Remember, when the nuns tell you to beware of the deceptions of men who make love to you, that the mind of man is on the whole less tortuous when he is love-making than at any other time. It is when he speaks of governments and armies that he utters strange and dangerous nonsense to please the bats at the back of his soul. This is all to our disadvantage, for in love-making you might meet him with lies of equal force, but there are few repartees that the female governed can make to the male governors.Here West is referring to courtship rather than to the physical act of love. Never believe anything a man says when he is horizontal.
July 6, 2006
Rebecca West's Advice to Girls
From Black Lamb and Grey Falcon (1941).: