The Civil Rights Lesson from a Randy Chinese Swinger

When you think of China, you don’t think of it as a particularly sexy place.   Probably the Chinese don’t even think of China as a particularly sexy place as they tend to take their lead in sexual conduct from the West.   Nevertheless, with nearly 1.5 billion people, China is the most populated country in the world.   All those babies have to be coming from somewhere.

In truth, the citizens of China have practiced pre-marital sex for quite sometime now.   They may not have the long legacy of erotica  found in the West, initiated since time began and fortified by the art and literature,and ruminations of the Victorian Era, leading up through the pornographic “French Decks” of playing cards to the grand institution or erotica we extol today.   The Chinese may not even share the Japanese legacy, the artful and colorful paintings of lovers in bold colored silk robes contorted in every imaginable position, most of which having their visage in defiance of logical perspective.

Beauty shops and massage parlors permeate most Chinese cities, with each being the code word for a brothel.   While technically against the law, Chinese authorities tend to look the other way when it comes to the long stand presence of “beauty parlors,” kind of like what California does with its medical marijuana shops.  And like the medical marijuana shops, unless there is political pressure from a self-righteous group of do gooders with too much time on their hands, or the owner of the “beauty parlor” manages to upset someone in the bureaucracy, business goes on with little fanfare.

There is a preponderance of “adult health stores”.   These health stores are not to be confused with American health food stores where you can buy your granola in bulk.  Chinese Adult Health store is the given name for purveyors of every imaginable type of adult sex toy.   To say these stores are easy to find, is to equate their proximity with the nail salons of American.  If there isn’t one on every corner, then the sex toy shops are ubiquitous enough to assure no one will be waiting in line.  As for pornography on the Chinese Internet system, that is also forbidden.   But needless to say, thanks to the wonders of modern technology and with necessity being the not only the mother of invention but a matter of getting off, the Chinese can acquire software that can circumvent the government blocks.

As with most countries on an economic upswing, social regulatory efforts, if not necessarily the actual letter of the law, tend to liberalize in practice as well as theory.   When people are starving and struggling to survive, they have little time for sexual diddling.  Or if they do have time, it is because it is there only diversion from a dreary life, and those impromptu episodes usually result in the begetting or more children, which puts even more pressure on the family and its struggles, and makes for far less time in the exotic pursuits. A win-lose situation, for sure.  But when the good times are rolling, leisure and vice become a heady pursuit.

So what’s the big deal over the Chinese college professor, Ma Yahohai, who was sentenced to three and a half years in prison for having the temerity to engage in sex orgies and practice sexual partner swapping.?   Ma and his girlfriend were members of a group  of 22 persons that had some 35 swinger sessions over a two year period.  Frisky devils.  Ma participated in about half of these sessions.    Most of these sessions took place in Ma’s two bedroom apartment.   Ma shared the apartment with his girlfriend and mother.   What the adventuresome couple did with Momma during these libidinous occasions is anyone’s guess.   Maybe she took video.   Or like a good caring mother, washed off the sex toys to eliminate disease.  One can only imagine.

But the fact is that out of the twenty two arrested and charged with Criminal Law 301, Sexual Law 301, Crowd Licentiousness, eighteen of these randy souls were sentenced to prison.   While the defiant Ma was sentenced to his three and a half years, others were sentenced up to two and a half years.   No slap on the wrist, and no mention whatsoever about community service or making an anti-sex film.  The Chinese prison system has never been known much for luxury living.    So a couple of years in jail can give you a lot of time to ponder wistfully the sex orgies you will be missing.   As for the three defendants who got off without a jail sentence, I have no idea how they got so lucky.  Maybe they were only there to watch or serve hor dourves.

It could be worse for Ma and his swinging associates I suppose.  Back in the good old days of Chairman Mao and his successors,  various types of sexual congress, including group sex, could be construed as “hooliganism.”     “Hooliganism” was catch all charge for crimes that made you realize you were in big trouble.   Big trouble meant a lengthy jail sentence at a slave labor facility not of your choice.   You were looking at possible execution.  So by those draconian standards, I suppose, a couple years in jail is a slap on the wrist.

According to reports, there are 100, 000 alleged swingers in China out of the  1.3 billion population.  In terms of Chinese population this is but a measly few.    The measly few engage in group sex and brag about it by posting on the Internet.   Many more beyond the 100,000 read it as it provides if nothing else some vicarious thrills in a country that has yet to develop the 900 sex number.   But still, we are talking a small group of enthusiasts.   Not particularly threatening.  I would consider the group grope of twenty odd people in a two bedroom apartment more of a threat to the integrity of the carpet than to the burgeoning Chinese economy.

Other groups are considered far more threatening.    There are all sorts of radicals and terrorists groups who actually blow up things and don’t just brag about some sexual exploits on the Internet.    There are people trafficking in illegal everything, from counterfeit prescription drugs to counterfeit invoices.   There are myriad labor strikes and worker unrest, including violent demonstrations.   The citizens of the more rural provinces are restless and prtoesting the state appropriation of their lands.   This has resulted in massive riots.  In one riot recently, hundreds were killed in Sichuan Province.

There is airline corruption and all sorts of financial swindling.   Chinese law enforcement has been very busy as the nation pays the price of progress. Even the questionable menace of the Chinese Uighur population  would present more of a problem than a  couple bunches of swingers.   There are many millions of Chinese Uighurs, a Muslim group that is viewed by the Chinese Government as a radical faction and periodically subjects them to surveillance and harassment.   In Xinjiang Province alone, nearly half the population of 23 million are Chinese Uighurs.    I would venture very few Chinese Uighurs are swingers, but that is another story.  The fact is the swingers of China make up but a small but determined faction that you could probably fit into the Beijing Subway.  A chance at getting off at every station.

To be sure, I am not promoting swinging.  I am not promoting it in China or anywhere else.  In fact, mere photos of the swinging Internet set threatens to drive me to the monastery for contemplations of  semi-theistic metaphysics and far less carnal pursuits.  Watching the few happy partner swapping examples on the Jerry Springer Show made me seriously consider celibacy for the next millennium,.   Fortunately, reason took control of my senses.  I only took a shower, instead.   Here in America,  swingers can live large and lounge about in communal congress inside the often tacky but spacious environs of a split-level sub-tract with enough garage and driveway space for all those Toyota Camrys.     Meanwhile their kindred Chinese swingers must dangle their dongs in a measly two bedroom apartment.   Here you get to be on Jerry Springer or at least have your fat, naked ass plastered all over the Internet.   But in China you get a couple, few years in jail.

To loosely paraphrase Voltaire, I may not like swinging and partner swapping, but will defend to the death your right to engage in it, no matter how nauseating it may appear.   Alright, maybe I won’t defend it to the death, as I have better things to do than defend the randy rambling of a bunch of refugees from Wal-Mart looking for distraction in a down economy.    But at the very least,  I will give it lip service, even when I grimace and fumble with the shower faucets.  Why?

Because everybody should have the right to get laid.   It is a right, after all, and not a privilege.   Okay, so maybe sometimes it is less of a right and more of a privilege, a treat even,  a pathetically rare one, depending on the disposition and predilections of your spouse or lover.  I realize that sometimes your significant other does not find  either you or your entreaties as significant or otherwise as you might either hope for or come to expect.   So I guess like other debates over rights and privleges, there is at least a little wiggling room.  But once you do work it out with your lover or significant other you have the freedom to fire away, anytime, day or night.  Even if twenty two people are involved.

But as in China, there are some here and in parts of the world who don’t really see it that way.   They allude to some intelligent design and a divine plan where you must only do it with restrictions.   They ascribe the  damning words immoral and degenerate to a variety of sex practices that were apparently never detailed in the master plan.  Otherwise, I suppose, the master plan would have been just plain old porn and not some divine edict from the heavens explaining explicitly where Daddy and Mommy or Daddy and Daddy or Mommy and Mommy may put their thingies and Woo Woo’s.   In some cases they want to rearrange your thinking; they want to straighten you out.

Oppression always begins somewhere.   Usually in the stupid places, the places that make us wince.   But then they graduate to places where we are concerned where transgressions are made against our privacy and thought process.     We suddenly find our rights intruded upon and threatened by a group of ideologues who truly believe in this world of infinite choices they are so graced with absolute answers.   We find ourselves being subjected to embarrassment and thrown in jail for acting out on our natural impulses.  Oppression begins in the dumbest of places, and it ends somewhere else.   And we don’t know how we go there.

Chinese Professor Ma Yaohai has resigned from his teaching post.  He now lives off his savings and his mother’s pension.   He is appealing his sentence of three and a half years for “group licentiousness,” which translates into getting his rocks off with a couple dozen people.  As we have seen recently in this country, some of our own social issues that we thought were long put to rest, sexuality, racism, the right to live and breathe as you so choose, have resurfaced and been challenged by perhaps a well intentioned but vehement minority.  Given that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, we should never take the good professor’s condition all that lightly.  No matter who you are or where you sleep, something  may be lurking beneath the sheets.  Something besides your partner’s cold feet.

Botox And The Things We Do For Love

Emotionally speaking, we are a schizophrenic society.  Perhaps we are a schizophrenic world.   Quite often we have incredible needs where romance and sentiment are concerned, but we mitigate those needs with the crassness of survival in the modern context.  While we recognize a deep seated need to satisfy our emotional requirements we obscure these sentiments by approaching romance and marriage, even  relationships with our families, as some form of corporate merger or social detentes.   To our most romantic and sentimental instincts we add complex  layers of material opportunity and the cultural acceptance.

We buy into the movies, and the romance novels that manipulate our sentiments.   In media world, as opposed to the real one,  couples from the opposite sides of the spectrum, different cultural interests, ethnic backgrounds, economic stations, find themselves linked eternally.    The normal  obstructions of social norms and divergent interests,  to say nothing of peer pressure and cultural prejudice, withdraw from the sexual battlefield as love triumphs over all.  We can’t get enough of this stuff and buy into it, hook, line and sinker.

Media feeds on our  romantic idealism.   It manipulates our sentiments.   Now in the digital age we  are bombarded with these paint by numbers constructions from every possible angle.   We walk the streets and stand in lines, surrounded desire in fact our insistence on romantic denouement.   Often in paint by numbers, formulaic arcs, the illusion of true romance is served up to us at ten to fifty bucks a pop.    We wait in knowing anticipation while the fated lovers stumble over themselves and respective situations, overcome peer pressure and cultural differences, to finally reconcile their desire for each other so we the audience can reinforce our illusive pursuit of pure romance.   We buy greeting cards and watch endless maudlin commercials where parents race across the world to be home for their kid’s debut in their grad school play.   We watch endless commercials where families come together as one for that happy holiday meal.  Where they hug and eat and never argue.

In quest of love we do many things to ourselves.   We say things that we really don’t mean or even care about.   Sweet nothings, or broad generic terms of world peace and humanitarian considerations while berating the busboy for not cleaning our table.   We wear funny outfits that we hope make us attractive and then we become disgruntled when people are staring.   We once smoked cigarettes to look cool and sexy.  Now we smoke because it is a habit.  We take drugs, drink too much, eat too much, and more often than we care to remember we find ourselves in the sweet embrace of the toilet bowl at three a.m.

If you are male, you preen and shine and hope not to look as awkward and as uninvolved  on the first date as you most certainly will on the fourth or fifth date down the line.  If there is a fifth date.    You dress like a boy and think you’re a man and hope that you can somehow discover the equilibrium between looking like schlep and a cardboard cutout from Details or Gentleman’s Quarterly.   You get pierced and tattooed and claim it is not really an esteem issue but an expression of your individuality.   You bathe in cologne unaware that you are the only one who knows that smells like  a men’s room at fifty yards away.

If you are a male, you try to show that you are sensitive and caring, but that you aren’t just another pussy.   You avoid like the plague being categorized as a guys’ guy or a ladies man.  You try to be different from the pack, but not so different that your date or your lover starts to think you are strange and burdened by a hidden agenda where you secretly boast of a butterfly collection or bury skulls in your flower bed.   You go to the gym and run for miles, claiming it is all about our health when you know damn well you are far more attractive with an athletic physique than the slob who sits in the cubicle right next to yours.

You get your penis enlarged by adding fat tissue and cutting tendons that make it dangle more than nature may have first intended.   You do this to impress yourself and to impress her.  You wonder if you have impressed her enough that she will go to bed with you.   And then you worry if you were good in bed and and if you measure up to her previous experience.   You wonder how in the hell you can leave in the wee hours and not look like a shopworn cliche.   After all this, you visit your shrink who invites you back for another year of analysis.

But the price men pay for love, even when they actually pay for sex, is nothing compared to the gauntlet of tribulations that women must endure.   From bleaching to waxing, to shaving certain body parts that will itch for days, until you scratch like a monkey, showing off at the children’s zoo.   You get your first face lift at fourteen.   After which there is are future years where you engage in sessions of liposuction, ass and tummy tucks so that you still look good walking the unbearably painful walk of three inch heels.  You pluck your brows and paint your nails.  You wear perfume, but you worry if it is the right perfume, whether it defines you or makes you smell like just another slut.  You go backless and braless, you eat too little and then eat too much, only to show penance once again with your arms wrapped in the cold and familiar embrace of the proverbial toilet bowl.

You get stitched and sewn, tanned and tailored.   You wear clothes too tight and shoes too small.   You go blond, brunette, step it out as a redhead for a minute and a half and wish for the day when you can say “screw it,” I’ll leave it gray and live with those oh so natural, murky yellow highlights.   Like men you date and you wonder if you are attractive, if he really wants to go to bed with you.  You wonder if you are good in bed, if you measure up to his other lovers, or if his previous lovers were of the barnyard variety.   And then you wonder how in the hell you can leave in the wee hours of the morning and not look like a shopworn cliche.  And then your remember, it’s your place, so there is no escape.  After all this, you visit your shrink who invites you back for another year of analysis

You worry about aging, whether you are still attractive, and whether you are a sexual being.  You start worrying about this when you are eleven, and you don’t stop worrying until they put you in the grave.   You worry so much your brow wrinkles.  And then you get your Botox shots.  You realize Botox is not the best thing for you as the secret ingredient causes Botulism, a deadly poison.  A deadly poison that may in the long haul cause nerve damage.  But who cares?   You look better and this is then and later is later.  And by then you are dead anyway, so who cares?

So now what did they do?   New studies have discovered a relationship between paralyzing your nerves, which Botox does, and your inability to express emotion.   People on Botox are slower to smile or frown or show anything other than the stoic expressions the ancient Greeks used to proffer as a viable lifestyle.   According to the recent study, some of it summarized in the Los Angeles Times, among other place, Botox shots will confuse the brain.   Botox Shots, researchers discovered, block facial nerve impulses, seemed to slow the ability to comprehend emotional language. Emotional expressions apparently send feedback to the brain.   It is a combined effort between smiling and frowning and our awareness as to whether we are having a good time or a lousy one.

Simply put the reaction time between the stimulus and the emotion takes longer than it does for a senile geriatric to cross the street in St. Petersburg.   Facial expressions make the brain make sense of the world around us.  No facial expressions the world around us is tough to grasp, as if it isn’t tough enough already.    Stuff happens to you, and you don’t know what you are feeling.  Good times, bad times, there you be, unable to grasp whether you are ecstatic or really pissed off.   Or at least, according to the study, it may take awhile before the brain gets the message.

If we extrapolate this study, then for all we know, Botox could affect our sexual congress.    Enough Botox could freeze the facial expressions and delay the sensory signals to the brain.  It would be the orgasmic version of the late arrival.   It’s like showing up for the banquet when they have already removed the  dishes from the tables and folded up the chairs.   The Botox orgasm.   Between the big sensation and the “Oh God” screaming,  hours may have passed.  By then it is Sunday morning.  Your neighbors don’t know if you had an orgasm or you were getting ready for church.

Anyway…it’s not that I am critical of our vanity.  Observant, maybe, but hardly critical.  It is what it is, and far be it for me to provide any meaningful alternative where I don’t sound like a rescued speed freak from an abstinence ministry.  Besides, I am too vain for that.   People need to do what they do and in a world of chaos and uncertainty at least try to have a good time.

The only thing is, if you dose yourself with Botox, how will you ever know it?

The Women’s Movement, Advance Back to the 1950’s


There are many ways to move backwards.   One of the more popular ways is to embrace what we perceive as tradition.  We view a seemingly idealistic pattern of behavior that has been rejected perhaps by previous generations and see it with fresh eyes and renewed vigor.   We see the upside, forgetting or ignoring that a downside ever existed.

It is perhaps even natural to want to return to the past.   The present is unsettling, and the future is obscure and insecure.   In the past it seems like values and virtues were firmly set.   People were honest artisans who farmed organically and used beasts of burden and not dreadful gasoline guzzling, sheet metal monsters to travel about.   Men were genteel and women were kind and gracious, capable of walking on air.   People has a special sense, a sixth sense, if you will, to perceive things that escape us today.

Of course, no one wishes to dwell on the realities.   The health issues, the dangerous horse doody and the  piles of garbage in the streets.    We forget the levels of ignorance, illiteracy,  and genetic maladies that left us with goiters, wall eyed, hairlipped, or with an extra leg hanging out of our chests.    We ignore the millions who starved because organic farming wasn’t quite getting it done.    We admire the honest craftsman but ignore the fact that until here was mass production most went without most things.   Many went without even shoes.    Most people had two outfits.  Every day and Sunday.  There were no color choices or the need for shoe racks or designer hangers.

And then we have the Women’s Movement.    First off, there is no denying that there are great many skilled, highly intelligent and competent women practicing in any number of professions.   These are great women who have changed the course of history and made tremendous contributions to their industries and disciplines, and to society as a whole.

More women than men are graduating from medical school and law school.   Women, overall, earn more money than they ever did.   On the less grand scale, there are more working women, showing up at the office or working diligently from remote locations, mainly because they have to contribute to the household income.   They work because they have to, they want to, to the point perhaps where they never give it a thought.

But then there are increasingly more younger women who lack the desires of the women who pioneered the Women’s Movement.  Maybe it is a generational thing.   Perhaps it is even rebelliousness or a backlash of sorts.   Or maybe some have arrived at the harsh reality that sitting at home is a lot better than showing up at an office where you are forced to deal with politics, harassment, and the duties inherent with your profession or job.

Some may argue that this is not the case.   And some may argue that these women have the freedom to do whatever they choose.  It’s about choice.  Yes.  Certainly it is.   But when you are taking up space in an elite law or medical school so you can be a better marriage prospect, rather than a contribution to that community, something may be wrong with this picture.

As Marilyn McGrath Lewis,  director of undergraduate admissions at Harvard, was quoted in an article in the New York Times, “It really does raise this question for all of us and for the country: when we work so hard to open academics and other opportunities for women, what kind of return do we expect to get for that?”

In the same article Peter Salovey, the dean of Yale College, ” What does concern me is that so few students seem to be able to think outside the box; so few students seem to be able to imagine a life for themselves that isn’t constructed along traditional gender roles.”

Simply put, a lot of precious space is allocated in schools that produce influential inhabitants in their disciplines, people who move forward to assume places at the highest levels of their professions.  People who become inventors and innovators, judges, developers of vaccines, leaders in their communities and their nation.   This is not necessarily the place where  someone takes up one of the few seats to practice for a couple of years and then move on to stay-at-home motherhood.

And with this type of behavior, we are referring to the achievers.    We are referring to the elite.   Beneath the elite we have those who quite simply just want to marry the richest guy with the most stuff on the best career track who can let them stay at home.   Where professional challenges were once the major concern for young women in college, it seems now the big ticket it merely to find the guy.   Find the guy.  Marry well.  Marry rich.  As for love…maybe?

That way you can stay home, have lunch with your girlfriends and wax for hours on the celebrity hit list and other people they don’t know.   This new attitude, as noted before, may be an act of rebellion.  It may be a reflection of the economy.  It is tough economic times and life is tough out there.   Find someone who will take care of you.  Not someone you can be with and share the joys and misery.  Someone who will take care of you.

I know some will deny this.  Some will complain.   But we are a nation that if nothing else works extra hard to conceal the obvious.  In this case the obvious is registered on Facebook and the social networks.   It is apparent on my elevator as the gaggle of students converse among themselves or, as is more the case, endlessly on the telephone.   If an original thought ever erupted from a lipsticked mouth, brains would suffer a meltdown and the elevator would plummet to the basement level or purgatory  where leftovers, closeouts and sale merchandise are to be eternally begotten.

There is no blame, really.   And this is hardly a rant.  It’s an examination of the overall policies, social and financial, that have left this nation, hurting, wanting, and very insecure.   As a market driven society where consumerism made up two thirds of the economy, going cold turkey on the shopping impulse is like being a junkie at a revival meeting.   You don’t know what to do with yourself or when the pain will start to fade.

In a society where air brushing as created the perfect form of beauty that no living being could ever recreate, it is bound to drive women crazy.   To think that our celebrities and movies stars, who appear to us after sixteen hours having designers, makeup artists, etc.,  preening, fussing, and dressing them, can be copied in real life is bizarre.  Truly bizarre.    Yet that belief is the standard.  It is an accepted reality, in spite of the facts.  In spite of the facts that the celebrities and  models can’t duplicate in real life the perfect image of themselves.

Yet here we are with women believing that with a few good beauty tips and some high priced cosmetics they can actually look as good as their aspirations.    So women, smart women, exchange beauty and dressing tips, talk about their favorite celebrities and seem never wonder how they allowed themselves, no voluntarily, jumped into this box in the first place.

Men don’t escape responsibility.   When it comes to romance and related social issues.  Most men are idiots.    Inarticulate idiots, at that.   “Dude.  Dude?”    The idolize the marketing  version of the sex symbol that is both unwieldy and unachievable.   It makes them feel awkward to think they have settled for less than the stay at home beauty queen.

It is understandable.  Most men really don’t have much to work with.   They have their jobs and the things they buy and they things they believe they possess.  Like their women.  Most men have been programmed that anything remotely resembling taste, outside of cars and lawn care, is effeminate or gay.  They are taught to believe their wives know better about everything except the job and the industry they compete in nearly every day of their lives.

More importantly, many men are threatened by thinking and successful women.   They want their women to stay at home.   They don’t want them competing.  It is tough to have a bigger penis contest with someone who has you out outmaneuvered because they aren’t wearing one.   It is tough to go up against the traditional social pressures that have evolved since Mom and Pop partnered as equals in the Mom and Pop shops.

After all, your mother and father probably set up the family that way.  Others around you have condemned you as less of a man if you can’t carry the weight of a stay at home wife and three kids in the self-indulgence  program on the weight of your designer shoulders.   This is your job.  Nay.   This is your duty.   Sit there and be mute, forgetting the lessons of the past.

What past?  When the little woman sat home and allowed her brain to atrophy on nonsense and more nonsense.   When the high point of the day was doing battled with that dreaded ring around the collar.  When the woman was viewed as chattel, because as such they had no real ownership other than what was allowed by law.   When soap operas and smores took priority over the Cuban Missile Crisis and the advent of social change.

Part of that change was Women’s Liberation.  More succinctly, Women’s Rights.   I remember when a good job for a woman was being a teacher.  “You could always teach,” or so it went.   “Or teach for a couple, few years until your husband gets his career off the ground.  And then you can stay home and go out of your mind with the children.”

Okay, it’s different now.  With the advent of illegal immigration and cheap labor, many women have a helper.  They have a nanny and a housekeeper.   They don’t clean, they don’t have to clean, cook, or do the laundry themselves.   The maid does it.   If you explain it correctly in broken Spanish, then she may even hang the delicate fabricates and not cram them into the dryer.

It is different.  Women’s careers.  Been there done that.   Women are free to go to the top schools in the country and then be the stay at home mother.    They can  nosh with friends  on salad and sushi.    They can discuss the merits of  Young Einstein.  Rather than try to be one themselves.

As for the women that still march on,  working to achieve at the highest levels of profession and society.   Bless you for keeping the bar at some civilized level of progress.   I realize it is tough sledding in the face of those who criticize you and wonder if you have a screw loose for not seeking out the perfect fellow and settling down.  At home.   But you are the ones who the next generation may use as role models.   You may yet inspire the next generation of women, not to stay at home but to take advantage of their talents, their brains and, yes, their sexuality.   Take advantage so that society can benefit from your unique and special skills.

Beware! Female Sex Addicts Are Lurking Among Us

There is a vintage Steven Sills song.  It is called “Love the One You’re With.”  That seemed like wise words in earlier days when not only the more responsible among us but even the young had less concerns.   Today there are many things to fear, from food additives to terrorists.   You can catch every kind of disease, including some we never heard of.   So it’s hard sometimes just to have sex with someone you like, yet alone love the one you’re with.

Nevertheless, sex addiction is on the rise.  Or so they say, whoever “they” are.  I always suspect the “they’s” in this case are the ones promoting a new fear and making money from it by exploiting the susceptible.  Hey, if you can sell drugs for “Restless Leg Syndrome,” you can hold therapy sessions to cure people from wanting too much sex.   I know people who it seems the notion of sex never seems to cross their minds anymore.  Either they have given up or gotten realistic.  Or don’t know the difference.   It’s hard to say.  But I digress.

Back to the rising tide of sex addiction.    Turns out women are sex addicts as well as men.  There’s a revelation for you.   Not quite the Rapture, but nevertheless I’ll give you time to absorb it.  Women chasing around in search of wanton, mindless sex.    Whew!  How could they?

What’s more, the number of  female sex addicts is rising.  Whether the figures are on the increase or more women want this sort of attention is hard to say.    Perhaps by surrendering yourself to therapy as the great wanton hussy, you can achieve recognition for being sexual.     Or you can meet some cute guys with the same ideas.  I don’t know   But, yes, according to a recent article in the London Times women can be prone to sex addiction right along with men.

According to the article, thirty percent of the people being treated for sex addiction are female.   Not exactly a fifty-fifty proposition but notable just the same.  One woman talks about her longest romantic relationship lasting all of three months.  Other women talk about the need for intimacy, to be accepted, to be perceived as attractive.   Some talk about the romance and fantasy, the thrill of the hunt.  You know, what we typically call men stuff.

A noted writer, Susan Cheever, just wrote a book about her own sex addiction.   The book is called,  Desire: Where Sex Meets Addiction, for those who are interested.  Cheever’s father was iconic author John Cheever who it appears struggled with his own sexual behavior.   So then the question arises–is sexual addiction much like drug addiction or alcoholism?  Is it something that is passed down from one generation to another?

One must wonder if addictive personality is passed through the genes.   Sometimes it will manifest itself in the similar practices of one’s parents.   Sometimes the children will find a new channel and take their addictive personality down a new road of dependency.  Or they pair them up–alcoholism, drug and sex addiction– the Dependency Combo.  A Deli Special sandwich.    Hold the pickle.  This is all conjecture, but it seems to bear out in most cases.

Then there are the bald facts of life.  It is lonely out there.  Online dating sites seem not to produce much else than more online dating sites.   You can sell me all day with commercials about who you met and how you are soul mates with matching interests, but then why don’t we see more of you in these commercials?  The same two couples for awhile and then another two couples provide all the testimony our sense can bear.  All while you think to yourself, glad they met but that’s nowhere near my soul mate.  If that’s who you find on the dating site, then I’m saving my money in these tough economic times.

A woman has needs.  A man had needs.   A man can fulfill these needs, as Lenny Bruce once wrote, by screwing wet sand.   Anything that has intercourse with wet sand is not someone easily reasoned with.  They have an urge and they respond.  Esteem issues may enter into it.  But then again, that would give men more credit for their sexual consciousness than may ever be necessary.  Or realistic.

Women on the other hand think about it differently.   Most women.   But then there are women who are just horny as hell and just want hot sex, a shower and the time to move on down the line.   It is safe to say that they have dated.   They didn’t like what they found.   They were looking for romance and found eels in suits and jeans instead.   Or they found love and were bitterly disappointed.

Whatever their story, now they want to get their rocks off.   Perhaps it is vindication.  It may be affirmation of their good looks.   It may be a snatch at the gold ring of fantasy.   You read enough romance novels and you got to at least once try to put it into practice.   In any event, for one reason or another, there are women in this world who have decided they would rather have sex with anyone than sit and home eating ice cream and watching romantic movies that remind them of what  they are missing in life.

There are women out there who just don’t care.   They don’t want intimacy.  They want sex.  They want to get off not buy into someone else’s fantasy.   These are the type of women we love to disparage.   Some of us wish to disparage.  Others wonder where are they and what are they doing on this Saturday night?  Do you have their number?

I guess the main thing about addiction is not whether it is in control.  Addiction by its name means you are out of control.   The main thing about addiction is whether or not you are doing harm to others.   Are you busting any bubbles, wrecking families, whatever?   Then you may want to take a look at what you are doing.

Some will protest and claim the addicts are doing harm to themselves.  Yes they are.   They sure are.  Let’s face it addictive behavior hardly promotes a positive life force.   It is fair to say the spirit is wanting.   But then there are other things that may be worse.   Life in a vacuum comes to mind.  Life searching for the perfect mate to find anything but that.   Life wondering who you are and what you want.

So if you see a woman who is a confessed sex addict, she may be confessing not out of some twelve step surrender, but out of self-awareness.   Don’t try to intervene.  Don’t try to help her.  Just ask for her number.  It would probably do the both of you some good.

Doing the Laundry on Saturday Night

I live in a high rise.   As with most things, there are pluses and minuses to living in a high rise. The best part of living in a high rise is the views.   And then there are the conveniences.   There are cleaners in the building, markets adjacent.   Makes life easier in some ways.

You develop a sense of living in a community in a high rise.   That’s often an asset.  But just as often when you have noisy or lousy neighbors, the community seems more like a tenement than a high rise.   Then there are the party sessions and the neighbors who act like they just wandered in from a cave just a few short weeks before.

But one thing about life in a high rise and for that matter any building where the laundry room in centralized and accessible to all.   You get to see who is doing their laundry on Saturday night.   Surely, there are older folk, or middle aged couples who between showings on the pay per view race up and down the elevator to get in a load or two.   But then there are the singles.   You see very few younger couples doing the laundry together on Saturday night.  Just singles.   Single men.  For sure.  And a lot of single women.

Perhaps there is no better indicator that life ain’t exactly rich with romance than someone doing their laundry on a Saturday night.    The only other indicator that life is a drag is eating alone, table for one on Saturday night.   It means the networking efforts have failed, the online dating sites have yielded nada,  and the fix up-blind date schemes and situations have resulted in disillusionment.  So here you sit.  Doing the laundry on Saturday night.   Could be the title of a country song.

I guess the one advantage of doing the laundry on Saturday night is you don’t have to look your best.   Slop around in those sweats and tee shirts that should have been thrown out when the Chicago Cubs last won the pennant.  And oh those pink acrylic fluffy slippers.   Ironically, perhaps, it is not  just the homely sort who stuff the washers and dryers on Saturday night.   There are attractive men and women, sitting on those molded plastic chairs.   Now some women may not be what you call socially adroit, and some of the men may be geeky enough, so inundated with that lonely guy thing, that finding romance may have washed out of their hopes like a rip tide from Hurricane Ike.

There is something to be said for the fact that the laundry doers being seen doing their laundry on Saturday night.   Maybe they don’t realize that people take notice.  Or more than likely they don’t really care anymore.   They are lonely and miserable, and your sneers or pity won’t change the fact they can’t find a date, and dates cannot find them.    What’s really odd, is upon observation, they don’t seem to talk to each other.   You would think they would somehow form a lonely impromptu and random laundry club on Saturday Night.  Exchange numbers, swap spit.  Do something.  Or at least talk with each other, down in the laundry room.   I guess they don’t want to admit to another human that life has left them wanting.

And because of the funky outfits, the matted and unwashed hair and probable bad breath, the laundry on Saturday night crowd is not even a prospect for the other lonely people wandering in from the movies, bars and restaurants, empty handed.   In a perfect world the laundry room could be the post-closing time episode, the salvation in desperation, where those wandering  or staggering in from the parking lot could pick up on something that looks like Gilda Radner, as the Vick’s Vapo Rub-coated Lisa Lubner, in an old Saturday Night Live sketch.   Maybe smelly and gnarly, but, hey, it’s a heartbeat.

But I guess sometimes the world is a cruel place, and people have to fend for themselves in withstanding the harshness.   Where the rewards are meager, at best.  Where those that come home alone from bars are burdened only with a liquor tab.   And those compelled to do the laundry on Saturday Night never  suffer from a shortage of quarters.