Love and sex in arranged marriages

By Serge Kreutz

In a large part of Asia, marriages are still arranged by parents and families. Arrangements are often made on rational grounds. Statistics show that arranged marriages are no less happy, and even more stable, than so-called love marriages. Mothers have comforted their young daughters by the time they where married off that they don’t have to worry; love will come by itself. And so it did.

Love is the psychological result of extreme closeness. As long as the two in an arranged marriage treat each other decently, and as long as the social foundation is sound, love indeed will usually evolve. Sexual intercourse is the extreme closeness out of which it results.

As long as ideas of a sexually fulfilled live for the woman don’t disturb such unions, they are often harmonious. This is because in traditional societies, women are in the belief that sexual satisfaction is something largely for men.

But in some countries, Western influence has provoked a change of mind. Women’s magazines publish articles about the sexual satisfaction of women, thereby raising expectations. Young wives who previously thought that nothing was wrong with them, would now wonder why they don’t experience those contractions called orgasm with their husbands.

Whether better sex makes for better love, is still an open question. Raised sexual expectations of women have the common characteristic of making a large number of men feel like losers. This results from the fact that traditional sexual techniques are usually inadequate to fulfill the expectations of women.

In traditional Asian societies, women who have low sexual expectations, would easily comply with definition of love as accepting just one man. Traditionally, they are not only faithful in deed but in thought as well. They often enough wouldn’t even dream of another male, regardless of whether they experience sexual satisfaction with the one they are with, or not. To achieve this dedication on the part of a woman in a free market economy of sex and love, is, of course, much more challenging.