What a strange life we are all stuck inside of. Some may be better at disguising the strangeness of life behind the normalcy of convention, but no one can escape from the mysteries of change and the passing of time. I am always amazed by the ways in which change and time impact my life. Just when I think that everything is becoming manageable everything falls apart. Just when I think that I am fully present in the moment- I seem to become stuck in the past. Maybe this is why people become so heavily addicted to sex. It is the one activity that defies change and time. There is a safety in sex- the safety of familiarity. In this ever changing odd world, familiarity is like raft or a life preserver. It keeps us afloat.
This morning I found myself back on Craig’s List looking at the erotic personals. My wife has gone out for the day and once again I am using my alone time to pursue sexual fantasies. I am terribly tempted by adds such as “How Many Licks Does It Take,” “Smother Your Face In A Catwax,” or “Super Sexy and DEELUSHIZ.” I am entertained by all of the possibilities that lay behind each of these adds. They are like little erotic stories waiting to be experienced. All I have to do is pick up the phone and dial. I could of never imagined that sex could be so easy.
The only problem is that I rarely ever call. I may dial quickly and then hang up when I hear a voice. Or I will ask a few questions like “so what do you do?” or “how much would it cost to get an erotic massage?” The girls are always nice and hungry for business- so conversation is never difficult. What is difficult is doing away with my guilt or shame and pretending that nothing is wrong. I have no desire to be unfaithful to my wife, and even the simplest thought that I may be betraying or deceiving her makes me feel like dirt. An object of scorn. A failure. But then again, I know that these feelings go way back before my recent obsession with the Craig’s List Erotic adds.
One of my earliest memories is of waking up in the middle of the night one summer and looking in my backyard where I could see over two dozen naked adults around a large wood hot tub, having sex in various primal positions. Steam from the hot water covered their bodies in a strange mystique and I was fascinated from the moment I saw this. My mother and father were swingers and would always host the most “active” of sex parties. They always started long after I would go to bed, but I was never quite fully asleep between the moving/gyrating floor boards above my head and the strange, languorous sex sounds that emanated from the bellies of participants in the throes of pleasure. I was always curious about these sounds because they seemed to express something about adults that I never heard expressed in words. It was almost as if all the clues about the meaning of life were hidden in these primal pleasure sounds.
As I grew older it seemed as if my parents became less interested in promiscuous sex. They had been hassled by police and even humiliated by a write up in the local press. I remember the headline read “Is Your Psychiatrist Hosting Sex Parties?” They wanted to become a normal suburban Jewish family and forget their infamous past. Occasionally they would have some friends over from the Temple and watch pornography behind closed doors but for the most part as the mid-eighties approached my home was free from the Debby-Does-Dallas clamourings of sex crazed adults. The only problem was that as my parents interest in promiscuous sex faded away mine grew stronger. By the age of thirteen I was masturbating like a mad man to my fathers dirty magazines and calling various phone sex services on a daily basis. I would stay up late at night and for hours try to unscramble a sex show on television. Often times I would manage to get a clear picture after hours of desperate unscrambling- with which I would proceed to watch with my penis in my hand until the picture scrambled out. I would make the strangest sex sounds from deep in my belly and somehow feel like I was finally acting like an adult.
My parents had no clue what was happening to their son. At my Bar Mitzvah I convinced a friend of mine to perform oral sex on me in the country club bathroom stall. When I was fifteen I remember taking the liver that my mom brought home from the butcher shop and having sex with it in the bathroom ( a friend at Sunday school told me that doing this felt like a vagina). By the time I was sixteen I had various sex crazed girlfriends (and a life sized blow up doll) and I was sneaking into strip clubs where the dancers knew me by my first name. I was so young and cute and they wanted to be the first to initiate me into a life of degeneracy. At that time in San Fransisco the strip clubs still had a seedy personality and smelled like sex and sleaze. They had a strange kind of animal luster in them that was decorated with red lights, candles and lots of hidden rooms. The strip clubs were dens of iniquity where no fantasy was too much and everything was legal. It was what I imaged the red light district in Paris at the turn of the century must of been like. Any time I could find a way out from my home and into the mire that was San Fransisco- I would do so without resistance. I would stay in the clubs until closing and at times, very special times…leave with a stripper and return to her residence. I was a young man out of control. By the age of twenty one I was unstoppable, broke and in weekly sessions with a sex therapist.
Now I have little interest in getting my penis licked by a stranger in a red lit room for sixty dollars. The Strip clubs in San Fransisco have all lost their charm. So, my final vice is these Craig’s List Erotic adds. Adds like “Suck You All Night Long,” or “Sex Kitten Wants To Purrrrr On You,” all make me feel young again. I realize that it is kind of pathetic to be spending my days caught up in the transgressive print of a seedy add. I also understand that behind the sexual lingo are broken dreams and desperate measures that are being taken to earn a buck. I am a married man, who should be spending his time learning about investments and savings accounts. Adult matters. Instead my head is still rapped around the pleasure or obsessions of my youth. It is familiar. A habit that keeps me from feeling the gravity of what my life has become. Rather it keeps me distracted- so I can not notice all the change that is happening around me, all the time that is passing away.