Reasons to be cheerful, Part 3.2: Yuppie love: The egoist’s guide to mastering the art of frolicking naked with the one you love.

Here’s an eye-opening item from the news feeds: Up to four out of five women are faking orgasms, at least some of the time. Last weekend, I was incredulous at Camille Paglia’s lamentations about sexlessness in the middle class, but, even though I’ve read — and doubted — all of the claims about anorgasmic women, still, I have never been prepared to lend any of this any credence.

And, yes, I’m talking about adult subject matter. If you’re still a giggling pre-teen, you might giggle off elsewhere. I intend to approach this as philosophy, but, if anything, that will just bring out more self-induced juvenility. The actual reason that normal adult Americans have bad sex is because they refuse — very probably in every realm of their lives — to take joy seriously. But we can’t even get that far without a commitment on your part to stop blushing and start thinking. If you won’t do this, what I plan to do here will be a waste of your time.

And must I also defend this as real estate? If you want to learn every new vendorslut trick for not making money while you betray your own soul, get thee to Agent Shortbus or any one of a hundred other sites. If you want to learn how to be a whole soul, to be the highest and best person you can be — at work, at home and in the privacy of the bedroom — let’s talk. But the only subject that matters to me is being alive as a self-conscious human being — and being good at it — and this post is 100% on-topic for that theme.

Are we down to nothing but adults who are prepared to be serious about human joy? Let’s start with a very basic premise: Normal, healthy adult human beings who love each other romantically should have great sex together virtually all of the time. Disabled? That could be a problem. Disabled in the mission-critical hardware? A bigger problem, but not an insuperable one. Stressed? Distracted? Drunk? Your timing is bad. Not in love? You’re screwed — but not in the good way.

My take in reading all of these alarming articles about pandemic sexual dysfunction is that the most likely problem is that, no matter how desperately people might be trying to have sex, only a precious few of them are fully committed to making love. We told ourselves, during the sexual revolution, that we were breaking the chains of biology. In fact, we were simply rationalizing a mindless, empty promiscuity. Getting laid is easy — and despite the lies we tell ourselves about the past, it has always been easy. It’s loving and being loved that’s hard to achieve, and it seems plausible to me that the more easy sex you chase, the harder it will be for you to forge a lasting, trusting commitment with another person.

How stupid is that?

We’re talking about self-love, self-adoration, now and always. This is all I am talking about, all I am ever talking about. Philosophy is all-encompassing, but philosophy begins with ethics, with teleology, with the unique self you have self-abstracted for yourself and what you choose to do with it. Is casual sex liberating? When you wake up next to someone you hardly know, and whose appearance and habits and character disgust you in the light of day — have you burnished and exalted your self, or have you soiled and diminished it? Will last night and this morning be moments of your life you will revisit with pride, or, when these events recall themselves to your memory, unbidden, again and again, will you feel shame, regret, revulsion, disgust?

Just as a general principle, anything you do that leaves you feeling ashamed or regretful or revolted or disgusted with your self is a disvalue, a thing not to be pursued but to be shunned and avoided. This is painfully obvious — and there is nothing I have to say that is not completely obvious to any normal five-year-old — but equally obvious are all the evidences of shame, regret, revulsion and disgust one can see on any Saturday or Sunday morning, just about 10 am. That’s when the boys and girls slink home in their night-club clothes, soiled just a little bit more, diminished to just a little bit less, encumbered forever with one more memory they can’t bear to look at and yet can’t ever manage to forget.

Again: How stupid is that?

Good grief! If all you need to do is to purge yourself of unwanted fluids, stay home and masturbate. Truly, there is no action you can take that is more fundamentally self-loving than self-loving itself, and, as side benefits, it’s fast, cheap and easy to clean up. It doesn’t leave you feeling disgust or hatred for yourself — despite what you were told at church. To the contrary, the endorphin kick will lend you a mild euphoria. And I’m pretty sure you won’t feel any need to fake anything.

I write as a man, and men don’t need to be told to masturbate. Any woman who really has a problem achieving orgasms with the man she loves should probably learn to love herself quite a bit more than she has. Love-making is a skill, and it’s not something that one is born knowing how to do. It doesn’t “just come naturally.” Women manage to cloud their minds with all kinds of barriers to their own enjoyment — worries about their looks, their weight, their clothes, jewelry and cosmetics, along with worries about everything else on the face of the earth. But even if she’s fully-committed to her own orgiastic joy, a woman still has to learn how to manage the hardware. Here again, men have it easier. Through the miracle of ultrasound, we know that little boys cuddle their puds while they’re still in the womb. All they learn later is how to deny it.

Here are two cool facts about a woman’s sexual hardware:

First, there’s almost nothing to master. We all know about the clitoris. If you can’t find it, you need to spend twenty or thirty seconds watching hi-def internet porn. And we’ve all heard about the G-spot, the allegedly elusive key to unlocking the treasure chest of every woman’s delight. Here’s the cool part: They’re all one organ. The clitoris is aligned on the exterior wall, the G-spot on the interior wall, and the whole thing is hugely sensitive. It’s exactly like the glans on a man’s penis — and don’t forget that men and women are just a variation on the same basic design — and, with just your thumb and two fingers, you can make the woman you love melt in your hand. It’s a very simply massage, and all you have to do is give it your time and pay attention to what she likes better and what she likes best.

Second, everything on a woman is sexual hardware. Men like to focus on a few choice targets, but a woman in love is in love over every inch of her skin, in every tiny hair of that skin, in every spot on her body that can be touched or stroked or caressed or kissed. For both men and women, the most important — and most enthralling — sex organ is the mind, but women often are not as adept as man can be at lying to themselves about the value of mere lust — which we have already identified as a disvalue. I don’t claim to understand what the sex act might be like for a woman who is not in love, but I’m inclined to think that it might not end in an orgasm — even if she fakes one.

But here’s the coolest fact of all about women’s sexual hardware: Once she starts coming, she doesn’t have to stop. A man’s orgasm is co-terminus with and is in many ways identical to ejaculation. What that means is that, no matter how aroused a man might be, and no matter how much he might want to achieve orgasm, if he has nothing to deliver, he will not climax. This is not true of women. A woman who loves her lover and understands how best to achieve orgasm can come again and again, effectively continuously — for five minutes, ten minutes, twenty minutes, an hour — to the limit of her physical endurance.

Think about that. Potential score: Infinity. Actual score: Zero. Precisely how screwed up are we, that something that should be infinitely pleasurable turns out to be, for as many as four out of five women, a nasty burden, an unwelcome chore, a task on a checklist to be dispensed with as quickly as possible and gotten out of the way?

Yet again: How stupid is that?

But don’t think I’m absolving the men. If women don’t achieve orgasm, it’s their own damn fault, but if men don’t experience orgasm as the fullest and finest expression of everything that is to be cherished and celebrated in human life, then they’re screwed, too. Coming is easy for a man. It’s commitment that’s hard. But without that commitment — without the full and fully-loving commitment to a partner you can’t bear to live without — sex is just a short spasm of pleasure followed by a lifetime of regret — lied about, white-washed, papered-over, renounced again and again in a short wince of otherwise introspective pain — but fundamentally self-destructive.

How stupid, how stupid, how stupid is that?

None of this is necessary. Women have to learn how their bodies work — and they have to learn to get out of their own way. Men have to learn how women’s bodies work, and how to control their own enthusiasm — which, incidentally, is a lot of fun just by itself. But both sexes have to learn the most important thing there is to know about sex: It’s not good for you if you’re not in love with your partner, but it is glorious — enthralling — soul-enriching — if you are. Very simple, very obvious. Your parents told you, but you knew it without having to be told. Making love is the most nakedly, openly vulnerable thing you can do with another person. How could it be any good with someone you don’t know, don’t like, don’t trust, don’t respect, don’t love? Why would anyone ever expect sex without love to be anything but a disappointment, in the long run?

So let’s get beyond that. You’ll either do better, going forward, or you won’t. What’s interesting to me about Paglia’s article and about the fake orgasm article is that love-making is the one activity of modern net.wise yuppies that seems to be immune, somehow, from the normal yuppie obsessions. Buying a new computer? You’ll read everything you can find on-line. Shopping for a new TV? You’ll be able to name the key features and short-comings of half-a-dozens models. Making love with your spouse, whom you truly do adore? No thought, no preparation, no tools, no toys, no accessories.

How stupid is that?

No one would clean a kitchen without cleaning supplies. No one would rebuild a transmission without tools. Yet we all show up in the bedroom armed with nothing but ignorance and unlimited needs — which soon enough turn into unlimited resentments. Very, very dumb.

Witness:

That’s an affiliate link to Fascinations, a very female-friendly sexual-aids emporium. It’s a true affiliate link; I’m undertaking a chore that no one else you know has been willing to do, and I’m going to get paid for it. Not everything they sell is worth buying, and, in general, you get what you pay for. But if you are looking for one relatively-inexpensive item that will make a world of difference in your love-making right away, buy a big bottle of Maximus lubricant and use it liberally. If both of you get rid of all or most of your pubic hair, you’ll like it even better. The front face of both of your pubic regions is very sensitive, when aroused, and if a guy manages to hang out right there, moving hardly at all, he can risk almost nothing while delivering almost everything. That’s very cool, but it’s not something you can do “naturally,” without theory, without practice and without after-market support.

Are the men wincing and cringing by now? Are you unmanned by the thought that you might need help in the bedroom? Are you equally emasculated by your hammers and your screwdrivers? The fact is that sex toys — the right sex toys — are just plain fun — as much fun for him as they are for her. Just shopping for them can be fun, if the two of you are open enough to talk about what you might enjoy. Marriage is a conversation you never want to end, and love-making is the most completely eloquent form that conversation can take. Sex toys will make your love-making better, but being honest with each other about love-making — thinking about it, planning for it, talking about it before, during and after — this is what it means to be serious about joy.

I am not anyone’s Casanova, nor am I any sort of expert on the physics or mechanics of lust. But I am as serious as I can be about my marriage, and I want for our love-making to be the best it can be, the best the two of us can make it. I talk about getting better at everything all the time, and this is one more part of my life where I want to devote my time and attention to getting better. We say that Americans are obsessed with sex, but obviously this cannot be so. We might be obsessed with titillation, but when it comes down to delivering the goods — actually making love — our minds are elsewhere.

How stupid is that?

But if you make love mindfully, then sex becomes everything you ever hoped it could be, everything you expected it to be when you were young. If love is a marriage of like minds, then your love-making can be your wedding day all over, over and over again, as often and as enthrallingly as you want to relive it. Your bodies will come together, and that just by itself is a delight, if you are alone and naked with your life’s delight. But your souls will come together, too, and this is a level of exultation that no mere animal — nor mere strangers — can achieve. True love-making occurs when like minds meet, marry, melt and merge, when there is nothing left to your conversation but mothertongue, the language of bodies, and yet the room is filled to bursting with the ringing tones of fathertongue: “I love you more than anything! I love who I am when I’m making love with you, and I love it that you respond to me the same way.”

This is doable. This is attainable. Speaking not of statistics but of the ontology of the human body, mind and spirit: This is normal. Everything the body does is an expression of the self. I know I love my wife, and I know she loves me, because we love each other all time, as often as we can, for as long as we can, as enthrallingly as we can. But we love each other all the time, in everything we do, and there is a degree to which we are always making love, no matter where we might be or how we are dressed. It’s all one thing. Everything is all one thing. And mastery, in whatever you might be doing, may not be easy, but the effort you put into your marriage will be repaid in vast abundance.

And how smart is that?

Reasons to be cheerful
Reasons to be cheerful: Defying the specter of ugly fates.

Manifest your own destiny: You say you want a revolution? Yeah, well anyone can piss and moan about how bad everything is. If you want things to change, I’m making a stout effort to show you how to achieve revolutionary change — from the inside out. But your own efforts at self-improvement will bear sweeter fruit sooner if you share what you’re learning with other people who love to live. You’ve never heard anything like this before. Why would you hoard it to yourself?

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