One of the major disadvantages of chat rooms is that the sheer freewheeling informality of the environment makes it absurdly easy to blurt out things that you otherwise wouldn't say without a gun to your head. I am, I suspect, a little quicker on my feet, as it were, than the usual run of chat denizens, but not enough to realize any significant advantage; my capacity for illogical, improbable and/or insane statements is at least as high as anyone else's.

So let us set the WABAC machine for a period closer to Now than to Then, in one such room, in which I had previously noted that I wasn't in the habit of carrying condoms, which in this era of Semi-Sorta-Safe Sex is considered antisocial, though apparently not as antisocial as what I said next, which was this:

"I operate under the assumption that I've had all the sex I'm ever going to have, and I no more need these things than a moose needs a hat-rack."

Okay, cliché city on the moose business, but people reacted as though I'd said I was going into a convent or something. And I'm not doing any such thing: my life is more than a little bit self-indulgent, at least to the extent that the budget permits, and nothing in my daily routine would suggest even the slightest tendency toward asceticism.

And yet it's been more than ten years, a figure I admit to grudgingly at best.

What is perhaps more surprising, at least from the standpoint of the Swingin' Bachelor some people think me to be, or think I ought to be, is that I haven't really missed it that much. Yes, it's wonderful; yes, it's repeatable, unlike some pleasures we know; yes, it's supposedly good for the prostate, not an inconsiderable factor for a guy in his fifties. And it might even be true, though I doubt it, that someone I see on my screen might actually have entertained the idea of welcoming me to her bed. But at the moment, I'm not even thinking about it, except in the sort of abstract terms I have to consider in order to write stuff like this.

It is not, as the geeks say, a hardware issue; I can run diagnostics with the best of them, so to speak. (Then again, a test suite is a lot different from running actual applications, and I suppose I should abandon this metaphor right here.) At those times when I do think about it, I usually think "Why bother?"

But that too is a cover. While I still occasionally suffer from bouts of "Why would anyone want me in the first place?" (for which I am often rebuked by people who don't), the major issue seems to the substantial gap between what I want (which is, well, everything) and what I think I can reasonably expect to find. It's not that I'm all that picky; it's simply that I don't see myself destined for the sort of relationship I'd like.

I made some noises about this here:

I haven't had an inordinate amount of casual sex none recently but to me, it always seems to be accompanied by a vague, sometimes not so vague, sense of emptiness: "Okay, now what?" It's possible, of course, to look upon sex as an end in itself, but then you find yourself defined in terms of what you'll go through to get laid, which I suspect is not at all what you wanted in the first place.

Which is, I suppose, the kind of relationship where I don't ever have to ask "Okay, now what?"

The Vent

8 June 2005

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 Copyright © 2005 by Charles G. Hill