It used to worry me. I thought for a long time that my attitudes toward porn and promiscuity were simply a reflection of my age.
But I read in Slate that I’m not alone. I am coming to understand that an awful lot of young(er) people believe / think as I do – that people who bonk around are morally and emotionally suspect, and that people who consume porn have the emotional attention-span of a mollusc. I do not understand how or why porn became so pervasive, so accepted (and acceptable)… so bloody middle-class. I do not, by the way, blame the internet. That’d be like blaming a shovel for the fact that the grave is too shallow.
The articles I’ve read, however, use woolly phrases like “people who hook up too much..”. They don’t actually define how much is too much. I presume it’s people who hook up more than they do. I know that I, with deep envy, frowned upon those men who bonked more women than I did. Before I turned twenty, that was any guy who’d had bonked as many as one woman, of course.
But I digress, with self-deprecation.
With the passing of a few months I hope I have gained a little more perspective. I can certainly look back on my own life, and quite honestly state that I regret bonking some women. And as I’ve never bonked a man, and am never likely to, I don’t have that to worry about. But on those introspective moments – generally when I hit Upper Harbour Drive on the way to and from work – when the mind slips back a decade or four, and one starts evaluating decisions that one has made, then I start to think I owe an awful lot of apologies to an awful lot of people.
Starting, of course, with myself. If I hadn’t in initially looked upon my former wife with lust, and actually got to know her instead, then I would never have married her. Or, if I had gotten to know her and still married her, the marriage might well have turned out differently: like ending after two years, instead of ten…
But it must be said that my times of tom-catting about left me as emotionally fulfilled as a Westlife album. I’m very thankful that the odd occasion when I actually did stop to listen with my big head, I made friendships (with real live women) that have lasted until the present day, and will, I hope, last until the day I get fed to the fishes.
We’re blasted by TV programs that sing the praises of casual sex, and that accept the fact that people (men, mainly) consume porn just as I consume corn-flakes. But I am, at heart, a monogamous type of guy, and I always have been - and I think I do understand what Jimmy Carter meant when he confessed that he had lusted in his heart. Porn, promiscuity, and pootling about: it’s not for me, and never really has been.
Ah, maturity. I’ll get the hang of it one day.
Listening to: Enigma, "MCMXC A.D." Interesting. Not to damn it with faint praise/// but, yes, it's interesting.
Reading: Actually, re-reading; Nelson de Mille's "Word of Honour".
More "Paper Heroes":
The Equus had some time to pass, so he stood, stretched, and said, “Woman! Where is Woman? Have her sent to me.”
3.38pm, Pacific Time, November 26th, 2386.
Twenty days had passed since the trip into downtown Auckland. The six men had been as much a curiosity to the local people as they had found their surroundings unbalancing. Auckland is one of the Commonwealth’s Great Cities and, with a population of a little over three quarters of a million souls, is also one of the largest.
Over the centuries cities had become largely irrelevant. With the advent of the P-See / I-See instant communication, computing, and information systems, the de-centralising of bureaucracies, the easy and immediate availability of almost free domestic and industrial energy, and the absence of borders and artificial barriers to trade and travel, humanity’s societal needs had also changed. Wealth had seen the human population plummet from nearly 8 billion in the 22nd century to just under 3 billion now, and it was still slowly falling. Statisticians had forecast that the world’s population – discounting ‘Merika – would stabilise at 1.5 billion in 150 years.
As it is now, in 2386, there is no poverty in the Commonwealth. Nanotechnology has meant that the average life expectancy is now close to 120 years: the most common causes of death for the aged are now suicide and accident. Many citizens of the Commonwealth lived to 180 years. It was thought that a 500 year life expectancy would soon be attainable.