25 January 2007


Don't get me wrong: I think blogging is, on the whole, a good thing. But for me, something's missing, and I think it's the sense of conversation. A true give-and-take, a back-and-forth, an exchange of ideas.

(There are, of course, other inherent faults and weaknesses to blogging, but for now I'll leave that discussion to critics who wax eloquent on why they embrace/despise the blogosphere.)

The "comments" section of a blog entry attempts to create dialogue, but too often that section ends up being no more than (mostly) lauds or (rarely) condemnations of the entry and its author. Which is fine -- God knows I love praise and criticism, as most of us do.

Some bloggers are really delving, exploring, questioning, pushing your envelopes. And sometimes that strikes a chord with readers, including myself. I'm finding I want to do more than just comment on someone's blog ... I want to "riff off" of that entry on my own blog. I know there are bloggers doing this, but it seems rare. I want to see more of it.

This may become a regular feature of The Concupiscent Husband ... I don't know yet. But at least this week, a couple of items moved me.

Married Exploits: The "Artemis" two-parter (Part 1 | Part 2)

Funnily enough, my first entry of this sort cites a blog entry that does exactly what I'm wishing there was more of! The Married Exploits blog is already a conversation of sorts between a husband and wife, "Odysseus" and "Penelope." And specifically in these two entries, Odysseus was reacting, at least in part, to an entry on the blog The Dark Side of Me. In that entry, Lena briefly bemoans the fact that men must repress one of their most beautiful (in her opinion) qualities: That they think about sex almost constantly. Odysseus "responds" in his own blog:

That's a big reason why I wanted to start this blog. Because there are lots of things that I think about that I feel compelled to repress.... It's kind of backwards to what you might usually think about society and sex. But it's true: men have a lot more thoughts than they are 'allowed' to admit.

Penelope later follows up:

I guess I've always seen it as society and media always bombarding us with sexual images and portraying impossible ideals for women and that in turns creates more lust and sexual thoughts in men. Could it really be the other way around and men are trying to conform to the expectation that they should view women less sexually and it is going against natural urges or instincts? Maybe it is both influences and expectations clashing in male minds.

I think Penelope's on the money here. It's almost as if society itself is operating under its own Madonna-whore complex: Our media and fashion cultures (which, it should be noted, is probably still pretty male-dominated) foists sex upon us at every turn -- because "sex sells" -- and then gets all uppity and pissy when a man is checking out his female co-worker's tits when she's wearing the á la mode low-cut number. There is a built-in expectation of repression.

(And while we're at it: To a lesser extent, doesn't this "syndrome" work its negativity in the other direction? If repressive community mores indicate that a woman is not to be viewed as a sex object, what does this do to the psyche of the woman who sometimes wants to be viewed that way? Is she automatically branded a slut?)

Reading these entries, I realized that Odysseus' motivation to blog is a big part of why I started my blog too. Many of you are led to believe from my entries (so far) that Amy's and my communication is pretty open; perhaps it is, relative to the average relationship. But I feel like I repress a lot of my sexual thoughts.

There are a number of reasons for this, and chief among them is that I don't want to annoy Amy with the already obvious fact that her husband has that stereotypical one-track mind. I worry that an increased discussion of sex in our everyday life would indicate a subtext of wanting more sex from her, heaping more stress on the sizable compost heap she already wields on her shoulders. And while it's true that I do want more sex, just because I'm talking about it doesn't mean I want to jump her bones right then. It's not like I don't feel I can tell her these things; I'm just (over?)sensitive to, you know, when enough's enough already.

I like Odysseus and Penelope's entries because the couple are talking around the fringes of the idea of inviting someone else into their bed. Will it ever really happen? Perhaps. But the outcome doesn't matter much, because the very fact that they're having these discussions is giving a positive sexual charge to their relationship.

+ + +

La fille Mariée: "Beautiful Cock"

Two things occur to me when I read this post.

First, how powerful the word "cock" can be. Almost as powerful, I think sometimes, as "fuck," a word that has been discussed to death by pundit-style eroticists for years. What makes this such a fun read is that you just begin to lose yourself in the poetry of LFM's writing, the sensuous experience she is sharing ... and then you run smack-dab into that word.

Look at "cock." No, not mine, you goof; look at the word. Hard on the outside, and just a little softer in the middle. It's onomatopoeic. It's less exclamation (like "fuck") than punctuation. There's no sweet-talking the word. You can't start to say it and then veer off in another direction, like you can with "fff ... udge." Cock is cock. Right there, in your face, demading to be dealt with.

So to juxtapose "cock" with LFM's prose -- even to juxtapose it with the word "beautiful" -- is a joyous thing. It makes my blood surge, no matter how many times I play the words back over in my head.

The second thing I wanted to say was this: These are the words of (and for) a new lover, on the level of some of the beauty of Song of Solomon. I remember my wife feeling this sort of passion for my body. Maybe she still does, but I'm betting it's not that often. I still feel an incredible depth of passion for hers, but I remember finding more ways to tell her -- ways similar to Mariée's deft post.

This is a new love, I believe, because there are so few loves of many years that can still express this "passion of discovery." That may sound like a forlorn observation, but I think of it more as a melancholy observation -- not melancholy as sadness, but rather as "pensive reflection or contemplation." The early weeks of a new love are frighteningly potent and stimulating. There's no way to maintain that level of energy over years -- embers are bound to cool and will need stoking. Yes, it would be nice if the mercury could be permanently suspended at that higher temperature, but if that were the case we wouldn't appreciate it nearly as much. That's why this kind of "youthful exuberance" should be, I believe, reserved for relationships in their youth.


la fille mariée said...

Denis -- Just on my way out the door, so I'm going to come back and comment further. Thanks for what you said about my post. YOU GOT IT! Exactly!! The point of the juxtaposition of the graphic "cock" with the almost worship of the word "beautiful". Thanks for being so perceptive!!!

Odysseus said...

...The outcome doesn't matter much, because the very fact that they're having these discussions is giving a positive sexual charge to their relationship.

Very succinct way of putting it, and astutely observed. And absolutely true. It is AWESOME to be able to talk about this stuff with your wife, completely openly, not having to hide anything.

It's kind of crazy that we have had to devote so much consideration and effort to voicing one simple thought: "Artemis is HAWT."

But the fact is, it takes a lot of trust at a very deep level to be able to say that to your spouse (or to hear it from your spouse) without causing issues.

Society certainly has its share of the blame, but I think the majority of the problem may lie in simple lack of communication between spouses.

It's scary to talk on this level at first. It's like opening your personal can of worms and making your spouse smell it. But the fact is, your spouse has a can, too. And it's just talking, after all. If you can't engage your spouse with it, who can you?

Desireous said...

The word cock is a powerful word, a beautiful, strong, powerful word!

I really do think that kind of passion to which you are speaking of can be rejuvenated in a relationship but of course its not going to be an every day event! It would lose it's flavor. It's up to the two people involved though to do things to spark the rejuvenation.

la fille mariée said...

Okay, Denis, back to comment in more depth (surprise, surprise -- I'll try not to write a novel here, as I often seem to do in comments)

(And while we're at it: To a lesser extent, doesn't this "syndrome" work its negativity in the other direction? If repressive community mores indicate that a woman is not to be viewed as a sex object, what does this do to the psyche of the woman who sometimes wants to be viewed that way? Is she automatically branded a slut?)

Yes! Exactly! It's the eternal feminist struggle, right? We want choices, then label negatively those who partake of those choices if their choices are not our own. It's precisely what you are saying about men as well -- put the options out there, then try to restrict them from considering those options.

Okay -- back to my blog. :)

What you have said about my writing is incredibly flattering -- I may have to hire you as my publicist. Oh wait -- I'm trying to stay anonymous. Never mind, then. ;)

A new love? Well, yes, in relative terms. I can understand how such a piece is less likely to be written about the body with whom you have been familiar for years, but I hate to think that it couldn't be. In my case, by virtue of the fact that my explorations have begun only recently, I'm still very much in discovery mode. I would hate to think that I will ever become blind to what is beautiful to me now... but I guess being aware of that possibility might encourage me to not lose sight of what amazes me now.