Monday, April 14, 2008

But Sex is a Matter of Physics


I have a feeling I know why I haven't been going on "dates" for awhile. It's because I'm afraid of exactly the kind of mental dilemma I'm in right now. Add a healthy dose of self-flaggelation and... Shazamm!: A perfect recipe for -- if not disaster -- discomfort and hand-wringing.

That being said, I'm glad I went out with S for dinner on Friday, and it met my expectation of "at least being able to get to know someone a little better" than I would in a random, late-night hookup (one of which we'd already had many months ago). And I did get to know him a little better. And he's a "nice guy." So you know what's coming...

It's not going anywhere romantically or physically, and I'm stuck in that, "should we just be friends?" scenario (assuming the opportunity to answer that question arises; for all I know, he'll never call again and I'll be spared the opportunity to squirm). Part of me wants to believe that you can't have too many friends. Another part of me feels that I'm happy with my life as it is and I don't need further competition for my free time, terrible as that sounds.

And then there's the big dilemma, which is just internal:
- What the hell is "Chemistry," anyway?
- Is it something we fool ourselves into thinking should exist -- that queasy feeling of delight when the emotionally unavailable stud-of-our-dreams walks in the room?
- Do we have the luxury of believing in chemistry after we're "of a certain age" (and yes, I know age is just a canard that has nothing to do with it)?

These questions are all starting to sound way too Carrie Bradshaw, but they're very real on my part. At some point do we settle for the "nice," stable, fairly well-adjusted-and-lacking-major-mental-issues guy and realize that hot, steamy, monkeysex is for twentysomethings and television characters? In any case, I think that monkeysex is overrated. I'd prefer someone with whom I can fairly innocently canoodle in flannel jammies (I'm exaggerating) on Saturday night and then spend Sunday morning discussing the Opinion and Arts section of the Times.

It seems sometimes like incredible karmic justice that my hyper-sexual early thirties would give way to a spinsterlike existence of weekends spent savoring the pleaseures of a soft mattress, a warm, fluffy comforter and some harpsichord études on the stereo.

Talk about issues.


Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Okay, I'll retract my earlier "You have all the luck" comment and replace it with "Christ, you sound as bad as me."

The Angry Young Man said...

You say you'd prefer fluffy flannel, but that's obviously not true. If it were, you'd have it already. Regardless, make your choice. You either get fluffy flannel or monkey sex, because you're not getting both.

What's a Carry Bradshaw?

Huntington said...

See, the Angry Young Man's comment was what I was going to question when I first read your post. Why CAN'T one have the flannel and the monkeysex? I think we're all to the point in our lives where we understand that, as time marches on (all over our face), the flannel becomes more common than the monkeysex (do I have to keep calling it that?), but does that really mean that the two are mutually exclusive?

The Angry Young Man said...

Huntington, you are such an American.

joe said...

Sigh, redux.

1. AYM: (a) There are numerous problems with the statement "if it were true that you want x, you'd have it already." Insert myriad values for x. How many guys do you know who'd be happy with a flannel-ly, sexless "Boston Marriage"? I want names and phone numbers. Oh yeah, in addition, he must be intellectually stimulating and æsthetically pleasing to my eyes.
(b) Please see Huntington to update your pop cultural literacy quotient re: the Bradshaw woman.

2. Huntington: You falsely assume I was positing an either/or in my ruminations. We need to rework that Venn diagram. Maybe one CAN have flannel AND monkeysex. Maybe even *I* can have flannel AND monkeysex. That just brings up the further issue (or is it also a canard) that I haven't yet found the *right* partner for flannel AND monkeysex. This is what I'm ruminating over -- should I be seeking such a flannel AND monkeysex partner, or is that a American Romantic fantasy? The thing is, I'm not really wringing my hands and bemoaning the lack of such a partner -- I'm just wondering where this dating and hooking up stuff is heading for me. Maybe I just need to circulate more (insert snarky pun here).

3. One final disclaimer to all: I actually hate flannel bedclothes. With a passion.

Further thoughts, please... anyone?

Huntington said...

Perhaps I was a little overeager in my reading of your next-to-last paragraph to see an either/or; as we all know, binary opposition gives me gas, and so I tend to see it where it might not be. But you can see how I might have come to the conclusion I did. The AYM obviously did, which is why he called me "American," his code for someone who wants to have his cake and eat it, too.

joe said...

Buttcha ARE, Blanche. Ya ARE.

The Angry Young Man said...


A.) Enough with the *sighing* already. You *sigh* here, you *sigh* there, here a *sigh*, there a *sigh* - what's with the dissatisfaction all over the place, hah?! Things could be worse, you know. You could be like our housemate Elisabeth at Maison le Trou. You could even be ugly! instead, you're a presentable, cultured, and interesting fellow with much to offer. Count your god damned blessings and stop being such an American.

B.) I mistyped in stating that you'd already have flannel love with this Bradshaw person you incessantly refer to were it something you really wanted. It occurred to me some time after I made that statement that I have no idea as to whether it could be true or not as I have zero knowledge of your romantic life. I know nothing about you. Who are you? What do you want from me? Hah?!

The whole notion that there's some ideal person out there who is just perfect for each and every one of us is a total hoax, cooked up by the diet/Valentine/self-help book/industrial complex to create new and exciting ways to separate silly Americans from their American dollars. The fact remains that most people are annoying, stupid, and gross and that the best shot any of us with brains have in settling down with another human is to pick someone we generally get along with and then learn to compromise when we annoy one another, which will prolly be 90 percent of the time. Eventually, we'll get so used to one another we can trick ourselves into thinking it's "love" when really it's just the same sort of attachment we develop towards any other amusing object lying around the house. Keep in mind that the older we get and the more settled we are in our particular ways, the less likely we are to be willing to tolerate other humans and their bizarre quirks, habits, and offputting rituals. Plus, there's that whole old man smell that pops up around one's mid-40's that is simply intolerable. Best to learn to take pleasure in simple things, like alcohol and porn.

joe said...

Keep in mind that the older we get and the more settled we are in our particular ways...

Keep in mind? AYM, when you finally age out of your twenties and enter your fifth decade of life (as I just have), BELIEVE ME, it will be painfully obvious how unwilling one is to tolerate other humans and all their stupid nonsense and disgusting physical traits. Just as I hardly expect to meet anyone who will tolerate my randomly-generated crankiness and my nonstop flatulence throughout the night (hey, the digestive tract ages too!).

OK, I'm off to read 'Abelard et Heloise' and cry in my beer.

copperred said...

Alright Joe you can have the monkey sex (oddly now when I think of that term, I shall think of you) and the flannel (in shirt form wrapping up your deliciously aesthetically pleasing, witty veterinarian), you just can't have 100% of each. Not only because it is a mathematical impossibility but because there still has to be some part of you left in there.

Physics is just as complex as chemistry, we just are fortunate enough to shade our lives only with the easy bits like gravity and how far bodies can move within certain angles.

People will surprise you. In the meantime look your best when you leave the house, and keep fresh flowers at home.

The Angry Young Man said...

You know, I read someplace that Carly Simon and her latest husband never lived together. Instead, they live in separate houses on either side of Vineyard Haven (Martha's Vineyard) and hang out when they feel like it. To me, this makes total sense.

Stash said...

I'm really surprised that someone who lives in sunny California would have dating issues. It's simply inconceivable. Isn't California the kingdom where Prince Charming lives?

That's what all those Falcon movies would have us believe. ;)

You declaim that you haven't been on dates in a while. Hmph. I haven't gone on a "date" in years. I like my life the way it is right now. Making room for someone else, adapting to another set of likes/dislikes, having to commit and all that goes along with that kind of territory -- who has time for all that?

Steven said...

Further complicating our effort to chart this thing is that, though a guy's flanneliness might (might) remain constant, his monkeysexiness will almost certainly change over time. And unfortunately, for most people, monkeysexiness decreases in proportion to increase in familiarity.

You may think you've found someone flannely and monkeysexy enough for you, but the moment is already gone by the time you've made that realization.

Since flanneliness is a little easier to pin down, I'm inclined to think it's a more reasonable thing to pursue in a long-term mate.

bigislandjeepguy said...

"monkeysex" and "of a certain age" all in one post. it made me grin.

i hate it that SO many men "of a certain age" (aka "my age") are in that mode of "why would i want to screw up my perfectly coordinated life as it is right now JUST to have a partner or to date or whatever it is men want to do nowadays?" it's as if adapting, committing, sharing, getting to know someone...are all dirty words. i don't like the whole process anymore than the next guy, but i dunno...i have hopes of sharing my life with a partner. it is not the be-all, end-all, but it is a...goal. yes, i will continue to live my life as it is now and enjoy it, but i cannot help but think "icing on the cake."