or Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist/Sexist
This is me.
I am white, male, 30 years old, born and raised overseas. For better or worse, I’ve been a victim of racial and sexual discrimination my whole life.
In China, 1990s, old people call us “gwai lo” (white devils) and spit as we pass, while young people cluster around us because it’s cool to have a white friend. University students throw “American” parties where guests come as rednecks, rock stars, and other white racial stereotypes.
In Pakistan, 2000s, young men glare knives at us from their dark eyes, call us “bahan chodh” (sister fuckers) to our faces, and become spontaneously violent with the “foreigners” at sporting events with little provocation. I eventually have to leave the country because of the danger to white people of mob lynchings and beheadings.
In Mexico, 2010s, half the country resents and despises the color white, and half the country is enamored of it. No one is color blind. Both criminals and law enforcement categorically substitute economic profiling for racial profiling to target us for mugging, kidnapping, and extortion. The racial slur “gringo” (the g word) is thrown around playfully and haphazardly with connotations of stupid and origins as a chant that literally calls for all white people to leave the country immediately. (In Mexico’s defense, they are slightly behind most developed countries in the moral prejudice arc of the universe: African descendants are still commonly referred to as Little Negroes and conjoined twins as Siamese.)
In the sexist arena, in all of those countries, unattractive women shower us with unwanted attention, catcalling under their breath as they pass us, undressing us with pornographic eyes, and grabbing at our bodies in dimly-lit or crowded environments or whenever given the flimsiest excuse. Attractive and insecure women insult us as a way to capture our interest.
People mock us, celebrate us, maim us, smooch us, cheat us, lavish us, fancy us, shun us, include us, exclude us, all because of the color of our skin or the symmetry of our faces and bodies.
We have to choose words and actions carefully because people are constantly measuring us against the image in their heads of the ugly/awesome American or the tall, handsome, and douchebag stranger.
To me, all of this has always just been the ups and downs of real life, unsheltered and sometimes scathing in the vast, loveless wildernesses of Earth 2.0 – where everyone wants something and bases the way they treat you on how likely you are to provide them with it. If you’re rich, everyone wants to steal from you. If you’re sexy, everyone wants to fuck you. If you’re smart… no one gives a shit. If you’re white or black or green, some people kiss you for it and some people kill you for it. It all depends on where you are and who’s in charge there. The world is a big, small, mean place.
It was only when I became more familiar with the haughty posturing of privileged postmodern pop culture that I realized you were allowed to whine about it.
or The Excuses We Tell Ourselves
(Allow me to commit the crime of generalization to make a finer point.)
Let’s hang out.
Come over and watch a movie.
I want to show you my collection of vintage records.
Let’s listen to some music at my place.
Come back for a nightcap.
I want to cook for you.
Do you know how to play gin rummy?
Baby, it’s cold outside.
I have some candy in my car.
Girls need ‘let’s hang out’ excuses to have sex.
Putting aside long-term relationships, marriages, and women over 30 who know exactly what they want, it’s rare to find a girl who will admit that sex was on her mind before it organically, magically just happened out of nowhere with you.
This is why dick pics don’t really work on girls.
Do you want to get out of here?
Come over and help me get a little exercise.
I’ve been having dirty thoughts about you.
Let’s get drunk together.
Come and see me, I need to relax.
Wanna come over and play tennis?
Come skinny dipping with me.
Can’t wait to feel you.
I’ve noticed you around.
I find you very attractive.
Would you go to bed with me.
Guys need ‘let’s have sex’ excuses to hang out.
It’s hard to find a (single, under 30) guy who will admit he likes hanging out with you and that it isn’t only about the sex. But after the sex, he may just organically, magically stay for hours in the afterglow chatting with you.
This is why naked pics really do work on guys.
What we have here is a failure to communicate. So we both use our excuses to get them over here with us so that then their real intentions can just happen to unfold naturally.
But wouldn’t it be nice if we all just admitted that we wanted to have sex with each other and hang out with each other because we actually both like both of those things.
or Essence of Beach
I don’t like sharing things that are mine.
If I have worked hard to earn a thing, or lucked into it, I don’t like to diminish that good fortune or good work ethic by thinning it out among others who have worked less hard or gotten less lucky. I feel that spreading things among people who haven’t worked or lucked for them diminishes the value of the things.
If I find a beautiful shell on the beach, to me it’s not only a beautiful shell. It comes with the whole experience of the sand giving way beneath my weight, of the flock of pelicans eyeing me warily just out of my reach, and of the force of the waves crashing inches away from my face, strong enough to tackle a football player off his feet. Bottled up in that shell is a little slice of time, a little gust of wind, a sunbeam, the taste of salt, and the frothy slap of whitewater. That’s what that shell is to me.
If your grandma gives you a shell that she found on the beach, all it is to you is a musty old relic that reminds you of death and old age.
The act of giving causes that shell to lose all its Essence of Beach. Its wind sputters out, its salt goes stale, and the shell becomes just a mound of calcified bone matter. The shell becomes just a shell.
The thing that you give away becomes just a thing. It loses the work you did for it, the joy of lucking into it, or the battle you fought for it.
I don’t mind sharing inspiration.
I don’t believe inspiration is mine. Inspiration is some kind of cosmic muse force that is always there to be pulled from when you put your straw up to the universe and suck hard. (I believe this firmly, and I’m not a superstitious man. Perhaps it’s something to do with the boundless human imagination or the endless combinations of matter. There’s always more inspiration.)
The metaphors and the melodies that occur to me in all their amazing alliterative anarchic energy… don’t belong to me. For badder or worse, they belong to us. They lose none of their Essence when they are shared, and I don’t mind sharing them.
I don’t mind sharing people.
People aren’t mine.
Anyone with the silly notion of Intelligent Belonging – that any personal pronoun can be used with any Proper Noun – might as well duct tape a ticking clock of looming disappointment to her or his forehead.
If I like you, I want you to be happy, and to that end I don’t mind sharing you. If I don’t like you, I want to distribute the burden of your misery evenly across humanity, and I don’t mind sharing you.
I am grateful to every moment of your sovereign existence, your Essence of Beach, that you share with me, and I lay claim to none of it. It is a gift. No amount of work I could ever invest or luck I could ever roll would approach anywhere near the value of a moment spent with you, a drop of your beach.
That work you did yourself. When you give it to me, that devalues it a little. But it is a devaluing that you are willing to suffer, to exchange for the jewel of a human connection. I understand that, and I appreciate that, and I don’t take it lightly or ever think that it’s something that is owed to me.
It’s not so much me sharing you as you sharing you.
So it’s not so much that I don’t mind sharing people as that people can’t share people.
People can only share themselves.
or The Scientific Reasoning Behind Keeping Your Socks on During Sex
She kept her socks on while she had sex. She liked being naked, but she didn’t like being cold, and the socks made a world of difference.
He kept his socks on during sex. In the heat she tore his shirt off, and in the passion he kicked his shoes across the room, and in the moment she peeled his pants down. But there was never a moment for the socks.
She kept her socks on as she had sex. She didn’t like the way her toes looked.
He kept his socks on while they had sex. He wasn’t sure what his feet smelled like, and he hoped maybe the socks would keep some of the smell in.
She kept her socks on for sex. They were cute.
He left his socks on as he stood up, perched her on the edge of the bed, and fucked her hard. But he kept slipping on the floor.
She left her socks on while he fucked her. He wanted to fuck her in her leather bitch boots and nothing else. The socks came with.
His socks stayed on while they had sex. They were in the darkest corner of a crowded club, so pretty much everything stayed on except his zipper and her panties underneath her hiked up dress.
Her socks stayed on while she had sex. She had forgotten to shave her legs, and at least the socks covered her from the knee down.
He kept his socks on when he had sex. He didn’t have a reason; he just didn’t care.
She left her socks on when she had sex. They made her feel safe. And snug.
or Abusing Back
I believe most of my readers are intelligent, tasteful, wholesome, loving people who are already fully aware that when I refer to sex, I am talking about a normal, natural dance of life which should only be performed with enthusiastic mutual consent and raw honesty.
I don’t believe we (writers or sex writers to be specific) should have to gear everything we say (or everything we say about sex) to the lowest element of rapists and abusers or the most fragile element of raped and abused. Yes, those things happen, and yes, they are sad. But I believe that humanity as a whole wants to be better than its tragedy and, in general, is in fact better.
I believe most of us have probably been physically or emotionally abused in some way at some point in our lives and are doing our damnedest to get past it. The abuse-recovery-growth cycle may even be part of the human condition.
But I don’t believe that censorship for the sensitive is the appropriate response to that cycle.
Censorship is the sensitive’s way of abusing back instead of bouncing back.
Catering to the lowest common denominator only drags everyone down. It irks me when sensitive people demand a universal lowering of the voice in order to make everyone grovel before their sensitivity. Oh really, you’re sensitive? Sucks for you! Cuz I’m not paying the price just because you’re more sensitive. I’m not more sensitive and look how happy I am right now. Maybe you should be less sensitive and then you’ll feel less bad.
If you have a wound that is still smarting, you need to spend time and energy healing it in a safe environment where normal healthy human activities can’t get in and fuck with your head. But it’s unfair to insist that everyone else get sick like you.
You can’t expect the world to tiptoe around you just because of something you refuse to get over. It’s like fat people demanding we make bigger doors or people with irrational fears demanding we kill clowns.
As fictional President Jed Bartlet in The West Wing liked to say, “It’s not our job to appeal to the lowest common denominator, Doug – it’s our job to raise it.”
or A Scientific Discussion of Promiscuity
What if women were objectively more sexually complex than men?
Although the ‘men are more visual than women’ theory is currently under heated debate, one recent study showed that, while men and women found certain visual stimuli equally arousing, men experienced higher levels of activity in the amygdala – the section of the brain that controls motivation. In other words, when we see a naked woman, we men are more mentally, cavemanically compelled to do something about it.
What is objectively provable is that women’s sexual organs are generally smaller and more concealed than men’s. And with all this tiny internal nanotechnology, as well as a more complex cognitive response to sexually-stimulating situations, it may be safe to say that women are objectively more sexually complex than men.
What if more complex activities required more hours of practice to master than simpler ones?
It’s easier to master building blocks or Legos than chess or Risk. Simpler sports like hopscotch or jumprope have a shorter learning curve than more complex sports like football, cricket, or war with other countries.
Some human behavioral experts cite a figure of 10,000 hours that it takes to master cognitively-demanding fields. Whatever the number, it seems like the more complex the task, the longer time and greater involvement it takes to excel in that task.
What if these two complementary factors required men to be the more promiscuous gender?
If you’ve sucked one dick, you’ve sucked them all (they say?), but every clitoris is different.
Maybe because more complex pursuits take more practice and because women are more sexually complex, men have to spend more hours practicing in order to be sexually competent with women than women have to with men.
Maybe this has been the underlying reason all along why men have been historically more promiscuous than women.
Maybe it’s for their own good.