Get PJ Media on your Apple

PJM Lifestyle

Deeply Religious Marriages Are Better Than Secularist Civil Unions

White Knight? Guilty as charged. What it means to be a "Counterculture Crusader" advocating Bible-based mystical marriage as a solution to the emptiness of self-worship.

by
Dave Swindle

Bio

July 22, 2014 - 2:00 pm
Page 1 of 2  Next ->   View as Single Page

shutterstock_119848441

Dear Helen,

Thank you so much for your provocative, engaging reply to my post challenging you on the issue of who is ultimately to blame for sexless marriages:

I have a few questions for you, Dave. What if the man does all of the things you suggest such as put her in the mood, goes through all of the rituals etc. you suggest and then ends up with nothing? Then what? The man should then continue in a sexless marriage? Bask in the glow of his “self-control” as he wonders where the sex went? According to you, he alone (the loser!) is to blame. It takes two to tango, if you blame him alone for their lack of sex, you see women as having no responsibility and no agency in sex. Isn’t this a little sexist?

In framing the question this way, you’re kind of understating the degree of our disagreement. What I advocate for in my post goes far deeper than just rituals and more foreplay. I put the philosophy embedded in Shmuley Boteach’s three books on Jewish mysticism and Biblical marriage on the table. It’s not that this is just some magic trick that will result in more sex, it’s that I’m advocating that both husband and wife together choose to embrace a religious attitude toward sex and marriage instead of being secularists.

A sexless marriage is not an actual problem — it’s just one outward symptom of a deeper disease. In focusing on fixing sexlessness in a marriage we miss the source of what’s driving it. In any marriage — apart from where physical illness prevents partners from performing — when either husband or wife all of a sudden isn’t interested in sex the reason is so obvious and simple it seems silly to point it out: something else exists that is more important to them than their marriage. They have found a new idol and their devotion to it will destroy their lives as a result. They are engaged in self-sacrifice in service to their new deity.

Top Rated Comments   
"Meanwhile we should feel sorry for some guy who has to keep a spreadsheet of his failures to seduce his own wife?"

Of course not.

The wife was right to take a private communication public so she, her friends, and men with a "proper" understanding of masculinity, like yourself, can dismiss his concerns with smugness, derision, and calls to "man up."

"Man up and use your real name."

Twaddle. Print media has a long history of writers using pen names.

Further, your industry has a well-earned reputation of destroying the lives of those who publicly dissent from political correctness.

You ignore reality and perpetuate the stifling of honest speech with a comment like the one above.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Mens Rights is cute and funny?"
No, the goofy rhetoric and cultural hang-ups of some of the commenters is cute and funny. I wrote, "I think the Men’s Right’s movement’s slang is cute and funny." It's weird to think that I'd be insulted by being called a "white knight" or a "beta." Or that I'd be offended at being called a feminist. Dr. Helen writes on a lot of important issues and I agree with many of the grievances she raises and the points she makes. But it's hard to take seriously those who comment anonymously and quote Bible verses in the same comment in which I'm called a "mangina." Seriously. "Mangina." I'm supposed to be intimidated by that kind of 3rd grade playground trash talking from anonymous people? The Men's Right's movements extremists and bully commenters are a serious disservice to the legitimate points of the more reasonable advocates in the movement.

"How are we sure he's turned it into his idol?"
He's assembled a spreadsheet of every time he didn't get to have sex!
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (39)
All Comments   (39)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
Well, there are a lot of hostile and uncomprehending comments here. I just thought I'd put in my two cents and say that I enjoyed your post very much and admire your outlook. People always seem so surprised when they treat each other like objects and then find that their sex life has turned to stone.

Wendy Laubach, conservative feminist
5 weeks ago
5 weeks ago Link To Comment
If you want men to commit, women must submit.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
In short, the author is taking the long way of saying that marriage is not a useful institution for those who have no interest in religion nor do not want to have kids. This is not original insight. I'm certain he is not the first person in the world to have figured this out.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's almost as if it was created by God for those and (largely) only those purposes.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
I already said it the short way back in 2012 in a previous exchange with Dr. Helen. http://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2012/10/20/the-only-reason-why-a-man-or-a-woman-should-get-married/
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Good. Then you can stop with the promulgation of marriage as being as useful institution for people who do not want to have kids.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
When did I ever promulgate that idea?
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
You personally have not. However, there is a certain political faction in this country that does, and they are as misguided as the liberals. The notion that the individual is the owner of his/her self and life, in the Randian/Rothbardian sense, has been the foundation of my personal belief system since I was a teenager, for over 35 years. The basic problem I have with the abrahamic religions is that they do not respect this concept of individual autonomy and self-ownership, and I can never accept any such world-view, on my life and my love of it, for any reason what so ever. I believe very strongly that the world-views of libertarianism and transhumanism represent a complete philosophical framework such that they stand complete on their own. These world-views have no need for any inputs from anything like Christianity or socialism (currently the two dominate world-views in this country) because they offer a complete solution on their own.

As one of the creators of transhumanism in the late 80's, I believe far more strongly in it today than I did 25 years ago. I am pleased to see that it is successfully competing for and gaining in market-share relative to other world-views (e.g. Christianity, socialism, etc.).

I very strongly believe that transhumanism offers the ONLY salvation and the most open expansive future for the human race. I also believe that transhumanism is the ideal philosophical world-view for a sustainable technological civilization. The social conservatives who claim that Western civilization cannot survive without Christianity are as wrong-headed as the liberals who claim that global warming will wipe us out. Modern civilization does not need Chrsitianity because transhumanism is a vastly superior replacement to it.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The basic problem I have with the abrahamic religions is that they do not respect this concept of individual autonomy and self-ownership, and I can never accept any such world-view, on my life and my love of it, for any reason what so ever."

I think you're painting with way too broad a brush here. Yes, there are some religions that derive from Abraham that refuse to respect individual rights, but certainly not all.

Can we meet halfway? I very much am a Ray Kurzweil-style, overly optimistic Transhumanist who plans to live forever -http://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2014/01/29/5-realizations-upon-turning-30-today/?singlepage=true But I'm not a fan of Rand and Rothbard at all. I think they fall prey to one of the most common problems of atheism: left without a Higher Power to worship they worshipped themselves. Making the self the center of one's philosophical system has a tendency to lead to narcissism, aka self-worship. Anything can become an idol, including our own identity.

For years I've thought that Transhumanism (and its accompanying space migration) is entirely compatible with the Judeo-Christian mysticism that I've advocated. Perhaps you might have a more positive approach to religion if you considered it from a different angle? The fundamentalists hardly have a monopoly for how to read the Bible. Ever read Maimonides? The Guide of the Perplexed is all about integrating science, secular philosophy, and the Torah together.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
I agree with everything you say here except for your comments about Rand/Rothbard concept of self-ownership. Such a concept of self-ownership has been the core and foundation of my personal world-view for nearly 35 years, and I believe in it even more strongly today than I did as a teenager, when I independently came up with this idea having no previous knowledge of Rand or Rothbard (which is why I believe it to be true).

Having come of age at the end game of the Cold war, I thought often about the nature of tyranny. I concluded that the notion that the individual did not own his/her own self and life (e.g. must live by the dictates of an external agency) was the philosophical root of all tyranny. This led me to the conclusion that the commitment to liberty and individualism MUST require the rejection of the very concept of authority. This is why I came to reject and despise the abrahamic religions as strongly as I despised soviet communism, maoism, and nazism. True freedom means the individual stands alone as his/her own master, free to pursue his/her own life dreams and goals and to find fulfillment in the pursuit of such.

I believe this even more strongly today than I did in the 1980's when I came to think about this things.

You can say whatever derogatory comments you want about Rand (and some of them might even be true). However, she is one of the few philosophers in history to have said straight out that one's life, mind, and self is one's own, and that is the core of what I believe in. In essence, there is no greater private property right than the right to own one's self. I believe this to the core of my being. I will never stop believing in this.

7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
I can only imagine the shrill outrage had Mr Swindle had occasion to suggest that a jilted woman need only blame her failings as a seductress (and therefore as a wife) for her want of bedroom action.

I'd make popcorn to see that - and don't bother claiming you've ever written such a thing Swindle.

Mr Swindle takes issue with Mr Publicly Cuckholded having demonstrated his dissatisfaction by use of a spreadsheet.
That wasn't very seductive, I'll agree, but it's unlikely the man - at the point he produced and delivered the spreadsheet - was under any delusion concerning the probability of success should he employ Swindle's form of woman worship he conveniently alludes to as "seduction skill".

If Mr Swindle wants to play the game of one-upsmanship and still come off as sincere and religious, he'd be better of telling us to be sure the women you intend to marry actually likes you and tends to be horny.
He'd have a point then.

From his bio (brief as it is) it's obvious that Swindle is quite young and not particularly qualified to speak on marriage or sexuality with authority.

Swindle, I'm not an elderly man, but I am old enough to have seen the sexual appetite scales go inverted in my own thirty year marriage.

As a young man, it was (or so it seemed) always me who had to have "it". There weren't many times I went without , and of the times I did ("heavy days" of menstrual periods) I could tell she was eager to get back to it.
That's probably because she liked me (still does) and was horny.

As I said, the scale is now inverted.
She still gets sex three or four times a week - because I like her back, and I remember her attention to me when I was the needy one.

That's something you can only know by experience. That experience is something you should wait for before blaming some guy's lack of seduction skill for a sexless marriage.
The woman doesn't like the man, and he's going to pay for that one way or another.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hello Dave,
Bye bye.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Interesting, you say you champion religious marriage and find the lack of sex the husband's fault.

In a weird bit of symmetry yesterday's Epistle reading for the Orthodox was as follows:

1 Corinthians 6:20-7:12 (Epistle)

20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

1 Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.

2 Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband.

3 Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband.

4 The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.

5 Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

6 But I say this as a concession, not as a commandment.

7 For I wish that all men were even as I myself. But each one has his own gift from God, one in this manner and another in that.

8 But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am;

9 but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

10 Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband.

11 But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife.

12 But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her.


It sounds to that in putting "Biblical marriage on the table" claiming "A sexless marriage is not an actual problem" is incorrect. At least in part a function of marriage is to provide resistance to the temptation of fornication. Abstention "except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer" is a danger to that function.

Perhaps Jews, Catholics, or Protestants (I assume given your championing of Biblical marriage you're one of those. I'm not assuming Orthodox as you wrote this the day after the reading I just quoted and would have defended against it having just read it) consider watching "Friends" a form of fasting or prayer. I feel relatively safe in saying the Orthodox do not.

The only deeper issue we absolutely know is the incredible disrespect for the privacy of this marriage and for her husband the wife holds. How do we know this? Her reaction is to air her dirty laundry on the Internet in a search for allies. That doesn't sound very Blblical to me but perhaps you can show me which of the Prophets, which of the Disciples, or where God himself (as the Father in the Old Testament or the Son or Holy Spirit in the New) said such was proper behavior for a bride or bridegroom.

Oh, and for the "man up and use your real name" comment:

Herbert H. Nowell.

herb DOT nowell AT google's mail service.

So, got those verses or do you just kiss ass in hopes of getting pussy?
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Pagan Christians? Seriously? Is that what Jews are calling us these days?
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm not Jewish. And that is what I call Christians who choose to embrace their religion's Pagan roots with more intensity than their Jewish roots.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Meanwhile we should feel sorry for some guy who has to keep a spreadsheet of his failures to seduce his own wife?"

Of course not.

The wife was right to take a private communication public so she, her friends, and men with a "proper" understanding of masculinity, like yourself, can dismiss his concerns with smugness, derision, and calls to "man up."

"Man up and use your real name."

Twaddle. Print media has a long history of writers using pen names.

Further, your industry has a well-earned reputation of destroying the lives of those who publicly dissent from political correctness.

You ignore reality and perpetuate the stifling of honest speech with a comment like the one above.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
"when either husband or wife all of a sudden isn’t interested in sex the reason is so obvious and simple it seems silly to point it out: something else exists that is more important to them than their marriage."

That's a rather simplistic conclusion. There can be all sorts of reasons for little or no sex including health issues, depression, exhaustion & lack of interest. #Occam'srazor
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Why did you ignore the first half of the sentence that you quoted?

Here's the whole sentence I wrote: "In any marriage — apart from where physical illness prevents partners from performing — when either husband or wife all of a sudden isn’t interested in sex the reason is so obvious and simple it seems silly to point it out: something else exists that is more important to them than their marriage."
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
I should have been more clear. Sorry. I was objecting to your observation that "something else exists that is more important to them than their marriage," & I should have just focused on that. You make it sound as if it's the case that if there is either infrequent or no sex involved, that the marriage isn't that important. Why is it automatically a given that sex must be a feature of the marriage in order for it to be where you think it should be? Surely you have heard "different strokes for different folks." What is important to you may not be so to someone else. Remember too, as a man you are not affected by hormone levels in the same way that women are. Yes, there are remedies for that but they only go so far.

It just isn't the case that sex absolutely has to be there in order for a couple to be happily married. It's all according to all the dynamics that come into play on a number of different levels. Perhaps you should read up on asexuality; it's out there. And it's an observation from many sources out there that for most couples, sex becomes more infrequent as they age, so perhaps it not so much a matter that something else is more important in the marriage but the notion that the sex becomes less important.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'd say in large cases sex has to be there to add to the harmony of a happy marriage.

Yes it's true that as people age the sex drive lessens but for those decades that it's still there, I can't imagine men in particular being totally fine with a wife that's generally disinterested in sex.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
I agree with that but to say as Dave has done that a sudden loss of interest in sex necessarily means the marriage is not as important is simply misguided, IMO.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
I agree with that totally. If anything it's alarming as all hell if there is a sudden loss of sex.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Why is it automatically a given that sex must be a feature of the marriage in order for it to be where you think it should be?"
It's not what *I* think it should be -- I'm going from the Biblical purpose of sex in a marriage.

"It just isn't the case that sex absolutely has to be there in order for a couple to be happily married."
You're changing the discussion by your insistence on further chopping up my writing. I'm not talking about a couple where both people in it are asexual for whatever reason (generally physical/medical ones) and both agree on and are perfectly happy with a sexless marriage. I'm talking about what I wrote, a specific situation -- "when either husband or wife all of a sudden isn’t interested in sex".
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
"You're changing the discussion by your insistence on further chopping up my writing."

What I am really doing is disagreeing with you.

"when either husband or wife all of a sudden isn’t interested in sex".

If it's sudden, something is definitely wrong but not necessarily a matter that the marriage isn't just as important as it was before. This is what I was trying to drive at.

Some discussions are probably better held in person rather than in a forum.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
It seems more like you're disagreeing with a misinterpretation of me rather than the bigger point that I'm actually making. I feel like by focusing on just one sentence you've missed the bigger point that I've made over 2 posts. It's the point I state in the headline: Deeply Religious Marriages Are Better Than Secularist Civil Unions
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
People in a marriage *should* be helping each other any way they can. They *should* be trying to make life easier for another.

They really *shouldn't* be publishing things the partner wrote out of frustration. They really *shouldn't* be making the partner the enemy.

But you have to drill the man as a "loser", Dave Swindle. As a tough guy, you give no quarter. As an Internet tough guy, your wife will never be a problem.

You keep denying it, but you are treating one gender as a human being. The other gender better do everything right - like you do - or he is going to be subject to stern disapproval by Dave Swindle.

It is people like you acting as social workers, cops, judges, lawyers and members of the faceless bureaucracy who drive some men to suicide. And look this up on the Internet: There are male legislators and judges who made a practice of screwing over men - to assist the damsel in distress - who then faced the other side of it. Really. And I wish you that insight one day.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Mens Rights is cute and funny? I guess dudes getting taken for all their cash because of a gold digging chick is just down right hilarious.

I agree with you that the woman has turned her job into something bigger than their marriage and therefor it's destroyed their sex life.

The husband you think has idolized the orgasm. Sex is extremely important to men - a shock to no one. How are we sure he's turned it into his idol? I wish we had more information on the husband, because if he has been a good doting husband and is still isn't getting some love then there is a huge problem that isn't his fault.

In my opinion being a white knight isn't noble at all. No woman wants a push over for a man who has no spine. Being alpha isn't an excuse to be an abusive jack ass of a man either.

The whole reasons white knights, being an alpha male, men's rights has caught on is because the male sex is being emasculated on a daily basis. It's no longer OK to be a strong man - not an abusive jerk - anymore.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
I agree. This is just going to go over Dave's head in his rush to be right at all times.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Mens Rights is cute and funny?"
No, the goofy rhetoric and cultural hang-ups of some of the commenters is cute and funny. I wrote, "I think the Men’s Right’s movement’s slang is cute and funny." It's weird to think that I'd be insulted by being called a "white knight" or a "beta." Or that I'd be offended at being called a feminist. Dr. Helen writes on a lot of important issues and I agree with many of the grievances she raises and the points she makes. But it's hard to take seriously those who comment anonymously and quote Bible verses in the same comment in which I'm called a "mangina." Seriously. "Mangina." I'm supposed to be intimidated by that kind of 3rd grade playground trash talking from anonymous people? The Men's Right's movements extremists and bully commenters are a serious disservice to the legitimate points of the more reasonable advocates in the movement.

"How are we sure he's turned it into his idol?"
He's assembled a spreadsheet of every time he didn't get to have sex!
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think what you're seeing with the comments from men is how absolutely fed up they are that the pendulum has swung so far the other way it's now an absolute joke. Feminism in it's current form isn't interested in equality anymore it's entrenched in destroying men and cultural traditions and norms.

I don't know you Dave but I've read you for a few years now - I am a fan - and I appreciate a lot of what you say but on this I think you're missing the forest through the trees here. A lot of the slang from the men's rights comes from the fact that white knights and beta guys are running around doing things that give them those names. In turn those same guys are playing an active role in destroying masculinity and empowering women to do a couple of things; think that men should just kowtow to their every need at the drop of a hat, act as if their sh*t don't stink - you'll have to excuse my use of words but I wanted to cut to the heart of it - none of that does society ANY good.

Someone said it in the other thread; be nice to each other. I couldn't agree more but betas/white knights only hear "be nice to them, no matter what." and they end up getting walked all over and saying thank you when it's done, they're broke and have no respect left.

Name calling does little to advance any good discussion I agree.

I disagree by making a spreadsheet he's turned the orgasm into his idol. It may have been his last resort to get his wife's attention. Maybe he exhausted all alternatives to the spreadsheet, does that still make it his idol?
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Name calling does little to advance any good discussion I agree."
After you've just written a comment throwing around "beta" and "white knight". That's what I get when I disagree with Men's Right's Movement ideas -- insults that I'm supposedly not masculine enough thrown at me by anonymous commenters.

"Maybe he exhausted all alternatives to the spreadsheet, does that still make it his idol?"

He didn't do the alternative that I've suggested: have a religious and Biblical attitude to sex/marriage instead of a secularist one. That's the big picture, forest and trees paradigm that I'm articulating and others are ignoring.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
I didn't call you any names, sorry if you don't particularly care for them because you have been accused of being them. Either way they're here to stay and just as it's good to call out grown men for acting like children it's good to call out grown men for being white knights. If you have a different approach on how to rebuild up masculinity and restore some balance to society I'm all ears.

Could you give me some examples of the ideas you don't agree with on the Men's Rights Movement? I'd be interested to see why you catch so much heat.

If you have a religious and Biblical attitude to sex and marriage and you're still not having your needs met, then what?
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Could you give me some examples of the ideas you don't agree with on the Men's Rights Movement?"
http://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2014/07/22/deeply-religious-marriages-are-better-than-secularist-civil-unions/?show-at-comment=796993#comment-796993
It's bizarre the way Bible verses are combined with junior high locker room talk about women.

This is what's really the worst, though: http://pjmedia.com/drhelen/2014/07/20/would-you-want-a-wife-this-clueless-about-sex-and-your-emotions/?show-at-comment=789757#comment-789757

"Why should she care about pleasing him when she has the ability to take him for all he's worth in divorce?

Men need to stop getting married."

The extremes of the men's right's movement preach a paranoia of all women and say that no man should ever get married.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
For some reason those links are screwed up. All they lead to is an article with no comments so I'll only address your bottom quote.

Yeah I don't agree with just giving up the ghost on marriage. That's what the Marxists and feminazis want. I do understand the overall frustration even if I don't agree with the solution.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
"I'm supposedly not masculine enough"

I think you fundamentally misunderstand what is often described as "alpha" and "beta."

A "beta" is a masculine type. It's a different form of masculinity.

"white knight" has nothing to do with masculinity. It has to do with removing real accountability from the decisions women make by putting the problem back on the nearest man involved.

Now, a "feminist?" Yeah, that would be used to indicate flawed masculinity. You're defining yourself by the feminine.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
What an irritating know-it-all. Quick and superficial answers (probably with a quick head bob each way to see if any other questions are coming in) with a general attitude of arrogance and condescension. Writing style of a young person. Why don't you take a deep breath and realize that some of your critics may be making some valid points that don't always involve you, You, you and you.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
I agree. This is just going to go over Dave's head in his rush to be right at all times.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well that's a shame. I was hoping to get your response.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
View All