Monogamy Sucks!

A few weeks ago I had lunch with a Friend who I hadn’t seen for over a year. As we came out of the restaurant I hailed a cab and was just about to get in when he said, ‘what do you think about monogamy?’

I turned and faced him. ‘Monogamy sucks’, I said. Then I climbed inside and we went our separate ways.

In the cab I laughed quietly to myself. His question was so intensely male, as was my response. However, the more I thought about it, the more my humour evaporated. I reasoned thus:

Firstly, here is a light hearted question which concerns itself with something pretty heavy – having sex. That we are driven to perform this exhilarating experience is all due to Mother Nature. So, what would be Mother’s view on monogamy?

That we know all too well. As far as she is concerned our primary task is to keep it hard as often as we can, then

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it’s a case of ‘shag away lads, shag away’ Mother cries.

As far as she is concerned the entire purpose of our Being revolves around finding a bottomless number of good-breeding females on whom we must board, then penetrate as deeply as possible, endowing them all with lashings of our sticky liquid, all with the purpose of preserving our species.

So much for Mother Nature.

The other thoughts I had centred on how relatively modern the question was. It wasn’t one that was likely to have arisen between the guys still in the trees (say, 2 million years ago).

Assuming they were indulging in their competitive game of ‘Mine is Bigger than Yours’ (according to the WMD Guide, the all-time favourite of most guys), they’re more likely

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to have been privately trying to work out which of ‘em had the Balls big enough to drop down to that flat bit way below and give it a go – for survival, that is.

Nor did I think it was a question likely to arise between cavemen (say, 100,000 B.C) as they collected together for a pint with their mates and shared a pipe

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of hippo shit.

And nor did I think it was likely to have distracted any of the lads fighting the Trojan War (800 B.C).

Not even the brickies either, as they built Hadrian his wall (122 A.D).

Ok, I’m not blaming Hollywood; I’m only suggesting that this silly question is comparatively recent.

One more thing which became obvious was that, if we are to consider the question seriously it is foolish to think of it in direct, sexual terms. Its only serious relevance (to sex) is indirect, inasmuch as it relates to whatever commitments have been agreed between two people in a relationship.

In this regard monogamy strikes me as heavy shit. I’m a male. Sometimes I’m desperate to shoot my load so ok, I have a wank. Then another wank …. and so forth. The point is that (thanks to Mother) this is a powerful urge.

My commitment to monogamy is therefore like a sacrifice…a sacrifice in the sense of ‘giving up’ a part of the right to be myself. I’m denying myself my natural inclinations.

But ok, if I’ve made a promise, then fine. That was part of the deal.

What monogamy calls for is an agreement to constrain personal sexual contact exclusively to one other person. It’s a reflection of the depth of a commitment, a shared promise.

So, having given the subject a serious airing would I still have replied ‘Monogamy sucks’?

Other than as part of a promise, I think the very notion of it is an ‘open sesame’ to living half a life.

Up From Below

It’s hardly surprising that so many guys become anxious for a place at Uni. Three or four years later they can leave there with a scroll attesting to their acquired knowledge. By that means they can almost guarantee themselves a place in ‘the system’. A mortgage will probably soon follow.

But what is this arid knowledge – the utterings, one suspects, of so many lifeless lectures – compared to the knowledge of lived experience?

Backing up for a moment, let’s not forget that, as guys, one of the issues we live with on a day-to-day basis is that we’re Alone. We’re responsible for our own shit – good or bad. This suggests that the closer we are to any particular moment in our Life, the better we are able to assess what’s important, and Real,

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and what is merely Appearance or the latest spewings of a man-made machine.

On this basis you can’t beat ‘lived experience’. By living it, you automatically ingest the Thinking, the Feeling and the Sensing – what I think of as our Receiving Station – that was

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inherent within it. All the areas of your ‘knowing’ has had the opportunity to soak up the essence.

Coupled with this is the thought I’ve had about the sheer barrage of knowledge that is tossed at me every day. These range from moments of intimacy, when my cock twitches or tears come into my eyes, to the latest drivellings from a guy trying to sell me something I can happily live without.

Increasingly, I’m disconcerted that what I know – know in the sense of being sure of – seems to be generated from my ‘below’ – the place of Sensing (two inches below my navel, I’ve been assured by an acquaintance blessed with greater wisdom than I) – rather than my ‘above’ – my brain, with its constant need for dictionaries, encyclopaedias, erudite books by eminent scholars, seeking to make sense of some aspect of human culture, plus an old guy in Halifax called Arthur who is particularly gifted with making understandable explanations around the time of the Full Moon.

Perhaps I should add at this point that these personal revelations are strictly confidential as one guy to whom I mentioned them a couple of years ago – ex-Oxford and a PhD – having stared at me in horror for several seconds, backed out of my presence asserting that if all knowledge I was absolutely sure of came from my ‘below’ rather than my ‘above’, I was clearly a creature attuned to the accursed influence of Dionysus rather than that of the worthy Apollo. He then fled leaving me to suffer with this newly acquired information of what a misguided rotter I was.

For the next few days I began looking in the mirror, over-anxious to observe any sudden appearances of horns, tufts of hair, red glows in my eyes, or anything that might indicate my infernal condition to the outside world.

However, I soon lost interest. It says in the Guide that it’s easy to be deluded these days by what you actually see. Appearance doesn’t provide the reassurance it once did – false tits and all that.

And thinking back to my experience with the highly educated Oxford guy, it’s interesting that when mentioning the worthy Apollo, he found it equally necessary to make reference to the dastardly Dionysus – obviously a case of two sides of the same coin. This is probably why the Ancient Greeks were so keen on seeking Balance as a major element in their lives….

….my point here being that if a guy’s life experience is heavily dependant upon his brain (and with it, the Thinking process) at the expense of the other areas, he’s probably lopsided, at least as to what his Receiving Station can absorb.

As the silent movie star Charlie Chaplin remarked; the tragedy of most guys is that ‘they think too much and feel too little’.

Just an Accident?

Just suppose…….that there was no such thing as an accident…….that every event which happens to you is part of a learning process, a vast circle of human Awareness but tailored to the needs of each one of us.

Sticking with this image, the learning process would relate to our response to each “accident.” For example…….it is early, pre-school or workplace, the water in the kettle is about to boil and you reach for the jar of instant coffee. During the past few days, you forgot to replace it, but, hallelujah, there is just enough left for half a cup of this very necessary morning nectar. You pile it all onto the spoon, move to place this treasure in the waiting mug and, hey presto, the dark forces of the Devil jog your arm and the coffee covers the floor.

The description of your reaction is probably too terrible, too bloodless, too unspeakable to be spelled out on a blog which is available to be read by pretty much everyone who can understand English. I quickly draw the curtains on this particular scenario.

However, much later, what might have been the lesson to be learned from this “accident”? Could it have been that you are currently drinking too much coffee, digesting more caffeine than is adequate for your body’s daily requirements, and which indeed has now reached a point where both your kidneys and liver are complaining of titanic excess?

Or is the “accident” something completely different? Could it have been prompted by your brain, increasingly anxious that your failure to remember to buy more coffee on the previous three days is yet another manifestation of your fast fading memory?

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Is there a desperate cry in this “accident” for a greater Awareness of a deeper malaise?

Or could it be your overflowing Hubris, increasingly intolerable for others to bear since your success at the Olympics, a salutary lesson from Zeus and his subordinates that you are fast approaching the limits of their endurance? Is this mere loss of coffee grounds in fact the last straw prior to Nemesis?

Meanwhile…….after my Family, then my Friends, my greatest treasure is my books. However, during the past few months, I’ve experienced an eerie Awareness that they seem to be positioning themselves in such a way that they are being read in the order that best serves their deeper understanding.

But I digress. These recent books, not all newly acquired but also mixed with those already on my shelves and previously read (though now, as I come to realise it, not fully understood) have taken over.

Over recent weeks, my suspicions of what has been occurring within what is publicly recognised as “my life” have grown stronger and stronger. Last Thursday they were confirmed by a very blatant “accident.”

I had asked my son with whom I was staying for a two-week vacation if he would try to get me a copy of a book I suspected was well out of print. Imagine my delight when he told me he’d been able to track down a copy.

It arrived from goodness-knows-where in mid-vacation…….except there’d been an “accident”

It wasn’t the right book.

But then, on the contrary, a quick glance at an opening paragraph or two revealed that it was very much the “right” book for my next reading. The other “right” book could wait.

And what did I learn from this “accident”?

To question that accidents actually happen.

The Unbound Titan

I am newly returned from two weeks vacation in the U.S. I stayed with my son and his family at their home situated alongside the Hudson River, a house with a pool and some extensive grounds.

Aside from the obvious highlights – time with my family plus taking full advantage of the terrific food and drink on offer – the major delight for me was the opportunity to lie around soaking up the sun totally naked.

There’s something weirdly special for me about this, something deeply rooted, like it adds a layer to my sense of being a guy, a creature free from the chilling restrictions of coverings, a guy newly down from the trees.

Meanwhile at the other end of the cultural spectrum, I was sitting there scratching my nuts from time to time (as you do) reading a book I’d taken down from his shelves, a tome which covered a period in very early history, which featured the Titans. I’d heard about these guys at some point in my dim and distant past but only the name – absolutely nothing of substance.

The author, Carl Kerenyi, describes them “celestial gods of very long ago, still savage, knowing no laws, no order, no limits” – my kind of guys.

If I’d been around at the same time, I’d have been desperate to be one of their gang.

As for the Time element, the book was pretty vague but hazarded the suggestion that the Titans were “sandwiched between the primitive and civilized man.”

That explains why I’d be at home with these guys cos’ I’m a sucker for primitive. If those advertising wallahs were really on top of the job, if say, they advertised sun lotion “as used by the primitives” (sun screen factor zero), I’d buy a ton of the stuff.

As it is, stuck with being classified as “a civilized man” I buy one as close to zero as I can find. Very fortunately, my “white” skin is already a dusky light brown so I tan easily.

My brother, who prides himself on being something of an expert genealogist of our family informs me that my skin covering is as it is because our forebears spring from a noble Spanish guy who was on the wrong side of the 1588 Armada crisis and was ultimately washed up on the west coast of Ireland where he undoubtedly lost no time in ravishing the local virgins.

Until recently this darkish skin has always been a big “plus” for me as, after having been born a rather chubby baby, I became a scrawny kid who eventually matured to become a scrawny adult. However, this undesirable scrawn was somewhat disguised and mitigated by the presence of my outer covering.

Unfortunately, one of the guys I work with, blessed with the body of a natural warrior, strong and muscular, has a skin that doesn’t tan easily. If I’m flashing too much flesh, especially like around now, when I’ve been newly burnished by the friendly sun, I can sometimes catch him throwing malevolent glances in my direction—he’s very competitive – which I usually try to appease by asking if he’d like another coffee. It could be disastrous for our working relationship if my greater beauty were to come between us.

Sitting bollock naked by my son’s swimming pool, fantasizing about being a mate of the Titans – Kerenyi goes on to describe Titanism as “excess, unboundedness, lawlessness, chaos, barbarism” – don’t they sound terrific? – I was suddenly reminded of the early months when I first lived in London.

Close by our flat – it was near Essex Road tube station – there was an old Victorian swimming pool, which had a “Men Only hour”, one to two o’clock I think it was. I used to swim there most weekdays unfettered with a covering,

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my “unboundedeness” taking advantage of the fast fading freedom of the times.

The odd thing about this was that I’d never been a particularly keen swimmer. Nor was it some kinky angle of my make-up that made me keen to flash my mighty cock. (If only.)

It was all about being free, about being unbounded.

A Titan.