This is not so much a confession, because I don't think I did anything wrong, but more an open letter to that part of the world that may be unaware of the situation. My situation is not unique, no outlier, not a detestable minority, far from it. I am the norm.
While that trope that men think about sex constantly, every 7 seconds according to one canard, is clearly wrong and a calumny, men do think about sex a good amount.
Laumann, E., Gagnon, J.H., Michael, R.T., and Michaels, S. The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States. 1994. Chicago: University of Chicago Press (Also reported in the companion volume, Michael et al, Sex in America: A Definitive Survey, 1994).
and they think about sex in a different way than woman do.
(Zurbriggen, EL & Yost, MR (2004). Power, desire, and pleasure in sexual fantasies. Journal of Sex Research, 41(3), pp. 288-300.)
Certainly a personal example would be more enlightening than a dry research paper; anecdotes are more powerful than actual studies (that's what homeopaths say, in any case) so let me tell you about my own experience.
Last evening, about 8, I was in a local supermarket. Well, not exactly my 'local' supermarket, it was, in fact, almost the furthest one in the county from my house, and I was there because my wife liked the brand of deli meats they sold and, nothing would have it but that I would drive 11 miles each way to spend a few dollars extra to buy particularly good low-salt, turkey breast sliced for sandwiches, just so.
And I was there on a Saturday evening because my wife had just realized that, if Sunday dawned on a sneak storm of the century that had blanketed my region with 12 “ of snow and the roads were impassible, somewhere on the second or third day, our sandwich choices would be sparse.
Clearly, an emergency.
Anyway, there I was standing in front of the counter waiting my turn and I happened to look around and there standing behind me was a very, very beautiful woman. She was beautiful in a way that made all the other women around look like homely old men. From my casual 2 minute scrutiny she was perfect.
I smiled, but my lips were frozen and I couldn't speak. What was I thinking, you asked? Here comes the revelation.
I was not thinking, “my, how beautiful she is and what a form. She looks so happy she must have a great family life with a husband and children who love and respect her – just like me.'
No, I was thinking approximately this, “What is the magical phrase that when I utter it will cause her to turn to me and say, 'come with me into the parking lot you big piece of man meat and we will recline on the flip down seats in my Mercedes Maybach and make mad love until we both are exhausted. Then I will let you go and cry because, no matter who makes love to me from now on, I will dream of you.' “
Well, at that moment my number was called and I didn't get to say that phrase and my chance with the Maybach was gone forever. But you get the idea.
My wife knows this and, although she is in awe at the overwhelming sexuality of my being, really insists on my keeping myself for her alone. This may be seen as selfish, denying to the greater society what could be important on a global scale, but that's the way she is.
She does, however, allow me to have a “List.” For those of you, unfamiliar with the intricacies of sexual politics, a 'List' is a small set of names, often 5, of women with whom, if they agreed to have sex with me, I could have the aforementioned sex with no recriminations from my spouse.
I am allowed freely to refine, to add, to subtract names from that list but my wife does have veto power over the names. Last night, after my return from the store with the valued and valuable low salt turkey breast sliced just so for sandwiches, I was sitting at my desk wondering how to match a recent revelation with the current state of my List, when my wife peeked over my shoulder.
Now my List is in a state of flux. Unlike the Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown, NY, no one can expect to stay on the List forever. A Selectee's behavior can result in their being removed for a time or even banished permanently. Typically the List is heavy with show business people because, well, just because.
My wife hmmed a bit. Four people out of the five are in show business and the other is well known in political circles. 'What, what?', I said.
“I recognize the first four', she said. “Cyd Charisse, Helen Mirren, Laura Linney, Halle Berry. Isn't Cyd Charisse dead?”
“The heart wants what the heart wants.”
“Do you know how creepy it is for you to quote Woody Allen while you have a dead woman on your free sex list?”
I smiled and turned back to my desk; how unpolished my wife is in the sophisticated ways of the heart. C'est dommage.
Her finger stabbed at the last name on the list. “Who's that?”
I explained this woman's place on the List, her beauty and charm and the aphrodisiac effect of her political power.
“Veto” said my wife.
“Veto” I exclaimed,”what kind of veto?”
“Geographical”, she said. "She is sometimes within 50 miles of this house and, according to the rules, I exercise a Geographic Veto For Cause." She was right, it was printed right there in Section 11. I slumped back in my chair, exhausted at the situation and the work that now must be done to fill that vacant slot.
I could only stare at the List.
But then It was gone. In an instant, taking advantage of the split second that my cat-like reflexes were dulled by disappointment, she had snatched away the only extant copy of the List.
“Wait,” I croaked, as she vanished round the corner,'You know how bad my short term memory is. Without that printed copy, I'll never be able to reconstruct the List.”
“The List. What List?” she said as she fluttered down the hall.
Those words haunt me today.
The top, color image is mine
The excellent shot of the bare back, lace panties and clarinet is used by expression, written permission of its maker -Robert 'Mully' Mulligan whose stupendously good images can be found at http://www.robertmulliganphotography.com/