Okay, I've been doing a thing called Random Hite Report. Sometimes it's from The Hite Report on Female Sexuality and sometimes it's from The Hite Report on Male Sexuality. Both simply ask intimate detailed questions of its participants, and we hear their story in their own words. I think that they are both amazingly insightful and important works, but I have a special love for the male version.
Maybe it's because the female version gets most of the attention - granted, it was the first one; the really, head exploding, groundbreaking one, and the one that really made the point that our culture is just plain ignorant about the physical nature of female orgasm. Believe me, I'm so very much behind all that, and thankful for Shere Hite's efforts. I just always like to root for the underdog, and the male version is just that. It seems like it wouldn't be that interesting. I mean, men, sex - we get it, right? Ah, but you are wrong. This book will pull you in. It is so very human and raw. As much insight as the female version had into aspects of female sexuality that our society ignores or misunderstands, the male version has that too. It's just often different aspects than the lady stuff. It also is an incredible snapshot of men of a certain period in our history. These are men smack dab in the middle of all the cultural changes that accompanied the sexual, civil rights, and women's revolutions, and we are hearing their intimate thoughts about the most intimate parts of their lives. I just think it's beautiful and touching. It's not all pretty, but nothing that's real ever is.
Anyway - in this series, I just flip to one page and then copy it directly into this blog. This particular page is from the chapter "Relationships With Women" in the section "Do Men Like Being Married?" and in the subsection "What were some basic reasons men gave for wanting to stay married or for liking marriage?" Enjoy.
p. 209 The Hite Report on Male Sexuality by Shere Hite
Alfred A. Knoff. NY. 1981
...the friendship, having someone special to love. It's fun, healthful, and keeps things in perspective. It softens difficult times. It is nice to be wanted and needed."
"Yes, I like marriage. I need and depend upon a wife, good or bad."
"Yes, I need another person to bounce my deeper feelings off of."
"I love being married. Having a life partner is exciting, fulfilling, and comforting."
"I like being married. My wife is my backbone in my business. She takes care of everyday problems that i do not want to handle. She is a very good mother to my children, even though she does not turn me on sexually anymore."
Having people around you who love you is a very secure feeling. I love my wife and children and they love me."
"Home serves as a 'secure' base of operation, a place where I can be me, a place I can always come back to, and a place where I can share my successes and failures. Of course it's a give-and-take process, and much of the importance is my part in listening to my wife."
"It's the best arrangement for maintaining security, sanity, child raising, and economic well-being."
"Most times I like being married (married thirteen years.) Why? Because it it physically and psychologically stabilizing."
"I like marriage because there's a sense of family and permanence most of the time."
"I am married because I like the companionship it provides, I usually like being around and talking with my wife, it seems to be a sound financial arrangement, and it is usually a convenient sexual arrangement."
"The most important thing about our relationship is the stability we have because of our affiliation. Being married is good for both of us."
Many men stressed the aspect of security: "Sixteen years. I am happily married and think it is the greatest. I have one partner ready to do anything for me, whom I so deeply love. I know she will be there so long as we both live. It gives me a great feeling of personal security."
"Twenty years. I am married for the security it gives, the pleasure, and the convenience. A framework to live my life in."
"Twenty -nine and a half years. Marriage is restrictive in one sense, but gives a secure feeling in another."
"I've been married thirteen years. I like being committed to one person. It gives me a good feeling and I feel secure about at least one part of my life."
"I have been married almost twenty-four years. I like it. The sense of family community is one of the cornerstones of my life."
"I've been married six months. I like being married. I like to share my days with someone and to share her days with her. I like to have someone to make long plans with and to look forward with someone to fulfilling those plans. I...."