’s article, or in my comment, where it’s stated or even implied that “a marriage license means that my husband has on demand access to my body, and that refusal isn’t an option”. You can’t because it never happened except in your head. So by all means, continue to argue with yourself. You might even win.

Gloria, there’s been times I haven’t been in the mood myself. I’m usually open to being convinced otherwise, particularly if my lady’s need for intimacy is strong. But certainly I’d never consider sex if myself or my partner was “uneasy, then scared, and then downright terrified”. That calls for a cuddle, or just leaving someone the hell alone if that’s what he or she wishes. If you think I’m arguing against 100% mutual consent, you’re wrong. And I don’t think Prager is arguing against that either. I think he’s a colossal dickhead for a dozen other reasons, but I think he’s being attacked unfairly with the “marital rape” stuff. And I don’t think people should cheapen the word “rape” just to make rhetorical points.

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mygif

I honestly hadn’t looked at it that way, Bea, and you’ve given me a lot to think about.

The one thing I don’t have to think about is this: if our society changed into one where women were actually expected to behave the way Prager says they should…then yes, that would be terrible.

@Will: Unless I missed something, Prager doesn’t go so far as to say that refusal should never be an option, but he does say that it shouldn’t happen very often. Which seems to be sort of the same as saying “if you turn down your husband then you had better have a damned good reason, otherwise you are a bad wife.” Now if that was how the majority of people in society thought, then it is very possible that women would submit to certain things that were unpleasant for them out of societal pressure, and that raises the question of whether there can be real consent if there’s that kind of pressure on them.

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mygif

Will– you’re right, Prager never explicitly said that. I’m taking his argument to it’s logical conclusion, or it’s logical extreme, if you will.

If a woman really ought not refuse her husband sex, based on her “mood”, then it seems to me to suggest that part of her role as a wife is to provide her husband with sex, whether she particularly feels like it or not. I think this is a troubling sentiment, and expanding upon it (and I am expanding– you’re right to suggest I am, and I fully admit it), I think that we get into a whole world of trouble.

So, no, Prager does not explicitly state a lot of the things that I am taking out of his argument. But I think the seeds of these next steps are certainly there, and I don’t think it’s an inconcievable leap to go from the one to the other. In fact, I think it’s disturbingly easy, which is why I’ve reacted so strongly against it.

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