Love in the Time of Cholera
How we cite our quotes:
"We men are miserable slaves of prejudice," he had once said to her. "But when a woman decides to sleep with a man, there is no wall she will not scale, no fortress she will not destroy, no moral consideration she will not ignore at its very root: there is no God worth worrying about." (6.168)
Dr. Juvenal Urbino's words to his wife reflect a gendered understanding of sex that is present throughout the book, but it's hard to say whether the author would agree with this statement. After all, it doesn't seem that the female characters are any less prejudiced than the male characters when it comes to their ideas of what kind of sexual relationships are appropriate.
"If we're going to do it, let's do it," she said, "but let's do it like grownups." (6.196)
No bodice-ripping here. Fermina has always been much more realistic than Florentino, and it seems she's unwilling to play any games when it comes to consummating their fifty-year-old love affair. After all, they're not kids anymore, and physical lovemaking at this juncture (just like all the emotional stuff) is bound to bring disappointments along with pleasures.
Florentino Ariza, for his part, suddenly asked himself what he would never have dared to ask himself before: what kind of secret life had she led outside of her marriage? Nothing would have surprised him, because he knew that women are just like men in their secret adventures: the same stratagems, the same sudden inspirations, the same betrayals without remorse. (6.202)
Compare this to Dr. Urbino's earlier statement, where he talks about the differences between men and women when it comes to sex. Florentino, on the other hand, seems to think they're pretty similar.