It hardly seems possible in this world-wise era, but some are still raised in a climate of seclusion and relative ignorance.
‘They’re a perfectly intelligent couple,’ the doctor at Luebeck in-vitro fertilisation clinic said, ‘so when they came to our clinic and said they wanted to have a baby, we put them through all the usual procedures. They both proved to be perfectly fertile and it was only when we asked them how often they had sex and they expressed puzzlement and doubt that we began to suspect something was wrong.
They were both brought up in a strict religious environment and knew nothing at all about the sexual process. It became clear they had never had sexual intercourse or even knew that such a physical bonding was possible. They thought that simply by lying side by side each night in their bedclothes, that something could happen. Of course it never did.
We returned their 15000 euro deposit and sent them to a sexual therapy course.’
It is not unknown in Ireland either, where we still have many country folk brought up in a strict religious environment. That however was not the case with friends Harry Nolan and Paddy Quinn, and their respective brides.
Harry and Paddy were of an age, lifelong friends and old school mates. Indeed they worked together in the same Civil Service office, shared hobbies and were even married around the same time. There was one radical difference. In the six years since their respective ceremonies, Paddy’s wife had got four times pregnant and rumour was that she was once again in the family way, while Harry and Imelda, though desperate to start a family had, as yet, no luck in that department. A little shyly but in desperation – for indeed Harry thought the situation reflected poorly on his manhood – he approached his lifelong friend for advice and tips, if necessary.
‘No bother, me oul’ Segotia,’ says Paddy. ‘I’d be glad to help! Tell me, he says, does Imelda take a drink?’
‘She does indeed,’ says Harry.
‘A woman likes to feel special,’ says the worldly-wise one. ‘Do you often take her home a special present? A bunch of flowers?’
‘Well, no, other than birthdays and anniversaries.’
‘No good at all! Now, here’s where ye start. You book the most expensive restaurant in the town. Then you book a limousine to take you both there and back.’
‘Sounds expensive,’ says Harry.
‘Now you’re getting the idea. And don’t forget to get a dozen red roses delivered before you leave home. You might start off the evening with a cocktail or two before you leave.’
Paddy was frowning - and sweating a little. "After your sumptuous meal, you treat her to a few more cocktails. "When eventually you return home in the limousine, you carry her across the threshold, lay her kindly and carefully on a couch: turn on her favourite soft music, playing low: offer her another drink. Suggest she 'slip into something more comfortable' and retire to the bedroom." "Saying it all happens like that, what do I do then?" says Paddy. "At that point," says yer man, " You retire from the house altogether -- and send for me!"