Tuesday, April 3, 2012
When it's late at night and the scent of magnolia hangs heavy in the nighttime air- a rare occurrence here in Pittsburgh, to be sure, but it happens- often I will rub the sleep from my eyes and listen rapt-wise while the old folks tell stories of the old days.
In the old days, for example, couples always both wanted an equal amount of sex. Similarly, you could get into the movies for the price of a loaf of bread, although what the theaters did with all that bread remains a mystery. And late night comedians didn't tell the same jokes twice, hoping to save a lame joke by emphasizing a different word on the joke's re-telling.
That's right, I said it. I broached what you call a taboo topic on this country.
Movie theaters once accepted loaves of bread? What did the porn theaters accept, bagettes? Or for lesbian film festivals- bundt cake?
But what I'm referring to, of course, is the old folks tale that, at any time in the history of man, there has existed a couple who has wanted, or needed, or (insert your own lecherous or disdainful verb here) sex equally.
Why do couples not like sex the same amount? Freud probably would have had a lot to say on the subject, if he'd ever have taken that cheap cigar out of his mouth. It was Freud who famously said, no doubt in self defense, that "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar". It was probably his rival, Jung, who said, "Yeah, and sometimes a cigar is just a penis substitute, Sigmund.". How those Vienna nights must have just flown by.
Look at it this way. Probably you've gone to a restaurant with another person, or, if you're lucky, you and your beloved have gone to a restaurant with another couple. It took a long time for everybody to order- lots of negotiation, lots of "you order this, I'll order that and we'll each try what the other person ordered" going on.
And this is just about food.
And even before the negotiating began, I'll bet my last dollar-no, I'll bet my husband's last dollar, it's older and more of a collector's item- that not all the people at the table wanted the same food group. Let me go back further. How much effort and negotiation and phone calls and emailing, if not downright begging, did it take to get everybody available on the same night at the same time?
And many times did you, as social secretary for this mess, think, "Aw, forget it, I'm just gonna fend for myself. Let every body else get their own."
Sex is pretty much the same as going out for dinner, except that you spend less time figuring out what to wear. If you're married, a lot less time.
Because I have been a foot soldier in the war between the sexes for a quarter of a century-blow in my ear and I'll show you my scars- I have a good idea of what works and what doesn't in terms of convincing/being convinced to do the Horizontal Hora with your spouse. But that, my good cyber-friends, is another blog, and if you can wait, it's coming, if you'll pardon the expression, next week.
Incidentally, if you're dating, it's not a war. A war is a situation on which both sides are struggling for a foothold in territory that you both want, in this case, each other. In dating, you can bolt at any time. At best, dating is a skirmish.
As McArthur once told his troops after a vigorous night with
Mrs. Eisenhower, "Marriage is hell".
Needless to say, the media of the day cleaned up what he said.
What he really said was,
"Laying the foundation for an open and honest relationship and negotiating for occasional, beautiful, soul-fusing, I-hear-a-lone-saxophone-in-the-distance sex with the person that you adore in the bargain - and if you are supremely lucky, they are one and the same person- is hell".