Thursday, May 15, 2014

Now that I have your attention...

I stumbled upon a blog recently, one which was written by women and apparently geared toward women, and I saw a letter from "Dear Amy" being discussed. The letter-writer was offended that her partner knew that they had sex 76 times last year. And he was grading her. I would hate to see that report card.

But it started me thinking. Sex. No, nothing lewd, nothing pornographic, but I've always been fascinated; by the act, most certainly, but also by the attitudes people carry towards it. Sex can be good, and really damn good; it can be evil, and pretty damned evil. It's a noun, a verb, probably an adverb too if I could remember what an adverb was. One singer wants your sex, another wants to sex you up. It can be a weapon, it can be a reward, it can be a punishment. You can think about it too much, or not enough, or both at the same time, depending on your perspective. One gender stereotypically only has their mind on "one thing"; another gender stereotypically pretends that they are above that kind of talk but over glasses of wine and "chick flicks" they can embarrass a sailor.

My wife attended a wedding a few years ago. I got out of going by the fact that we were told that no kids were invited, although the bride's family was apparently an exception to that rule. Her father is the pastor of the church. Anyway, being a man who is prone to uttering inappropriate comments, every 20 minutes after my wife came home I wondered aloud, "Hmm... I wonder what she and her husband are doing now?", knowing very well what they were likely doing, but wanting to embarrass my wife just the same.

But seriously, folks. How do a woman and a man who have been brought up believing that sex is off limits, having abstinence instilled in them from the very beginning- how do they go about suddenly flipping the switch? Now they're allowed to see each other naked? Now they're allowed to grope and moan? Sex is just not talked about in fundamental Baptist circles. They obviously have it- the plethora of kids running around at the end of every service testifies to that- but do they enjoy it or just tolerate it? Maybe Baptists have sex with their clothes on.

Stay with me here- there's a point to be made. I spent several years as part of a couple of fundamental Baptist churches, and the point was hammered home every other Sunday- we do not live by our experience, we live by the Word of God. Quite often people who enjoyed certain experiences were talked about as if possessed by Lucifer himself. No guitars or drums- can't have that sensual beat enticing our senses. So how do they turn the page when the tie comes off and the bodies go horizontal? Do they know that it isn't JUST about procreation, that they're allowed to like it, that it's a good thing?

Experience is woven into the fabric of life. Roses have color and scent. Anchovies have taste. (Oh, do they!) And sex is not merely functional. If it was merely for procreation, then a man could just fill some test tubes and keep them in the freezer. Procreation is obviously a function of sex. But oh, is it so much more. The experience. When you don't have the experience you consider yourself to have failed at it. Men who don't have "the experience" take drugs. Women who don't have "the experience" read magazines, get therapy and talk to their girlfriends about their dissatisfaction. "The experience" is part of the package, thereby proving that God approves of pleasure and excitement- He created them.

And yet... is that all there is to it? "Getting yours"? Seems like if that was your whole perspective than you could accomplish the same thing by going into the can with a magazine. A large part of it, it most certainly is... but not IT.

I'm not na├»ve. IT isn't always some metaphysical, ethereal thing. Someone falls asleep, someone farts, someone remembers that the garbage didn't go out yet; the cell phone rings, the bed collapses, little Johnny or Susie walks in and sees Mommy and Daddy "wrestling". Sometimes you just realize that you're just not that into it and stop.

But let's not pretend here. We all think about IT, we all talk about IT. Hopefully with our partners. I certainly hope with our partners. If you are complaining to your friends or your blog audience that your husband wants IT all the time, then you probably need to talk to your husband first. If you are sharing "locker room talk" over some cold ones with the guys, perhaps talking about how your wife won't "give you any" because you insulted her mother or something, then the person you need to be talking to is your wife, not your buddies.

And I haven't even scratched the surface of the subject. Other people with vaster vocabularies and more varied experiences have written about IT. I am only speaking from one corner of the universe here, and my vision is limited.

Now let's get back to the beginning. Was the guy who kept track of the number of times he and his wife had sex wrong to do so? Well... I would definitely say that he was kind of crass in putting out report cards. That certainly isn't helping matters. Throw the report cards away, dude. Wash the dishes, cook every once in awhile, take a shower and change your undies more than once a week- there are a whole plethora of things that you can do to build up capital in the love bank. But geez, report cards? Your bank account is overdrawn, dude.

And to the wife? Well, I'm not a wife, am I? So I really can't speak to the subject. I would suggest, though, that if the wife isn't at least trying to talk with her husband about this, if she is just writing to advice columnists or bloggers about it, than she also needs to back up and communicate with her husband. Her husband isn't wrong for wanting it, but she also isn't wrong for not wanting to reward crassness with concupiscence.

Gotta talk with each other before you can do other things with each other.

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