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Eroticized Wives: Evangelical Marriage Guides and God's Plan for the Christian Family

In The Embrace of Eros: Bodies, Desires, and Sexuality in Christianity, ed. by Margaret Kamitsuka, 165-179. Fortress Press, 2010


As the clock approached the hour of her husband’s return, a nervous housewife readied herself for his arrival. She checked herself one last time in the mirror, smoothed her hair, and practiced a sultry pout. Hearing her husband’s car in the driveway, she shuffled, penguin-style, to the front door and waited. After an uncomfortable delay, his key turned in the lock. The door swung toward her, her husband took one step into the house, and then he stopped, as if frozen, and gawked. “Welcome home, darling,” she said, batting her eyelashes. He looked at her, blinked, and looked again. His wife stood in the front hall of their home wrapped in nothing but yards and yards of plastic wrap, her middle-aged curves visible but distorted through layers of transparent film. “Oh no,” he said, as shock turned to mirth, “not leftovers again!” Served up like a TV dinner for her husband’s consumption, this wife had become what author Marabel Morgan called a Total Woman, a model of Christian marital perfection.