I know that at my age, one year from forty, I ought not to think about sex as much as I do.
Men of a certain age, fathers and uncles, are perceived less as sexual beings.
I am not quite sure if it is my perception of our sexualised society, which is clearly skewed, or the possibility that from the many years of being a bit-part actor in a play without direction or script causes me to ponder, often, this age old question. Some of the actors in the love play are trained Thespians, taking centre stage, but most are marginalised extras, waiting in the wings, awaiting passers-by to fall, finally, in love with.
Towards the very end of our lives we, heterosexual men that is, will be concerned only with how we were viewed by the women in our lives. Mother, sisters, lovers et al. Proud to say that I’ve had a modern amount of sex, but loved few. Does that sound cold and unfeeling? I believe that Love is a commodity much like any other, traded across markets of time and effort.
Can I say that I was in love with my seventh girlfriend more than my eighth, but not as much as the current one? Both sexes will adapt to incorporate a hierarchy of values for their loved, and their unrequited.
Reciprocation is usually deeply rooted. When a couple truly feel a bond it most definitely feels like the world exists for you two only. But, when one’s love should come to an end, indeed, we should both just move right on by to the next potential inamorata. The crippling feelings of loss which are experienced are, truthfully, the feeling of lost time, coupled with a conceited regret at not having been the person they expected you to be, or more importantly, them having not lived up to your expectations. The endeavour of relationships can’t be underestimated when viewed as a trade good.
Ineffable as it is, love comes to most of us via conventional means. Commercialised in blood-red hearts and flowers. Within the trashy magazines they will often tell you, in ten easy steps, that the way to deal with being in love with somebody who doesn’t love you is to learn to appreciate yourself, realise that you don’t need anyone to validate you, and that you are still the wonderful person you were before the breakup.
You do, of course, require validation from another, we all do. I would go so far as to say, we crave the endorsement of being in love and being loved, constantly throughout our lives.
According to The Urban Dictionary a Love Sponge is the term for a person so sweet and charming, not to mention magnetic and captivating, that they soak up and attract others, with their enchanting ways. In contrast, it is somewhat of a sad fact of modern life that other individuals will never experience true romantic love, settling for the ad-agency approach.
Some of us may have been lucky enough, often in our youth, to have been romantically linked, and more often than not, for a very short period only, to what I affectionately call a butterfly. A painful game that hurt so good. They were the kind of person that simply oozes with desire. We all know of the alpha-female type, flitting from one flower to the next, spending just enough time there to keep every bloom happy. I invested a great deal of effort, and a generous amount of time, thinking about the butterfly. Though soaking up love like a sponge does denote a certain amount of neediness on their part, I’m often reminded of just how much my adoration fuelled their return attention.
But what of emotion? Feelings are raw, messy and often guardedly kept secrets. Express your feelings at your peril.
Sometimes I think I understand women. I certainly adore them. I think I’ve been in love four or five times and I get terribly desperate for their company. At other times, I don’t think they register on the proverbial scale at all.
Most of my muses wouldn’t give me the time of day, not any more.