Like many men, I’ve been changing. Making love has become preferable to fucking and sharing preferable to manipulating. I’m realizing that every time my penis gets hard it doesn’t need (nor does it have some instinctive right) to be inserted in a conveniently warm place. I take women more seriously and work with them quite well. At least I’ve learned how to keep my mouth shut at the right times, use the right lingo, go through the right motions.

But despite these outward changes, the same gnawing anger and fear is there more often than I like to admit; memories of feeling rejected and manipulated live within me. I never should have expected to change overnight. For years I thought getting laid was supposed to make me feel good. It was something I felt I was supposed to do; an obligation to society, and myself. All the memories, of past attempts to nail women — plans, fantasies, expectations, and disappointments — are coming back to me now.

Boy, have I been horny. Maybe I should jerk off. I haven’t gotten laid in a long time. When was the last time? Oh, right, with R., a few months ago.

It was interesting, wasn’t it? So much energy flowing between us. Making love wasn’t all that different from just being together.

Yeh, yeh . . . enough spiritual bullshit! I want to make it with somebody. Let’s see . . . P. and I won’t be sleeping together, at least in this lifetime. I could try and make it with L. but she’s such a Jewish American Princess she’d extract a gallon of blood in the process. What a tight little body she has, though. Hmm . . . I’m going to be with M. tonight. I like her, but in a way I don’t. Maybe we’ll sleep together anyway. That would be far out!

I took a shower. I always let
go a little when I take a shower.

How do you feel now?

Not quite right: Like I’m this jigsaw puzzle with some pieces missing.

Let’s go over some of this stuff. Let’s say M. and I make it tonight. How would I feel then?

Lick, smack, gurggle.

Really?

Well, I might feel awkward or inadequate. Maybe I would worry and feel distant. Anyway, I always get uptight if I come too quickly.

Go on.

I might not sleep well afterwards and feel strange the next morning. Empty.

Why am I so obsessed, then, with making it with her?

Probably because I’m scared and uncomfortable. Because I want to feel powerful. Because I want to protect myself so she won’t zap me. Because I hope that doing it will make things right between us.

Has it in the past?

No.

How do you feel when you get a lot of power?

Uncomfortable, resentful, and generally freaked out.

What am I protecting, anyway?

My body (notably my penis), my idea of myself, my past history, my habits. My whole personality.

Uh, huh. By the way, what do they zap me with?

Their words, flirty behavior, push-offs, and half smiles.

You know, there always needs to be a zapper and zapee.

Yes. I enjoy it. Or at least find it predictably comfortable.

 

This dialogue isn’t all of me, but it is a part I can’t push aside and not look at, like dog shit, blood, or bums on skid row.

Going over past hurts and experiences, conjuring about causality or Jewish motherhood is very rich and romantic, but not very useful in dealing with the problem. In fact, the primary problem is viewing this as a problem rather than a circumstance which needs to be accepted and examined. This is where I am, so this is where I leave you.