“Stomach full, penis empty.”
This, apparently, is the golden rule for a happy marriage. According to Niecy Nash anyway; an actress in the US who has written a book on relationships called ‘It’s Hard To Fight Naked’.
In other words, keep your husband’s stomach full, and his penis regularly serviced and you’ll live happily every after, ladies.
Both parts of this equation would indicate that Nash’s entire philosophy for a happy marriage is based around the woman keeping the man happy. Because obviously, all men are that simple and all women are that insignificant. Men’s needs consist of blow jobs and food, and women’s needs consists of… Lol jokes – women don’t have needs; they’re just lucky to have a man.
But the saddest part of the above philosophy (despite the confusion around the penis being emptied and not the balls), is that I wasn’t even surprised when I read it. Because when it comes to marriage, and long-term relationship advice in general, it’s often just accepted that the pressure to keep things going is naturally placed on the woman. It often feels like, that just by turning up and agreeing to be monogamous, the man should be considered a ‘gem’; a ‘keeper’ whom the lucky woman must do everything in her power to hold on to.
Thus we end up with ‘Stomach full, penis empty.’
That phrase embodies everything I hate about modern relationship advice.
First of all, without a ‘Stomach full, clit satisfied’ alternative (amazing t-shirt/bumper sticker idea btw), it’s a one-sided and sad message to send women.
But it’s also so offensive in the way it reduces men and women into two broad, simple groups. Not all men want to be “fed and drained” as Nash so eloquently put it to Playboy. And not all women want to be feeding and draining (I can’t imagine I would enjoy a relationship that required daily cooking and catching sperm in my mouth).
Some couples may absolutely be into that arrangement, which is fine. But that’s also the point: Relationship advice based on one set of specific rules is always doomed to fail, because everyone is different and everyone expects and needs different things.
Life lessons found in books like ‘The Rules’ and ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’ and ‘If You’re Desperate Enough To Buy This Book Then Nobody’s Ever Going To Love You’ all assume that women are desperate to hold onto a man and that men are finite resources who women need extensive training in how to wrangle.
I’m in love with the man I’ll probably marry (if he’ll have me – please see any of my posts on farting), and I’m bombarded daily with messages from society about how I can keep him. Cook this meal. Do this crazy sex thing. Don’t pressure him with phone calls. Don’t be too open about how you feel. Make sure he’s satisfied in bed but don’t let things get boring. Don’t ever let him know that you poo. Don’t talk about marriage (too late, my bad).