Archive for the ‘Bogosity’ Category

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Patriarchy’s Insidious Ways

January 30, 2019

joust

A peek into history….

A real man dons metal armor, climbs on a horse, and rides directly at his opponent with a lance. A real man can navigate a ship through a hurricane, or chop down a tree with one stroke of the axe. A real man takes what he wants and lets nothing get in the way.

All fathers are real men, and there are certain things they hate to see a son doing. Any boy who expects to become a real man, had better not play a musical instrument, cook, write poems, deliver babies, preach about God, prance across a stage, sew dresses, paint pictures, sit around adding up numbers, perform magic tricks, gaze through a telescope at stars, or engage in any number of other sissy-looking abominations.

And yet, inexplicably, some of the real men’s sons actually want to do these pouffy things. Since no real man can bear to have a dainty son, they have to figure out how to save face, and avoid being identified as the fathers of nancy-boys. The real men get together and brilliantly create a masterpiece of cognitive dissonance reconciliation (aka hypocrisy), inventing an entire new logic.

Step 1:
Decree that women may only do any of those wimpy things at home, behind closed doors. Also, under no circumstances will any woman be paid to do any of those things.

Step 2:
Only men are allowed to go forth into the world with their talents, or be compensated for them. So, any buyer who wants to hire a concert violinist, master chef, poet, doctor, priest, actor, designer of haute couture, portraitist, accountant, professional magician, or astronomer, must necessarily hire a man.

Of course, being paid to do any of those things is not truly manly. A real man bashes another man with a mace and takes his stuff. However, selling one’s services as musician, chef, etc. is more manly than not being paid. Because it is the women who do things for free. So anyone who gets paid is, by definition, a man.

Step 3:
By making those activities into male-only professions, the claim that they are, by default, masculine, is totally rationalized. Because only men are doing them. Therefore, they must be manly things to do. QED

Step 4:
The fact that only men are concert violinists, master chefs, published poets, doctors, priests, actors, portraitists, dress designers, professional magicians, accountants, or astronomers — proves that only men are capable of doing those things! 

And that’s the brainwashing that ran our lives for centuries.

Photo credit: proper dave on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC-SA

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Okay, I’ll Say It: Cougar. Now can we get serious?

December 18, 2009

by Anne Alexander

This “cougar” word is not my favorite contemporary expression, but we seem to be stuck with it. New word, old concept. There have always been older women-younger men pairings. At least one society has specialized in age-mixing, and I can’t even remember what part of the world these folks inhabit, but all the young girls go to old men, and the old women make it with the young boys, teaching them a thing or two. Later, when a youth has earned some status and fortune, he can get a wife closer to his own age. Candidates are abundant, because eventually the old men die off and free up the younger women – who have by then grown to the approximate age of the upcoming men who have acquired enough of what it takes to be entitled to wives.

As if “cougaring” weren’t bad enough, a young man who fools around with an older woman is said to be “tadpoling.” A tadpole is, of course, a developing amphibian, not even a frog yet. My thoughts return to a place they don’t often visit, a certain night in the late 1960s. Tadpoling. Who knew?

Magazine surveys are notoriously unreliable, good for starting conversations and not much else. But in 2003, an article stated that 34% of women between ages 40 and 69, were dating younger men. Of course there are a lot of questions you want to ask. Like, how much younger, on average? Are we talking about Americans only? Or Americans and Canadians? Europeans? What?

In 2004, Match.com reported on attitudes toward a large age gap between partners. Apparently they used a 15-year difference as the definition of “large.” Anyway, they supposedly found more men who were willing to date a woman 15 years older, than women willing to date a man 15 years younger.

Naturally, someone arbitrarily made up a formula to determine the acceptable societal norm – the “half-your-age-plus-seven rule.” In other words, for a 30-year-old woman, 15 plus 7 is 22 – so your male friend should not be any younger. For a 50-year-old woman, the lowest acceptable male age would be 25 plus 7, or 32.  Of course, if two age-disparate people stay together for a long time, that would mess up the math. It’s all nonsense anyway. The person who invented this standard – who died and made him God?

When Ben Franklin was 39, he wrote a letter to a friend, offering advice about choosing a mistress: find an older woman. Franklin listed 8 reasons, which are briefly paraphrased here:
Intelligence and better conversation.
They treat you good, because they don’t have beauty to offer.
They don’t get pregnant.
They keep their mouth shut about your liaison.
Since they age from the top down, there’s no difference below the waist.
It’s less sinful than deflowering a virgin.
A young girl can be made miserable by your attentions, but an older woman will be made happy.
He winds up with “8th and lastly. They are so grateful!!!”

More recently, Franklin’s advice has been streamlined into the smart-ass slogan, “They don’t yell, they don’t tell, they don’t swell, and they’re grateful as hell.” Accompanied by a snigger.

Actually, it’s nothing to snigger about. Gratitude is always appropriate, on both sides, and at any age, whenever two people meet to express affection and/or exchange bodily fluids. I’m quoting a man on this – Orson Bean, who wrote about his own journey of liberation. He says a healthy man “is filled with tenderness and caring and concern for his partner at the height of the sex act… and afterwards the feeling is one of love and tenderness and deep gratitude.”

Making love with a compatible partner is something to be grateful for, always, each and every time. It’s a wonderful, positive, perfectly gorgeous thing to do. Or should be. And why on earth would a person ever want to share such an experience with a partner who is anything less than grateful – and gratified?

Just like any other kind of pairing, the main thing to consider is this. To find someone you really vibe with is so rare, it’s stupid to create artificial barriers of any kind.

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Cougar Quotations

December 18, 2009

The older man/younger woman dynamic reinforces patriarchal conventions; the older woman/younger man dynamic subverts them.
Hugo Schwyzer

It’s not exactly what you’d call a May-December romance. We’re more like summer and fall. His family would rather see him with some sweet young thing. But there is an important difference between me and the sweet young things: I know how special he is.
Robbie Campbell

“You know, if you were forty years younger…”
Glorianna O’Toole curled her upper lip disdainfully. “Don’t flatter yourself too far,” she said. “If I were forty years younger I wouldn’t look at a kid like you twice!”
Norman Spinrad in Little Heroes

I have finally figured out the rudiments of how to love somebody, too late. There are no men my age, and if there are, they want twenty-two-year-olds to bear their children. Will I ever be able to practice this loving?
Cynthia Heimel

I think men get a HUGE pass on this kind of stuff (just one pass of many that we dames don’t get)…go to a shopping mall, and see some young chick with a guy 20 years her senior, nobody bats an eye, but the reverse? The trouble is, nobody calls a guy a “dirty old man” unless he’s maybe 40 years older than the woman…or girl…With us, 10 years qualifies us as being cougars.
Angelina Orduno

My hubby is 14 years younger than I am….I just happen to enjoy still putting toys on layaway at KMart.
Debbie Shearer Aures

Anybody who wants to screw a sixty-three-year-old woman I wouldn’t wanna screw anyway! Okay? Because they have big problems.
Grace Slick

Women may eroticize youth and vigor in younger men, but they rarely are turned on by displays of ignorance or uncertainty; high-brow Western literature and low-brow pornography are filled with countless examples of men being aroused by much younger women who either “play dumb” — or are the genuine article.
Hugo Schwyzer

“Actually, he’s my boyfriend. My son is slightly older.”
(ad for anti-aging moisturizer treatment)

Most men grow up believing in sex as a favor they have been granted — sex as strategy or currency or power. Therefore, the act itself is full of threat. The older woman typically is indifferent to being dominated or getting something in return. …She is interested not in power but in pleasure.
Paul Theroux

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Prominent Men and Older Women

December 1, 2009

Prominent Men and Older Women:

Cougaring with the Great and Famous

These brilliant men went for older women – and who would dare call them tadpoles?

Honore’ de Balzac was self-aware enough to understand that he preferred older women because he had never known a mother’s love. At age 23, the author embarked on his first affair (which lasted 15 years) with 45-year-old Laure de Berny (so they were together until she was 60).

Raymond Chandler – the love of his life, Cissy Pascal, was 18 years older

Salvadore Dali and Gala (Elena Ivanovna Diakonova), 10 or 11 years older. She ditched Paul Eluard, the surrealist poet, for him.

Benjamin Disraeli, who served as prime minister of England, married Anne Lewis, who was 12 years his senior, and they lasted 33 years until her death..

When he was 14, Gustave Flaubert, was swept off his feet by Elisa Schlésinger, 12 years older. Some of the characters in his novels were partly based on her.

Clark Gable married Josephine Dillon, 17 years older. His second wife was also older, and he once said, “I’ll take the older woman every time.” Well, maybe not every time. He did lead a long life of seduction.

Kahlil Gibran had a history of befriending older women who could be useful to him.

Goethe
had a ten-year relationship which was “probably platonic” with a married woman, Charlotte von Stein, who was 7 years older. He wrote her at least 1500 letters.

Maxim Gorki
was madly in love with a woman 10 years older, Olga Kaminskaya, whom he married.

Ernest Hemingway as a young man preferred older women. His first wife, Hadley Richardson, was 8 years older.

Henrik Ibsen as a young man had affair with woman ten years older. They had a son when the playwright was only 18.

Samuel Johnson married a woman 20 years older than himself

John Lennon upset a whole lot of people by marrying Yoko Ono, 7 years older, though it wasn’t the age difference that cause the problem.

Sean Lennon, who was 22 at the time, was reported in 1998 to have a 37-year-old girlfriend.

During the war, C. S. Lewis and another soldier made a pact. If only one of them survived, he would take care of the other’s living parent. The other soldier was killed, and Lewis lived with his friend’s mother for more than 30 years. Nobody knows whether they were lovers, but some people are pretty sure of it.

H. P. Lovecraft‘s parents both died in the same insane asylum. He married Sonia Greene, who was 7 years older, but it only lasted a couple of years. She reported that he was an “adequately excellent lover.”

Friedrich Nietzsche claimed in his memoirs (which are not reliable according to historians) that at 15 he was seduced by a 30-year-old countess who was into S&M.

Rainer Maria Rilke had an affair with Lou Andreas-Salome’ who was 13 years older, and they may have had a child.

When Robert Louis Stevenson met Fanny Vandegrift, he published an essay in a popular magazine called “On falling in love.” She was 10 years older, and they eventually married.

Paul Theroux
says even women of 60 can be “intensely sexual.” In 2003 he published a splendid piece called “And here’s to you, Mrs Robinson.” He admits to a longtime fondness for older women, even the “somewhat domineering” kind.

John Travolta
married Diana Hyland, who was 18 years older. She died pretty soon afterward, so we don’t know how that might have worked out.

Thomas Wolfe on his 25th birthday began an affair with 44-year-old Aline Bernstein, who was married to someone else at the time. And Wolfe’s mother was anti-Semitic. And he was a compulsive womanizer. Still, the affair lasted 6 years. It is said that on his deathbed, Wolfe whispered, “Where’s Aline? I want Aline. I want my Jew.”

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Normal

July 30, 2009

by Gayle

Did you ever have somebody say a thing to you that just resonated? Like, you can’t stop thinking about it? I got a letter from this guy. He says, “I can’t imagine you having a normal relationship with a man or a woman or a cat or a dog.”

There are so many ramifications to that, it’s like philosophy class or group therapy. First thing is, these words are coming from a man who prides himself on not being normal. The mainstream is not his stream. And sometimes I get the feeling that he wants to keep non-normal all to himself. It’s as if being a maverick is his area of expertise, and anybody else who doesn’t aspire to normalcy is, like, poaching on his territory. It’s a double standard where for him, un-normal is good, but for anybody else, un-normal is bad.

What is a normal relationship with a dog? If normal means “what you see a lot of,” my observation is, it means leaving the dog outside in all weather, on a ten-foot chain, never playing with it or giving it any attention, and letting it bark at will. That’s what I’ve seen a lot of, and it’s something I don’t want to do. So if that’s normal, count me out.

Or maybe normal is coddling an animal in such a way that it’s so far from nature, it turns into a freakish thing. I’m not interested in owning a genetically engineered animate toy. But that seems to be a “normal” human/pet relationship. And I have to say, it’s very discomfiting to hear about somebody spending $35,000 on a dog that has cancer, when there are humans with the teeth falling out of their heads because they don’t have access to decent dental care.

Another kind of relationship that it looks like a lot of people consider normal is this: the family is already struggling to pay the bills, in financial hot water, and the humans are going without essentials. And they go out and get a pet. It’s pretty irresponsible, and not the kind of normal I want to be.

My critic can’t imagine me having a normal relationship with a cat. Again, in certain times and places, a normal relationship with a cat would be drowning it or setting it on fire. But I assume the type of relationship he’s talking about is a caring, responsible one. If that’s what he means, then it’s pretty much the same as saying I neglected or abused my cats. I think all the cats I sheltered, fed, medicated, de-fleaed, de-wormed, washed, brushed, worried about, and paid vet bills for, over the years, would disagree.

It’s a lot to ponder on, the normal. The second thing to know here is, this guy’s primary relationship is bizarre beyond classification and, at the same time, utterly banal. So, consider the source.

What’s a normal relationship with another woman? If it’s going shopping and helping each other pick out clothes, no thanks. I rarely shop. When I do, the object is to get in, get out, and I don’t need any help. If a normal relationship with a woman is to getting together so I can talk about what an asshole or a pencil-dick my old man is, no thanks to that, too.

And what on earth is a normal relationship with a man? Is that the kind where I’m the doormat and he’s the muddy boots? Tried it, didn’t like it. And really, what relationship is normal? If it’s any good at all, it’s tailored to the people who are in it. It’s like a micro-society, a culture with only two members. It’s not supposed to be like any other relationship. That’s the whole point.

Dedicated to Senor el Tecolote Loco

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Long Distance

June 3, 2009

When you know somebody in person, there are a thousand ways to relate. You may smile when they come into the room, remember not to slam the door when they’re sleeping, scratch their back or brush their hair, make their favorite salad dressing, go along to their aunt’s boring birthday party, take turns doing the dishes, bring in the first violets to put on their desk. Maybe you watch the TV show they like, instead of the one you like. If they spill something, you get a rag and help clean it up. You show up on time. You introduce them to a stranger in a way that indicates your pride in being attached to them. You send each other conspiratorial glances about the asshole in the room. You scrape the ice off their windshield. You make love, and remember why all the little aggravations of the day don’t matter. You pretend not to notice when they look like hell first thing in the morning. You take them to the doctor, bring food if they can’t get to the store, and skim the pool so they can have a nice swim. You stand up to the bullies on their behalf. You help them clean their apartment so they can get the deposit back, pick them up when their car breaks down, tell them their fly is unzipped.

On the other hand….. When it’s long distance and the only vehicle to convey anything is talk, words have to carry the whole burden of whatever is going on. Any togetherness, connection, affection, caring, respect, concern there is, the words have to do all the work. There’s a temptation to go way overboard with the words, because there isn’t anything else.

If the words are deceptive and duplicitous, then what’s actually there is nothing. If one person is open and the other is closed, there’s nothing. What’s the point of such a farce? That’s why somebody invented Second Life, and all those other realms where people pretend to be someone else, and everybody knows that they’re all pretending. You invent yourself an avatar, a character who does imaginary things, and relates to the other imaginary characters, and everybody knows it’s all make-believe.

With all those opportunities to play with people who enjoy that kind of thing, why play against those who didn’t sign up for it?

Dedicated to Senor el Tecolote Loco

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Osculation: Not for Everyone

March 15, 2009

osculation

By Gayle

I read where some psychiatrist says that after couples have been together for a while, they stop kissing. The reason? According to him, they’re avoiding true intimacy.

The shrink is off the wall, first, because intimacy is about a lot of other things besides swapping spit. Intimacy is that simpatico link between a couple that onlookers either envy, or make sarcastic and derogatory remarks about. It can’t be measured but it can be experienced. Outsiders may feel anything from discomfort to downright trauma, just from being around a pair of lovers who actually are intimate. We’re talking about the real thing here, not the holding-hands-the-day-before-papers-are-filed public display sort of thing. Authentic intimacy, the almost tangible forcefield between two people, is what turns them into a four-eyed monster, from a third party’s point of view.

And, once in a while, intimacy is asking the other person to check out the pimple on your back.

The point is, who gave this guy the authority to define kissing as the criterion of intimacy? Or of anything else, for that matter?

In the Finnish old days, people took communal baths but thought it was indecent to kiss. Indeed, it must have been gross, in the old days, in any part of the world. Throughout history, most people have been in a constant state of dental disrepair, if not crisis, and halitosis would be the norm. In fact, come to think of it, that’s probably the current situation for the majority of the world right now. You don’t see vans of roving dentists in refugee camps. Not many Water-Piks in combat zones.

Some say the mouth is the dirtiest part of the body, and that’s where the condoms should be worn. Besides, a person should be free to indulge in garlic, onions and other healthful but pungent foodstuffs without jeopardizing their love life.

An anthropologist reported back from China in the late 1800s that over there, way before Communism even, the immorality scale rated kissing on the same level as cannibalism. I feel ya, China people. I’m not a big fan of the smooch. I don’t vomit or go into clinical shock or anything. I’d just rather not kiss, most times. Although there was one guy… But never mind that. Mainly, mouth kissing is a drag. Although, strangely, I love to kiss necks and hands and all kinds of other parts.

Mouth kissing brings on a smothering primal fear of non-survival. It reminds me of the scene in Alien where the creature has clamped itself over the guy’s nose and oral cavity and sent a tentacle down inside him to lay an egg. Oxygen deprivation is not sexy. If my dead body is ever found in a condition that points to an auto-erotic asphyxiation scenario, you’ll know it was murder.

I do not know what ‘making out’ means these days, but thirty years ago it meant open-mouth clenching, prolonged and strenuous mashing and probing that left one with a sore jaw and a strained tongue…
…..Edwin Dobb

When I was coming up, the lore of making out was rampant among the boys. They’d hear about “throwing a yard of tongue” and commence to misapply that idea and get carried away with it. Don’t get me wrong, anybody who likes to French kiss should go right ahead and do it, if the other kisser likes it too. I’m just saying, the kiss follows a general principle: any erotic activity with the potential for being very sensuous, also has the potential to be really unpleasant.

Same with the ears – kissing them and blowing in them. A soft breath on an ear can be an incredible sensation. Having your eardrum near ruptured, not so good. There may be body parts where slurping is appreciated, but the ear is not one of them. (Unless the other person makes a specific request, of course.) The boys get these tips from their older brothers and yes, even from their hipster dads. They try it out, just by rote, with no idea why they’re doing it. If they possessed a clue, spit would not be dribbling into your ear canal.

The boys I grew up with had a quaint idea, which hasn’t died out yet. They were brought up to think the purpose of mouth kissing is to create a diversion. It’s a ploy to distract the girl’s attention from what’s going on down there. It’s easy to imagine how these nuggets of wisdom are passed along. “Just keep her busy playing tonsil hockey, and she won’t notice where your fingers are.”

It’s true that kissing is a distraction, which is not optimal for a woman who prefers to concentrate on what’s going on down there. As a general principle, I like to do one thing at a time. Because if you do it right, one thing at a time is plenty. I believe in

Try softer… Less is more… Practice makes perfect.

And when you get right down to the nitty-gritty, the push and shove of it, the effort to keep the mouths lined up inhibits the range of motion of the rest of the body. What if your inspiration is to slither around on the person like the Edenic serpent gliding amongst the branches of the Tree of Knowledge? You can’t do that while maintaining a lip lock.

There may be other women who don’t care for kissing. For all I know, Women Adore Kissing could be one of the biggest myths extant. And of course we all know that hookers don’t kiss johns. That’s one of the legendary facts about prostitutes. So some bozo will tell you, if you aren’t that into kissing, you must have a hooker mentality or something. Well, screw that. It’s not a moral issue or an oral hygiene issue or even a personal issue regarding whoever you’re in bed with. It’s a sexual preference issue. And what we know about sexual preferences is, it’s better for everyone if they are respected.

Apocalypse is what you get from kissing passionate apocas.
………..Clair Horner

Photo by masochismtango
Courtesy of this Creative Commons license