days of naze
|i look at your pants / and i need a kiss
A little audio gift (85 kb .wav)
for my Faithful readers on
the first anniversary (7/14/99) of
the site. Hand cranked to help
you on the long march.
An obnoxiously large
(101k .wav) audio greeting
from the Author.
|March 15, 2000
The Urge to Merge
[Caution: We're going to talk about urges. Mom, you'll probably want to skip this one.]
I had my first Sex Education class in 6th grade.
And on the whole, it was well conceived. It worked. Except for one part. The most important part: the setting of expectations.
Mr. Johnson (yes, his real name) explained that men reach their sexual peak at 16, but that women peak at 40. Well, you can imagine the reactions. Man, that sucks. They'll be tigers when we're old men. Or better yet, a little classroom fantasy - pairing off the peaking lust crazed genders, age be damned!
This was a time (1976) when little tidbits of data like this circulated in the dying days of the sexual revolution in a torrent of talk about women in society. So you can see how it came off as an "it all equals out" kind of statement.
This literal comparison of peaks is of course technically correct, but wildly, irresponsibly misleading. The other day I happened to be walking away from a LifeCycle when a chart on a TV monitor caught my eye and stopped me dead in my tracks:
No person should be allowed past puberty without seeing this chart (and maybe a copy of the Violent Femmes album - vinyl - thrown in).
And now I'd like to have a little talk with you. Boys, you sit over here, girls over there. In my current monkish state I feel uniquely qualified to interpret these findings.
To the Guys (Please refrain from barking during this portion of the episode):
"Hi. I'm a Guy. I'm doing 750 nanograms/deciliter of raw testerone 24/7. Being my gender has life damaging consequences. I thought about quitting, but the recovery program seemed excessively surgical."
Gentlemen, did the chart answer about a thousand questions for you?
Yes, guys, we vary in levels some coasting on 300 nanograms (what's the point of this little essay, Naze?) and others are raging at 1200 (RUFF! ARF!!), but most of us are right in there at 750. And that rate doesn't change that much as we grow older.
Our happy androgen is to sexual desire what nitrous oxide is to Johnny's hopped up Camaro.
And what we do with that energy defines to a very large degree what it means to be a man. One thing we do is question the whole set-up. Is it really a good idea to have one side with 10 times the sexual drive of the other? Who came up with this brilliant plan?
Look at it this way. The human race is perpetually about 50 years away (a point presently at which unaided female conception and delivery becomes fairly unreliable) from a slide to extinction. You are the front line defense against oblivion, my friends. Be proud. Oh, sure, you could do it even if it didn't feel so good, but let's be honest, when you intertwine ecstasy around a task it's going to get done.
What are the alternatives? Say you magically amp up women's t-levels to somewhere in our neighborhood. Hmm... We're talking about one serious badass party for about 6 months. But then it's time to pay the piper. A very large percentage of the planet becomes pregnant. The fairer sex has become much hairier over time, but recovering from the post-Bacchanalian torpor you just now begin to notice. All over. On the whole they're all beginning to sound a lot like Kathleen Turner and Lauren Becall (hmm!).
Unfortunately, at this point they may be suffering from kidney damage. Increased risk of heart disease and a significantly lowered life expectancy.
This is not a deal that I would be looking for in the wish department were I of the XX persuasion.
The obvious flaw in my example above is that I'm using logic. The urge isn't about logic. We all find our own paths to not letting the testosterone differential drive us mad. The main thing is to not turn the conflict in on ourselves. You are a human wired for procreation. It drives you nuts, but gives you a little more muscle mass, scratchy whiskers and a deep-seated fascination with the Beautiful Other. You may be a tortured bastard, but you are entertaining and that counts for something.
Cathy and I were driving north on 20th Avenue last weekend when we came to a stop at an intersection with a 7-11 on the corner. The rain had stopped for a moment, a cold breeze adding to the chill. A guy in his late teens in jeans and a t-shirt crosses. He's wearing a solemn face aimed downward with a large Slurpee in his right hand. Cathy wonders out loud, "What is it with teenage boys?" In an unguarded moment, I replied automatically, "He's depressed, overloaded with hormones, and that Slurpee is the only that he really wants that he can have."
We're definitely not looking for pity. God knows you all pay a price for membership in your club. Giving the chart a second look (and did you notice the phallic-centric bar chart choice?) from your perspective, I think I'd run like hell.
But where would you run? We're pretty much everywhere and sometimes we even come in handy.
But know this: the urge isn't just about getting off. You should know by now that guys have no problem taking care of that themselves (phew! the ladies sigh in grateful relief). What men want, men can't take. What men want is oddly parallel to what women want: to be wanted. To see that hunger in the eye. To feel the hand through the hair.
And then a really good, steamy, reality-bending tango.
But somehow we manage to miss each other between Point A and Point B. Which brings us back to 750 ng/dl to 80 ng/dl.
Damn. This rational survival of the species crap looks great on paper, but it's no party for all of us down here living it.
p.s. In full compliance with the new "notify or die" policy: new days notification.
|previously on days of naze :
elegy for grandma
what have you done for me lately? ask not what have i done for you, ask what have you done for me?
|May you never be more active
when you are doing nothing.
They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.
-Carl W. Buehner
|in the feedbag:
drink/snack: Ovaltine. God, I love this drink. No, it is not Geritol. / Circus Peanuts - you know, those orange marshmallow things.
cd: Leonard Cohen - The Best of (1975); mix CD produced by SF pal - Funny Colored Money: The Soundtrack - the exactly perfect emotional frequency for me right now.
film: Pitch Black (B) - tucked the family into bed and caught the late show on a whim. Really dug it. Our local reviewer was spot on: "a good B movie on an A budget".
tv: Janeane Garofalo hosts Late Night - just like the glory days of Letterman.
book: My brother gave me a copy of "Peace Is Every Step" by Thich Nhat Hanh and it totally rocks. Thanks, Craig!; struggling with One Hundred Years of Solitude.
PC: serious powerful game lust for LucasArt's newest Star Wars release Force Commander. The first game I've wanted that my computer now barely meets the minimum requirements.
sports: University of Oregon Ducks - mens b-ball ends season with best record in 50 years and earn invitation to the Big Dance. Our guys vs. the Pirates of Seton Hall on Friday. Don't bet against us.
politics: Put me on record - W. Bush has no chance against Gore in November. Until the Republicans start to figure out that Americans are moderates (duh), they will continue to lose Presidential elections. If the Independents could field a decent candidate (hello, Lowell Weicker) I'd be tempted, but right now Ralph Nader has the inside track on my vote.
counter, not insensitive to the prevailing winds,
committed seppeku (almost a haiku itself...)
© christopher naze