Sex and the Old Guy

(I dedicate this Blog Post to Joan Rivers, the comedic master of the irreverent, the bawdy, the unseemly. RIP, Joan)

I am divorced. I’ve had many post-divorce and diverse relationships. I have also had a few live-ins. Some time ago, I just stopped having long-term relationships. I remain single.

That’s about it, for now, anyway.

Mind you, I’m a post-Social Security guy. I was born the year of Pearl Harbor (Google it). I grew up believing Bing Crosby should have been a priest; that a field of bushes were the only private places where mom and dad would never find me and my friends touching each other when we were kids; that a lay-away wasn’t about sex; that “girly magazines” had a reason for being.

As I look back at my ever-so-brief life on this planet and having seen lots and lots of films, read lots of novels, and gone to more than a score of plays, I can say that sex is an island unto itself.

And I am finding out some stuff, even in my dotage. Some of this stuff about who does or who doesn’t like sex, of course, is my own narrative. By that I mean, they are observations, assumptions, judgments, putting my own twos and twos together to make some accurate or silly fours.

I may be completely wrong about some or all of my assumptions, but hey, that’s what writers do: they explore narratives, they try to pull together what they see in order to make sense of it all. Or, better still, but riskier, they completely make things up (if you are one of those who always tells the truth, well, good for you).

It’s fun to play our own Russian-roulettes with inferences and generalizations we have made about human nature. And what could give us (me) more joy than looking back and taking stock of what I have learned about sex—right or wrong, for good or for bad, objective or subjective.

Anyway, here’s my two cents (after and before inflation).

Sex is not for everyone. The sexually shy, I have often found, would just as soon be a cashier at a used bookstore than to figure out the protocol for undressing another adult on a hot humid August night. I even heard one of my more introverted friends once say, “Sex is just too messy.”

Th sexually hesitant crowd seem to be inclined to read romantic novels with paper-back covers of tanned blond women and sultry men with chiselled jaws laying on a Mediterranean beach, usually in sunglasses. To this group, the vicariously exotic is always more appealing than actually licking anybody’s armpit or smelling some else’s sweet after-shower pubic hair.

These same people would rather talk about the Federal Reserve, their hobbies, their favorite recipe or book, or the increasing number of part-time workers in America than to reach over, arms spread-eagle, give you a big bear hug and a sloppy French kiss, while gently, and ever so suavely, sliding their palms down your seldom-visited buttocks.

The reserved and puritanical seem to love DVDs that say “enchanting” on the back case. They like old movies with Barbara Stanwyck and a clean-shaven William Holden, embracing, but always standing up (beds don’t ever seem to be in the background or even within arms length). They like to watch screen lovers dying in each other’s arms. They are often intrigued by a mysterious former lover showing up at a wedding and sitting in the back pew of a New England Church. They seem to prefer small English villages over southern Italian cities.

They often listen to NPR and watch PBS’s “Nightly Business Report” while avoiding the breast-enhanced starlets on the Bravo channel. They love ads with fully dressed families eating breakfast, a mother cleaning a bathroom, a father mowing the lawn, a baby in a crib.

Sex avoiders also seem to live in the world of the bland—off-white walls, brown skirts (female) and pants (men). matching furniture, gray four-door compacts, and photos of forests and a couple of zoo giraffes. When they eat, they stick to over-sauteed ground beef, boiled hot dogs, tuna fish on white bread, cheerios for breakfast. Hot sauce is out of the question. (Some of these particular inferences, my friends, may be fictional. But they seem really real, even true, if you know what I mean).

On the other side of the fence are the guys and gals who think about sex a lot. Not to mention the fact that they actually participate in the ritual, before and after dinner, mind you. And they’re really good at it. I think they are, anyway.

From what I have seen, this randy crowd likes colognes, perfumes, lots of gold bracelets and rings, cleavage, drug-store condom displays, stove-pipe jeans, bulges, cars, larger-than-life asses and small waists. And they often have a reservoir sex enhancers—dildos, movies, poppers, and a stash of marijuana.

In their personal relationships, they are always interested in what you have to say until some sexier anonymous character arrives at the scene needing a question answered or looking surprised that the sun is above them at noon.

Their favorite movies have lots of bedroom scenes; they prefer having their lovers in bed rather than standing up. The afternoon lunch break in an anonymous urban hotel has more appeal to the satiated-but-still-want-more crowd, because it suggests infidelity and a steamy hint of the forbidden. Sex between consenting long-term-relationship couples just doesn’t cut it.

Color and food preferences for the lascivious? Well, I would have to say they are telenovelas watchers. The colors on those television-studio sets are always stark and vibrant—turquoise bedrooms; lots of yellow and orange splashes strategically placed on walls or table tops; two-toned walls in living rooms, often gray on one wall and a very deep purple on the other, or maroon and yellow in the dining room.

The colors on these shows are the marquees vibrating their allure while the characters wander around gazing, staring, posing, asserting, laughing, weeping just because they are looking for sex, have been rejected, or don’t even know they are in the running (after all, somebody is going to have to be seduced).

Food for the libidinous is always an orgy—lots of herbs and spices. Shell fish and rare red meat seem to be their favorites. Desserts have to have lots of cream. And it is de rigeur to cook just about everything in wine.

So, that’s it folks—an un coup d’oeil into my small world of sex observations. If you have any of your own, pass them on.

























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