It’s Wednesday! Time for some historical saucytime.
Let’s travel back to 1936 today, to peruse an advice manual called ‘How To Make Love’ by Pietro Ramirez Sr. What a name. Can’t you just imagine that name being whispered in your ear by a swarthy lover with hair smelling of pipe smoke, checking that nobody is nearby as he talks about himself in the third person…
I came across this 1930′s manual in Maria Popova’s always-good Brain Pickings, where Popova outlines Ramirez’s specific pashing instructions. Nudge your untended into a corner of the couch, he says, making sure she is wedged in by the arm of the sofa. And then ‘tell her she is beautiful. Then take a deep sniff of the perfume in her hair and comment on it. Tell her that the odor is like “heady wine.” Tell her that her hair smells like a garden of roses. Tell her anything, but be sure to tell her something complimentary. This done, it is only a natural thing for you to desire to sink your nose deeper into her hair so that you can get the full benefit of its bouquet.’
Be gentle, Ramirez warns. Use, in fact, ’the same gentleness as would a cat lifting her precious kittens.’ Then, with ‘a series of little nips,’ nuzzle until you feel ‘a strange stiffening of her shoulders under your arm.’
It’s dated, hilariously so at times, Popova says, but the gift of hindsight means that ‘we come to see the natural arc of ideas as they pass from scandalous propositions to cultural givens to outdated norms, and in the process we remember that even the ideas that rile our greatest political convictions today will one day become fossils of progress in a more evolved culture.’
It still contains gems that ring true to marriage today, as ever.
Understanding your lover is something that is required of you if your love affair is to continue to marriage. Realize that no one is perfect and that each of us is likely to err. If the faults irritate you, remember, try to remember the things about your lover that have made him so lovable to you. Balance of the bad with the good. See the big things only and let the little things go hang. Or else, if you discover some shortcomings in your lover that disturb you, think back on your own shortcomings and realize that, the things about him that are annoying to you are just as bad as the things about you that are annoying to him.
Read the full review of How To Make Love at Brain Pickings here. Also from 1936, Popova’s review of the book ‘The Art Of Kissing’, which details “the spiritual kiss,” “the nip kiss,” “the pain kiss,” “the surprise kiss,” “the eyelash kiss,” and “the French soul kiss.