Ruth Smyther’s 1894 Sex Tips

Ruth Smyther’s 1894 Sex Tips

Oh, how times have changed! If you’re looking for a fun little gift for someone with an excellent sense of humour, then consider sharing with them Ruth Smyther’s sex tips for the 1894 bride.

Ruth Smythers was the wife of the Reverend L D Smythers, pastor of the Arcadian Methodist Church of the Eastern Regional Conference. Her book of tips and tricks for the newly-wed bride was a best-seller in the 1890s, and is still published today as a humorous anecdotal gift for hen parties and blushing brides.

Despite a survey which shows that Victorian women actually liked sex, this little booklet details a few handy tips for the new bride so that she doesn’t excite her husband, or delight in any sexual satisfaction herself. Because, of course, the Victorian woman Is Not Amused by sexual encounters.

Ruth says: “Give Little, Give Seldom, And Above All, Give Grudgingly.” We don’t agree: enjoy your sexuality! Give a lot, give as often as YOU want, and give willingly when you derive satisfaction from pleasing your partner.

It’s true, times have changed. Women have embraced their sexuality and form the majority of consumers for online sex toy purchases. In addition, married women are more active and are more sexually satisfied than their unmarried counterparts so while Ruth’s tips are charming and humorous, the contemporary woman knows better than to ‘make a fist’, as Ruth suggests, when her husband attempts to kiss her hand!

Amongst the many other gems in the pocket-sized book are:
“Sex, when it cannot be prevented, should be practiced only in total darkness.”

“If the husband attempts to seduce her with lascivious talk, the wise wife will suddenly remember some trivial, non-sexual question to ask him.”

“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.”

Julia Davis

Mental health expert
MS, University of Latvia

I am deeply convinced that each patient needs a unique, individual approach. Therefore, I use different psychotherapy methods in my work. During my studies, I discovered an in-depth interest in people as a whole and the belief in the inseparability of mind and body, and the importance of emotional health in physical health. In my spare time, I enjoy reading (a big fan of thrillers) and going on hikes.

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