Wonderful books by Father Kinsella:
The Wife Desired
The Man For Her
Of late years a lot is heard of so called frigid women. I venture to
say that frigidity is a fairly modern concept. I cannot recall
meeting the expression in the literature of the past centuries. We
are told now that a majority of women were made by God to be
incapable of being ideal wives. They have no relish for marital
relations. The whole business is obnoxious to them. They only
suffer it with varying degrees of grace. According to the theory
most women marry only out of curiosity and in quest of security. I
humbly suggest that this is a lot of blabberdash, if it does not
border on the blasphemous, to blame the Creator for such a
God created the two sexes to propagate the human race. Between
them He placed an attraction which would develop into real love
during marriage. Their offspring are to be the fruit of their act of
love. God is so interested in this union of husband and wife, that
His Son, Jesus Christ, dignified it by making it a sacrament. It is a
queer idea to maintain that most women are duped into marriage
and a way of life for which by nature they are doomed to
discomfort, unhappiness, and misery.
It is also real cynicism to say that women marry only out of
curiosity and in quest for security. To say that they marry out of
curiosity and for security is obviously true and not in the least
All of us are "curious." God made us so. When I cease to want to
know, may someone please bury me. Besides, who wants to be
insecure? The human being yearns for the security which will
ultimately come only with complete union with God in knowledge
There are other reasons why women marry. Love is one. This love
increases with married life. As the years go on there is growth in
capacity of enjoyment and happiness in marriage. Have you ever
noticed two elderly married people who have begun, it does seem,
to look alike? It is normal for love to grow with the years, unless
the wife allows the phobia of children and consequent self-
induced frigidity to come into her life and rob her and her
husband of the joy of living.
What I am trying to say is that God is not in the habit of making
frigid women. Yet, no doubt, there are many frigid women. I know
of too many instances of them and too many confused husbands
wondering what happened to their wives several years after
marriage. There was an expression among the old Romans to the
effect that whom the gods would destroy they first make mad. It is
utter madness for a married woman to bring on this condition of
frigidity. When the madness of self-imposed frigidity enters her
life, the destruction of her happiness is just around the corner.
There are, no doubt, a number of reasons why foolish and selfish
women develop this coldness, so that, as many husbands have told
me, they just want to play house. Incidentally, many of this type
are good at playing house; they are good cooks and housekeepers.
They seem to be trying to compensate. I shall give only a few
reasons for this frigidity, which I have encountered many times in
clear cut cases.
The wives of whom I am thinking were fundamentally dishonest.
They were normal emotionally and really enjoyed marriage
relations. Yet, they would neither admit nor give more than just a
polite indication of pleasure to their husbands. During the very
first months of their marriage they developed an unnatural
attitude. They would put on a front of being entirely uninterested
in relations. The husband must seek them. If their husbands
behave themselves they will, with considerable show of heroism,
consider their attentions.
This whole business becomes a sort of game with these wives. The
wife's cooperation is essential. To get it the husband must pay the
price in one form or another. She is studied in her reserve and
careful to disclose a very minimum of pleasure. She feels that for
doing this violence to her own nature, she is being more than
compensated by the domination she gains over her husband. This
mean person is not seeking her happiness through her husband,
the only way she will have any in this life. She is justly rewarded
for her selfishness by becoming a wizened and shriveled person.
A calculating coldness replaces the warmth of her nature, and in
her there is no generosity. If she does not actually become a frigid
person, she is doing a good job of masquerading as one. The end
result is pretty much the same--a person in whom the light has
gone out, unloving and unlovable.
Those who imagine that these frigid women should have become
nuns know nothing of the life of the religious. The vocation to the
sisterhood is founded on love and sacrifice. These frigid women,
often so constituted by their own littleness of soul, know not the
meaning of love and bear no resemblance to nuns.
The next group of frigid wives of whom I am thinking are married
any time up to ten years or so. They had one, two, or three
children. They were ideal and desired wives at first. Both husband
and wife attest to happiness for the first years of their marriage.
Now they are almost at the parting of the ways. What happened?
Simply, the wife developed a fear of conception and children.
In her nightmares she would see a whole flock of children eating
them out of house and home. Children were all over the place,
under the dresser, on top of the refrigerator, looking out of the TV
set, and chinning themselves from the chandelier. When they
began flying in through the windows, she could stand it no longer
and would wake up in a cold sweat.
She was a normal woman, loved her husband, and appreciated his
love and affection. Then somewhere along the line after her first
or second child was born she began to feel sorry for herself. She
was being tied down too much. She could seldom get to an
afternoon tea. Moreover, the children were putting a big dent in
her budget. She started to dwell on the hard and difficult aspects
of raising children. To have no more of them was the solution.
The old spontaneity of love and affection was gone. In its place
came a calculated caution. She avoided marriage relations as much
as possible. Her husband now was a source of anxiety. She avoided
any show of affection and kept him at a safe distance.
She may not necessarily have been overly happy about this new
turn of events, but she felt that she had no choice. She had her
heart set on a new TV or car or fur coat. A child would upset the
The husband was all for these things, but he felt that first things
should come first. He knew that their real happiness would have to
come from themselves: never could it come from TV, a new piano,
or anything else.
When she began to fence herself in with the phobia of children, he
saw the real fullness of their lives shrinking away. The growing
frigidity of her demeanor frightened him. He pleaded with her and
in desperation fought with her. With a heavy heart he had to
realize that their love was not absolutely the first thing in her life.
She had to choose between him and children and what she thought
would be an easier life. It might be an easier life, but it is not a
fuller and happier one.
Real, lasting happiness can come to a married couple only from
themselves and their children and their sacrifice for each other
and their offspring. Sooner or later TV sets, phonographs, and
automobiles end up in the attic or the junk yard. And, by the way,
that is about where a couple's happiness ends up, when they put
their hearts on these things instead of on each other, letting come