Sex and Marriage

There is an undesirable consequence of allowing sex only within marriage (there might be many desriable consequences too; they are however not the topic of this post) and that is: a significant number of people wish to get married just to have sex. The fact that marriage would also entail having to support a family and fulfill social obligations appears as a "side-effect" of the process to many, while those too madly in love may not even give due thought to it. The result: couples get married driven by sexual passion, and mentally unprepared for the demands of a married life in a Pakistani society.

Bertrand Russell writes in Marriage and Morals:

"Certain it is that when people marry without previous sexual knowledge of each other and under the influence of romantic love, each imagines the other to be possessed of more than mortal perfections and conceives that marriage is going to be one long dream of bliss. This is especially liable to be the case with the woman if she is brought up ignorant and pure, and therefore incapable of distinguishing sex hunger from congeniality... she may easily marry the first man who awakens her sexually, and find out too late that when her sexual hunger is satisfied she has no longer anything in common with him... the result has been an extreme prevalence of divorce and an extreme rarity of happy marriages."

Comments

F. said…
Though sexual knowledge before marriage doesn't do any wonders either.
Doesn't matter if you have a pretty piece of paper or not; if there are illusions, they're going to shatter.
F. said…
How do you avoid illusions? Do you reel with disgust at the thought of your lover, see him for what he is--a human being, flawed, weak, not just horribly imperfect, but vile in a petty earthbound way?
Humans hate each other but they love gods (and goddesses even more).
F. said…
Maybe we can only love gods.
Mayhem said…
Well, that's the first I have heard; marrying just to have sex! O_O

But then, have you really noticed that in Pakistan, marriage is just marriage when the 'right age' *snorts* comes? Love, need or even sexual desires are not taken into account.

It's something everyone should do because everyone before has done and nobody questions it.

I don't even know what's the purpose of marriage!! Ok, I'll give credit to those who are in love and want to be together and thus marriage is their answer to 'not live in sin' but the rest of the 99% population marries because its a stage in life they have to pass through. *disgusted*
Awais said…
@ Mayhem

The post doesn't really apply to arranged marriages, which are the norm in Pakistan. I was talking more about love marriages. But even so in arranged marriages, i know a lot of boys whose desire to marry lies simply in the fact that they would get to have sex; they don't care who the girl their parents would pick for them. This attitude is much less common in girls, which explains your surprise. This may be because sexual desire is more associated with love than it is for boys. Just an observation plus conjecture though. I won't present it as a psychological fact.
Awais said…
@ F

How to avoid illusions? I think it can only be achieved by a psychological insight into our own selves and into human nature, associated with a capacity to love despite the imperfections. A more realistic sort of love.
Mayhem said…
Awais, that time is long gone when arranged marriages used to be the 'norm' in Pakistan. Now, love marriages are equally taking place to arranged marriages.

Ah, yes! Boys. Well, I know the frenzy they feel to get married. I have seen loads who jump into one relationship after another screaming they 'want' that girl. I have rarely heard them speak of 'love'. Lust and love are same for them. Atleast, that's what I have seen.

They are ok with any girl even in the boyfriend/girlfriend relation. Unlike girls, love for them is sex.

I guess they are more of a kind of animals who roam about with their insatiable sexual appetities. :P
No offense meant.
Ron said…
Hello Everyone

A man reaches sexual peak during early adulthood. Between the age 18 to 22 years. After that it somewhat declines.But in south asia, at that age(pre-marriage) sex is strictly prohibited by soceity.
So, that describes the behaviour of boys as described by Mayhem.
For girls,sexual peak is normally between 30 to 35 years.
Ron said…
a significant number of people wish to get married just to have sex

Honestly, from a biological point of view its absolutely un-natural to prevent two people from having sex after a certain age.

But from a social point of view,i am not so sure.
Awais said…
"I guess they are more of a kind of animals who roam about with their insatiable sexual appetities."

That is, well, taking things to an extreme. Most boys, even though they may be primarily be driven by sexual drive, are not uninhibited animals with insatiable sexual appetites, incapable of caring for any girl :)
Awais said…
@ Ron

I agree with you, it is un-natural to prevent two people from having sex after a certain age. And by doing so, the society is forcing many of its individuals to either become repressed or desperate.
Salman Latif said…
Well...I don't see that as particularly a side-effect since: one, such 'misunderstandings' are quite rare in today's world where most things about sexuality are known to most lot and second, because marriage is not a one-way road and two married people can part ways if they indeed think that their love has been a mere momentary passion driven by a hunger for sex.
Nonetheless, on a different perspective, sex also turns out to be a very vital factor in strengthening the relationship between two individuals after marriage, which's more like a journey of togetherness while discovering each other, which'd be quite meaningless when both knew everything about each other.
Mayhem said…
Ron,

I doubt if there is a 'certain age limit' for sexual desire as you described. I guess it kida more rests on the individual.

Awais,

I knew you'd focus on that one solely! :P
But then, like I say everyone is different. There may be some who donot come under the category I drew. :)

Salman,

You highlighted the point, I was just about to write. :)
Ron said…
Mayhem

You may like to do some online research on when males/females reach their "sexual peak"
F. said…
@Mayhem
There are two Pakistans,which one is yours?
Mayhem said…
Ron,

I don't doubt your information but that's what people have estimated generally, isn't it?

I don't believe the mainstream material. The word 'individual' defines its own characteristics. You can't put a label or stamp on every person due to the general idea. You may diagree but I am of this opinion. :)

@ F.

Excuse me? O_o
Awais said…
@ Salman

To possess knowledge of sexuality doesn't automatically imply that one would be able to differentiate mere sexual attraction from genuine feelings of love. It is also more likely to happen when a person possesses a more idealistic view of relationships in which idealistic notions of commitment are often considered an inherent part of attraction. The thinking still persists in many ways.

True, marriage is not a one way road, but it is more difficult to get out of a marriage in Pakistan than it may be in West due to various social reasons. Many people actually continue living in an unhappy marriage, unless things become really unbearable.
Awais said…
@ Mayhem

The purpose of describing mainstream trends or thinking is not to stamp every individual, but to analyze what is more likely. It is a matter of probability, not of certainty. If individuals differed that radically from each other, psychology and sociology would become impossible.

Also, sexuality is not merely a matter of individual choice. There is a strong biological and physiological component to it. A person cannot become sexually active until he reaches puberty. Hormones and other physiological mechanisms play a definite role in sexual inclinations and these are not in the control of the individual. I don't know about the validity of what Ron said, i haven't checked it out, but i won't be surprised if it were so.
F. said…
@Mayhem
"Awais, that time is long gone when arranged marriages used to be the 'norm' in Pakistan. Now, love marriages are equally taking place to arranged marriages."

Not where I live. Yes, it's not as taboo as it once was. My cousin managed to have a love marriage.
But my brother's teacher was murdered this March for doing the same.
This is the middle-and-lower class version of Pakistan. Different but not too different.

So again, which Pakistan do you come from?
Fareed said…
This article apparently overlooks the stance of misogynistic part of masses. The seeming aloofness from marriage, by no means, implicates the sole desire of sex in this matter howsoever. Some are thrown into wedlock as a societal ritual, regardless of any desire on their part. And when a standoff appears in the relationship, sex is pointed at as the evidence of this opportunism. No matter how little everyone else outside the marriage has been keeping tabs on it. Come to think of it, having sex is easier than getting married and that says a lot.
I see your point but sex has its consequences either way. At least marriage binds you and forces you to take responsibility for your actions. Its better than having unwanted babies lying around, as it happens here.
Awais said…
@ Raaji

Indeed, that is a huge advantage.
karachi khatmal said…
i think for a male, it is difficult to mantain a healthy sexual outlook, just because the avenues for sex are so limited. if you have sex with someone you care for in this country, you better be ready to marry them cuz you just robbed the girl of her hymen - physical or social. if you have sex with casual strangers, you would find that not only would that be unlikely unless in fortuitous circumstances, it would, in a pakistani context, skew the attitude towards sex in a manner that would not be healthy. and of course you could pay for it, which works for the artist types it seems, but not for everyone else...