Stopes’ book must have been a life-saver for thousands of young women and men. Although it is frank and can leave no reader in any doubt about what actually happens in the mating bed, it is none the less a book of its time (circa 1918). It is written in a lyrical Mill-and-Boon style that verges on the comical compared to today’s pared down styles. Stopes was clearly a true romantic at heart.
There are a few things that are a bit outdated, such as the sleeping in different beds or even different rooms, but for the most part this book was an inspiring read. Marie Stopes was a feminist who understood that marriage is so important, and the reason why husbands and wives can be unhappy is often due to sexual ignorance on the man’s part to understand how to satisfy his wife. It is a very classy, appropriate book about the importance of communication with your spouse to improve your entire marriage. She pointed out that if the man doesn’t listen to his wife and her sexual needs, then she becomes withdrawn and unhappy. This in turn causes the man to become confused and frustrated, often leading to seeking sastifaction elswhere than the marriage. She states that simple communication can save marriages, and she’s right. It was truly a delightful read, and my hat goes off to Stopes for having the courage to write a book like this in 1918.