Monday, April 14, 2008

Taking a Stand Against Error

I was sipping my extremely yummy martini at my friend Brad's birthday party Friday night, and Brad mentioned to one of his other friends that I'd brought a bottle of gin that I'd been keeping in the freezer and then asked this guy whether he'd like a martini of his own, and this guy said, "Oh, so you make your martinis with gin."

So now you have to picture me (Which, I grant, is difficult because you've never seen my picture, but just imagine someone devastatingly handsome: that's the guy who's going to play me in the movie version of The Neighbors Will Hear. He'll look something like George Clooney, only younger and much more buff because I, after all, will insist on creative control.) with a martini glass raised to my lips so that I can peer over the far edge of that glass while my eyes narrow into that stare that no man wants to see. You know the one I'm talking about. If you were a straight guy, and a drunken buddy came up to you and said, "Dude, your sister's hot! I'd totally hit that!" this is the stare you'd give. The stare says, "Of course, my sister's hot: how could the sibling of a younger and much more buff George Clooney not be? And of course you would hit that, but you must remember two things. First, she's way out of your league. Second, she's my sister, and even though we both knew you were thinking it, now that you've said it, family honor demands that I disembowel you. Your heart and your liver will never again be in the same time zone."

Naturally, Brad's friend began to backpedal as quickly as possible: I reckon he's a guy who uses his liver more than most. He assured me that he agreed with me that a martini must be made with gin. But, he said, he now frequently has the experience of ordering a martini in a bar only to be asked whether he wants vodka or gin. He assures me that if he answers this query by saying simply, "I said I want a martini," he is greeted by a blank stare and a restatement of the same question. At that explanation I softened a bit and allowed that I was aware that there are many people who believe that a vodka concoction can be called a martini.

"But," I continued, "that doesn't make it right. Widespread error is still error. Thousands of people on the Internet think that the right way to form a plural is to add an apostrophe and an s to the end of a noun. Sometimes you just have to take a stand against error." He agreed with me. Also, he shuddered a bit when I mentioned the greengrocer's plural, so I reckon he's an okay guy and can keep his liver.

I don't, by the way, actually disembowel people. I didn't even disembowel the guy who was in the kitchen with Brad and me and who insisted that he wanted pomegranate juice in his martini. Brad refused to comply and handed the bottle to his friend who added a bit more than a splash "because I want a pink martini!" Brad -- braver than I -- bent down to sniff the thing and grimaced. Why anyone would think that the flavors of very good gin would go well with pomegranate juice is as far beyond me as why anyone would want a pink martini. I am sure that this person is used to the blinding array of -tini drinks that are common in bars. I didn't bother to tell him that those drinks are almost always made with vodka. You can, in fact, find the recipe for one such pink concoction here. I think, so long as you use the lime juice rather than the sour mix, I might not object to being served such a cocktail -- if it weren't masquerading as some form of martini. You would, however, be wise never to come near me with this travesty, even if you change the name to something more appropriate. "Pink sludge," perhaps.

Anyway, I was supposed to hook up late Saturday morning with a 27-year-old who wanted me to wear white y-fronts and be his daddy. This is not normally something I'm into. I find that as time goes by I object less and less to guys who want to call me "Daddy," at least if they're really hot, but white underwear? Egad. I actually had to go shopping Friday night. Fortunately, I found some Hanes on sale, and when I put them on Saturday morning, they were surprisingly comfortable. I wouldn't go so far as to wear them without the possibility of hot young flesh, but all things considered, matters could have been a lot worse.

I never heard from the boy, though. We'd traded a good many emails, and he'd struck a fairly good balance of wanting to please me and making his own (flexible) preferences known, and he seemed legitimately excited about the whole thing, but then I got to the office Saturday morning, and he didn't call when he'd said he would, and there was no e-mail or anything. I was only moderately surprised. When you run into a guy like that, there are several possibilities. He might, for example, have been some fifty-year-old married guy who was making the whole thing up for fun. But I don't think so. I'm usually pretty good at figuring out people's motivations, and my sense in this case is more that he'd had this fantasy for a long time and that converting it to reality was a step he wasn't ready or able to take. Which may be just as well. Guys with very strong fantasies are sometimes really great in the sack when the fantasy is realized. But at least as often, the reality doesn't live up to the fantasy, and then it can be unpleasant.

Anyway, I tossed up another ad, and I started doing the craigslist shuffle, and when all the cards had settled, I headed home to play with a married (I think) sub. He was a lot of fun, but very inexperienced. Still, he kissed well, he was tall with a shaved head (yum), and he went along with everything. Plus, he gave pretty good head. I'd worked a couple of fingers into his ass while he was going down on me, and he seemed to have a lot of trouble taking them, so I wasn't going to fuck him, but he asked me to. It was hard going, for both of us, and I couldn't help thinking of Doc Faustus' post on penetrating Wagner's ring. Despite a liberal application of lube and my best attempts to go slow, it was pretty clear that he was having a tough go of it, but he wouldn't audibly complain. I think, generally, the guy's eyes were bigger than his ass, so to speak. He'd said he was cool with bondage, for example, but I only had his wrists tied to the bed for maybe fifteen minutes before he asked to be released. Something about his arm falling asleep. Anyway, I kept fucking him for maybe four minutes, until he said, "Are you close? I'm not sure how much more I can take." I pumped a few more times then relaxed to give him a break. When I resumed, he said, "Oh, I thought you came," to which I replied, "No. When I cum it's really not that subtle." And then I stopped because he had clearly already taken more than he wanted to.

I lay next to him and finished off by hand, and he was impressed by just how not subtle it was. I mishandled, though, and instead of shooting a big load all over his very hairy chest, I hit myself in the face. Fortunately, while I don't particularly like having someone else's load on my face, my own doesn't seem to bother me. He played with himself a bit, and I got a towel to wipe my face, and then he jerked himself off more while I worked his nipples. He oozed a big load, and he seemed to have been pretty worked up, but he was the opposite of demonstrative, so it was kind of hard to tell. We chatted for a bit, but he was also an accountant, so naturally we had nothing in common. Then he got dressed and left, and I put the sheets in the laundry.

Then I sat down for a while and enjoyed one of those rare moments of complete contentment. In most areas of my life, I'm content most of the time, but I do seem to be on the hunt sexually most of the time. And, please don't get me wrong, I very much enjoy the hunt. And God knows I love the sex, but there's something very nice about the (very temporary) extinction of desire of the post-coital period.

I know that for many people, the post-coital period after a casual fuck is an occasion for depression and regret rather than peace and happiness. This phenomenon is what motivates all those guys who say that they don't' do casual sex because they want a partner and when they have casual sex, they're just reminded that they're not getting true intimacy, and so it makes matters worse instead of better. I don't really believe that. What I believe is that your hormones influence your brain chemistry. We all know what it's like to be distracted by horniness, and people readily acknowledge the thinking-with-the-wrong head phenomenon. I think something very similar happens after sex. After the hunt and the pleasure and the huge buildup comes the release, and with it, the crash. I don't know how it happens exactly. Maybe it's just the cessation of activity allowing you to think again, or maybe your neurotransmitters are temporarily depleted. But for whatever reason, especially if you have sex rarely, the thinking that you do in a post-coital depression is no less compromised than the thinking you do under extreme horniness. People need to acknowledge that and make allowances. If all you remember is the loneliness you felt afterwards, then you're letting yourself be controlled by a chemical imbalance.

One cure is to have enough sex to become accustomed to the letdown so that you can see it as a time of lazy contemplation and self-satisfaction. But if you can't manage that (yet), you either need to take a nap or find some other way to distract yourself so that you don't wallow. Above all, it helps to be conscious that the situation is temporary.

This sort of perspective is very useful in all aspects of life. When I get angry at b&c, for example, I try to remove myself from the situation so that I can see whether the anger has some legitimate, lasting basis or is just a heat-of-the-moment thing. He's much more often angry at me, but here again, if I fail to engage and wait a while, things blow over, because he's almost always annoyed about something petty and ridiculous.

I had similar thoughts while sitting in the choir yesterday. There was a service going on, but we'd already sung everything we had to sing, and I was not really paying attention to the speaker, but I could see that other people were watching her very intently. And then I looked outside, through the huge windows, across the road to where a soccer game was going on, and I thought that there was probably a great deal of intensity in that soccer game, but tomorrow they'd have forgotten it all, and even today, I knew there must be intensity, but I couldn't really see it. I could enjoy the patterns of play without being distracted by the animus of competition.

And then a song came into my head, and I almost had to laugh. And that, gentlemen, is why I so often eschew introspection: because no matter how deep and/or intricate my thoughts seem to me, they can almost always be boiled down to a line from a pop song. In this case, "God is watching us from a distance."


Lewis said...

White Hanes? Oh my god. They come up to my nipples. I go without. Any.

John said...

Oh, god. I consider myself a reasonably cosmopolitan guy, but ... um ... a friend I know never realized that a classic martini must be made with gin. Ha! What a loser! I shall upbraid him at once!

John, who was sipping merlot before "Sideways" came out. I mean, my friend was.

The Neighbors Will Hear said...

Your friend can have a glass with me, John. I like Merlot (Black Box is among my favorites). But to me, wine is something nice to drink with dinner every night, whereas a martini is more of a special occasion. And since I average maybe one martini a week, it makes sense to be a little particular. Besides, a bottle of London Plymouth Dry Gin costs about the same as a box of Black Box Merlot, so it's not much of an extravagance. It is fun to drink very slowly, though. Especially when it's just out of the freezer, the flavors really develop during the half hour you spend sipping it while defending your sister's honor.

Jason said...

Amy Grant, stiff gin beverage, rookie sub who mops up your cum, a few of your favorite things....