Frigid Women – The Wife Desired, Fr. Kinsella, 1950’s


Wonderful books by Father Kinsella:
The Wife Desired
The Man For Her


Of late years a lot is heard of so called frigid women. I venture to 
say that frigidity is a fairly modern concept. I cannot recall 
meeting the expression in the literature of the past centuries. We 
are told now that a majority of women were made by God to be 
incapable of being ideal wives. They have no relish for marital 
relations. The whole business is obnoxious to them. They only 
suffer it with varying degrees of grace. According to the theory 
most women marry only out of curiosity and in quest of security. I 
humbly suggest that this is a lot of blabberdash, if it does not 
border on the blasphemous, to blame the Creator for such a 
monstrous situation.

God created the two sexes to propagate the human race. Between 
them He placed an attraction which would develop into real love 
during marriage. Their offspring are to be the fruit of their act of 
love. God is so interested in this union of husband and wife, that 
His Son, Jesus Christ, dignified it by making it a sacrament. It is a 
queer idea to maintain that most women are duped into marriage 
and a way of life for which by nature they are doomed to 
discomfort, unhappiness, and misery.

It is also real cynicism to say that women marry only out of 
curiosity and in quest for security. To say that they marry out of 
curiosity and for security is obviously true and not in the least 

All of us are "curious." God made us so. When I cease to want to 
know, may someone please bury me. Besides, who wants to be 
insecure? The human being yearns for the security which will 
ultimately come only with complete union with God in knowledge 
and love.

There are other reasons why women marry. Love is one. This love 
increases with married life. As the years go on there is growth in 
capacity of enjoyment and happiness in marriage. Have you ever 
noticed two elderly married people who have begun, it does seem, 
to look alike? It is normal for love to grow with the years, unless 
the wife allows the phobia of children and consequent self-
induced frigidity to come into her life and rob her and her 
husband of the joy of living.

What I am trying to say is that God is not in the habit of making 
frigid women. Yet, no doubt, there are many frigid women. I know 
of too many instances of them and too many confused husbands 
wondering what happened to their wives several years after 
marriage. There was an expression among the old Romans to the 
effect that whom the gods would destroy they first make mad. It is 
utter madness for a married woman to bring on this condition of 
frigidity. When the madness of self-imposed frigidity enters her 
life, the destruction of her happiness is just around the corner.

There are, no doubt, a number of reasons why foolish and selfish 
women develop this coldness, so that, as many husbands have told 
me, they just want to play house. Incidentally, many of this type 
are good at playing house; they are good cooks and housekeepers. 
They seem to be trying to compensate. I shall give only a few 
reasons for this frigidity, which I have encountered many times in 
clear cut cases.

The wives of whom I am thinking were fundamentally dishonest. 
They were normal emotionally and really enjoyed marriage 
relations. Yet, they would neither admit nor give more than just a 
polite indication of pleasure to their husbands. During the very 
first months of their marriage they developed an unnatural 
attitude. They would put on a front of being entirely uninterested 
in relations. The husband must seek them. If their husbands 
behave themselves they will, with considerable show of heroism, 
consider their attentions.

This whole business becomes a sort of game with these wives. The 
wife's cooperation is essential. To get it the husband must pay the 
price in one form or another. She is studied in her reserve and 
careful to disclose a very minimum of pleasure. She feels that for 
doing this violence to her own nature, she is being more than 
compensated by the domination she gains over her husband. This 
mean person is not seeking her happiness through her husband, 
the only way she will have any in this life. She is justly rewarded 
for her selfishness by becoming a wizened and shriveled person.

A calculating coldness replaces the warmth of her nature, and in 
her there is no generosity. If she does not actually become a frigid 
person, she is doing a good job of masquerading as one. The end 
result is pretty much the same--a person in whom the light has 
gone out, unloving and unlovable.

Those who imagine that these frigid women should have become 
nuns know nothing of the life of the religious. The vocation to the 
sisterhood is founded on love and sacrifice. These frigid women, 
often so constituted by their own littleness of soul, know not the 
meaning of love and bear no resemblance to nuns.

The next group of frigid wives of whom I am thinking are married 
any time up to ten years or so. They had one, two, or three 
children. They were ideal and desired wives at first. Both husband 
and wife attest to happiness for the first years of their marriage. 
Now they are almost at the parting of the ways. What happened? 
Simply, the wife developed a fear of conception and children.tumblr_mk136wu12t1r312weo1_500

In her nightmares she would see a whole flock of children eating 
them out of house and home. Children were all over the place, 
under the dresser, on top of the refrigerator, looking out of the TV 
set, and chinning themselves from the chandelier. When they 
began flying in through the windows, she could stand it no longer 
and would wake up in a cold sweat.

She was a normal woman, loved her husband, and appreciated his 
love and affection. Then somewhere along the line after her first 
or second child was born she began to feel sorry for herself. She 
was being tied down too much. She could seldom get to an 
afternoon tea. Moreover, the children were putting a big dent in 
her budget. She started to dwell on the hard and difficult aspects 
of raising children. To have no more of them was the solution.

The old spontaneity of love and affection was gone. In its place 
came a calculated caution. She avoided marriage relations as much 
as possible. Her husband now was a source of anxiety. She avoided 
any show of affection and kept him at a safe distance.

She may not necessarily have been overly happy about this new 
turn of events, but she felt that she had no choice. She had her 
heart set on a new TV or car or fur coat. A child would upset the 

The husband was all for these things, but he felt that first things 
should come first. He knew that their real happiness would have to 
come from themselves: never could it come from TV, a new piano, 
or anything else.

When she began to fence herself in with the phobia of children, he 
saw the real fullness of their lives shrinking away. The growing 
frigidity of her demeanor frightened him. He pleaded with her and 
in desperation fought with her. With a heavy heart he had to 
realize that their love was not absolutely the first thing in her life. 
She had to choose between him and children and what she thought 
would be an easier life. It might be an easier life, but it is not a 
fuller and happier one.

Real, lasting happiness can come to a married couple only from 
themselves and their children and their sacrifice for each other 
and their offspring. Sooner or later TV sets, phonographs, and 
automobiles end up in the attic or the junk yard. And, by the way, 
that is about where a couple's happiness ends up, when they put 
their hearts on these things instead of on each other, letting come 
what may.