I hate that this story has surfaced because now I feel like I have to admit that I watch the Real Housewives of (insert city here). Seriously, you can insert pretty much any city because I watch all of them. Except Miami. I also watch all of the lesser spin-offs like Basketball Wives and Mob Wives. But this isn’t about my horrible taste in television. It’s about Melissa Gorga of the Real Housewives of New Jersey and her book, Love Italian Style.
We’ll just clarify that “Italian Stye” equals, “give your husband sex whenever he wants it, even if he’s totally skeeving you out and you don’t want it at all.” Anyone who watches the show knows that her husband, Joe Gorga, is constantly groping her and she’s constantly looking slightly disgusted and annoyed by him. But this is what makes a healthy marriage, as far as Melissa is concerned. You need to make yourself available sexually for your man at all times lest he fall into the arms of another woman. I’m paraphrasing – a little:
Even when I’m exhausted and not really in the mood, if it means a lot to Joe that we connect physically, I’ll say, “I’m not so into it tonight, but let’s go.”
If it’s a hard “no,” I try to be nice about it. Don’t swat him away, or say with a tone, “Leave me alone!” Eventually he will leave you alone at more than you wish he would.
This quote wouldn’t seem so gross if it wasn’t repeated in a variety of different ways throughout the book:
In the beginning, Joe wanted to have sex every single day, at least once, if not twice or three times…If I didn’t give it to him once a day, he’d get upset.
[A] woman needs to keep herself in shape. She has to be seductive. She must be willing to try new things for her husband’s pleasure and her own. And, most important, she has to be available for sex.
Okay, so we all must be “available” for sex, even if we don’t want it. Obviously, there has been a backlash against the book because many feel it is advocating marital rape, to which Melissa says:
I don’t know how anyone can… My book is about mutual respect with your partner, for one another. It’s about honesty, it’s about loyalty, it’s about making your partner first in your life. Where that word comes into play, to me, is awful and disgusting, to be honest with you.
I’m going to guess that word came into play when, in addition to all of your troubling “advice,” your husband was quoted in the book as saying, “If your wife says “no,” turn her around, and rip her clothes off. She wants to be dominated.”
I actually feel kind of sorry for her because she somehow thinks his behavior is okay. But my fleeting compassion is extinguished by my disgust that she is advocating that women be okay with being
“taken” raped by their husbands.
“I stand by what I said,” she added. “I truly believe in everything I said in it.”