William Wycherley's The Country Wife overflows with deception, humor and sexual decadence. Throughout the play, the characters, especially the females, cling to the importance of sexual masculinity and its characteristics. In particular, Harry Horner exemplifies all of the qualities of a true "man-. From the beginning of the play, the reader knows of Horner's phony disease in order to seduce women while their unsuspecting husbands concur. However, the reader does not know the length to which Horner has used his deceit until the end of the play. .
The ideas of sexual masculinity in society suggest a humorous stereotype while remaining true to an extent. A "ladies man-, such as Horner, concentrates on women, sexuality and the possible ways of obtaining as much sex as possible. In proof, Horner's latest plan involves tarnishing his public name just to gain sexual encounters. Horner demonstrates he is very determined, cunning, and willing to do anything for sex. Women find him charismatic and very clever, yet they are very nave to his true intentions. For example, Margery says, "Is this he that was in love with me? I am glad on't, I vow, for he's a curious fine gentleman, and I love him already, too- (III.ii, 1068). Horner makes every woman think that she is the one and only burning desire that he envelops, when in all actuality it is a lie. .
As for the ladies' husbands, at first they feared Horner would seduce their wives with his charm and good looks. However, once Dr. Quack spread the news of Horner being a eunuch, the husbands welcomed Horner openly into their homes. For example, Sir Jaspar says to Horner, "I should be glad to see you at my house. Pray, come and dine with me and play at cards with my wife after dinner; you are fit for women at that game yet, ha, ha!- (I.i, 1041). The husbands practically throw their wives at Horner. .
In the end of The Country Wife, the reader naturally acknowledges Mister Sparkish as the predominant male; however, it is difficult to define him as a "ladies man- because he is not completely sex oriented.