Lidia Yuknavitch’s Weblog

the body of the word

the politics of the marriage bed

At night, alone, I marry the bed.

–Anne Sexton

man alive.

women seriously need to stop GASPING and wagging their marriage cuffed fingers at men who cheat.

yeah, i hear you–on the face of it it aint a very FEMINIST thang to say…and yet.

here’s a news flash circa americana 2008: men have a hard time not sticking their dicks in women who aren’t their primary partners.


like this is the first time anyone’s heard of this?


i don’t think men should cheat on their wives. it sucks. it hurts. it’s happened to me three different times, more than one husband (oh sue me. so i’m on the liz taylor marriage plan).

but pretending we don’t understand the gender machinations of men putting their dicks in women who are not their primary partners in 2008 is downright ostrich.


there is nothing wrong with YOU when they do it. you are gorgeous, you’ve given your best years in the name of love, your body is astonishing mostly because it has history written across it and culture couldn’t survive without it, and you smell really great.

there is nothing wrong with YOU when they do it, even if you’ve got cancer, or your ass has widened into a trailer, or your tits have descended low enough to need a crane, or you can’t stay awake after taking care of your kids long enough to GET IT ON as a fantasy object every night. there is nothing wrong with you if they go for the half your age twat with the mind of tinker bell. there is nothing wrong with you if they take a mid-life pre-viagra detour. there is nothing wrong with you if you are the significant other of the most famous dick in the country, or one of the less shiny but still powerful ones, or a christian one or a con doing time one or a celebrity one or a homeless guy one (one of the sexiest guys i ever met i met when i was homeless…i SWEAR and i mean DANG) or a rich one or a musician one (watch out. watch the fuck out) or a poor one or your high school flame one or your boss or your dad or jesus.

there is nothing wrong with you.

men’s identities are in their dicks.

i’m not saying that in a judgmental sense.

stop acting like you don’t know that.

as they age or begin to lose power or the specialness of boyhood in any way, shape, or form. they put their dicks into what makes them feel special.

which brings me to motherhood.

if you want men to behave differently in the world, inside gender politics, inside the whir and hum of sexuality, stop raising sons who want mommies.

oh and before you get all high and mighty on my ass like all the times i suggested that barack is just a charismatic chocolate jesus thinly veiled as a mamma’s boy, remember this: i have a son. he’s in love with me. i’m actually thinking about what that means. i’m actually trying to rewrite the story.

yesterday i taught him how to make scrambled eggs.

i said this: women aren’t people who take care of you. you know princess leah?

yeah he says.

you know EVE in WALL-E?

yeah he says.

you know the chick in willie wonka and the chocolate factory who kicks ass in martial arts?

yeah he says.

you know that chick at your school who can do more push ups than the guys?

yeah he goes.

you know how in the swimming pool mamma can kick ass on all the lame guys in the lap lanes?


you know how the chick in transformers hijacks the truck and saves bumblebee?


you know how in aliens sigourney weaver gets in that machine body and fights the alien and saves all the men?


remember the story i told you about joan of arc.


remember how we watched the woman who wanted to be president on tv?

here he pauses.

then he goes: but the black guy beat her.

yes, i say, the black guy beat her.

you want out of the politics of the marriage bed? raise different sons, motherfuckers.



August 9, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. I’m letting that line about men’s identities being in their dicks go because your last one is so effing dead on.




    Comment by trevor | August 9, 2008 | Reply

  2. […] can’t we elect this lady president already? if you want men to behave differently in the world, inside gender politics, […]

    Pingback by Saint Lidia testifies on the John Edwards flap | male hipster leering | August 9, 2008 | Reply

  3. point taken.

    Comment by lidiaohlidia | August 9, 2008 | Reply

  4. good blog. Ive always found it interesting that most guys want wives and/or girlfriends who are like their mom’s but ok to have sex with.

    I also think I get your point that women should not blame themselves for their men cheating on them as they seemingly do.

    Id like to think that masculinity is a little more complicated than our cocks and that your statement is meant to be a generalization that is certainly a big part of male id. (or I.D)

    I also think it is sort of a cop out to use male social sexual identity as an excuse/reason for infidelity. I think that almost any guy (straight, bi or gay by the way) is gonna look and fantasize about other partners but you could probably say that about women as well. Obviously cheating is a different thing and something that most men who love their partners, do not do.

    Comment by jesse | August 9, 2008 | Reply

  5. yeah i hear you j.

    sometimes i just get tired of women pointing at men and going “i can’t believe he did that!”

    he did that.

    now what ELSE can we talk about. who ELSE can men and women be together.

    you know.

    Comment by lidiaohlidia | August 9, 2008 | Reply

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