An Ordinary Man

Or, Men 101

Month: December, 2016

Ariana Grande Might Not Get It

I feel bad when anyone feels diminished under any circumstances and I’m sorry Ariana Grande felt “objectified” the other day by a fan who congratulated her boyfriend for “hitting that” [meaning, I believe, having sex with her].  But it may not be what Ms. Grande takes it to be. Consider a random shot of her in concert stolen from the internet:


bare shoulders? check

bare midriff? check

ultra-short skirt? check

thigh-high boots? check

high heels? check

provocative pose? double check

In other words, an image carefully calculated to grab a young man by the testicles and not let go until he’s in the shower someplace.  It doesn’t do that with me, incidentally; I’m 62 years old and not given to what would amount to pedophilia, but I do remember being young and completely gob-smacked when I realized that Lee Majors got to sleep with Farraah Fawcett-Majors:


Being in awe of the man who holds such a privilege as that is not always about simple ejaculatory pleasure.  It can also encompass envy at being the one who is with the woman with all that that implies; being able to enjoy her aesthetic beauty, her laugh & smiles, her conversation, having coffee with her, looking into her eyes, drying her back after her shower, watching her dress, holding her hand, sharing all the joys and sorrows of life with her, etc, etc, etc.  But that is quite a mouthful and language is a lost art these days, so maybe the fan was being crude, but maybe not.

Just today I had reason to chastise a man who failed to appreciate being the partner of a special woman and while that of course included his implied sexual prerogatives, it was by no means limited to that. So, you might not have been objectified, Ms. Grande, you might have simply have been deeply appreciated.


It Takes Two to Tango


Bernardo Bertolucci just announced that the stick-of-butter scene in Last Tango was not consensual.  Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider are no longer with us to confirm this, although both had spoken out against the film before they died.  If, indeed, someone has been raped in the course of an artistic endeavor, it is no defense to claim it was for the benefit of the art.  But I’m not sure what really happened here and I am certainly not sure what it means. So let me throw some things out.

1. Study the image above.  Brando’s pants are very tight and up over his buttocks.  Not having first-hand experience with either his anatomy or his tailor, there is still some question as to whether or not an erect penis would be sufficiently liberated to achieve penetration here without substantial discomfort to the male.  For what it’s worth, I have never had sex with my pants that high.

2. Study the image below:


Schneider is lying on the floor, bare-assed, with Brando right beside her, down by her naked hips.  In a real-life situation, he IS going to play with her ass.  And by that, I do not mean simply caress her butt cheeks, but by going deep into the murky depths that lie there.  There are no ‘no trespassing’ signs on any square inch down there; it is ALL on the plate.  Things are going to happen that might surprise both parties absent a nearly constant stream of  feedback.  Do not offer your ass to a male without being fully aware of this, and stay on your back if it’s unacceptable.

3.  Nineteen or not, what the hell did she think the stick of butter was for?  I simply cannot image laying there like that and seeing a stick of butter materialize.  Even if she wasn’t aware of its potential as a lubricant, this clearly was not the set-up for an eating scene and it wasn’t exactly hidden. What was butter doing there?

4.  I am involved in a relationship with a younger woman that we both want to turn sexual, at least once.  She is older than 19, but the proportional difference in our ages is almost the same.  One of the things holding me back is whether or not one is ever really ‘okay’ with what can happen during sex.  Did you really mean to do that? Did you really let them do that? Did such-and-such really happen?  Looking back at last night in the light of today is rarely a good idea.  Consent at the time? Sure, but does that translate into approval the next day, when oxytocin levels have returned to normal?  Sex without a certain degree of second-guessing is not sex I think I’d like.

Our war on good sex continues.

Postscript:  I just watched the scene on YouTube.  She knew all about the butter – she brought it to him.  Wouldn’t she have asked what it was for; what it had to do with the scene?  Maybe she was overwhelmed by it all and let what happened happen because of that, underscoring the fact that sex without true love is always dangerous.