Tuesday, September 05, 2006

birds do it...bees do it...

Birds do it...bees do it...
Even educated fleas do it...
Let's do it...
Let's fall in love...

The most refined lady bugs do it
When a gentleman calls...
Moths in your rugs they do it
What's the use of moth balls?

I'm sure giraffes
on the sly
do it
Even eagles as they fly
Do it
Let's do it...
Let's fall in love

The Dutch in old Amsterdam do it
Not to mention the Fins
Folks in Siam do it...
Think of Siamese twins

The world admits
bears in pits
Do it
Even pekineses at the Ritz
Do it
Let's do it
Let's fall in love

Electric eels
I might add
Do it
Though it shocks 'em, I know
Why ask if shad do it...
Garcon, de "shad roe"

The royal set sans regret did it
And they considered it fun
Marie Antoinette did it -
with or without Napoleon

The chimpanzees in the zoos do it
Sentimental centipedes do it
Let's do it
Let's fall in love...

Alright, I know Cole Porter was ostensibly writing about love here, but face it...all those clever lyrics are really about SEX. And maybe it's because I'm reading Bukowski, or maybe it's because I listened to Primetime tonight, or maybe I'm trying to balance out my mundane entry about a relaxing Labor Day, or maybe it's because...well, nevermind why, the why doesn't really matter, but for what it's worth, tonight I'm writing about sex.

A couple of light years ago, when I was a student at the University of Chicago, I became smitten with a bright, funny guy, who was apparently equally smitten with me. We spent lots of happy time together, quipping and flirting outrageously through weeks of warm, sunny days and crisp, clear nights that fall quarter, but we never got beyond flirting, in part because (as he announced regularly and publicly), he was a virgin, and I was not...and each of us was a little afraid of each other, because of that difference. We liked each other so much that we became great friends, nevertheless, and stayed in touch over the years.

By his own account, sex was highly problematic for D. He wasn’t confused about his orientation, he said (and I believed him); but he was consumed with guilt at the thought of having sex. He remained a virgin until he was in his late 20's...he kept me informed of the situation, although I’d have preferred to have been kept in the dark, so to speak. In his early 30's, he became engaged, but eventually, his fiancee left him, and he never married. Over the years, he was at times a member of a number of groups that I tend to think of as cults, e.g., EST. I always told him how I felt about his membership in such organizations, and we often argued about it.

In the early 90's, he became a member of a group that espoused celibate marriage. When I wrote him that I was getting divorced, he phoned late one night, and after we’d talked for a long time, he cleared his throat and asked me if I’d consider marrying him. I was touched by his asking me, and yet I was also very taken aback. He’d been like a brother to me for over 20 years, and I had no reason to think he’d viewed me as anything other than a sister (of which, by the way, he already had 6, thanks to his parents).

“I’m honored, D, I really am...but I don’t think it would work,” I said carefully.

“But we’re such good friends!” he said.

“Yeah, we are...we’re great friends...and that’s not going to change just because I get divorced. We can keep on being great friends. We don’t have to get married to stay great friends,” I said.

“I dunno, I’d sort of like to be married...” he said.

A light went on in my head.

“Whoa, D,” I said... “do you mean celibate marriage?”

“Well, sure I do,” he said, “You know that’s what I believe in, and it’s not like we’d have to have sex to have kids...you already have four kids, and I don’t want any...”

“A celibate marriage?!?!?! Is that what you’re proposing?!?!?!”

“Don’t act surprised!!! You know that’s what I believe in!!!”

“Yeah, but D,” I said, “It’s not what I believe in..."

I should have stopped then, I know, but I didn't.

"And anyway,"
I continued, "You can’t ask for that right away. It’s not reasonable."

Unable to resist, I added slyly, "Trust me, it takes YEARS to achieve a state of celibacy in marriage...”

I was reminded of all this, because tonight, as I sat in my gameroom at my computer and browsed real estate in St. Louis on the web, I had the tv on in the background, and ABC’s Primetime did a show called
"The Outsiders: Strange Arrangements”, about, among other things, people who are asexual (as opposed to people who are celibate, like my friend, D).

Apparently, there’s a growing movement of asexuality in the United States (dunno about Europe or the rest of the world), and for those of you who, like me, were blissfully unaware of this movement, there is (of course) a website where you can find out more, called the Asexual Visibility and Education Network, or AVEN for short. According to AVEN,
“Unlike celibacy, which is a choice, asexuality is a sexual orientation”.

We’re so bombarded with sexuality, perhaps this movement was inevitable, and yet...I dunno, maybe it’s my Scandinavian heritage, but to me, saying you don’t believe in sex is sort of like saying you don’t believe in eating...my reaction is,
“Yeah, riiiiiigggghhhhttt...” And then I have a strong urge to quote Dr. Phil, “So how’s that workin’ for ya?”

What can I say? I’m just not that sublimated.

Sweet dreams.


dreaminglily said...

No sex... like ever? Okay... sorry... Even as a virgin my reaction is complete and utter "WHAT THE HELL???" to him lol

And the whole new sexual orientation... I'm sorry, really, I am, but if you aren't sexually attracted to anything, ever, there's a PROBLEM lol That's completely against all versions of nature. People would like die out without sex lol (Okay okay not ANYMORE, blah blah, medical science sucks when you're trying to make a point :o/ ) But where is the intimacy? Where's the sense of love and devotion? Where's what makes your relationship with an SO more significant than a friend?

Maybe I'm small minded idiot, but god there seem to be "terms" for everything now and no one's "sick" for anything. I think I'm to the point where if I hear ADD for a normal hyper kid diagnosed one more time I think I'll puke lol

Mini rant over. lol


AdriftAtSea said...

I don't really believe that you should marry someone out of convenience...and IMHO that is exactly what celibate marriages are all about. You should only make the committment of marriage to someone you love, and are willing to honor the committments of marriage to—to love, honor, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, etc...

The other problem with a celibate marriage is that long-term celibacy is essentially unnatural. I don't see that being celibate in a marriage makes any sense. Being celibate for short periods of time, for specific reasons, makes sense, and is probably fairly healthy and natural, but I don't see a celibate marriage as such.

Tammy said...

I love the way you write. You inform, delight and flat out make me laugh. I know he's a friend but geesh! No sex...no way jose!


emmapeelDallas said...

LOL! Thanks, Tammy, you made my day!



Paul said...

In an Irish monastery, the Abbot went into the catacombs looking to verify the original wording of a manuscript that was being copied. When he didn't return for four hours, two monks went looking for him. They finally found him in an alcove, lying prostrate, screaming and crying, beating his fists on the stone floor.
"Brother Abbot, what's wrong?" they asked.
He moaned, "The original word was celebRate!"

emmapeelDallas said...


It makes sense to me!

Chris said...

This reminded me of the line from the beginning of the movie War Games, when the teacher asked who came up with the concept of asexual reproduction and Matthew Broderick's character replies "Your wife?".

No sex? I can't comprehend that. To quote the great George Michael "Sex is natural, sex is good, not everybody does it, but everybody should."

Of course, when I first heard that, I didn't realize he would eventually be arrested for pleasuring himself in a public park restroom....that kinda changes the whole thing, huh?

Great entry!

My Blog

Erin said...

Hey Judi!

Thank you for visiting my blog through Theresa's. I enjoyed reading your comments! (I especially appreciated your comment about finding a home--it made me feel very hopeful.)

Wowza, what a first entry for me to read on your journal. :-) That sly Cole Porter ...

I enjoyed reading this--you've got a great story-telling writing style. I'll continue to visit!


Jimmy said...

One one hand, this is a lot to think about. But on the other hand, for me, there's a foregone conclusion.
It appears I am not that sublimated either.

Good post!


TJ said...

Laughing at Paul,s comment! :)
A celibate marriage, a life of sexual abstinence???? Not sure what you would find on the top shelves in a person's mind who would want such a arrangement. Leaves me thinking....which you can be so good at!! love the post.

Kimberleigh said...

Thank you for stopping over at my blogspot. I have been neglecting it for months now. But I am still very active over at my AOL journal. Here is the link, thank you for stopping by Ah Hah Moments and for letting me know you were thinking about me.


Renee Somebody said...

Wow. I second the "WHAT THE HELL???". Of course, I'm a bi girl who doesn't always draw lines between friendship and sexual attraction, but I'm comfortable with that.
and hell? would be a lifelong marriage with no sex.
Thanks for coming by my site, and your compliments.