On Sex, a Personal Perspective

Bower Bird Artistry
The recent news regarding men who sexually degrade women has led many women to express the belief that all, or nearly all, men are guilty of at least wanting to engage in sexual aggression; sexual aggression doesn't deserve to be understood; the only way to end sexual aggression is to shame, sue, and criminalize bad behavior. Furthermore, all sexual aggression is the same, so any man who dares to suggest that,  

There’s a difference between patting someone on the butt and rape (a paraphrase of Matt Damon)  

Is unqualified to judge such things by reasons of his maleness, so all men should keep quiet and listen for once (a paraphrase of Minnie Driver). 

Man that I am, keeping quiet is not one of the things I do best, so I'm going to write about my own sexual history and the beliefs regarding women that led to my behavior.

My earliest memory is of wanting to sleep beside the wife of a visiting cousin when I was, I suppose, three or four. I thought the woman was more than human and that she was drawing me irresistibly to her. I believed she knew everything about me, and that she had given her silent consent for us to sleep together. When my mother said it was time for me to go to bed, I was pulled from the woman's lap screaming amid adult laughter. I have often felt a similar heartache regarding my relationships with women. 

During my adolescent years, my sexual naiveté was endless. For example, I must have been fourteen before I discovered that vaginas existed. That same year, I called a friend one night to ask what the word fuck meant. He said I was supposed to already know, so I hung-up wondering if he knew.

When I was fourteen or fifteen, three male friends and I went on a camping trip together. They knew one another better than I knew them, and they wanted us to pair-up for sex. I saw the prospect as an exotic lark, but when Dennis tried to stick his penis up my ass, I tightened my buttocks until he gave up. I might have been the only straight kid in school who knew who many of the queers were, because even the ones who intuited that I was straight trusted me with their secret. I often wished that I was gay because men can understand men in a way that women can't.

All but one of the girls I dated in high school wanted to have sex with me, but I demurred because I was in abject terror of getting them pregnant, none of them being on the pill, and me not trusting condoms. 

I imagined that girls had all the power in relationships, yet I began to feel sorry for them one day in the school cafeteria while watching my friends repeatedly drop their forks on the floor so that they could stick their heads under the table and "shoot squirrels." Poor student that I was, I wouldn't have known the word dehumanizing, but that's how I felt, and when they went on to talk about girls as if they were objects that boys needed yet hated, my sympathy increased. If a boy talked tough about girls, I figured he was tough, it never occurring to me that he might have been hiding his vulnerability. It did occur to me that anyone who hated girls was doomed to being unhappy and causing unhappiness.

I lost my virginity at age twenty-two to a contraceptive-taking college girl named Judy. Judy was only fairly attractive, but there she was; there I was; and the sex felt good. I think she gave me hepatitis, but the blood test for the disease was inconclusive in 1971, and later blood tests didn't contain the expected markers. I lost thirty pounds, ran a low grade fever, and felt so fatigued that I had to quit my first teaching job. When I turned yellow, my doctor put me in the hospital where I got well on my own.

I only behaved with sexual aggression once, and that was in 1970 or '71 when I took a new acquaintance on a picnic. I was, in a manner of speaking, was "all over her." When she went from discomfort to fear, I stopped. Because I regarded attractive women as demigods (I had no such illusions about homely women), I not only treated them well, I was afraid of them. I felt like a male bower bird who knocks himself out to impress females, while said females stand to one side and pass judgment on his existence. I would guess that a lot of male anger toward females is inspired by the fact that our self-worth comes from winning the approval of females, yet the games we are obliged to play to win their approval robs us of self-worth. 

As for my deficits, I was handsome but not memorably so, and although my personality was pleasing, people didn't seek me out. I wouldn't have spent money conspicuously even if I had been rich, nor would I have been interested in women who valued conspicuous spending. As for assets, I possessed depth, sensitivity, intellectual leanings, and a college education. I also preferred the company of women to that of men. When a female co-worker said, "You really like women, and not many men do," I couldn't imagine what there was to dislike.

If I thought a woman's eyes contained kindness, depth, wisdom, and sadness (sad women made me feel protective and therefore safe), I was capable of investing their owner with all manner of virtues. The trait that attracted me most was the one that I found in Peggy, which was gentle modesty, while the one that bothered me most was what I interpreted as an effort to present oneself as sexually available by wearing tight clothes, string bikinis, heavy makeup, low necklines, exposing one's midriff, and so on. Despite the fact that I was promiscuous for much of my adult life, I regarded the appearance of promiscuity as being like a sign that read, "All I'm good for is fucking." Other turn-offs were women who were loud, vulgar, mercenary, incurious, unintelligent, or fur clad. I regarded the Playboy models as interchangeable from the neck down and as near as Hugh Hefner could make them from the neck up. While I was willing to have sex with women I didn't like, sex was all I was willing to have with them.

Because I valued emotionally honest women, I tried to present myself as emotionally honest even if I had to lie. If a woman preferred a man who could cry, I could cry. If she wanted poetry, I could write poetry. If she asked for my complete acceptance, I would feign complete acceptance even if it meant telling a potty mouth that I preferred profane women, or a smoker that I was okay with kisses that tasted like a dirty ash tray. My combination of lust and adoration were such that whatever a woman honestly wanted, I could fool myself into honestly giving, at least until we had sex, after which I sometimes lost all interest in her.

I regarded physical intimacy as inseparable from emotional intimacy, but also as something that needed to be gotten out of the way before emotional intimacy could occur. I suspect that most men would prefer to get to know a woman by fucking first and talking later, the desire for sex being like the need to scratch an itch

I used to feel sorry for older men because I didn't believe that younger women could want them for anything other than their money, so I'm now happy to find that this older man has no interest in younger women--or in older women for that matter--for sex. I've gone from being unable to walk a city block without being repeatedly aroused to regarding few women as beautiful, and even those few don't strongly affect me. If I could choose between a gift subscription to a porn magazine or to a magazine about cats, I would take the one about cats.

I've gone from thinking that permanent bliss could only be attained through women (I was vague about how many women this would require) to realizing that my pursuit of women was like a collapsed bridge that separated me from bliss. Thomas Moore wrote the following over 200 years ago, not about women, but about the obsessive pursuit of women. When I first read Moore's poem (of which the following is a fragment) decades ago, I thought he was engaging in wishful thinking, the reason being that I regarded women as the sea and men as tiny boats that the sea is free to toss about and sometimes destroy.

"The time I’ve lost in wooing,
In watching and pursuing
The light, that lies
In woman’s eyes,
Has been my heart’s undoing.
Though Wisdom oft has sought me,
I scorn’d the lore she brought me,
My only books
Were woman’s looks,
And folly’s all they’ve taught me.

As for sex itself, I thought of the vagina as something that had the power to draw me unto itself whether I willed it or not, or whether I was granted access or not. I have come to realize that this attitude is not a given among men, with some men even abhorring the thought of a union that I regarded as an act of worship, an act that could lift me to the heavens, if only for a moment. The following is Hjalmar Söderberg's expression of a view wholly unlike my own:

"Why must the life of our species be preserved and our longing stilled by means of an organ that we use several times a day as a drain for impurities; why couldn't it be done by means of some act composed of dignity and beauty, as well as of the highest voluptuousness? An action which could be carried out in church, before the eyes of all, just as well as in darkness and solitude? Or in a temple of roses, in the eye of the sun, to the chanting of choirs and a dance of wedding guests."
from Dr. Glas, circa 1905

Indeed, why couldn't it? I elevated to the heavens an act full of sweat, odors, cries, screams, grunts, and squirming, an act also conducted by hogs in filth. I imagined that the gender that brought life into the world could somehow preserve my own life although it can't even save itself. Even when I claimed to worship Jesus, I would have urinated on the Bible in exchange for sex with any one of innumerable women that I mistook for goddesses. I now regard my behavior as degrading, yet if my hormones were to rage now as they raged then, I doubt that I would behave any better.

Putting all that aside, a man is not a hog and, for better and worse, we presumably bring more than a hog to the act of sex and all that surrounds it. I will quote again from Söderberg, only this time, instead of teaching me things that I had only dimly considered, he's reminding me of decades spent longing to be saved while also longing to save:

"...we know so little about one another. We embrace a shadow and love a dream... But I'm alone and the moon is shining, and I long for a woman. I could be tempted to go over to the window and call her up, she who is sitting down there alone on the bench, waiting for someone who doesn't come. I have port wine and brandy and beer and good food and the bed has been made. Wouldn't it be heaven...?"


kylie said...

I remember once commenting that all it takes for me to be interested is to be treated kindly. Looking back that statement is not entirely true because there are some kind men I wouldn't find attractive at all but your final quote made me think of this long ago statement. Good food, a made bed and a kind man sounds like a good deal to me.

I'm not sure i have added anything to your musings but it's what comes to mind as I read

PhilipH said...

Flicking Hell, Snowy. What a Fifty Shades of Sex you've offered up.

Obviously, to me, there is only ONE reason that we are born: to procreate, to keep the human race going. Nothing more, nothing less, for the vast majority of men and women.

Sex is a natural and driving force. Stronger than the Atlantic cable, it has dragged monarchs from heir throne, Edward VIII, and Wallis Simpson to name the obvious example.

Aggressive sex is totally abnormal. Those perverts who practice such perverted aggression are insane, in my opinion.

I cannot say more than the above, other than you have again written your essay extremely well, as usual of course.

Emma Springfield said...

Never would I ever say or think that all men are guilty of criminal sexual aggression. I do believe that all persons are innately sexual; that is how the human race continues after all. Young people who have the stirrings of feelings need to have someone who actually knows about such things to help them deal with those feelings and recognize what is acceptable and what is not. It might surprise many people thar females have the same urges. However we have been taught that we are the ones who will become pregnant before we are ready if we don't pay attention. Your deire for sex does not seem excessive for the most part. I think there are some deviants who feel that it is their right to do as they wish with another person's body. They are wrong and need to be kept in check by whatever means necessary. Most men do not fall into that category.

Elephant's Child said...

Not all men are sexual aggressors. Not all women are innocent victims.
The truth as always lies somewhere between the poles of black and white.
I believe that the behaviour that brought Weinstein and others down is more about power than it is about sex. Sex is the tool to express that power. Teemed with financial incentives it is a very powerful tool indeed. Sadly I DO think that some men were complicit. They knew the behaviour was going on and for reasons of their own chose not to speak up. And I would tar them (albeit more lightly) with the same brush.

Charles Gramlich said...

Hard to imagine that our experiences could have been any more different.

Snowbrush said...

Peggy read this, and wondered if people won't wonder where she was while all of this sex was going on. Well, I cheated on her a lot, and we also had an open relationship for many years.

"Good food, a made bed and a kind man sounds like a good deal to me."

I think you're describing a short-term relationship. For long-term, I would also be looking for, education, intelligence, sanity, prudence, frugality, loyalty, shared interests, fairly good health, and a pleasing personality, and those are just the things that immediately come to mind. Forty years ago, I could have come up with other things to go along with these. For instance, I might have listed "an adventurous spirit" and "a love for camping and hiking." I can no longer hike or camp, and as for adventure, I'm just trying to get through my days without being in too much pain. Last week Peggy (who is recuperating from her surgery) said that she needed to get out of the house, and I thought, why? We have a new kitten, and we have three other beautiful and loving cats, and those cats combined with food, books, warmth, good music, good movies, and one another, seems like enough to me.

"Obviously, to me, there is only ONE reason that we are born: to procreate, to keep the human race going."

I think you mean to say that our lives are devoid of an bigger purpose than the evolutionary mandate to propagate. I would simply draw a distinction between assigned meaning (propagating) and assumed meaning. An individual's assumed meaning can be more than one thing, and it's up to every one of us to choose what that thing(s) is. I find meaning in keeping my home nice, in taking care of Peggy, and in my reading, my cats, and my blog. Peggy finds meaning in her button collecting hobby, her time with me, her cats, and her friends, and so forth. Kylie, no doubt, would say that she finds meaning in her relationship with God, and Strayer in helping cats.

"Nothing more, nothing less, for the vast majority of men and women."

I think that people who keep cranking out children are either some combination of poor, ignorant, and irresponsible; or they think it's what God expects of them. In the latter case, they would say that their primary meaning lies in serving God, and that having children is simply the way that God expects to be served. As for people who have a busload of children because they're poor, ignorant, and irresponsible, I doubt that they find fulfillment in all those children. I instead assume that their lives are a mess.

to be continued...

PhilipH said...

You are right about the gormless, greedy and ignorant people who produce exorbitant offspring. They are unbelievably stupid or just plain simple. Two or three kids should be ample for the 'normal' couple. There are far too many humans in this world already but there have to be enough births to maintain the species.

My point is: no sex, no births = end of the human species. Exactly the same for your beloved cats, tigers, crocodiles and every other animal. Procreate or die out. Surely that's common sense, is it not?

As for the other "meanings" of life, such as button collecting and the thousands of other following that people adopt, they are all secondary, in my opinion. Hitler hated the Jews and strived to exterminate all of them. That was his aim in life, your current president seems to have a similar aim in respect of Moslems. He too is a "one-off", thank goodness.

The animals of this world, humans included of course, would ALL be extinct within a short while if the basic instinct to produce offspring was not there. It therefore follows that subsidiary aims and meanings of life are irrelevant if the species die out.

Not all humans WANT to produce a baby. I fully understand that. It is simply that the species survives so long as there are enough births to keep the human race going. Forget religion, it's people who create other people - for good or evil.

Marion said...

I'm with Philip. But I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the sheer beauty & spiritual experience of sex. I was an 18 year old virgin when I married. I loved sex and, to me, it was a spiritual joining of bodies & souls...as in the Song of Solomon. Maybe I'm the exception to the rule, but I never wanted anyone but my husband...It was he who wanted other women & experiences... I'll never understand why men and women are so drastically different. Fascinating post, Snow. Happy New Year.

Snowbrush said...

"Never would I ever say or think that all men are guilty of criminal sexual aggression."

If a woman has had multiple bad experiences with men in her own life, it must surely look that way as the reputation of men like who they greatly admire comes toppling down. Both my mother and Peggy told me of being nearly raped, and I can but wonder what the percentage of women who had their experience or worse is. While I don't intellectually believe in group guilt, I nonetheless feel embarrassed to be a member of the male gender.

"It might surprise many people thar females have the same urges"

I doubt that many adolescent boys give much thought to the position of girls because, as they see it, girls have all the control, and the fact that it's the girl who is going to suffer most in the case of pregnancy seems to be a small matter compared to their own consuming lust. I regarded girls as being like the possessors of food, and I was hungry. How odd then that I could have had sex with all but one of the girls I dated. Although I'm sure she liked me a great deal, that one was horror-stricken when I tried to kiss her. I've since wondered what made her that way, and what happened to her. Her mother really liked me, and when the girl (Nan) broke up with me, I missed the mother more than I missed Nan.

"Your deire for sex does not seem excessive for the most part."

I don't even regard my desire for sex as remarkable. For me, it really wasn't about sex as sex, but about multiple partners. They fed my ego, and I thought I saw a mystical element in our union. I saw women--attractive women anyway--as superior to men in every way but brute strength. The only thing that lessened that illusion was the waning of hormones. Hormones make a person weird anyway, and when a person is already weird--around women in my case--they can make him REALLY weird.

"I think there are some deviants who feel that it is their right to do as they wish with another person's body."

I've had rape fantasies, but even in those fantasies, the rape was playacting in that it was consensual. I can no more understand people who have no limits than I can understand a psychopath, and I even wonder if many such people are psychopaths. While writing this post, I remembered a family member who, when he saw his wife's wedding ring beside the sink, put it in his pocket. When she finished her work in the kitchen and went to put it on, her told her that it must have gone down the drain. She started crying, and I could tell that he enjoyed her tears, and that he was enjoying them the more because I was witnessing them (I immediately told her where the ring was). There are certainly a lot of sick men out there, and while I think that laws and shaming will help, how do we necessarily know when a man is guilty? I'm no fan of Garrison Keillor, but to think that he has become a pariah because of the accusation of one woman! Maybe he deserved it, but how does anyone other than that one woman know? I even heard a female Oregon Senator (Oregon state government has been having its own scandals) say that women should always be believed, and the fact that many women feel that way leads me to think that things have gotten so nutty that the public is going to get disgusted and lose interest in what is a real problem that needs an intelligent response. Surely, if it only takes one pissed-off woman to destroy the reputation and career of a man, then no man can ever be safe from ruin no matter how well he behaves. Remember Potiphars' wife.

More later.

Sue in Italia/In the Land Of Cancer said...

A very interesting post. Oh how I wish I could write so well as you do. Some points: I do believe there are many degrees of sexual harassment and agreed with Matt Damon more than Minnie Driver.

I was surprised how old you were when you lost your virginity. 22! Even my extremely shy husband had been seduced by the time he was 16. And then your first partner gave you hepatitis, hopefully not Hep C but from the sounds of it, hep B.

My son was a very handsome teenager. Lots of girls invited him to bed with the questionable come on " I did so and so and so and so. I could do you too'
I asked him why they seemed so willing to sleep with about anybody. He thought they just must like sex a lot. I told him that I didn't think so but they did want to feel wanted even for that brief period that they were having sex.

Fortunately he waited (17) to have sex with his long term girlfriend who ended up being his first wife.

Yes I am puzzled about some men wanting to have as many sexual partners as they can. I can understand wanting to have a lot of sex but why with so many different people?

Liked the bower bird display. One of my favorite videos is the male costa hummingbird trying to seduce a partner and how he blows up the magenta rings around his neck to look like an inviting flower.

When did you meet Peggy?

Marion said...

Oh, and what's the deal with so many boys experimenting with homosexuality? The experience you described sounded like an attempted rape! I recall my then young husband telling me that the other paperboys he threw routes with as a young teen having 'circle jerks'. I can't imagine girls doing anything remotely similar. I never once had a gay experience...but I did have a few gay guys want to have sex with me in the 70's. I guess that's an oxymoron, right? I told one guy it was because I was tall, thin and had itty bitty titties, so I looked like a boy. LOL! Life is strange... Happy New Year, Snow, to you & Peggy!! xo

rhymeswithplague said...


Snowbrush said...

"Maybe I'm the exception to the rule, but I never wanted anyone but my husband."

I would guess that most of the women I had sex with were married. Whether married women who have outside sexual partners, have as many outside sexual partners as married men, I don't know.

"It was he who wanted other women & experiences... I'll never understand why men and women are so drastically different."

I'll go back to Philip and the evolutionary imperative. Both women and men have the impulse to pass on their genes, but they differ in their ability to do so and in the things that they require in order to do so successfully. It is in men's evolutionary interest to have sex with as many women as possible because men have the ability to parent numerous children at the same time. Women can only have one child at a time, so it is not in their best interest to have numerous sexual partners but rather to wisely choose one sexual partner who (a) they would want to have a child by, and who (b) is able to provide a safe and prosperous atmosphere for the woman and her children. Obviously, only a dissolute man would go about fathering all the children possible, and the more independent women become, the less need they have of a man who can provide a safe environment for them and their children, yet this is the evolutionary tape that's running in the back of our minds and guiding many of our choices. Like a lot of women, Peggy regards male promiscuity (or female promiscuity for that matter, but I'm only talking about male promiscuity) as nothing more or less than the result of immoral choices. What I had to say about men and women being programmed differently on a genetic level strikes her as bald-faced rationalization.

Answer continued

Snowbrush said...

I think there's some sense in comparing male promiscuity to alcoholism. Most people couldn't become alcoholics if you gave them all the alcohol they could drink and provided for their every physical need so they would have the leisure to drink it. Other people can become alcoholics almost before they know it's happening, one drunk being enough to set them on the road to ruin. To simply say that non-alcoholics have high moral standards while alcoholics are moral failures comes from a desire to portray oneself as morally superior by making an overly simplistic judgement about something that the judgement maker has no interest in trying to understand. So it is with men and sex. Millions of women think that men should be like themselves in regard to monogamy, and characterize men as dissolute when they fail (it's the old, "No one held a gun to your head argument").

While it's true that no one ever held a gun to my head and ordered me to cheat on Peggy, I labored under a set of internal circumstances that she didn't understand, circumstances that were instilled in me by evolution, and that made it extremely difficult for me to resist that which she, because of different internal evolutionary circumstances, found it easy to resist. While she might argue that having sex with other people feels good to her too, this doesn't mean that she felt compelled to have multiple sexual partners. While it's true that we did eventually have an open marriage (meaning that both of us had other sexual partners), Peggy would have preferred that we had remained monogamous (I would guess that in most open marriages, the man is the impetus behind the marriage being made open). How she and I managed to stay married through all that we've been through is a mystery to me. I'm sure that when I write about my marriage, I often give the impression that Peggy is either a saint or a fool to have put up with me. This impression comes from the fact that I allow myself infinitely more freedom to write fully of my own behavior than of her behavior. The former I have the right to do; the latter, I would be a cur if I allowed myself to do it in instances where doing so might make her look bad. So far anyway, it's not Peggy who limits what I say online; it's me. She knows that I feel compelled write about my life more completely than most bloggers would even want to do, and she has been generous in not trying to restrict me.

Tom Sightings said...

I'm no expert but it seems to me that male sexual aggression is a leftover from our caveman days. It's just that . . . most of us have evolved beyond that. Also, men (and women) who engage in sexual aggression are also probably engaging in non-sexual aggression as well. The boss who humiliates his employee, because he can. The bully who beats someone up, or threatens to, because he can. Is non-sexual aggression any more defensible than sexual aggression?

Marion said...

Snow, you make much sense, but one usually only achieves this level of wisdom with age and experience. My younger self could not have agreed with you. Would to God that my ex had half your wisdom. Sigh... It sure does make life hard on those of us who desire monogamy, though. :-)

Snowbrush said...

"Sadly I DO think that some men were complicit"

Women were too, and there are also the victims who remained silent then and still remain silent now while other women take the heat for speaking out.

"Hard to imagine that our experiences could have been any more different."

Meaning you were always a one woman/one man person?

"My point is: no sex, no births = end of the human species....Procreate or die out. Surely that's common sense, is it not?"

Yes, it's common sense. I wish our species would greatly reduce its procreation, but it's not going to happen, so we're doomed to eventual calamities of one kind or another that will reduce our population against our will

"As for the other "meanings" of life, such as button collecting and the thousands of other following that people adopt, they are all secondary, in my opinion."

Yes, they're secondary to the evolutionary imperative that most people choose to carry on to some extent, but they're not secondary to the people who engage in them. While no one is going to die for button collecting, many people hold religion in high enough esteem that they're willing to die for it. I only mean to say that, on an individual level, we are able to choose what is primary while other species are doomed to procreate to the fullest extent possible.

"I can understand wanting to have a lot of sex but why with so many different people?"

Loneliness. Ego. Excitement. Doing the forbidden. Mistaking sexual intimacy for emotional intimacy.

Snowbrush said...

"When did you meet Peggy?'

I first took notice of her in the cafeteria at Mississippi College, but it was my roommate, Lynn, who introduced us. He was dating her, and I asked him for permission to ask her out. He gave it, but then told her not to go out with me. She would have anyway, but being told not to stiffened her resolve.

"Oh, and what's the deal with so many boys experimenting with homosexuality?"

For me it was a lark that had nothing to do with sex (what I mean is that I felt zero sexual arousal). I think that people either know they're gay or they know they're not. My friends knew they were, and that I knew I wasn't.

"The experience you described sounded like an attempted rape!"

These guys cared for me just as I cared for them, and I never had the least thought that they were trying to coerce me into anything. The next day, they saved me from drowning in a farm pond with dropoffs, and when the experience was over, I noticed that they looked as scared as I felt. I would love to know what happened to those boys, especially if any of them died young during the AIDS epidemic. I was friends with some gay fellows (in Natchez where I worked) when the epidemic started in the early '80s, and they denied its existence, saying that it was a plot by the government to make people hate homosexuals. Because they believed this, they continued their promiscuous lifestyles, and no doubt some of them died from AIDS.

"I did have a few gay guys want to have sex with me in the 70's. I guess that's an oxymoron, right?"

Moreso back then than now, I'm sure a lot of gay men tried to convince themselves that they were heterosexuals, or at least pass as heterosexuals. I had a best friend who was gay, married, and had three kids. To not be married was to be suspect, so a lot of gay guys married. Then too, I guess the desire to have children was a motivator. How a gay guy could become aroused enough to have sex with a woman is a mystery to me because if they are as turned off by thoughts of sex with women as I am with men, it must have been hell to pull it off. I think of how awful it would be for me to kiss a man on the mouth, and I wonder if that's how it was for Rock Hudson in all of those movies. So many gay men have contributed so much to the world, and to think that they were made to feel inferior and frightened really pisses me off. I can't understand Peggy opposing gay marriage, and does anyone really believe that if we have same gender marriage today, we'll have people marrying their dogs tomorrow? Peggy is not one of those people but I sometimes kid her about leaving her for one of our cats (that would be our GIRL cat because it's not like I'm a pervert!). What weirds me out infinitely more than homosexuality is transgenderism. You probably recall me saying that my father was transgender, and that there was never a day in his life that he didn't think he was a female. I completely believe that transgenderism is real, and I think it's ridiculous to say that these people are just acting, yet the fact remains that transgender people are not, on a genetic level, what they believe they are, so I can't get behind the idea that transgenderism is other but an illness. Yet, I know that my father's life was made miserable as he held one macho job after another, got in one fist fight after another, and married one woman after another, all in an effort to be who his genitals told him he was and to act like he thought society expected him to act. He couldn't do it in way that satisfied himself, and no one can do it. This means that we can either treat these people as being who they think they are, or we can make them as miserable as society made my father and millions of other people over the years.

Snowbrush said...

"it seems to me that male sexual aggression is a leftover from our caveman days."

I think it's because of a lot of reasons. As for the caveman days, women have often been and still are considered a part of the spoils of war. One of the first problems that I had with the Bible was that God supposedly told the Israelites on some occasions that when waging war in the "Promised Land" that they were to destroy every thing, every animal, and every person, except for the young virgins (old maids presumably being of no interest), which they got to keep for their private enjoyment. This was God talking! Really, God said to do this? The answer that my church gave was yes, God said to do this, and that, since God said to do it, it must have been fair, which can only mean that all of those people--including infants, little boys, and twelve year old virgins--deserved to be hacked to death. This is the God of millions of Americans, and when I wonder how so many people can support a thoroughly evil political candidate like Roy Moore, I remember what their god is like, and it gives me at least some understanding because if their god is that cruel and unjust and they believe that they're supposed to be godly, then there will be no limit their injustice and cruelty.

"It sure does make life hard on those of us who desire monogamy, though. :-)"

I think that monogamy is better for society because it creates a more stable environment in which to raise children and because it puts less strain on a marriage. Back then, I looked down upon those whom I regarded as the drudges of society, that is upon people who lived a forty hour a week one-man/one woman lifestyle. Even the thought of trying to live as they did made me feel like jumping out of my skin, but now I wish I had been able to reign myself in.

"TMI. Way TMI."

Your desire to maintain brevity made it necessary for me to Google TMI (I think it means "Too Much Information"). Are you spending so much time texting your grandkids that you're starting to speak in acronyms? Would you prefer that I had made this post (and maybe various others) into two posts, the first being the long form, and the second being like a Readers' Digest condensation? For the latter, I could take passages like the one about my gay friends, and just say, "I went camping with some boys (expressed as IWCwSB), and they wanted to have sex, but not much came of it (illustrated with a down arrow)." Actually, I saved you an enormous amount of tedium by NOT giving specifics about things like orgies and the way my miniature schnauzer would sometimes howl in concert with the women; or the name of the state in which I had sex with the most women, a detailed account of those interludes, how many schnauzers were involved, and what happened when a Russian Blue (a cat, not person) in Montpelier, Vermont, got turned on by my virginal schnauzer's Southern accent, and tried to have oral sex with her. My point is that I had expected gratitude rather than censure.

Sue in Italia/In the Land Of Cancer said...

Back when I was a freshman in college, I met a beautiful man. We had so much in common and spent hours together. I was in love! However something seemed to be missing...he never even touched me. Oh maybe he is just shy that way so I gathered up the courage and made the first move. He immediately stiffened up (not that way!) and I knew in an instant he was not the least bit attracted to me and not long after, said he wasn't sure he wanted to marry me.
My experience with men (boys) to that point trying to pry them off of me. At the time I thought there was a huge class of people, asexual. You know old people (over 30 I would have said at the time), ugly people, most women..people you couldn't imagine having or wanting sex. I didn't even consider he was gay. And neither would he for the next 5 years until he finally admitted it to himself and the world. We remain friends to this day whereas I am not friends with ex-lovers.

I am not sure if people are ever completely asexual. I know one can eventually find oneself in that state. (whatever hormones are responsible for arousal were not produced at all during chemo). I do think that many people are bisexual though.

Could I kiss a girl on the mouth? yeah, but I wouldn't be aroused.

rhymeswithplague said...

This is to alert you to the fact that I finally got around to responding to your comment on my post of December 22nd, “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” (which please see) and the ball 🏀 is now in your court.

lotta joy said...

I've asked Joe many times how he could love me now, since I am no longer the woman he fell in love with. I'm in constant pain. Constant depression. I sleep for days and gained a lot of weight from taking insulin that turns sugar into fat. He still claims I'm pretty and very desirable, but I figure he's being nice. A few night ago he said he had been wondering how to best answer my question so I'd not doubt his honesty. He said "What first attracted me to you was the honor you showed and the way you carried yourself with dignity and dressed modestly - in spite of the fact you could have worn sexy clothes and had all the men at your feet. Your eyes were honest, and your face was innocent, and that has not changed no matter how much pain or depression you're feeling." His answer is amazing.

Snowbrush said...

"Could I kiss a girl on the mouth? yeah, but I wouldn't be aroused."

I could say the same about women I didn't find attractive. If I had to not only kiss them but act like I was enjoying it, well, the job would require a great deal of money, and there would be some women by whom I was so turned-off that I would feel so much like vomiting that I might be able to pull it off, Joan Crawford for example. I can't even stand to watch anyone kiss her because she looked so thoroughly hateful. I haven't read "Mommie Dearest," but I would have no trouble believing anything bad about Joan Crawford. While a woman can look mean or depraved and still be at least somewhat desirable, it's an obstacle, and the meaner and the more depraved a woman looks, the greater the obstacle. Rock Hudson had to kiss Doris Day a lot, and that too would have been a problem for me because while I truly believe that Doris Day was a fine human being, she came across as someone who had never experienced and could never understand or welcome any amount of sexual energy. While I could at least go through with kissing someone like Doris Day, I had rather kiss a neutered cat.

"He still claims I'm pretty and very desirable..."

I tell Peggy that I consider her the most beautiful woman in the world, and I mean it. Maybe she believes me, or maybe she doesn't, but it's true, and I truly don't care how anyone else sees her. While visiting a friend as a fourteen year old, I heard his mother say that her husband considered her beautiful. To my credit, I didn't laugh, but I came close before I stopped myself because it hadn't even occurred to me that anyone her age could be considered beautiful. Well, that's not altogether true because I was a lot more attracted to my first girlfriend's mother than to the girl, and the mother had to have been in her mid-thirties. As I matured into my teens, I actually came to think of "older" women as more attractive than teenagers because young beauties started to seem too much like blank slates.

All Consuming said...

A great deal to take in from another truly thoughtful post. I'll be back with a better reply than that soon, but wanted to reply to Marion who said

"I can't imagine girls doing anything remotely similar." - I laughed loudly at this because much like Snow I have always been a confidant for people, male and female and believe me, many, many women., and especially as young girls, are curious about their sexuality and keen to find out if being with a woman might be just as exciting, and perhaps less heartbreaking than being with boys/men. I slept with a close female friend for that very reason. It was her reason too, and pleasant though elements of it all were we both knew there was something lacking, and that thing will probably always be attached to a male. We are brought up in such a rigid society that girls and boys don't feel they can experiment outside of their gender, it's 'wrong' and 'bad', and people can't even imagine it, as you said. But it exists and wouldn't be a big deal at all if it were considered to be just as normal for a girl to kiss a girl and take her home for tea as it is for a girl to kiss a boy and vice versa. Many hundreds of people who repressed their feeling in their youth and onwards, and subsequently went on to hurt and ruin other people's lives because they were doing what they 'ought to' do would have been prevented from their own pain and everyone elses had they been given a choice. (I'm not aiming this as a go at you Marion at all, I'm just chatting on because I usually find I do here and when some subjects come up.) I guarantee just as many would, as myself and my friend did, decide it was ok, but not for them, as there would be people who had no doubts at all and knew they loved a girl or a boy regardless of their gender. This will happen, but I will be very old by the time society gets there. Also, girls tend to be a lot freer with their emotions and so talk to their friends about things they'd like to do, even if they would never want to, they might fantasize. I appreciate that's not your experience, I'm just widening the circle of light by showing you mine. No pun intended. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Sorry, caps, they just fell out.

Rhymes and his "TMI" has me laughing so, so much. I'm glad you and he are friends. It is in our differences we celebrate and complain, but a joy they exist too.

Peggy is very beautiful. Pa could even hear it in her voice.

Back anon Snow my dear to talk about you Xx

Mir stella said...

I havent been by in awhile but am catching up and as usual, enjoying reading your posts. Thanks Snow for still being you, posting, being honest.

All Consuming said...

Fantastically honest post again sweetie. The part that many articles miss out on is that it isn't just sexual drive that fuels the kind of behaviour these people, mostly women, have encountered again and again throughout history. It's power. This is a vital point. Being patted on the knee by your boss isn't just because he fancies you, it's because he knows he can do it and it implies he's in a position to do more and there's sod all you can do about it. This is why it can be so frustrating when say Matt Damon wants to stress the difference between rape and a pat on the knee, it detracts from the force behind any sexual forwardness in the workplace or anywhere someone has some sway - that dog's tail in either case is wagged by power. No one should have to deal with that. It's not the same as a bloke fancying a woman and not being very good with social boundaries, it's a misuse of power and a form of bullying. hat's happening is a kind of revolution, and it's only happening because very well, known respected women in the acting industry are saying it happened to them. Decades of lesser known women were told to shut the hell up or blatantly ignored when they tried to report abuse or speak out to people about it. Natalie Wood and Kirk Douglas is a case in point and if she were still alive I guarantee you that Kirk Douglas would not have been accepting a lifetime achievement award as he did last week, he'd be in the Weinstein camp. As it stands, only her sister remains alive to tell the story, one which has been an open secret in Hollywood for many years, and one Kirk was proud of by all reports.

Anyway I go on, but yes, sexual urges are a big player in this as is the 'money shot' - power.

Sorry I've been too slow to reply. Give Peggy my best and thank her for the email, I'll get round to replying soon, and I'm chuffed to hear you take Rudolph with you from room to room! Xxx