How do you keep conversation alive or jokes funny with someone you have lived with for many, many years? How many times is your lover expected to laugh at the same joke, no matter how many different ways you tell it? Does a lover have a duty to laugh at his/her lover’s jokes more than twice – and the second time is really insincere anyway, right? Is there a duty in a relationship not to say, “Please don’t tell that joke again. If I hear it one more time I’ll scream”? Does a lover have a duty – to himself to be sure – to keep conversation topics fresh or at least to keep a fresh and appealing way of discussing whatever happens in life from day to day, year to year? If you don’t have fresh material, won’t you die on the vine as would a stale comedian? How many times, after all, can a comedian get away with repeating a routine? And how many dimensions of a long lasting relationship are there for us to keep fresh year in and year out.
Of course, we could always be like one friend of mine whose girlfriend complained one morning to me over a breakfast of huevos rancheros and tequila that he never waited for her to “be ready”. He just “did it” and left her sore and unsatisfied all the time. She asked me to speak to him on the matter, and he said in response, “Tell her I don’t do it for her. I do it for me.”
Retaliation has become more of a public remedy than it used to be. The ladies no longer protect our shortcomings from public display if we tax their patience. Gone are the days when girls were socialized to protect some dumb sumbitch who either makes snide comments about his spouse/lover or engages in other boorish behavior. Laura Bush may only poke George in the eye publicly by referring to him on TV as “Mr. Excitement”, but I have heard wives/lovers reach critical mass at dinner parties of late and, in pay back for some slight, reveal to all and sundry just why it is that she doesn’t have orgasms any more, at least not with yon Bozo over there across the table slurring his words this evening, or telling tales out of school.
At the level of a juvenile, it’s true that the parents have the obligation to go to the recital and listen in “awe” as the little bastard plays “Twinkle Twinkle” on the violin that they have heard her/him practice at home ad nauseam. That is a duty to encourage growth and development. But as between lovers, as Belinda always says – “I didn’t take you to raise.” Your lover is not your parent, and you should by now be able to carry the intrigue requisite to an ever fresh relationship without her/him having to pretend that you aren’t a total, crashing bore. As George Bush says, “It’s hard work.”
It helps never to have fully matured, so that you see everything in some child like fantasy mode and can weave reasonably good bullshit into your reactions to things that happen from day to day. But, after all, if you don’t wish to hear the bored groan after some comment or other, the choices are bloody few, aren’t they? You either come up with some interesting way of discussing something or….or….or….or you say nothing at all – pretend you missed whatever it was that has just happened and about which your commentary and analysis is awaited.
And if you can’t produce fresh material conversationally year in and year out, imagine what your lover must think of your love making abilities. Can a person who is conversationally dull be otherwise in bed? I wonder whether a recluse ever gets tired of his own stories or sex with himself. There are so many jokes about the many different ways to masturbate to keep it interesting, that one might posit that sex for one is practiced more that we care to admit. The South African masturbation jokes are best, followed by the English Sex For One anthology. My favourite is the one about sitting on your hand till it goes numb so that it feels like someone else is doing it to you. Women, of course, don’t have such problems. Men are such street dogs that a woman can have one – or many – any time she likes. And if she has compunctions about the risks, hygienically or morally, there is a treasure trove of equipment available to her with which she can self gratify in private and without limit. Women even have sex toy parties now, just like the Tupperware parties of yesteryear. Men only have those comedic blowup dolls that they can pretend they are having sex with and that can be used to simulate a passenger in the front seat so that you can drive in the high occupancy restricted freeway lanes during rush hour. No entertainment concept comes along that does not become the subject of some women’s sex toy. There is even a battery operated electronic Sponge Bob bathing device just out for Christmas giving. The jokes about the many ways in which women’s sex toys are superior to being with a real man seem endless, don’t they? Actually, they aren’t really jokes, merely comedic descriptions of real points of differentiation – the devices don’t lose their erections; fart; smell bad; have bad breath; cheat on you; miss child support payments; give you a STD that they got from another woman; yell at or otherwise verbally or emotionally abuse you; they never cum first; they accept guidance and direction without complaint or whining;
There is no such thing as Irish Catholic sex humor. What is put forth as Irish sex humor is about as funny as a natural disaster. To them sex is for procreation, not for pleasure. It is all tied up in notions of sin and guilt. Everything intimate is “impure”. Priests who wouldn’t hesitate a minute to bugger a little boy teach that heterosexual intimacy is inherently evil, to be tolerated only to the extent necessary to propagate. To me this is perverse, but I don’t follow the teachings, so it doesn’t affect me. G.K. Chesterton characterized the perspective in his statement, “The great Gaels of Ireland – the men whom God made mad – All their wars are happy, and all their songs are sad.” Unable to defeat the British and expel them from Ireland, they have impoverished themselves in some impossible “struggle” to do so, electing not to participate in the prosperity that abounds all around them. For after all, capital investment does not freely flow to areas of strife.
Back to the story!
On the many things that make conversational inventiveness difficult, perhaps the greatest barrier is that nothing new ever happens. Whatever happens is but a repetition of what has occurred before. Maybe the context has changed. Maybe there is some novel device at work to facilitate what is happening. But it’s just the same old shit happening on another day. We laugh at the same things today that people laughed at in Biblical times.
Of course, one might posit that people may have laughed less in Biblical times because God was wandering around in their midst insisting that everyone be serious, incessantly giving thanks and praise and constantly at work lest the Lord come and find them being slothful. On the other hand, whilst God was busy observing every sparrow that fell, you would think that some brazen soul might have gotten in a snicker or two on hearing a good dead bird joke.
We have less available by way of excuses for being a dullard today. In Biblical days people spent so much more of their time and energy just obtaining sustenance and keeping a roof over their heads. I seriously doubt that they spent that much time being piously observant of the many rules that the religious types would assert as mandatory prerequisites for a heavenly green card. If they did, someone else would have to do their work for them, just as the religious zealots of today tend to be parasites on the society of working folks. Thus can we envision a cadre of unctuous God botherers, ostentatiously praying, genuflecting, wearing costumes that proclaimed them to be “pious”, running around alternately imploring and threatening normal working folks to ‘OBEY!”, with the balance of the population just trying to get by and maybe have a laugh or two in the process.
In fact, if you consider that rules are mainly promulgated to regulate activity that is actually happening, folks back in Biblical times must have always been trying to raise hell. One does not pronounce a prohibition of something that no one is doing, does one? We may therefore extrapolate that mandates against everything profane, salacious, promiscuous and gluttonous came into being because a great many people were out there being profane, salacious, promiscuous and gluttonous.
Today, on the other hand, we are relieved of the requirement to feed, stable and hitch up beasts of burden. We ride around in motor vehicles and buy clothing and food in stores. Very few people actually grow food anymore. Even the pigs and chickens are grown/raised by enormous corporate organizations employing the utmost in machinery and equipment. So there is less by way of excuses for being tedious.
Consider, if you will, that people who are dull are simply lazy. They are skimmers. They will take what is easy and refuse to do any work for anything else. If you don’t exert the effort, you don’t recognize whatever it is that the effort might have produced because you never get to it. The ability to deal conversationally with something in a manner that elicits the attention of others wanting to hear what you have to say about it is the product of insight. If you don’t master the discipline of analytical thought you can’t recognize irony. And it is irony that is so often the basis of humor.
For example, if you step up to accept the award as the person responsible for the accomplishment, later on when it is all revealed to have been a fraud, your lawyer may get you off/try to get you off by having you say that you didn’t know what was going on. The rationale is that people are so lazy and stupid that they miss the absurdity of it all. You cannot have been responsible for something sold to the public as wonderful and then proclaim your ignorance as to how it all came about. I am the chairman of Enron Corporation, but I don’t understand the ins and outs of financial information. DUH! Will jurors believe that? I remained ignorantly above it all whilst those working for me stole billions and I had no idea what they were doing. DUH! Where will they find a jury pool that stupid? And yet, the chairman of Enron isn’t the only one who is adopting the Dufus defense. It seems the lawyers for all the really big time corporate thieves are having their clients say that same thing. Are we really that stupid, or are they just that desperate? The Enron guy even has his own web site at which he spouts this bullshit. Now that’s fucking funny! And if the Dufus defense works and juries acquit these thieves, the humor will blossom for years. Can a chief executive officer who tells the financial press that he is in charge of everything whenever something positive happens later claim that he was out of the loop when it turns out his company was stealing from everybody? Does a bear shit in the woods? DUH!
Finally, the ultimate “Been There, Done That” issue! This next discussion I dedicate to my brethren, especially to those who lament that they don’t get much sex these days.
There are aspects of being men and women that are not simply imposed upon us by society. To be sure, there are many exceptions to this observation, but in the main, we men are the initiators of sexual intimacy most of the time. Face it. The reason that women find us easy to exploit is that we are enslaved – admit it or not – to our testosterone powered masculine identity. The normal male wants to fuck all the time, and the real male wants to fuck much more than that. Many women share that love of intimacy. Many do not – or at least not to the degree that we constantly dwell upon. We men characterize everything sexually. We find sexual descriptors for things that have absolutely nothing to do with sex. Those who think we are “higher animals” unlike the “lower orders”, are simply idiots. We are motivated exactly like any monkey in any zoo. We have simply practiced denying that we are that way. We love it so much that we will gladly sign away our entire future economic value just to “get it regular” as they say in Tennessee. All interpersonal due diligence is performed with our penises. If our penises give a positive indication, our hearts and minds follow immediately, with little or no resistance. We are big and strong and aggressive, but can be subjugated with little effort by anyone with a vagina.
Part of that territory is that we are untutored; we are selfish when it comes to sexual intimacy. We want to please ourselves and then to move on to something else. When the object of our desire is less than enthusiastic – to put it mildly – we blame them for not coming across with “their part of the bargain”. We conveniently view sexual intimacy as transactional. I do A, B and C, so you have to do D, E and F. We play act at romance whilst expecting women to recognize and be guided by some notion of duty. And then we whine when the old lady isn’t in the mood. DUH!
When a man complains in any social setting about his wife’s lack of interest in sexual intimacy, what everyone hears is that he is really lousy in bed. Obviously, if he were a competent lover, his wife would love being intimate with him whenever possible. How fucking stupid can you be? If you can’t get your old lady excited, shut the fuck up about it. If she is present when the remark is made, do you really expect that to elicit a positive result when you get home? How would you feel if she suddenly blurted out that you are really terrible in bed? And are you always there and ready for her when she might feel like it, or are you too full with dinner or with martinis sometimes? Does she owe you sex? Are you a believer that you ought to get laid because you have a job and earn a living and pay bills? Of course, you probably also were upset and vocal about it when you took a woman out to dinner and she didn’t “put out” afterward, right? I mean, what the fuck? You paid for dinner, right? Did she think you were putting a great restaurant meal in front of her because you think highly of her or because she is a scintillating conversationalist?
Of course there is also the school of thought that presents are to be reciprocated by their letting you do it – or vacations – I mean, isn’t motel spelt backwards “letom” (let em)?
Did it ever occur to you that if you want a woman to love being intimate with you, then being intimate with you has to be something that she really likes a lot and that she looks forward to. If it is perceived as a duty and not a thrill, how often do you think it will happen? And when it does, will it be anything other than just another act of drudgery?
How much effort do you exert to learn and master the things that you could be doing that might make you really interesting to her sexually? How much time do you spend, and how often do you think of what she might like at any given moment – not sexually, but personally and emotionally? How many times a day do you remind her, in words and deeds, that you love her a great deal? How do you show appreciation for all the things that she does that represent her contribution to the orderly running of your life together? Love is, after all, sacrificial. If you don’t love sacrificially, then you don’t really love at all. She may have taken a vow, but not every vow represents an obligation gladly performed. How do you make her vows to you something that she is happy, rather than simply obligated, to do?
And, ultimately, if you are that appreciative and caring male soul to whom she is bonded emotionally, heart and soul, what has it been like when you are together sexually? Is it really great for her? Do you gratify your own requirements before seeing to hers? Will she want to be close to you sexually more often if she expects that it will be exciting and satisfying for her? DUH!
And, even if you are a caring and generous lover, are you boring in bed? Do you do it the same way every time? Is there a manual that you seem to follow – Step 1 followed by the same Step 2 and the same Step 3 every time? Is making love with you about as predictable as folding laundry? And you wonder why it aint as great or as frequent as it used to be? As long as you stay with the same woman, it’s only “new” once. If you don’t constantly make it new, year after year, it gets old. Old sucks!
At least part of intimacy is intrigue. Part is the variety of ways that people can excite each other when they take the time to learn how and to learn what pleases most. If you really want to “get off”, try doing it just for her and in every way that she likes and putting yourself last. If you do that, she will be the greatest reward you could ever imagine. Sexual selflessness elicits responses you never even dreamed of. Beyond high school backseat of the car nookie poking there are Tantric and Kama Sutra variations on erotic touching and kissing that, especially when not used in the same combinations and sequences every time, can help a really considerate and loving lover create a sexual fantasy world for the woman of his desire that drives her to want you constantly. And it aint sinful, no matter what some people say. What is sinful is the waste of wonderful moments by not being able to facilitate them. Christopher Columbus would not have discovered the new world if he had clung fearfully to the shores of his own hemisphere.
Going somewhere you have never been sexually with someone you really care about and want to be with is the best trip you will ever take in your whole life.
By Seamus Muldoon, Himself
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