What the world needs now is ErotiCare
Practicing varietism and being sort of a rake is OK if:
A) The woman you are with has gotten fair warning you are not ready to make a commitment and your expectation is not to have a monogamous long-term relationship;
B) The woman you are with espouses the same beliefs and expectations; and
C) The relationship is foremost a human relationship based upon mutual respect and caring for each other’s feelings.
Otherwise the risk is too grave that the woman you are with will feel exploited. This is an important lesson to learn, especially the C) part. While I always thought I was being careful about A) and B) above, I learned the importance of C) the hard way.
Although an individual apology now to both Hannah and Annie may not be sufficient, I do want the women of the world who may be reading these stories (as well as the young men) to know how strongly I believe that it takes a real heel to treat women as just playthings to be gamed for sex and pleasure, how strongly I believe that women should have equal rights, deserve equal pay for equal work, and can be doctors, lawyers, scientists, engineers and presidents with no problem, and that any relationship needs to include caring and being considerate of each other’s emotional needs.
Back in 1977 I truly believed that Hannah and Annie were living by the Bob Seeger creed “She used me; I used her; Neither one of cared; We were both getting our share.” Hannah and Annie I apologize for hurting your feelings and not coming even close to providing a half share that one thoughtless night.
While I was going to law school out East I maintained a long-distance relationship with Annie. We saw each other for a week or two in the summer (read “The Summer of ‘76”) and maybe a time or two during the rest of the year. Although I could wax erotic about the great times, the great sex, our acting out of Richard Brautigan’s short stories in real life, I’m saving my and Annie’s exploits for my tongue-in-cheek essay “What the World Needs Now is ErotiCare.”
Meanwhile out East, at the same time, Hannah and I occasionally hooked-up. But it was more than merely her liking the way I kissed and me loving glimpses of her decolletage, we also enjoyed doing things together in the company of our mutual friends. Although her magnificent bosom was very much part of the attraction, I also liked her as a person – but I can see where sometimes the lines get blurry because men are more prone to enjoy the chase, the physicality of it all, while women are more wired to the emotional part of it all, the innate sense that all this includes the possibility for fatherhood and will-he-be-sticking-around-after-the-fun-is-over.
Tomorrow: “Let’s Go to the Troc”
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