Note: a corrected, edited, and annotated version of this work is included in the new book, Sexual Outlaw, Erotic Mystic: The Essential Ida Craddock by Vere Chappell.
THE WEDDING NIGHT
By Ida Craddock
Oh, crowning time of lovers' raptures veiled in mystic splendor, sanctified by priestly blessing and by the benediction of all who love the lovers! How shall we chant thy praise?
Of thy joys even the poets dare not sing, save in words that suggest but do not reveal. At thy threshold, the most daring of the realistic novelists is fain to pause, and, with farewells to the lovers who are entering thy portals, let fall the curtain of silence betwixt them and the outside world forevermore.
What art thou, oh, night of mystery and passion? Why shouldst thou be thus enshrouded in an impenetrable veil of secrecy? Are thy joys so pure, so dazzling, so ecstatic, that no outside mortal can look upon thy face and live?
Or art thou a Veiled Prophet of Khorassan, and, under thy covering of silver light, a fiend, a loathsome monster, a distorted and perverted semblance of what thou dost profess thyself to the world?
Whatsoever thou art, it were well, methinks, that the veil, for a moment, were lifted from thee, that the young and ignorant may see thee as thou art, and, seeing, be not misled by thy glamour to their own undoing, but keep the higher law when they shall have entered thy radiant doors.
When the last stanzas of the wedding march have died away, and the bride, in shimmering white, places her hand in that of the bridegroom and pledges herself to be his wife "until death do part," a shiver of awe stirs the audience, as a field of wheat is stirred by a strong wind. An uncomfortable feeling pervades us all during these few moments, for it is felt to be a solemn occasion; and when the final words of the marriage service have been pronounced, every one feels relieved.
Yet there is a more solemn moment to follow. It comes when the last kisses of mother and girl-friends have been given, and the last grain of rice has been thrown upon the newly wedded pair, and the last hack driver and hotel or railway porter have been gotten rid of, and the key is turned in the bedroom door and the blinds drawn, and the young girl, who has never been alone in a locked room with a man in all her life, suddenly finds herself, as though in a dream, delivered over by her own innocent and pure affection into the power of a man, to be used at his will and pleasure. She, who has never bared more than her throat and shoulders and arms to the world, now finds that her whole body, especially those parts which she has all her life been taught it was immodest to fail to keep covered, are no longer to be her own private property; she must share their privacy with this man.
Fortunate indeed is the bride whose lover at such a moment is a gentleman in every fibre of his being.
For there is a wrong way and there is a right way to pass the wedding night.
In the majority of cases, no genital union at all should be attempted, or even suggested, upon that night. To the average young girl, virtuously brought up, the experience of sharing her bedroom with a man is sufficient of a shock to her previous maidenly habits, without adding to her nervousness by insisting upon the close intimacies of genital contact. And, incredible as it may sound to the average man, she is usually altogether without the sexual experience which every boy acquires in his dream-life. The average, typical girl does not have erotic dreams. In many cases, too, through the prudishness of parents--a prudishness which is positively criminal--she is not even told beforehand that genital union will be required of her. I once talked with a young married woman, the daughter of a physician, well educated, and moving in cultured society, who had been allowed to marry at the age of 20, in entire ignorance of this. She remarked to me: "I think the relation of husband and wife is something horrid. I knew, of course, before I married, that married people had children; but I supposed that God sent them babies, and that that was all there was about it. I was never told about the physical relation." Her husband was so lacking in self-control as to make her pregnant on her wedding night.
And her experience is but one out of thousands.
In the ideal honeymoon, the bridegroom will not seek genital contact until the bride herself shows indications of desiring it. "But she might never want it?" My dear sir, you must be indeed lacking in manhood to be unable to arouse sex desire in a bride who loves you with even a halfway sort of affection.
"How can this be done?"
Well, I think that the very first thing for you to bear in mind is that, inasmuch as Nature has so arranged sex that the man is always ready (as a rule) for intercourse, whereas the woman is not, it is most unwise for the man to precipitate matters by exhibiting desire for genital contact when the woman is not yet aroused. You should remember that that organ of which you are, justly, so proud, is not possessed by a woman, and that she is utterly ignorant of its functions, practically, until she has experienced sexual contact; and that it is, to her who is not desirous of such contact, something of a monstrosity. Even when a woman has already had pleasurable experience of genital contact, she requires each time to be aroused amorously, before that organ, in its state of activity, can become attractive. For a man to exhibit, to even an experienced wife, his organ ready for action when she herself is not amorously aroused, is, as a rule, not sexually attractive to her; on the contrary, it is often sexually repulsive, and at times out and out disgusting to her. Every woman of experience knows that, when she is ready, she can cause the man to become sexually active fast enough.
If this be so with the wife who has had pleasurable experience in genital contact, how much more must the sight or touch of that apparent monstrosity in a man shock and terrify the inexperienced young bride!
Yet, if you are patient and loverlike and gentlemanly and considerate and do not seek to unduly precipitate matters, you will find that Nature will herself arrange the affair for you most delicately and beautifully. If you will first thoroughly satisfy the primal passion of the woman, which is affectional and maternal (for the typical woman mothers the man she loves), and if you will kiss and caress her in a gentle, delicate and reverent way, especially at the throat and bosom, you will find that, little by little (perhaps not the first night nor the second night, but eventually, as she grows accustomed to the strangeness of the intimacy), you will, by reflex action from the bosom to the genitals, successfully arouse within her a vague desire for the entwining of the lower limbs, with ever closer and closer contact, until you melt into one another's embrace at the genitals in a perfectly natural and wholesome fashion; and you will then find her genitals so well lubricated with an emission from her glands of Bartholin, and, possibly, also from her vagina, that your gradual entrance can be effected not only without pain to her, but with a rapture so exquisite to her, that she will be more ready to invite your entrance upon a future occasion.
If the wedding day has been one of prolonged excitement, the most sensible thing that the bride and bridegroom can do upon retiring, is to go straight to sleep like two tired children. On waking in the morning, the first marital endearments may suitably take place, and will be found conducive to the exchange of sexual magnetism which will strengthen and refresh. Indeed, you should never, never allow genital contact to be attempted when either of you is physically weary or mentally fagged out.
If you are accustomed to the use of tobacco and alcoholic drinks, it is to be hoped that you will have sufficient self-control and consideration for you bride to abstain from them at least upon your wedding night. Not only are their odors, especially when stale, disgusting to any woman of delicate sensibilities, but the use of either or both will go far toward coarsening your emotional relations toward her on that occasion.
The effect of alcohol will be to lessen the co-ordination among your nervous ganglia, accentuate your prominent weaknesses (this, too, at the very moment when you wish to appear especially manly in her eyes!) and inhibit your powers of self-control.
The effect of tobacco always is to deteriorate the moral and emotional sensibilities through its capacity for blunting sensation.
Do you wish to be truly a man upon the wedding night? Then forego both tobacco and alcohol upon that occasion and for a long time previously.
Do not, upon any account, use the hand for the purpose of sexual excitation at the bride's genitals. There is but one lawful finger of love with which to approach her genitals, and this is the male organ. Even where there is a hymen whose orifice requires to be gradually enlarged in order to effect a painless entrance, the male organ, and not the finger, should be employed, lest a masturbative response be set up in the bride at the outset, which would be most unfortunate.
Bear in mind that the more gentle, slow and lingering your entrance, the more passionate will be the response of the bride. Also, the more readily will you yourself attain to the sexual self-control inculcated in my RIGHT MARITAL LIVING.
As to the clitoris, this should be simply saluted, at most, in passing, and afterwards ignored as far as possible; for the reason that it is a rudimentary male organ, and an orgasm aroused there evokes a rudimentary male magnetism in the woman, which appears to pervert the act of intercourse, with the result of sensualizing and coarsening the woman. Within the duller tract of the vagina, after a half-hour, or, still better, an hour of tender, gentle, self-restrained coition, the feminine, womanly, maternal sensibilities of the bride will be aroused, and the magnetism exchanged then will be healthful and satisfying to both parties. A woman's orgasm is as important for her health as a man's is for his. And the bridegroom who hastens through the act without giving the bride the necessary half-hour or hour to come to her own climax, is not only acting selfishly; he is also sowing the seeds of future ill-health and permanent invalidism in his wife.
A woman's clitoris is sometimes hooded, which, of course, is an unnatural condition, and is apt to result in sexual coldness on her part, or, at best, in a stunted sex desire. Here a physician should be appealed to, as the clitoris can be freed from its hood by circumcision; and the earlier that this is done in a girl's life the better for her health. Many a girl infant, it is now maintained by some physicians, is nervously deranged by the existence of such a hood, and would be restored to health by its circumcision.
Some woman have an abnormally long clitoris, which it is impossible not to engage during coition, and such women are usually sensual, and lacking in the ability to prolong the act. In extreme cases the excision of such a clitoris may be beneficial; but it would seem preferable to first employ the milder method of suggestive therapeutics, and for the wife to endeavor to turn her thoughts from the sensation induced at the clitoris to that induced within the vagina, which is the natural and wholesome sensation to be aroused in a woman.
Do not expend your seminal fluid at any time, unless you and the bride desire a child, and have reverently and deliberately prepared for its creation on that especial occasion. Your semen is not an excretion to be periodically gotten rid of; it is a precious secretion, to be returned to the system for its upbuilding in all that goes to emphasize your manhood. It is given to you by Nature for the purpose of begetting a child; it is not given to you for sensual gratification; and unless deliberate creation be provided for by both of you, it should never, never be expended. This however does not mean less pleasure, but more pleasure than by the ordinary method of sex union. As to the details of how such sexual self-control may be exercised during coition, and without harm to the nervous system, you can learn these from my pamphlet on RIGHT MARITAL LIVING.
I would add that the habit of using a wife as a convenience for a man's easing himself of a fluid which is looked on as an excretion, is chiefly responsible for the widespread idea that the sex relation is unclean, and for the growth of Comstockism, with its baneful efforts at suppression of all enlightening literature upon the details of coition as being "obscene, lewd, lascivious." The sex relation is indeed unclean, when made use of by a man for the purpose of easing himself of a supposed excretion; and the details of such a union are truly "obscene, lewd, and lascivious." No bridegroom of any delicacy of sentiment will want to thus befoul his wedding night or his honeymoon. But when the higher law is known and kept --- that of genital union in self-control and aspiration to the divine --- the sex relation at once becomes refined and spiritualized, and the morbid ideas about its being impure cease.
When you are performing your movements, do not indulge in the thought of how much you are enjoying them; rather dwell, in thought, upon how much pleasure you are giving to your bride, and study carefully every movement with reference to its pleasure-producing effect upon her.
Also, to the bride, I would say : Bear in mind that it is part of your wifely duty to perform pelvic movements during the embrace, riding your husband's organ gently, and, at times, passionately, with various movements, up and down, sideways, and with a semi-rotary movement, resembling the movement of the thread of a screw upon a screw. These movements will add greatly to your own passion and your own pleasure, but they should not be dwelt in thought for this purpose. They should be performed for the express purpose of conferring pleasure upon your husband, and you should carefully study the results of various movements, gently and tenderly performed, upon him.
We human beings are so constituted that when we seek happiness for ourselves, it eludes our grasp. But when we seek to make other people happy, happiness comes and abides with us. If each will seek to give pleasure to his or her wedded partner, the bliss of each will be greatly intensified. Especially will this be so if God be included in this pleasure-giving partnership, along the lines which I have laid down in RIGHT MARITAL LIVING.
The custom of brutal rupture of a woman's hymen on the wedding night, and, too often, the consequent tearing of the walls of the vagina, with attendant pain and loss of blood, is wholly unnecessary. The bride elect should go to a physician some little while previous to the wedding and if their be a hymen of any toughness, have it snipped by a pair of surgical scissors. This will not be painful, and the hymen, which is a membrane attached to the walls of the orifice, will soon shrivel away, being now but a piece of dead skin. It would be advisable, however, for the woman to let her future husband know that she intends to do this, for the reason that there exists a popular superstition to the effect that the presence of the hymen is a proof of virginity. On the contrary, it is not a true test of virginity, for many women never had any hymen, and others have lost theirs when children, by romping. Also, prostitutes are on record as having had a hymen which deceived physicians into thinking them virgins. Nevertheless, because men still ignorantly hold to the popular superstition about the hymen, it is prudent for the bride elect to state her intention ahead of time. Some men with brutal instincts feel themselves defrauded of their rights if the bride's hymen be not there, unbroken, for them to rupture. Of course, no intelligent, self-respecting woman would feel herself bound to accord a husband such a right, if she knew beforehand all the pain and suffering which the exercise of his supposed prerogative would involve. ( I know of one case where a bride was confined to bed for six weeks with abscesses in her vagina, because of her husband's brutal manner of effecting entrance on the wedding night. ) And if the bridegroom-elect be the sort of a man who claims this as his conjugal right, perhaps it would be as well for the bride to find it out before she marries him.
But, of course, the natural instrument for effecting entrance is the bridegroom's organ of penetration, and, if at all possible, it should be employed in preference to any other. Even where there is a fairly tough hymen, if the bridegroom will use gentleness, patience, and tender love making, and refrain from genital contact until the bride is thoroughly aroused, it will usually be found that she will, upon genital contact, instinctively bear down so quickly and effectively that the dreaded entrance will be all over within a moment. Allay the bleeding by the use of water as hot as can be borne, dipping therein a wad of clean absorbent cotton, squeezing it out, and placing the wad up between the lips of the bleeding orifice.
It should be the privilege of the woman, and not of the man, to choose between these two methods.
Another thing which often causes unnecessary suffering to the bride at first is the smallness of her orifice, as compared with the bridegroom's organ, especially if the latter be unusually large. Like a glove which is a trifle small in the fingers, however, this disparity in size can be overcome by successive attempts at entrance, provided, also, that the parts be anointed with some simple ointment, such as petrolatum, cosmoline, or vaseline. Do not use an ointment containing unknown ingredients, as there may be a harmful drug among them. Nature will, indeed, furnish a natural lubricant in the woman's own emission after awhile, but at first it is well to have the ointment at hand. Do not be in a hurry; be patient. In some cases, it may take months for the parts to become fitted to one another, but the result is worth the trouble.
Many and many a divorce dates its beginning to the ignorance or the lack of consideration shown by one party for the other in the nuptial chamber. And those who think to render marriage pure and holy by keeping our young people ignorant of the functions and proper management of their bodily organs, are the ones directly responsible for such divorces.
The following out of the above directions is of especial importance where the organs of the bride and bridegroom are so ill-matched as to make what is termed "a matrimonial misfit." Sometimes the man's organ, which in a state of activity should be about six inches in length, is much longer and proportionately large; and if the woman's orifice and vagina chance to be unusually small, great suffering will result unless one party or the other has been cautioned and knows what to do. In a case where the organ had attained a phenomenal length, the man married a young woman of average proportions, and almost killed her upon the wedding night. Fortunately, the family physician, to whom the suffering bride referred her case, insisted that the husband should wear a pad, made as a ring, which prevented the entrance of the organ beyond a certain distance; and the couple are now living happily and have had several children. In other cases the man's organ is small, like a little boy's, so that entrance is an impossibility. Such a husband simply arouses and excites his wife, without being able to afford her the normal sexual satisfaction. Or, again, the organ, while of average length, may be slender, and the woman's orifice and vagina unusually large, so that his organ does not completely fill it, and this also often fails to result in full satisfaction to the woman. In the latter case the male organ can sometimes be enlarged by electrical treatment. But I think that where the organs of either party depart very greatly from the average size, the party who is abnormal in size one way or the other is committing a great wrong upon the other party not to give due notification of his or her abnormality in advance. Such notification, if given to the family physician, could be acted upon by him and advice which in many cases would greatly lessen the annoyance of the matrimonial misfit, and preserve both parties from making a wreck of their lives.
It is possible that much could be done by suggestive therapeutics to gradually adapt the organs of such ill-matched couples to one another. Intelligent control of the subconsciousness, and, through it, of the sympathetic nervous system, at a time when the sexual organs of both parties are excited and engorged with blood, ought to be able to effect very marked changes in the tissues of these organs.
I here use the term "suggestive therapeutics," because this is a term which does not jar upon the orthodox medical ear. But the method may also be called applied psychology, or mental science, or divine science, or yoga. The phraseology adopted by these several schools of thought varies: so, also, does some of the philosophy taught; but the scientific process is essentially the same in all.
To the average uninstructed man or woman, there is no apparent relation between the honeymoon and that philosophy which I prefer to call "yoga." And yet, if yoga were properly understood and practiced in the marital embrace by every newly married couple, their sex life would be, from the start, so holy, so healthy, so happy, that they would never care to descend to the methods commonly practiced among married people today---methods which involve loss of sexual self-control, tigerish brutality, persistent rape of the wife's person, and uncleanness.
The word "yoga" is a Sanskrit word which means "union." It comes from the same root as our English word "yoke," i. e., that which unites. It has been used for centuries by Hindu occultists and metaphysicians, to signify the philosophy which teaches mankind to enter into that state of oneness with the Divine which will secure them both spiritual bliss and power over their bodies and over material things. To what a wonderful extent this yogic power can be caried is only beginning to be dimly apprehended by us in America, here and there, among students of the "higher thought." But the Orientals have known of it for centuries.
"Whosoever is born of God," writes the Apostle John, in the third chapter of his first Epistle, "doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him; and he cannot sin, because be is born of God."
Paul ( I. Thess. Iv.) admonishes: "This is the will of God, * * * that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor; not in the lust of concupiscence [ unlawful desire of carnal pleasure], even as the Gentiles which know not God: * * * For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness." In Gen. Vi. We find that Noah is especially praised because he was "perfect in his generations: Noah walked with God" (evidently, during coition).
In my RIGHT MARITAL LIVING I emphasize the importance of thought union with the Divine, Central Force of the universe as the third partner during the sexual embrace. This is physiologically of importance because, without such union, it is impossible to fully control one's mentality, the orgasm, which always begins on the mental plane, and which is partly worked out on that plane; and if the orgasm be not fully controlled, it is dangerous to the man to attempt to supress the ejaculation of semen at this moment, as such suppression is apt to result in an enlarged prostate gland, or in damage to the nervous system in various ways.
But there is another reason for union with the Divine during the act; it is that one thereby enters into fuller harmony with the universe, giving and receiving sexual pleasure, in a way undreamt of without such union.
Moreover, it is a duty--a courtesy, if one may use such a term in this connection---which we owe to that wonderful, all-pervading Force in whom we live and move and have our being.
Take, for instance, the case of a child to whom you give a box of bonbons. If the child has been properly brought up, the first thing it will do, after thanking you for the gift, will be to open the box and share the goodies with its little brothers and sisters, and its father and mother: then it will come to you, the giver, and offer to share them with you, and insist, sweetly, that it will enjoy them ever so much more if you will eat just one or two also. This is the right thing, the courteous thing, the loving and altogether fitting thing for a child to do on such an occasion.
Now the Lord has given each one of us a box of delicious sexual bonbons, and, for my part, I think it is little enough that we can do, to offer to share one or two of these bonbons with the Giver. It would seem, at least, common courtesy on our part to do so.
"But," you object, "the Ultimate Force which we call God is impersonal, and does not experience sexual desires or passions."
Indeed ! Then, may I inquire, my friend, whence you received your own sex desires? Do you suppose, for one moment, that there is any attribute of your being which is not an inherency of the First Cause?
Is there, indeed, anything in all the universe, even your own capacity for individual, personal liking for a given man or woman, which can be conceived of as not inherent in the First Cause?
Therefore the First Cause, the Ultimate Force, impersonal though it be, must be inherently capable of sexual feeling and of individual personal attraction to any given creature.
The Ultimate Force of the universe must, of necessity, be both masculine and feminine in its inherencies. As masculine essence, it should be thought of as entering through the man's organ during the sexual embrace, giving pleasure and receiving pleasure from the wife. As feminine essence, it should be thought of as residing within the wife's body (the temple of the Holy Spirit) at the vagina and uterus, riding the man's organ, giving pleasure and receiving pleasure therefrom. Thus, the experience is shared with God in every possible way, and is sanctified and glorified.
Remember that Jesus said that the first and greatest commandment is to love God with all our soul and mind and heart, and with all out strength.
No bridal couple who have once shared the joy of a controlled orgasm and sustained thrill with God will ever care to leave God out of the partnership in future.
The Oriental occultists claim that a prayer breathed at such a supreme moment of self controlled and rapturous union with Deity is sure to be granted. This is because such a process is a divinely ordained way of so displacing the psycho-physical threshold of sensibility as to enter into the most perfect communion with the Spirit of God which is known to us earthly beings. When the inward self realizes its oneness with the Ultimate Force of the universe, it will ask only for what it is right it should receive; and, as the Divine Scientists insist, all power is ours, when we rise in thought to oneness inwardly with the Divine Central Force.
Only that wedding night, only that honeymoon in which spiritual communion with the Ultimate Force of the universe forms part and parcel of the sexual act, is truly blest.