God did not consult man about the creation of woman. Adam did not ask for a companion; he was not even aware of the deficiency in his life. Woman, like man, is entirely the Creator's idea. Both are created in God's image, which means they have free choice, and both are thus morally and spiritually equal in his eyes.
The Creator "brought her to the man," and he presents her with a courteous flourish. Man is instantly moved to poetry: "This one at last / Is bone of my bones / And flesh of my flesh."
Now man has a "fitting companion," different but equal, who stands upright and laughs and cries and talks like him. Both are naked, but neither is ashamed. They are as innocent as infants romping at the beach.
The Bible introduces the idea of the need for companionship before it even mentions sexuality and procreation. By introducing this concept first, the Bible makes the point that the companionship we offer our mates is the most enduring and rare gift we can bring to an intimate relationship. Sexual desire—although indispensable—may ebb and flow, but the need for companionship is constant. One rabbinical commentary suggests that woman was created second so that man could experience loneliness and more fully appreciate his partner. Another opines that as Adam named the animals as they passed by him in pairs he commented: "Everything has its partner, but I have no partner."
In the Garden of Eden, God designates one tree off limits, and he warns man never to touch its fruit on pain of death. The forbidden fruit is that of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The Hebrew word for knowledge, da'at, means sexual knowledge. "To know" is the biblical verb that implies more than the sexual act alone. It is an elegant euphemism for the intimate and sensitive understanding that evolves over time within a sexual relationship.
Lurking about the forbidden tree is a serpent, "the shrewdest of all the wild beasts." Sidling up to the woman, it asks if God really forbade eating fruit from the trees of the garden. She corrects the serpent: "God allows the eating of the fruits of all trees, except for the one in the middle of the garden." She recites God's edict (presumably told to her by Adam): "You shall not eat of it or touch it, lest you die." The serpent tells the woman: "You are not going to die, but God knows that as soon as you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like divine beings who know good and evil."