Entertainment of Sunday, 18 November 2012
Source: Tawiah-Benjamin, Kwesi
The experts may not have been right when they said men think of sex every seven seconds. Sex is not our only occupation. We don’t walk about firm-buttocked, wearing our libidos on our sleeves and dreaming of powerful sex with a beautiful, curvaceous woman. We can think about women, even naked women, in terms other than sex. Yet, see how penis enlarging and sex enhancing pills are selling. They say most men look at objects such as the legs of dinning tables or the adjoining bars of their beds and wish they had a penis as big as that and could boast of erections as hard as a rock. Tickle a man’s fancy, tell him he is handsome, and it stays in his brain forever. Modern women treat careless compliments as sexual harassment.
Hollywood makes it dramatic for good effect: Hope Springs is a 2012 film starring Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones. Their 31 year old marriage is so tired they don’t share the same bed anymore. They have not had sex for 5 years. They visit a counsellor where Arnold (Tommy) shocks wife Kay (Meryl) that he sometimes imagines a threesome with their neighbour. He would also love a blowjob in a public place. Yet, he goes about his trade a serious, respectable and unassuming executive of a powerful conglomerate. Who knew that he is himself a conglomerate of kinky sex and threesomes?
The commentary on General Petreaus’s affair and subsequent resignation has mostly been critical. Generally, they have sought to ask: Do powerful and intelligent men think of the ‘aftermath’ and the ‘what if’ when they trade in their entire careers for a bowl of porridge? Did JFK, Eisenhower and Bill Clinton pause a moment to consider the implications when they embarked on their affairs? Like Petreaus, these are men who decided the destinies of nations and ruled over the world. They have tight schedules and publicly managed time tables. Well, sex has a different time table, and it is managed by testosterone, power and a combination of lust and sexy stubbornness.
General Petreaus has a PhD from Princeton. He had maintained an excellent record on his leadership roles in Iraq and Afghanistan. But a decorated soldier is only a man in uniform. If the average man thinks of sex when he is alone in a hotel room, and fantasises about a blowjob under his desk at the office, as Arnold confesses in Cold Springs, Petreaus is also a man. Even the Elijahs who were Heaven-empowered to outrun chariots were panicky men enough to wish themselves dead when Jezebel threatened his life. Men are weak when they need to stand their ground and balls up–like men. Still, it surprises everybody when powerful men fall for the skirts. What should they fall for? ‘Life is short; have an affair’ is the marketing motto of AshleyMadison.com, a dating organisation that specialises in teaching married people how to successfully cheat on their partners. They explain that affairs are necessary for the very health of modern marriage, because most married people are not getting what they want from their marriages. Having an affair helps them answer a few emotional questions. Once they are happy elsewhere, they would not rush to divorce. It is a human need to seek satisfaction in life. If you cannot get it at home, get it from wherever. Life is too short to keep worrying. Millions of people have signed on, busily cheating on their spouses while they remain happily married.
AshleyMadison insists they are not doing anything unusual; they are only helping a process that is naturally going on. The brisk and demanding nature of modern careers seems to sway attention from important things onto other areas of need for sheer fun and pleasure. And the internet makes it quicker and easier to accomplish these desires. From Linkedin to Facebook to Match.com, we are only a click away from having a little pleasure to keep our sanity. Of course, an email address from the CIA needs special attention.
Is everybody having an affair? Oh no, a lot of people have chosen to remain faithful in the midst of all the temptations and the allures of a perverse and evil generation. But the forces of evil are so powerful that the good can only be good enough for what could just be good enough while evil persists. Some even say that the best way to get your mind off the possibility of your partner having an affair is to presume them guilty until proven innocent. That is to read the law backwards: we are basically good people. Most marriages, even celebrity marriages, have survived without affairs.
The clues may not obvious, and the signs of an affair may never show at all. Instead of being paranoid and living in the shadows of your own suspicions, men of knowledge proffer a guide: if you want to know that your husband would stay faithful forever, wait until he becomes very rich and powerful. The love of women is also tested when their husbands become very poor. If she stays when there is no prospect of money coming from anywhere, then she is one of the most glorious cases of blind love. There is such a thing as true love; the sincere and genuine kind Justin Beiber dreams about in a recent song. Anyhow, an affair destroys us and everything in its way. If only men would listen. Our women would not give men a glance if there was ever a third sex. Maybe the name of the third sex is having an affair.
Kwesi Tawiah-Benjamin, Ottawa, Canada