A Married Persons Guide to Sex
Sex outside marriage is prohibited both by the church and by law. However within marriage sex is to be encouraged, the church maintains that sex within marriage is best reserved for the procreation of children but all sensible people acknowledge that sufficient sex is required for good health in both men and women. The remedy for Hysteria or Greensickness is almost always marriage and the marriage bed.
The shape of men’s reproductive parts is well known. They are carried outside the body to keep them cool, as men are by their nature hot, having much of the sanguine or blood humour. This is also the cause of their virility. Thus a man who lacks in sexual passion should eat well of foods with the blood humour such as beef and red wine. The right testicle produces hotter and therefore male seed as it receives the more pure and vital blood from the hollow vein and great artery than the left which produces the female seed. A woman’s reproductive parts are hidden inside her body as women are cooler and moister in their nature than men and thus both weaker in mind and in body. Hence they are often called the weaker vessel. However in shape they are the same as men’s. The right side of the womb is more receptive to the male seed and the left to the female.
A husband’s duties
Both men and women produce seed and as the man must be full of lust before he can release his seed so too must the woman. When the two seeds mingle a child is conceived. The womb itself is hungry for offspring and when a woman is in the height of passion the neck of the womb will reach down, suck up the man’s seed, and close tight to hold it in whilst the two seeds mingle. Therefore it beholds a husband to be sure that his wife takes pleasure in the marriage bed so that she may conceive. But her husband must be sure to caress her beforehand, nor must he withdraw too quickly for fear that the seed will catch cold. It is well for a man to pay much attention to those parts that lie at the entrance, indeed “there are some lascivious women who by friction of this part, receive so great pleasure, that they do not care for men.” If a couple are barren and there is no apparent physical barrier, then their childlessness must come from the woman’s lack of passion or their failure to time their pleasure so that it occurs together.
As the womb lies in a direct line from a woman’s parts, sex should occur when she is in a straight position to allow the seed a direct path and if a male child is desired then upon the right side. If a man does not release his seed often enough, once a week* is thought well, then it will go stale inside him and injure his health. Nor should he waste his seed or spend it too often as this can weaken him. For the woman, regular sex is also healthy. The female seed must also be spent regularly and not retained within the body. Many illnesses in women, especially those of the mind, are caused or increased by insufficient sex or unfulfilled desire. It is of course well known that women are more lustful than men are. (* modern research indicates that 6 times a week, with one day of rest, is preferable – Ed.)
Written by Ruth Goodman, 2003