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Rent-A-Wife

Katie McDonough on Salon.com writes:

"A Los Angeles-based business called Rent-a-Wife is, surprisingly enough, not an escort service. It is just a terribly named company that provides personal assistant services to busy people."

Not an escort service, but a terribly named company?

And the term "wife-swapping" isn't terribly misnamed, since what it really refers to isn't sex with one's wife?

(The term "wife-swapping" is arguably sexist, too, since the females might consider it "husband-swapping" In 1995, I similarly referred to Tiana as a one-night-stand, when in reality, I was merely one of *her* one-night-stands !)

Conservatives talk about biblical morality and "family values," but in high school, circa 1980-81, in our American government class, we learned from our teacher Mr. Meyer that as the sexual revolution got underway in the mid-'60s, the conservatives were more into "wife-swapping" (and presumably other kinds of sexual experimentation) than liberals!

(About a decade ago, my supervisor, Ron Neely, a pro-choice Dem, similarly said that in 1965, as the sexual revolution got underway, everyone on the campuses was smoking pot!)

In the 1970s, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada admitted in a lecture that it is often said that marriage is a form of legalized prostitution, but he said it is necessary to keep peace in society.

Similar moral teachings can be found in the apostle Paul (I Corinthians 7):

"It is good for a man not to touch a woman, but because of prevailing immoralities, let every man have his own wife and let every woman have her own husband.

"The husband must render to his wife the obligations that are due her, and similarly the wife to her husband...

"Do not deprive each other, except by mutual agreement for a time to devote yourselves unhindered by prayer; and come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you on account of your lack of self-control."

(This suggests regulated or restricted sexual activity, even within marriage!)

"I say this by way of concession, not as a regulation. I wish all were as I am (celibate), but each person has his own gift from God, the one in this direction, the other in that.

"To the single and the widows, I say that it is good for them to remain as I am (celibate); but if they cannot restrain their passions, let them marry, for it is better to marry than to be consumed by passion.

"To the married couples I command -- not really I but the Lord -- that the wife must not leave her husband; and in case she does separate, she must either stay single or make up with her husband. And the husband must not divorce his wife.

"...if the unbeliever wants to separate, let there be separation..."

(Jesus forbade divorce, except in the case of unfaithfulness. And here we see Paul forbidding divorce, except in the case of an unbeliever demanding separation!)

"Regarding the unmarried I have no divine injunction, but as one who has received mercy from the Lord to be trustworthy, I give my opinion... it is good for a person to remain in his present situation.

"Are you united to a wife? do not seek release. Are you unattached to a woman? Do not seek a wife. But in case you marry, you do not sin; nor does the unmarried woman sin if she marries...

"The single person is concerned with the Lord's affairs, how to please the Lord, but the married person is concerned with things of the world, how to please his wife; he has divided interests.

"The unmarried woman or the virgin is interested in the Lord's affairs, that she may be dedicated to Him in body and spirit; but the married woman is concerned with things of the world, how she may please her husband."

(Interestingly, one of the Six Goswamis, or saints in our lineage, compares being engaged in married life, or worldly affairs, with trying to serve the Lord with undivided attention, to a married woman secretly having an adulterous affair -- she'll be even more devoted to her duties to her husband with undivided attention, so he won't suspect anything!)

"I mention this for your own good, not to throw a rope around you but to promote proper behavior and undisturbed devotion to the Lord."

****

Srila Prabhupada's admission that it is often said that marriage is a form of legalized prostitution was alluded to in the late '70s in an episode of Barney Miller.

The police officers have arrested a woman for prostitution.

One of the officers muses aloud, how could a woman sell her body for sex?

At that point, Barney's wife walks into the police station and asks if Barney is around... she needs to ask him for money!

****

Ella T. Grasso (1919 - 1981), the first female governor of Connecticut, once quipped:

"I am having trouble managing the mansion. What I need is a wife."

Among Ella T. Grasso's other memorable quotes:

"It is not enough to profess faith in the democratic process; we must do something about it."

"I'm opposed to abortion because I happen to believe that life deserves the protection of society.

"I would not be president because I do not aspire to be president. But I'm sure that a woman will be president. When? I don't know. It depends. I don't think the woods are full of candidates today."

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