Tuesday, December 04, 2012
Okay, everyone. Quick run and put your judgmental pants on.
What should I call this article? "Sexual Intercoursing", "Copulation", "Banging" ? I am open to suggestion. You will soon see why it cannot be titled "Love-making".
Many years ago I worked with an unmarried girl who was about five years younger than I. We became quite close friends and saw each other socially for various reasons. After I left the job we were in contact for many years. I worked in a glass booth in the lobby of a company that was at that moment manufacturing the hottest brand of the hottest "new thing" on the market. I did the switchboard, reception, and security for the front entrance. Everyone had to have a badge. This was not so common then as it is now. One day Mr. Gronski called me from engineering and said, "We had to fire Adam and his mom just called and said he is on the way over here with a gun. Don't let him in."
And whiz-bang champ that I was and am, I handled it beautifully. Even calmly announcing after about thirty minutes of chat (he was a good guy and we liked each other) that he shouldn't get upset, now, but there are six squad cars in front of the building. Well, that is kind of an aside, but it is just to point out that it was a kind of important job and this female was my back up. We spent many hours chatting in this glass booth. We would do menial typing or accounting jobs as fill-ins, but we socialized a lot and I knew a great deal about the most intimate parts of her then current social life. Now, don't go all critical and judgmental on me here. My opinions will be evidenced, and you don't know how you would have handled it. Talking about it is different than living through it.
She got pregnant and trusted only me to tell about it. She mentioned it to the "donor", but he didn't want to handle this part of it. She wanted an abortion and asked me to accompany her and I agreed without offering my opinions or suitable alternatives. I well knew her circumstances and reasoning at this point.
We went to the Albany Park Woman's Health Center which is a close if not accurate facsimile of its name. was where you went to get birth control products, VD treatment, abortions, etc. Everyone acted like it was a woman's health center but it was widely known in the city that you usually went there for an abortion. Of course it was only one of many such centers in this very large city. She had counseling and stuff and, afterwards, I took her to her parent's summer cabin for a few days recovery. Her boyfriend joined her there later. Her parents were unaware of the entire drama.
When she needed to talk about it later, and she did, I was there to listen, and I had one child and a bunch of pregnancy disasters, so I was able to give counsel. We actually even talked about what a beautiful baby it would have been. The thing that struck me most and remains with me to this day is how crowded the waiting room at that facility was. You can get pregnant maybe four days a month, and if this many women on just this one day, had unwanted pregnancies and they were a percentage of the pregnant women because there were others who wanted the pregnancy, and there were many other centers like this one everywhere, it struck me that there must be a heap of fucking going on. I was not particularly chaste at this time in my life, but still, it boggled my mind.
About a year later, it happened to her again and she turned to me for help. I started crying and said I couldn't. I was at the beginning of what turned out to be a successful pregnancy and I thought she was being too blase about it. I told her the boyfriend needed to take her so it sunk in how serious it was. She understood and we remained friendly.
Okay. That is like the forward.
A few days ago, my daughter and I received emails from a distant relative just cuz we were on his enormous remailing list. We were discussing it and the conversation turned to his relationship to our family. His mother was sister to so and so. Before a certain patriarch of ours became a married person he had been intimate with the emailer's mother, his eventual wife's sister. When a "person" heard about it, too many many years after the fact, the "person" became upset. Disparaging the memory of honored ancestors I guess. This segued into a conversation of how a similar situation had occurred and certain future generation members became upset when they inadvertently became a party to the details in an almost identical case on the other side of the family. My daughter commented that she thought this probably went on all the time and people just didn't talk about it.
Today a person I respect and admire enormously told me a story about a terrible marital disaster that occurred in the lives of close family members. He commented that he thought this stuff probably went on a lot more than we think, but people just don't talk about it.
I recall older novels where the single woman raises her actual child as an orphan and starts an orphanage just to be able to raise her secret child. (That one sticks with me especially because it was commented that this woman would have been considered beautiful if it hadn't been for her unfortunate red hair.) The "donor" married her sister. Then there is a Theodore Drieser novel, "An American Story" or something like that, where he hits the girl over the head with a shovel in a boat, and dumps her in the lake, a tidy way to solve the problem of his pregnant girlfriend.
Really, when you bother to think about it, those novels that are considered erotic or racy are portraying the tiniest instances of universal life. You might as well write a novel about the wonderful fork you used when you had dinner at the Carleton that time. Sometimes I kind of wonder how this many people have the time to fit in all this fucking and still carry on with what is considered normal life. I myself find the theoretical logistics mind boggling.
But still, in each individual case, the shock waves and historical repercussions can be so intense. You almost have to stop and ask yourself why.
Someone was doing research on whatever in the Bayous. He talked about how he saw this older couple a-settin' on the porch steps one afternoon and when he took the return journey a few hours later, the couple was blatantly performing the rites of procreation on that very porch. Another person he interviewed said, "I don't know what's the fuss all about sex. It's just a squirt in the dark."
So, to tie up the frayed ends of today's treatise, it seems that what I have to announce is a conclusion that you already may have reached on your own. You just don't talk about it.
There probably never was a sexual revolution. There is probably, percentage wise, the exact same amount of fucking going on that there has been since the dawn of time. The only thing that has changed is the way we talk about it.
Or write about it.
CTA: What is your perspective on this?