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      Found on websites world wide, the article Advice for the Young Bride is usually presented as a serious work of advice from a 'proper lady' to women going into marriage, which is now seen as quite humorous. Sometimes the webmaster presents it with the note that the article cannot be authenticated either as to authorship or original publication. However, most of the time that note is not attached. The Desk believes the work to be no more than about thirty to forty years old (putting it smack dab into the middle of the sexual revolution), or that the original piece may indeed be of antique origin, but it has been extensively re-written and modified to increase its "oh my" factor (such as the overuse of the word 'sex').
      Also there are some historical facts that bring the article under serious suspicion. One being that at the time, the Methodist Church, as cited in the article, did not usually use the words 'Methodist Church' in official communication. And, in the 1890's, there was no "Eastern Region" of it either. The Desk did extensive searching for ANY church that called itself "Arcadian Methodist" at the turn of the last century, either in the US or in the parts of Maine or the Canadian Maritimes historically referred to as Arcadia, and came up empty. Same for the Reverend and his 'beloved wife', while there have been several pastors by the name of Smythers (it isn't That uncommon of a name), one with the initials L.D. who was a man of the cloth around the time required cannot be found outside of the mention in the article being discussed.
      And then the article cites something called "The Madison Institute". But doesn't say Which Madison Institute. There are, and have been, several. Two of the most well known today were founded in the 1990's not the 1890's. Whether or not any of the ones that may have existed in 1894 would have had a 'newsletter' as that was something of an invention of the Twentieth Century is almost beside the point. And the there is the "Spiritual Guidance Press", again, the only mention you can find of that particular animal is in reference to this piece. It would seem that if it EVER existed, the only thing they published was the bridal advice article.

      Most of the debunking sites the Desk cites also agree, although some use different reasoning, that the article is either a fraud or is of undetermined origin.

      Bottom line. It is interesting. BUT. It's A HOAX!

Deliberate Hoaxery aside....

      Let's go ahead and look at it with that factor in the corner of our mind as a statement from the middle of the Twentieth Century as a commentary on the sexuality of the previous one. For that, and as an almost cliché example of what most people believe happens once that beautiful young bride has that ring on her finger (... she cuts and perms her hair, gains thirty pounds and wears flannel to bed... ), it is a very good example. Or rather, a very good Bad example of what has become a truism.

      One of the serious subjects that the article does not mention but is indeed a factor in it is that until very recently in most states, marital sex was considered the husbands right and it was legally impossible for a husband to rape his wife. If she dissented to the act, or as some laws put it 'denied him access', she might file assault and battery charges if the statutes permitted (some states didn't address domestic violence and spousal battery until recently as well), but "rape" inside of marriage was usually not seen as a crime. Fortunately that has changed, as have the laws that presume that the man is the batterer in all domestic violence cases. The one thing that this article highlights quite truthfully even if it is itself a hoax is that society itself changes much faster than either its attitudes about itself or the Law's view and rule of it. For a current example, we only have to point to the Internet.

      The Advice for the Young Bride article is being presented as a source document for the Metaphysical Boundaries series, in particular chapter three entitled "I love you, you love me", where it is dealt with in some depth. It is in no way to be taken seriously other than as a commentary on the state of the public perceptions of marital relations in the 1890's. The piece is believed by several authorities to be of modern authorship. However, its tone and point of view are a fair approximation of the Victorian attitudes of the upper middle class in America (and a few other Western countries) at the end of the Nineteenth Century.

      The document as presented below is considered in the public domain. This is based on the supposed copyright date of 1894. However, if it is, as is believed, a modern hoax claiming to be a hundred and ten years old, then the copyright doesn't matter in the least until the author comes forward and admits what they did and provides proof of modern authorship. If this happens the Desk will provide appropriate accreditation to the piece or remove it. Thank you

NOTE: Some editing was done to the commonly available source file for overall readability.

The following is a reprint from The Madison Institute Newsletter, Fall Issue, 1894:


on the
Conduct and Procedure of the
Intimate and Personal Relationships
of the Marriage State
for the
Greater Spiritual Sanctity of this
Blessed Sacrament and the Glory of God
Ruth Smythers
beloved wife of
The Reverend L.D. Smythers
Pastor of the Arcadian Methodist
Church of the Eastern Regional Conference
Published in the year
of our Lord 1894
Spiritual Guidance Press
New York City


      To the sensitive young woman who has had the benefits of proper upbringing, the wedding day is, ironically, both the happiest and most terrifying day of her life. On the positive side, there is the wedding itself, in which the bride is the central attraction in a beautiful and inspiring ceremony, symbolizing her triumph in securing a male to provide for all her needs for the rest of her life. On the negative side, there is the wedding night, during which the bride must pay the piper, so to speak, by facing for the first time the terrible experience of sex.

      At this point, dear reader, let me concede one shocking truth. Some young women actually anticipate the wedding night ordeal with curiosity and pleasure! Beware such an attitude! A selfish and sensual husband can easily take advantage of such a bride. One cardinal rule of marriage should never be forgotten: GIVE LITTLE, GIVE SELDOM, AND ABOVE ALL, GIVE GRUDGINGLY. Otherwise what could have been a proper marriage could become an orgy of sexual lust.

      On the other hand, the bride's terror need not be extreme. While sex is at best revolting and at worse rather painful, it has to be endured, and has been by women since the beginning of time, and is compensated for by the monogamous home and by the children produced through it.

      It is useless, in most cases, for the bride to prevail upon the groom to forego the sexual initiation. While the ideal husband would be one who would approach his bride only at her request and only for the purpose of begetting offspring, such nobility and unselfishness cannot be expected from the average man.

      Most men, if not denied, would demand sex almost every day. The wise bride will permit a maximum of two brief sexual experiences weekly during the first months of marriage. As time goes by she should make every effort to reduce this frequency.

      Feigned illness, sleepiness, and headaches are among the wife's best friends in this matter. Arguments, nagging, scolding, and bickering also prove very effective, if used in the late evening about an hour before the husband would normally commence his seduction.

      Clever wives are ever on the alert for new and better methods of denying and discouraging the amorous overtures of the husband. A good wife should expect to have reduced sexual contacts to once a week by the end of the first year of marriage and to once a month by the end of the fifth year of marriage.

      By their tenth anniversary many wives have managed to complete their child bearing and have achieved the ultimate goal of terminating all sexual contacts with the husband. By this time she can depend upon his love for the children and social pressures to hold the husband in the home.

      Just as she should be ever alert to keep the quantity of sex as low as possible, the wise bride will pay equal attention to limiting the kind and degree of sexual contacts. Most men are by nature rather perverted, and if given half a chance, would engage in quite a variety of the most revolting practices. These practices include among others performing the normal act in abnormal positions; mouthing the female body; and offering their own vile bodies to be mouthed in turn.

      Nudity, talking about sex, reading stories about sex, viewing photographs and drawings depicting or suggesting sex are the obnoxious habits the male is likely to acquire if permitted.

      A wise bride will make it the goal never to allow her husband to see her unclothed body, and never allow him to display his unclothed body to her. Sex, when it cannot be prevented, should be practiced only in total darkness. Many women have found it useful to have thick cotton nightgowns for themselves and pajamas for their husbands. These should be donned in separate rooms. They need not be removed during the sex act. Thus, a minimum of flesh is exposed.

      Once the bride has donned her gown and turned off all the lights, she should lie quietly upon the bed and await her groom. When he comes groping into the room she should make no sound to guide him in her direction, lest he take this as a sign of encouragement. She should let him grope in the dark. There is always the hope that he will stumble and incur some slight injury which she can use as an excuse to deny him sexual access.

      When he finds her, the wife should lie as still as possible. Bodily motion on her part could be interpreted as sexual excitement by the optimistic husband.

      If he attempts to kiss her on the lips she should turn her head slightly so that the kiss falls harmlessly on her cheek instead. If he attempts to kiss her hand, she should make a fist. If he lifts her gown and attempts to kiss her anyplace else she should quickly pull the gown back in place, spring from the bed, and announce that nature calls her to the toilet. This will generally dampen his desire to kiss in the forbidden territory.

      If the husband attempts to seduce her with lascivious talk, the wise wife will suddenly remember some trivial non-sexual question to ask him. Once he answers she should keep the conversation going, no matter how frivolous it may seem at the time.

      Eventually, the husband will learn that if he insists on having sexual contact, he must get on with it without amorous embellishment. The wise wife will allow him to pull the gown up no farther than the waist, and only permit him to open the front of his pajamas to thus make connection.

      She will be absolutely silent or babble about her housework while his huffing and puffing away. Above all, she will lie perfectly still and never under any circumstances grunt or groan while the act is in progress. As soon as the husband has completed the act, the wise wife will start nagging him about various minor tasks she wishes him to perform on the morrow. Many men obtain a major portion of their sexual satisfaction from the peaceful exhaustion immediately after the act is over. Thus the wife must insure that there is no peace in this period for him to enjoy. Otherwise, he might be encouraged to soon try for more.

      One heartening factor for which the wife can be grateful is the fact that the husband's home, school, church, and social environment have been working together all through his life to instill in him a deep sense of guilt in regards to his sexual feelings, so that he comes to the marriage couch apologetically and filled with shame, already half cowed and subdued. The wise wife seizes upon this advantage and relentlessly pursues her goal first to limit, later to annihilate completely her husband's desire for sexual expression.

© 1894 The Madison Institute.