Thursday, November 08, 2007

Asexualismo

I mentioned in a comment a little while back that I should more properly describe myself as an asexualist than an asexual (as I had at the end of that post - well, I used the word 'asexuality' about myself). Indeed, 'asexualist' was a derogatory description once applied to me by old Oxford buddy, Mr B.

This was, however, a veiled reference (one that only Mr B and I and The Bookseller and a handful of others back then would get; one that today is perhaps all but forgotten) to another of my great Unsuitable Role Models, the satirical writer Auberon Waugh. Bron, as he was familiarly known, had despaired of trying to escape from the shadow of his famous father Evelyn, and thus abandoned an early career of novel-writing to become a newspaper and magazine columnist. I discovered him at a tender age (tipped off to him, I think, by my favourite subversive Classics teacher), fell immediately for his caustic and deliciously un-PC wit, and devoured every written and spoken word of his I could find for the next dozen or more years: in the New Statesman, Books & Bookmen, The Literary Review (his own, quixotically odd magazine, which he started up just after I entered University); but mostly through his semi-fictitious 'Diary' in Private Eye and his often wilfully offensive but rarely less than hilarious 'Another Voice' column in The Spectator.

Amongst his ongoing crusades was his insistence that the use of the adjective 'homosexual' as a noun was quite unnacceptable; the proper term for a person exhibiting homosexual proclivities, or indulging in homosexual practices, or espousing the 'homosexual lifestyle', was..... homosexualist.

In grammar, he was indisputably right. After all, we have the reasonably common example of the word 'sensualist' meaning a person who venerates sensuality. Everyday usage, however, is a damned hard thing to overthrow. Poor old Bron never seemed to make any progress in this campaign - except for the dutiful adoption of the term 'homosexualist' by a coterie of young fans such as myself (and Mr B and The Bookseller).

Ah, I still have a huge soft spot for Bron; I was just reading his obituary in The Guardian (he died a year or so before I came out to China), and it almost made me cry. A very fine piece indeed, and well worth a read.

All of that, however, is mere preamble.

What I had wanted to say in this post is that perhaps a leading reason (the reason of all reasons?) for my ongoing girlfriendlessness, one that I somehow omitted from the (comment-frenzy-provoking!) post below (although, if you have by chance found this Asexualismo piece in isolation via a search, here's the link), is that I am essentially - as my 'friend' Mr B so shrewdly, so witheringly put it all those years ago - an asexualist.

Scoff, if you will. Sneer, jeer, and entertain your doubts. I assure you it is true. Sex has never been a central part of my life, a major motivator of my actions. That is not to say that I haven't from time to time become sexually obsessed with a woman - and, on a few occasions, even enjoyed having sex with the object of one of these obsessions.... and accordingly been driven to make a fool out of myself. But these incidents are very much the exception rather than the rule of my life. Sex is not part of how I define myself. (I always suspect it of being a bit of a political soapbox thing when our gay brethren proclaim their sexual preference as the core of their being. I scarcely even understand the term 'preference' in this context. "Erm... indoors, with the lights off?" I mumble shyly.) I could far more easily give up sex than books.... or a key friend..... or running, probably...... or possibly even blogging (now, that is a sad reflection).

Indeed, I have given up sex for far longer periods of my life than most people would suppose humanly possible. Sometimes this has been by necessity; more often, perhaps, it has been the result of indolence, or mere inattention. Chastity has become a kind of habit with me, and I can quite often go for a year or two at a time without so much as attempting to chat a girl up - and not even notice the passage of time, the length of the drought.

And I'm really not too unhappy about it. I have attained a certain kind of inner peace through following this path (and saved myself a heck of a lot of money, and left myself a lot more time for reading books, and....). Perhaps I should try to convert others to this outlook, to develop it into a creed which could ease the frustration and disappointment of humankind, and lead us all into a more tranquil way of living (albeit one that would doom our race to rapid extinction). Come, my brothers (and sisters), take up the cause, join with me in celebrating the benefits of Asexualismo. You know it makes sense.

I am often reminded of the words of Socrates on this topic (though, admittedly, he spoke them only in old age):
"I am heartily glad to be rid of sex - as a slave that has escaped at last from a brutal and tyrannical master."

38 comments:

Froog said...

One tremendous example of Waugh's bitter humour, from the Guardian obit: Watching television of an evening, Waugh caught the Tchaikovsky bio-pic, The Music Lovers. "Hideous woman, dreadful film. One can't really blame Tchaikovsky for preferring boys. Anyone might become homosexual who had once seen Glenda Jackson naked."

Froog said...

On this occasion, I note, (unless it is one of the Grauniad's notorious misspellings) he refrained from saying "a homosexualist".

tulsa said...

just did a skim. must go back and read through and through, but initially, I wondered whether going without sex for a year (or more) is so rare or necessarily qualifies a person as an asexualist?

I think this is where Western media plays a dominant role in instilling this idea that we are all having sex all the time. I’m sure there are studies out there on this. I suspect it’s much like airbrushing model cover photos so all the women think it’s normal for every woman to look like you don’t have any hips. The year I left DC, Dove did an interesting marketing campaign of ads that included a variety of “real women” models… hips and curves and all. They were all over the place. I’d be standing at the Dupont North Bus stop after work and spot an exposed thigh out of the corner of my eyes that looked suspiciously like my own… of course they weren’t mine, but I certainly related to them more than to the majority of supermodel thighs.

In the East, it used to be different. I remember a sister complimenting an Auntie on how slim she looked --- Auntie took serious offense…. Claiming that no way was she “slim”… she was "as healthy and full-figured as the best of them". Of course, with global media, that approach to body-type is becoming rare, as more and more Eastern women strive to match Global media model-types.

Anyways, body-image media campaigns aside, my point is, (a) how are you defining what is a normal amount of sexual interest/activity and (b) it’s all a matter of perspective, no?

fg said...

Tulsa, interesting you bring up that Dove ad campaign. I am proud to say that that was the work of a good friend and thus I was party to much debate (over a drink) about how it would communicate to women. I am glad to hear that it was pushing buttons in DC.

tulsa said...

fg,

i need to know who you are. Other than the fact that you've made interesting comments grabbing my attention and raising my curiosity on your identity, now that I know that Dove person is someone you know... well, obviously I need to know who you are so that I can also know who that person is and tell them my thoughts.

feedback. it's all about feedback.

maybe we can arrange for an offline disclosure to protect your blogging anonymity?

Froog said...

I note - with perhaps just a small flush of pride - that I am at present the No 1 return on Google searches for 'asexualismo'. And I appear to be the only webpage returned that's in English (it is actually a legitimate word in Spanish; though not a very widely-used one, it would seem); I wonder if that wins me priority in the results for some reason?

The things I do to try to lure readers here....

fg said...

In my humble opinion, you need to be "flushed" with more than just pride more often.

Froog said...

Like a toilet, you mean?

You're being somewhat cryptic again, FG.

fg said...

I mean "flushed" as in a blush of pleasure.

Good luck with the wisdom tooth doctor. I hope to read here that you feel better very soon!

Harvster said...

Mate,

The fact that you aren't having sex doesn't make you an asexualist. Having read your despatches for a number of years you seem to have a more than healthy interest in girls. It's not just the physical act you know. An asexualist should surely have no interest in females whatsoever.

Anyway my wife thinks you are the most attractive man of her acquaintance and is continually baffled that you have not yet been snapped up.

Cheers

Harv

Froog said...

Harve! What brings you here??!!

Nice to have you. I hope this won't just be a one-off.

You have a point. Asexualism is perhaps an ideal to which I aspire rather than one which I fully embody as yet.

Then again, it might be argued that my interest in women is absurdly romantic, remarkably non-sexual. I tend to regard them too easily as sisters (making up for the fact that I never had one, perhaps?).

Did I really make that much of an impression on your lovely wife? Too bad you snaffled her up first! If she has some attractive single friends she could introduce me to.... well, I might finally get around to coming down there for a visit.

Harvster said...

Brought here by your e-mail reminders of course!

J admires your ruggedly George Clooneyesque good looks.

No single friends down here alas - but at the pace you move can you afford a year long holiday in Australia...

anthony said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
anthony said...

What would one call an advocate of extreme asexualismo? Asexualissimo?

Froog said...

I hope you're not trying to form a breakaway faction, Tone.

mothman said...

I finally found the 'Asexualismo' post, Froog...or, more accurately, finally got around to looking.

I was touched (in a perverse way) by your references to myself as your gentle tormentor regarding your apparent asexuality. I felt sure that memories of Oxford Daze would have been pushed to the back of your mind by now, and myself along with them. I assure you in my more mellow old age that my comments were meant more in a spirit of wonderment (indeed, possibly jealousy) than in sarcasm, contempt or any other negative sense.

Nowadays I have to confess that I am moving towards being as one with Socrates in the condemnation of his "tyrannical master". He had hemlock and alas (alas?) we have Viagra. The damned Thing has got me into so much trouble over the past few years that I sometimes have wild fantasies about chopping it off and going back to booze. But my heart ain't in it - and I was never half as good at drinking as I was at knobbing (and, as you will recall, that means I am a really lousy drinker). Leopards and spots and all that. A comment in the Torygraph a few years back brought me up short when one of their hacks pointed out highly trenchantly that "behaviour is more addictive than drugs or alcohol"...

Talking of the days under the Dark Blue cloud and ingrained behaviour I recall that we once had a party in that frozen flea-pit in the Botley Road that we shared briefly in the City of Dreaming Spires. You were appalled that I had mixed a big bowl of highly spirituous 'punch' and left it while we went off to have a pre-alcoholic 'Chinese' at the Opium Den (of blessed memory). You rushed around tut-tutting me and covering the bowl with tinfoil to prevent the alcohol from evaporating. Such single-minded devotion to booze has to deserve some credit... All that I recall of the occasion (other than the tinfoil incident) was that I was rather hoping to get my end away with a delectably pneumatic blonde secretory (sic) - but, as usual, you were rather more successful in getting smashed than I was in getting laid.

Was that the party at which The Bookseller, rather embarrasingly, offered the crown princess of some minor European state a bottle of Benelyn cough mixture to drink as we ran out of booze at 3 am (having taken a precautionary swig himself)? I seem to recall that the same lady turned down my drunken (!) attempts at seducing her (post-pneumatic-blonde-brushoff) with the memorable line "I couldn't possibly sleep with you Mothman as I have already been unfaithful to my boyfriend twice this weekend and three times would be just TOO much...". Even now, two decades on, I admire her high ideals and great sense of morality. Yes, she refused the Benelyn.

Returning to the 'Asexualist' vs 'Asexual' discussion, my - possibly flawed - recollection of the Auberon ('Not The King Of The Fairies') Waugh episode was that the aforementioned scribbler and wit was in danger of being sued by one of the targets of his barbed bon mots for having described the latter as a 'homosexualist'. Did Waugh not offer (successfully, I believe) the defence that the word 'homosexualist' had no meaning...? Or was this the fevered and possibly drunken ramblings of The Bookseller?

I'm only an entomologist - and therefore by definition semi-literate - so be gentle with me please. However, when Waugh said "anyone might become homosexual..." (yadda yadda) is this not an adjectival use of the word? Had Waugh written "anyone might become a [or indeed 'an'] homosexualist..." then the suffix might have been appropriate might it not, according to his own lights? I recall having a spirited discussion with you once concerning the relative merits of 'Octopuses' versus 'Octopodes', so I offer my observations only in the hope that my learned friend will put me right if, as usual, I have fucked up.

I have a bottle of good Barbados Rum sitting on my bookshelf - unopened this past three years and awaiting a particular occasion. You know the one. Maybe we can share it, as we once did about forty Red Stripes on the verandah of my flat in Jamaica in our youth. If you happen to bring along a spare Chinese woman for me I wouldn't say no. She probably would.

Froog said...

Oh, god, yes - who was that patrician Euro-tottie?? One of your Bear pick-ups, I presume.

I recall that towards the end of the 'evening' - during or immediately after the Benylin incident, I imagine - she caught my eye rather pointedly (I think she recognised a kinship based on the fact that we were the only two even vaguely sober people left in the room - rather than any physical attraction) and said: "This ....(takes in room with contemptuous sweep of her gaze: the bodies sprawled across the floor as on the field of Austerlitz, the Bookseller touting his unconventional booze, perhaps you leering at her in stubborn optimism)... is a nightmare.

Yes, I think you're quite right about the noun/adjective distinction - I was careful to include the indefinite article in my comment at the top here. I just felt that dear old Bron was so fond of the word 'homosexualist' that his apparent avoidance of using it here seemed a little odd.

I don't recall him ever getting into libel trouble (and I did follow his 'adventures' pretty closely during the '70s and '80s); and it seems a trifle unlikely - obstinately idealistic fellow that he was - that he would try to cook up such a weasly defence, especially after he had striven for so long to legitimise the word.

If you search on here, you will find a a couple of posts at least referring to the Jamaican expedition. I may well add a few more in time.

Mothman said...

Nice reply, Froog - made me smile :-) Good start to a day of otherwise unremitting tedium struggling with the intricacies of Bulgarian bureaucracy. If you think that working in an avowedly 'communist' state is a nightmare you should try dealing with one that is doing its best to cast off aforementioned political credo while secretly still madly in love with the concept of the cast-iron ricebowl...or is that a reasonably accurate description of the Middle Kingdom nowadays? Remember that I have not yet penetrated north of Hong Kong so again be kind, please...

I COULD mention the name of the lady aristocrat/Eurotrash in question as it is irrevocably burnt into my memory as the best "I won't sleep with you" line of all time (and, as you will recall, I acquired quite a collection). Not quite as good a put-down as the one that the OTHER Bruce (the would-be-Lawyer-from-Lincoln) got from the Australian 'lady' polo groom in the pub car park - but that is just too, too rude to put on this otherwise refined blog. Do you remember that one? However, bearing in mind the laws of libel (bugger - I can't remember...libel is written; slander is spoken isn't it? My brain has suffered under the onslaught of teetotalism this past decade-and-a-half and I am looking forward to that bottle of rum...and the occasion of its consumption) I shall desist from identifying the undoubted lady in question. Suffice it to say, does the name 'Daisy-Ray' ring any bells? Other than in the context of the 'Dukes of Hazzard' that is? (which I am quite sure you watched secretly like the rest of us).

Talking of which, I watched the film of the 'Dukes of Hazzard' (about ten times) on the way back from India recently (the joys of jammed 'in-flight entertaintment'). I was shocked - can you imagine such harmless family entertainment having been transformed into mere smut? What is the world coming to? The fact that Daisy Duke has huge and over-hanging baps is a fact that should never have been overtly alluded to, I do feel...

Ah, yes - Benylin is spelt 'B-E-N-Y-L-I-N' isn't it? See above Re. the effects of water-based drinks on the brain ...

Actually 'Daisy Ray' was a friend of your Dutch draft-dodger friend Ewout. On this occasion (a rare event) The Bear can claim no credit.

There is a big 'phew'-like sound emerging from this end that I didn't make too much of a tit of myself Re. Bron's adjectival vs. substantive useage. I am a scientist by intermittent training but attempt (occasionally successfully) to be more literate than most...preferably in several languages. Admittedly Bulgarian is a hell of a sight easier than Mandarin. My attempts at the latter - despite what I fondly regard as a 'good ear' - have not met with enormous success according to the Mandarin-speaking very-ex-wife of another of my Oxford buddies (the former of whom, sadly, remains an un-notched notch on my not very notched bedpost...though she does keep on trying to 'get me off' with her wealthy also-divorced-friend 'Sabrina'...).

By the way, talking of 'Sabrina' (and 'Winnie' and 'Clarence' and a host of others) have your blogs ever addresed the totally absurd 'English' names that Chinese people chose to adopt when in western parts? One simple question arises, namely: WHY DO THEY DO IT? I have yet to meet one who has chosen a sensible name like 'Peter' or 'John'. Have you, oh Old China Hand?

I suspected at the time that The Bookseller's 'analysis' of the Bron-ist tendency was up to the usual standard of his 'analyses' but thanks for the confirmation.

I shall see if I can hunt down any of your references to the Jamaican expedition in these convoluted 'blog' things. I was surprisingly popular when I lived there....even John A paid a visit and got royaly bitten by mossies for his pains, poor boy. I've been to most of the Caribbean subsequently (indeed, own a small chunk of it to which I repair in moments of extreme SAD-ness) and I have to say that I definitely started with the worst bit. Beautiful island - but the people don't deserve it. Do you remember the chap in the minibus who gave us non-stop 'diss' for 20 minutes? In the end I recall that I snapped and said "Have you ever heard of tourist harrassment?!" and he looked at me with a beatific smile and said "But that's my JOB man!" which earned him a five dollar tip for pure entertainment value. Don't you just HATE beggars who simply grovel and winge and thrust maimed limbs and/or children at you? India is a big disappointment on that front nowadays.

The biggest laugh was that you recalled 'Daisy Ray's "Oh my God - this is a nightmare"...which still makes me chuckle 20-odd years on. It's tempting to wander over to the European principality in question some time and say "Hi - remember me?" Or maybe not...

Have a good day now. Unless you have other plans, of course.

M

Froog said...

My recollection of a late-70s adolescence is largely dominated by those Saturday teatimes spent furiously channel-hopping to and fro between ITV and BBC to try to maximise one's experience of Daisy Duke and Col. Wilma Deering. Both shows were absolutely dire apart from the tottie. I'm in no hurry to see the film.

Ah, Ewout - I wonder whatever happened to him. His other claim to fame was showing up 20 minutes early to one of my cocktail parties at the Union and managing to get falling-down/throwing-up drunk before anyone else had even arrived.

I don't think I have discussed the naming problem yet. Soon, soon.

In the last recording session I did on Friday, I was asked to voice a character called Zoom. Ah, yes, I did once have a student (a 35-year-old petrochemical engineer) who wanted to call himself 'Puppy' - except that he was spelling it 'Pupa'. I thought you'd appreciate that one, Mothman. Oh, don't get me started!

Mothman said...

I am afraid to say that I missed 'Buck Rogers in the 25th century' - indeed I just had to check out on IMDb who Col. Wilma Rogers was. It appears that I really DID miss something there as the delectable Erin Gray really is - er - delectable.


Talking of lady Colonels (and the spine-shiveringly potentially-dominant nature thereof), my fave was Col. Virginia Lake of 'UFO' fame. Remember her? (Silly question...of course you do - you now reveal the secret of your encyclopaedic knowledge of 70's TV series...channel-hopping, you dissolute teenage cad!)


I don't normally get off on blondes but I made a major exception in the case of Wanda Ventham - which accounts for my also having been glued to the equally dire 'Lotus Eaters'. In fact Ms. Ventham may well have provided my second masturbatory fixation after Valerie Singleton (or possibly third if you - rather bafflingly - include the strangely sexy Judith Chalmers).


By a weird twist of fate I now recall that the reason I fancied a blonde - in the form of the pneumatic blonde secretory [sic]Marianne (remember her?) was that she bore a passing resmblance to Wanda Ventham in her younger days. Blonde; pudgy; big baps; cool green eyes; tendency to wear boots...(*eyes glaze over*)

Doubtless you will reply that, reduced to fundamentals, I fancy anything female with a heartbeat. I am not sure that I can defend myself against this observation so I won't try. Given that I have been known to mention your apparent asexuality I guess it's the least I deserve. In those days I guess we at least matched each other for range and volume of alcohol consumption...but how come it is only I whose liver is headed west? Is there no justice in this world?

'Get you started'? To paraphrase John Paul Jones - I haven't started to get you started yet. The Malawians are the only nation I know of who come close to the Cantonese in adopting deeply weird 'English' names... I had some friends in central Africa with a manservant called 'Nicewell'.

The Bookseller said...

I remember the Benylin- I thought at the time it was having no effect, but it obviously acts on the long-term memory, as I don't recall the European royalty (perhaps of course it was a more subtle brush-off to Mothman, giving her contact details as 'The Royal Palace, Copenhagen', and he just believed her...).
By the way, Froog, can someone post more jokes on the 'Bad'/'Bar' spots? First port of call for me & Little Anthony in the vast and ever-expanding Froog Word Empire.

Froog said...

Well, it's all up to you, the readers. Yes, the joke threads have been a bit ignored of late. Perhaps I'll post a reminder about them.

Froog said...

Nicewell?! Fantastic.

Yes, I do remember Wanda in UFO and The Lotus Eaters. My big UFO crush, though, was Gabrielle Drake - it was that purple wig, I suppose.

"The strangely sexy Judith Chalmers" - now there is a phrase I never expected to hear or see! You really are an unstoppable Love Rocket, aren't you, Mr B?

Mothman said...

I have only cried with laughter twice in the past year, as far as I can recall. Both occasions were today, firstly when I read the thread about the dog poisoned with Tabasco and later when I was ploughing through the 'lousy band names' thread - notably The Bookseller's contribution to the latter...

Marriage has clearly transformd The Bookseller into a full-blown wit. Bravo, sir, and may your sporran never be defenestrated (or for that matter your college boater kicked to death and eaten...again...where is John A when we need him?) My felicitations to Frog as well, who not only introduced me to The Bookseller all those years ago but has also made possible this fine vehicle for his own - and others' - wit and eloquence...

It has taken all of these years to realise why the famous Desiree never wrote back to me... once again I take my hat off to the perspicacity of The Bookseller whose capacity for fine analytical thought has clearly been undiminished by Benylin poisoning and the passage of a couple of decades.

Yes, I too worry about the depths of my juvenile masto-concupiscence, Froog...I think that it was La Chalmers' husky voice that did it. You, of all people, dear Froog, will empathise with those who fixate upon one tiny feature and end up fancying the whole woman. By the way, I was relieved to read some years later in the Torygraph that I was apparently not alone in my Chalmerian fixation. Phew! When I found out that Valerie Singleton allegedly played for the other team I moped for days.

Mothman said...

By the way - Re. the 'Asexualismo' allusion and its multiple overtones...

Why is it that those of an alcoholic disposition are secretly and not-so-secretly regarded fondly by the mass of society (or British society at least)as 'one of the lads'; 'a bit of a wag' and otherwise okay really, whereas those of us to whom true ecstasy lies between a lady's legs rather than at the bottom of a glass are regarded as creeps, slimeballs and/or lower forms of pondlife?

It used to worry me. Now I am nearly 50 I don't think I give a damn. Yes, I partake of the goodies in places of ill-repute on occasion...so what? Others go to bars.... Why should alcoholismo enjoy this irritating air of moral superiority, eh? Both hobbies provide employment and enjoyment; both hobbies are perceived with opprobium to varying degrees by the 'moral majority' - but why does my vice particularly get it in the neck from so many societies? I am puzzled as to why you can parade your asexualismo and alcoholismo relatively unmolested and unrepentant, whereas the converse - in my sad experience - rarely pertains.

Back in the 80's days of sloping off to the local whorehouse in Kam Tin (New Territories) to have a 'few' drinks with the lads and laugh at the whores (isn't that the apotheosis of asexualismo?) I was as guilty as any of going along with the crowd by ripping the piss out of those poor working girls and getting celibately hammered. Now, in the unlikely event of a repeat performance in my dotage I suspect that I would say at the door "so long chaps - enjoy your drink while I pop a Viagra or three and have a good shag" - to (I suspect) the secret envy of a few more repressed souls. Shades of being the first to pee in the sink at Union Balls when the queue for the bog was getting bladder-burstingly long (and, my God...what a literal floodgate of repressed desire - and urine - THAT ground-breaking action opened).

Or is all of this just too, too 'sexualismo'?

I vaguely recall a Bunuel (?) film (help me out, oh film-buff)where a load of people are happily lined up next to each other in the bog, having a shit and laughing merrily among themselves. At a certain point one guest makes a mumbled excuse, sly creeps off to the kitchen and furtively stuffs down some food before returning to the group defaecation. Not that I am 'into' either food-sex or scat, but I am sure you take my point. 'Societal norms' and all that....

Incidentally, if anyone is so moved (ie can be arsed) please don't give me any cant about how much 'harm' the sex trade does to the world. Both my paternal grandfather and my father were alcoholics but if people want to drink themselves to death I, at least, am not going to parade my (admittedly largely enforced) 'teetotalismo'. The latter kind of sucks, actually.

Trust me, Froog - you too need to force yourself...sex is great. I gave up alcohol as it was killing me. Prior to that I tried every form of alcohol known to man (aye, including Benylin)... As I (and indeed the inimitable 'Bonker' Bailey) recall it, you were never too keen on MY principal vice in the first place...

So - a minor blow for 'sexualismo'... Forgive me for attempting to redress the balance here (and, totting up the number of dodgy 'keywords' that this post contains, I suspect also doing your 'ratings' the world of good in the process...).

One last bon mot for the aspiring author (as relayed to me by an editor friend). "Sex sells". To which I might add (Geoffrey Bernard notwithstanding) "Alcohol just gets you pissed".

Froog said...

Mothman, most people do not feel comfortable talking about sex because it is such a private and intimate activity (at least, it is the way most people think of it). Therefore, people tend to feel uncomfortable around people who talk about sex a lot, and are apt to denigrate them as 'creeps', 'slimeballs', etc. Also, of course, there is the element of envy: people are apt to denigrate those who appear to be having more sex than them.

Drinking is a sociable activity; thus people tend to believe - though it is often horrifically untrue - that the more you drink, the more pleasantly sociable you become. This is the main reason for the prejudice of which you complain.

Although, of course, there is much, much more - the supposed 'glamour' of drinking that we derive from classic films, and the association of drinking with creativity (especially in writing) and with interestingly tortured melancholia and.....

People who drink a lot inspire pity or sympathy or interest... or even occasionally, bizarrely, admiration. People who shag a lot inspire mostly distaste in women and jealousy in men.

These are the choices you make. I like to think that I drink because of what I get out of it directly rather than how other people will view it (and, really, people don't often view it very positively). Likewise with your Viagra-fuelled orgies. Enjoy the thing that you enjoy, and sod what anyone else thinks.

Mothman said...

Uncle Froog you are wise even if your teeth are not long and your beard is not grey. I am used to the distaste and jealousy of many of my fellow humans for my principal hobby and no longer give a toss (as it were). The fact that I am thought the less of for not being a toper perturbs me mightily at times, however. Do I have to risk life, limb and liver to be seen as a fully-fledged member of the human race (or the British variety of at least)?

I harbour a sneaking suspicion that you may feel the same about your avowed asexualism, which is why we are having this discussion is it not?

Or am I missing something - as usual...?

I am secretly disappointed that some gurly has not yet crept out of the woodwork and accused me of being a slimy creep.

Re. association of The Muse and The Booze, have not quite a few literary and artistic stalwarts been inspired by the seamier side of life? Toulouse Lautrec; the Marquis de Sade; possibly even (playing largely for The Other Team) T. E. Lawrence?

Incidentally I find sex an extremely sociable hobby myself...but then I always did prefer intimate gatherings a deux to the hurly burly of the drinking hole.

As a scientist I am not entirely convinced that there is much 'choice' about this. My father kept on trying to hurl booze down my throat from an early age and there is nothing like parental enthusiasm for blunting the appetite, is there not? On the other hand I went (British-style) to a series of monastic single-sex educational establishments, which engendered a fascination for the unknown that has endured. Did you, I wonder, have puritanical parents who lectured you on the evils of the Demon Drink? Amateur psychology is usually bollocks but I am just curious...

Happily (for me) I take after the distaff side of my immediate family tree - none of whom were particularly bothered by booze but were enthusiastic bonkers. I suspect, on the whole, that your hobby is 'cheaper'...sigh...

Froog said...

It's very difficult for non-drinkers to fit in with a social circle of drinkers - you're always going to appear uptight, aloof, disapproving (however hard you try not to). It's particularly a problem in the UK, where drinking is so central to public socialising.

I do encounter similar problems with some of my younger friends when they want to trade opinions on anal sex or compare the number of their recent conquests (I think my Bengali pal has exceeded my lifetime total within the last month or two).

I don't think my parents gave me anything to rebel against. They were tolerant of drinking, thought they indulged very little themselves. I was probably seduced by films and books (and maybe music): bars always seemed to seedily glamorous in them. And, for once, fiction and truth are one.

Froog said...

By the way, please show some respect for the lovely Ms Bailey.

I recall she was commendably resistant to your badgering for information about our, er, 'contact' (protecting my asexualist 'reputation'?). However, as I think you probably know, she did in fact succeed in enticing me out of my asexuality. Repeatedly. I am still inordinately fond of the dear girl.

Mothman said...

The 'lovely Ms. Bailey' (is this the same person we are talking about here? Old 'nought to fifteen in a fortnight'?) left your asexualismo reputation positively on fire by claiming that when she attempted to seduce you, you drank a large proportion of a bottle of JD; put on the Pogues really loud; burst into tears and passed out - while she was lying there largely unclothed, gagging for a shag.

Women always lie about such things but, as was once noted, if there is the truth and the legend...PRINT THE LEGEND. A similar legend circulates regarding myself and a magazine allegedly called 'Alsatians in Leather' [sic...and indeed sick] so no need to be shy.

You are a legend. Respect, man. Enjoy.

I like the sound of your friend the Bengali, by the way. Let us hear more of him (strictly in the interest of further improving your ratings you understand...which, with luck, will now be racing ahead thanks to my cunningly-placed 'Alsatians in Leather' reference).

Froog said...

Thanks for your efforts to draw in more perverts, Mothman - but I think the comments have very low search-engine visibility.

I have tried such flagrant profile-raising tactics myself from time to time (search Froogville for 'The Foreskin Post'!). I was for a while (and possibly still am - I don't check these things very often) the top Google return on 'panda bestiality'. And on 'Zhongnanhai orgies', come to that (now, there's something that could interfere with the smooth processing of my next visa renewal!!).

The Bengali is indeed quite a wonder to behold - all suavity and shamelessness and unwavering persistence. However, his spells of record-setting promiscuity are relatively few and far between. He is ridiculously hung up on an on-again-off-again girlfriend, and only whittles his bed-post into matchwood during their occasional periods of rupture.

Mothman said...

'Panda Bestiality' beats 'Alsatians in Leather' hands-down, I must admit. My apologies for such a feeble effort on the search-engine-massaging front.

Tell your friend the Bengali that if he really loves that girl to stop pissing around and nail her down before he loses her. I lost the only love of my life nearly 20 years ago through being a complete moron and haven't found anybody who was a patch on her ever since...

You and The Bookseller were pretty amused by my attachment to my tall, dark, brown-eyed lady at the time, I do recall - but I was pretty sure at the time that she was the best that my feeble bones were ever likely to attract. Sadly, the years have proven me right.

I suppose that your and The Bookseller's ribaldry with regard to my attachment to my now-lost love were the least that I deserved. I was possibly not as kind to those around me as I could have been in those days, to put it mildy. A friend at a recent college Gaudy observed that none of us seemed to have changed that much in the intervening two decades - except that we were a lot fatter, a lot greyer, a lot less hirsute and notably kinder to one-another...

I really hope that my Lost Lady Love is outrageously fulfilled and happy with her Australian husband and three children, because I sure as hell ain't - and if we were BOTH miserable it would all have been a glorious fucking waste of time wouldn't it? Alas, my feedback on the matter suggest otherwise for her. 20 years ago I would possibly have enjoyed a touch of schadenfreude at this news - but nowadays it simply makes me very, very sad...

Bedpost-carving is okay in the same way that drinking Tsing-Tao is 'okay'...it gives you some sort of temporary (possibly ersatz) 'pleasure'in the relevant regions. But it's just not quite the same as 'The Real Thing' is it? I'm not sure if it IS 'better to have loved and lost' as sometimes this sets an impossibly high standard to match in the future.

Froog said...

I wouldn't presume to give the Bengali - or anyone else - advice on their romantic life. That's one area where everyone has to make their own mistakes, I think. If his friends do offer advice on this issue, it is usually along the lines of recommending that he chop her into small pieces and hide her in the freezer. Their relationship is somewhere beyond volatile, and probably no good to either of them in the long term. But he won't be told.

I hope The Bookseller and I weren't too unkind to you about your Brown Eyed Girl. Well, The Bookseller probably was. I think our dominant reaction was simple amazement at what seemed to be an entirely retroactive infatuation. Perhaps you did feel a deep attachment to her at the time but were following some obscure macho imperative to keep it completely hidden from everyone else. Perhaps. Although I do tend to think that, however strong your feelings were at the time, they have become stronger since - and that you have subsequently romanticised, idealised the relationship (and her) into something that it probably wasn't.

But perhaps it is always so. Memories (and fantasies) are so much better than actuality, it's a wonder that anyone ever bothers to try living in the present at all.

Mothman said...

It wasn't that hidden. I told you both at the time that I had asked her to marry me (to which she actually agreed - while 'going out' with someone else behind my back, I found out later). I recall that you both found my proposal highly amusing...never mind: it is history and in retrospect it probably was rather risible!

I have to confess that I was somewhat amazed at myself at the time as I had never felt that way before about anyone and never have since, oddly enough...she turned out to be a hard act to follow. So I really can't blame you for being similarly amazed. I certainly was - and still am.

Point is - as both myself and your Bengali friend demonstrate - love is so rarely a two-way process. If it works on both sides it's a match made in heaven (aaaahh). If it doesn't it is just dismissed by all others as 'an infatutation'. (By the way, it was quite a long infatuation as we were together for three years...and, yes, I was faithful oddly enough - although she bloody well wasn't!) Almost nobody I know 'ends up' with the person they really love, least of all perfectionists such as you and I.

At a certain point you have to analyse what the function of this emotion called 'love' is... biologically-speaking it is simply to attract you to a mate to procreate. After the kids are grown up - sod it: that's what divorce is for (everybody at the recent Gaudy was either divorced or wanting to do so...I was surprised to find myself an object of envy for the first time in my life).

In an ideal world your partner's genes should be as dissimilar as possible to prevent inbreeding depression. Various subtle cues tell us when the person you meet satisfies these criteria and 'the drive' cuts in (you know the one - you have it more strongly than anyone I know, and happily quite unfettered with mere lust in your case). Alas, their genes usually have other ideas as to with whom they wish to mingle. Bummer, innit?

My Great Lost Love didn't make any great bones about the fact that, reduced to fundamentals, she was looking for an inseminator and provider (neither of which I was cut out for at that stage, thank God...it was a close shave although I still miss the dear girl). It is men who are the hopeless romantics and women who are quite ruthlessly practical, in my sad experience.

It is interesting that most divorces are initiated by women...one is left wondering exactly what function men have for most women other than as a banker (and indeed what function women have for men other than for bonking...can it really be that simple?) After years of post-modernist introspection I am rapidly coming to the politically non-correct viewpoint that most women are dangerous random crisis generators not fit to be allowed out on their own. Oddly enough quite a few women to whom I have advanced this viewpoint actually agree! In recent years I have noted that women get a lot more civilised after they have fulfilled their biological imperative, leaving me to have fun with them while they and their children are bankrolled by some other poor sod.

All that's left at our age is other men's rejects and teenagers. I can't say that either appeals in the remotest, long-term, even if I did find one that matched my relatively exacting requirements - and even assuming that she showed any great interest in me other than for sex. I read your musings upon women and what does and does not 'attract' you to them with a great degree of interest...keep them coming. I know nothing of sport, arts or alcohol, but am a keen observer of the man-woman thing.

I rather like the present actually. The past irritates me and the future often worries me.

Froog said...

Random Crisis Generator would be a great band name.

The past as 'irritant' is curious. Is experience like a mosquito bite - it takes a few minutes before it starts to hurt?

Mothman said...

Excellent simile. The past generally only itches if there isn't something else more pressing taking your mind off it. The present usually does the trick...

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Froog said...

'Albert' is clearly a spambot, but I thought I'd leave his link up here because I so love the idea (and I'm sure the Mothman will too!) of "thoroughly entertaining tales" of erectile dysfunction.