by Daniel Defoe
Moll Flanders Sex Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Paragraph)
"Well, well," says he, "and so I am, I hope, too. But I am something else too, madam; for," says he, "to be plain with you, I am a cuckold, and she is a whore." He spoke it in a kind of jest, but it was with such an awkward smile, that I perceived it was what struck very close to him, and he looked dismally when he said it. (503)
It might help to know that a cuckold was a name for a husband whose wife was cheating on him. So unlike Moll's Bath boyfriend, this man does pick up an unflattering reputation of his own when he's associated with a woman who's sleeping around. Of course, what's unflattering to the man is not that he's having lots of sex, but that he's not having any while the woman he should be having sex with is, instead, having sex with other, more inappropriate men. It's yet another double standard of this society where, basically, women are criticized for having sex outside of standard relationships, and men are criticized for not having sex within them.
First, it was past the flourishing time with me when I might expect to be courted for a mistress; that agreeable part had declined some time, and the ruins only appeared of what had been; and that which was worse than all this, that I was the most dejected, disconsolate creature alive. (737)
It's interesting that Moll is not only troubled by the fact that she has grown old and less desirable. In addition, she is bothered by the fact that because of this, she has to give up an easy way to make a lot of money, and now she'll have to find some other occupation, if you can call thievery an occupation.
If I had been younger, perhaps she might have helped me to a spark, but my thoughts were off that kind of livelihood, as being quite out of the way after fifty, which was my case, and so I told her. (764)
Moll's life and experience in the world only reinforces the idea that one of the best ways for a woman to make a living is hooking up with a "spark" and trading sex for an income. Here, what's stopping her from making money this way isn't a change in her morals or her character, but in her appearance: she's too old. With her looks not what they used to be, Moll can no longer use sex as a moneymaking tool.