Stickman Readers' Submissions October 3rd, 2008

Same Same but Differentiated

I have read many articles on here savaging the notion that sexual desire can survive between men and women in the context of a long term relationship. Blackest Bart's recent piece took this a step further and proposed that sexual desire is going to be even hard to arouse, let alone sustain, unless you have a toned attractive 25 year old. I have been personally quite convinced at times that such biological stances may well be the truth. They have, after all, been promulgated by some of history’s most illustrious thinkers and not just by dudes living in Pattaya. When you are nearly 50 yourself putting such an age limit on attractiveness is too excessive but heh, I get the point.

BB’s provocative question “are you attracted to a 50 year old lady?” deserves a reply from me as I have been giving it considerable thought anyway. It is a question I wrestle with every time I look at my girlfriend. She is ‘only’ 46 but looks 56 if the number and depth of facial wrinkles is the standard by which such things are measured. You can see it was once quite a pretty face because it still is with make up and me in a good mood but yeah, truth be told, in the mornings she just looks old. In her defence there are a whole range of variables that indicate age and youthfulness and, although she loses points badly in the facial wrinkles department she picks up points in other ways. In deportment, attitude, dress sense, lifestyle, risk taking, sexual adventurousness, the sound of her laugh, the music she listens too, kinds of friends and a whole lot more she is young and suited to me and her age does not grate on me at all. She is also a tall slim blonde and it is only from the neck up that the wrinkles exist (smoking and Aussie sun I guess) because the rest of the physical package is fine.

He Clinic Bangkok

I have no problem with BB’s assertion that I would not pick her out of a line up of women for a night of sex if there were toned 25 year olds to choose from. Depending on which 25 year old I chose, that could, however, easily turn out to be a error in the sexual satisfaction game.

My personal experience playing with these older girls is that the good ones run rings around the many not so good youngsters in terms of sexual technique, generosity, availability, willingness to experiment and that nice factor of a certain gratefulness often associated with fat girls. My experience with bar girls is quite limited but I often wasn’t very impressed at all. Some were simply atrocious and others have been just so so. I have read a lot of articles and they often seem to agree that most bar girls are more package than substance even when we are talking about their stock in trade i.e. sex. Good or bad girls they sure are sexy and knowing you can get one that cute, if and when you want, is the attraction for me. Music, booze, heat, laughter, complimentary lies, girls everywhere and affordability all create a very sexual atmosphere that I like a great deal. Without that atmosphere the girls themselves are not that newsworthy just because they are Thai. Just more silly youngsters that happen to be dressed in minis, bikinis and Play Skool outfits. Wish we had more of it here though.

I had planned to take two trips to Thailand this year. One in January to attend the Stickman Writer's Convention and maybe have some sex and get drunk and another to just have some sex and get drunk. Then this old bird turned up and it’s currently now all on hold. How can I have made such a choice?

CBD Bangkok

Years ago my wife (ex) and I started into a book by a leading marriage therapist we both admired and there was much debate about his ideas about having a Passionate Marriage. Sounded like a contradiction in terms at the time and it sure didn’t work for us. We both ending up having a passionate marriage all right but only because we started having affairs and moving on. She married hers and I walked her down the aisle to hand her over on the day she did. Try that one some time boys if you really want to see women of all ages swoon in admiration as you walk past. Being the feminazi she was it was her suggestion but the whole thing still strikes me as an ironic victory on my part.

Despite our lack of personal success the ideas I had been exposed to persisted. They seemed so bizarre and far fetched and yet were coming from what otherwise seemed to be an giftedly intelligent individual. The author had claimed that you have the opportunity to achieve the best and most satisfying sex of your life when you are over 50 without resorting to little blue pills.

What effrontery is this to all that is sensible and biological? Turn over the tables and cast this devil out of Soi Cowboy. Get the good doctor to grab him by his scruffy collar and expose him as a fake. He is worse than the box standers outside Nana who merely threaten your next existence. This man possibly challenges the one you are leading now. And just when you think you have heard it all, it gets worse because Dave (the author, yes one of them Phd ‘wankers’ who incidentally wouldn’t react to such an insult, after all what’s wrong with giving yourself a helping hand ) is saying you can get this ‘wall socket sex’ when your woman is over 50 as well. If Dana can claim that trannies have all the rides maybe Dave can claim the old girls have all the ‘tricks’. Getting them to perform them is perhaps where the challenge lies.

My belief in Dave and his blasphemous ideas however finally seems to be paying off and that’s why Thailand is on hold till she can save enough money to come with me. I am having electric sex with this women and neither of us is running out of batteries even though the casing is pretty battered. It has nothing overtly to do with romantic love either. I had one 3 year love relationship after the marriage with a cutie and my cynicism regarding the limitations of romantic love has now been cemented. I like the girl and I will tell her I love her sometimes but neither of us mistakes this for any kind of emotionally binding contract. We are ‘together’ but we are well and truly separate people and intend to try to keep it that way. This is the beginning of the theory. Trying to explain this further will involve some psychological jargon and some readers may wish to move on to another article at this point.

Back to the original question of how can it be that I am having great sex with a 50 year old woman who isn’t real pretty? In case the reader is wondering women do not scream out hello hansom man to me here in Farangland when I walk down the street. It has taken me the last three years to find out those Thai girls were lying at me. Decisions about how attractive we are – are not made by ourselves but by others. I must adjust my narcissism and stop hoping the world will continue to see me as the hansom man I was when I was under 40.

wonderland clinic

Back to the theory again. Before I was the collection of atoms arranged as I am now I was once a single cell that divided into others and each time it did it became more complex in design. The process of cell division is (loosely) called differentiation. The psychological meaning of differentiation began with the idea of describing the degree to which children of parents were able to separate themselves as distinct individuals from their family of origin. By the time Dave got a hold of it and started writing marital sex books it became ‘the ability to maintain a separate sense of one’s ‘self’ while in close proximity to a partner’. WTF. Just be patient and allow me to try and explain.

At a personal level I responded to the theory base because I had always had substantial personal difficulty balancing what felt like two major opposing forces in my life. These were the desire for togetherness and the desire for independence. If I would get one I would long for the other. As some might have put it ‘there is nothing wrong with being married that being single won’t cure’. And vice versa.

How do such ideas translate back into everyday life? To quote from Dave. “The normal pattern for people, especially those at low levels of differentiation, is that as the emotional boundaries blur, anxiety becomes more infectious. People become more intolerant of anxiety in themselves and the partner and experience pressure to feel and act only in ways that reduce each other’s discomfort. In the process, responses to problems become more impulsive and immediate, consequently reducing adaption (and intimacy). Both the magnitude of the problems and the rate of deterioration increase at lower levels of differentiation. “ p221.

The essential challenge involved if one wishes to raise the bar in terms of their own ability to be ‘differentiated’ is that of allowing oneself to be increasingly known by an important other. If ‘differentiation’ is difficult to grasp (which it is) think of it in terms of FACE in which the dynamics involved are such that they aim in exactly the opposite direction. FACE is designed to disguise the real self and to direct attention to the desired pseudo self that one would like to be seen as. Allowing oneself to be known also means that the process of actually defining a self must be fully engaged as there must be something (opinions, values, interests, tolerances, sexual styles etc) to be known. Many people on this site are highly differentiated. I get a real sense I know them. It transcends lifestyle choice and whether you post anonymously or with your real name.

From a differentiation perspective what is also being described in terms of everyday experience is that propensity of many ‘married’ men to start overly giving in to their wives in order to keep the peace (i.e. to reduce anxiety so that she who must obeyed is not displeased). By the time this has become a patterned behaviour one can imagine that we are no longer dealing with a man who will assert his desire that his wife perform sexually according to his wishes (as’ hopefully’ she once did). In fact, by this stage, he is dammed unlikely to demand or assert anything much accept perhaps his desire for a quiet beer. Although such ‘wimpish’ responses may make for good provider material they aren’t likely to generate much sexual response in their wives. The men don’t do this capitulation to women primarily because they are respectful (much as they may tell themselves this) but because they are too intolerant of the anxiety produced in them by the disapproval of a highly important partner. Some might argue they were simply trying to avoid the divorce courts but if you are reading this site and over 35 I guess the compliance method didn’t work for you either.

What after all is the advice of dedicated mongers? Never sleep with the same one more than a few times. Take them or leave them. Do not get attached. All variations on the same John Wayne theme of do not let your guard down else them damn Indians might sneak up on you and suddenly your fort has been invaded and you have been taken over. If you let those emotional boundaries blur you might have to answer to her and you will be exposed for the poorly differentiated individual you are. She will overwhelm you. Many articles on here describe how such behaviour does not earn respect from Asian girlies either. Telling young men not to marry may or may not be good advice but it’s certainly relatively futile. Not only do young men like women and want to have sex with them (and possess them) but they also want to continue to test their ‘strength’ against them. They have been doing it with other boys / men since they were born in all sorts of games and contests.

Women seem to play a different game but we are stuck with inevitably having to interpret their actions through male eyes. As an aside I actually think that there is yet to be developed any comprehensive female psychology written by women about women. It does not yet exist and may never exist because we have allowed women to represent the irrational elements of life. And the irrational cannot be understood in rational terms. Feminism was the successful attempt to gain ‘male’ privileges (and some) but it is not a female psychology and it will not help you understand them any more than their silly magazines and soap operas will.

The very defences we ‘successfully’ erected to keep intimacy (being known too much beyond the FRONT / FACE) at bay with other men seems to hamper our relationships with women. More specifically it hampers our ability to have ongoing sex lives worth giving up being a whoremonger for. Good old Rumpole of the Bailey type marriage is tolerable for those whose friends are all in the same position and who perceive no alternative apart from loneliness. It feels intolerable to the individual however who has seen that sex and fun can still be had (albeit in another country) and for whom the promise of intimacy (the way we men seem to like it) exists. This is where the expats step in and rightly advise that one ought to be particularly careful about looking for such gems in Thailand as the intimacy scam is well ahead of anything the sapphire dealers can think up. It is only intimacy in the shallowest sense of the term. It is an intimacy show as perfectly designed for men as Mills and Boon novels are for women. Obviously it’s not only men who like fantasy.

So is there another option, a way out of this dilemma of preferring fantasy to reality, and if so, what might it be? What might assist this 50 year old to have a great sex life without having to fly half way round the planet twice a year to gamble and risk all at the sex Vegas extravaganza?

Why differentiation of course.

And where do you get it from then?

Well you can get it a lot of ways because it’s a shift in the personality of an individual but the main place you will find it to be useful (and where you will most need it) is in the context of a ‘committed relationship’. It doesn’t come free or naturally but usually has to be actually learnt and developed in this setting. You can dismiss all the hookers you like the morning after but if you do so because you are anxious they might get a hold on you and you will not be able to stand your own ground then you do need to step up the differentiation scale a bit because you just gave yourself away. Dismissing hookers will not teach us anything about how we might maintain an ongoing exciting enough sexual relationship with a long term partner who will make other more complex demands than that of ‘give me more taxi money’. But, ironically, it could be a good start. I would have little hesitation in recommending to any henpecked male a one off trip as a confidence booster.

The essence of personal differentiation lies somewhere between the poles of giving in too mut and not giving a damn what the other thinks. And so, it is claimed, does long term sexual excitement and satisfaction with one person. The number of married women I know who would love a good raunchy fuck from their husbands is more than I should know about but I also know they won’t be getting it because he can’t stand the anxiety that she might give him ‘the look’.

Thoughts of Thailand have played a big role in sustaining the idea I can still get it from clear skinned girls but for God’s sake we all know why and it isn’t a personal compliment. Wow, I managed to get sex off whores. How impressive is that!! It can be impressive when it’s done with a certain style and flair and at a cost determined largely by the buyer as per one of our ex regulars but generally no.

I know a bit more about myself these days and the more you know about yourself the more your realistic compatibility options get limited. I have defined my ‘self’ much more clearly and continue to try to do so with partners. I know what my personal tastes and neuroses are and I tend to more tell it like it is. No more kidding myself I am prepared to raise another family because she happens to be a MILF. No more kidding myself I can be with types who can’t tolerate my ‘habits’. No more kidding myself that I have to be the one to take responsibility for their issues with me unless I choose too. <Very smart indeedStick>

This time round I am dealing with my ‘growing up and growing old’ issues while staying well in the relationship. The sex has been hot stuff as a result with lots of adventurous novelty and the requisite personal challenge to get that novelty because I like it that way. But each time I differentiate a little more (as Popeye would describe it “I am what I am and that’s what I am”) it reminds me that the reward of this is exciting sex and a clearer sense of who I am. The cost is the feeling of anxiety that she knows where the door is and might use it and the giving up of illusions. The two primary illusions I have fallen for are pretending that the person I would like to become is the person I am; and those fusion fantasies that being in love, where no one pressures you, will continue indefinitely.

I like the pressure (anxiety) these days. When someone is putting it on me I like the challenge of trying to hold on to my own ideas while still being open to theirs. I like putting it on myself because if I do succeed in coping with the anxiety it usually means I will put some pressure on her and substantially up my chances of having my own little Eden club in my lounge-room. ‘Pressure’ is not a politically incorrect devil in this way of thinking. The intolerance of pressure is.

Personally I have had enough of a taste of this and where it takes me that I more interested in increasing the ‘size’ of my differentiation than the size of my dick. The only way I can do that is to face the challenge of potential acceptance or rejection by allowing my ‘self’ and all its peculiarities and desires to be gradually known by my partner but most especially in those crucial moment to moment sexual disclosures that produce the most anxiety. Only to the degree that I do this will I get to feel like a bull with a horn who is able to tap into his animal side naturally and go for what he wants without being distracted by her or my anxiety. Then, I / we can do it like they do on either the discovery channels or the erotica channels, depending on the mood.

Concluding that all women (or men) are alike and that the other lot are hopeless is the philosophical end point reached by some of us. It’s a description sure enough but one that lacks any explanatory power. As uncomplimentary as it is, I would still conclude that it is far more likely that I condition partners to function and carry on in the ways they do because I have been operating at a level of differentiation which has meant the outcome was sealed before the deal was even begun. I couldn’t have defined myself very well earlier in life because I was still trying to be something more or other than what I was. The pretence got me a classy lass my mother will never forgive me for losing but even she saw this didn’t make me very happy and I was one rebellious hen pecked little rooster.

It’s a bugger of a concept to try and explain and I wouldn’t even be bothered except the results are paying off. I am expanding my capacities and when I come into work on Monday mornings and face my married colleagues I just can’t help but let them know that I have just come off another sex filled weekend of ‘schoolgirl’ bondage, outdoor photo shoots and our upcoming plans to seduce one of her girlfriends. The ‘look’ they give me is priceless.

So when the pics were finally released of Kelly’s Princess I might have been one of the few readers to say to myself “Hmm, looks ain’t necessarily everything when it comes to great sex”.

This last comment is the source of my real objection to the main theme espoused by BB and Aha (you are a naughty boy Korski? or is it Dana writing from the retirement grave? or the writers of South Park? that have produced these two hilarious and very clever characters. Keep 'em coming). <I can confirm that it is none of the aboveStick> The theme being, of course, that once a woman loses her adolescent gloss she becomes sexually useless. It is too insulting to all the good ‘old’ girls I know and to all those now young girls who will, as sure as taxes, one day become old too. It is too insulting to every man out there who is having a satisfying sex life with a missus who will never be chosen to be a pole dancer. It is too insulting to every man trying to raise his kids when he would rather be whoring in Thailand. It is too insulting to my girlfriend who is as sexually ‘hot’ as anything I have had in Thailand. Lastly, it is too insulting to me because, let’s face it, these girls follow everything we do and want everything we get and it is not surprising that the latest trend is for them to go for the younger male. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Now arguing with your own biology ain’t easy and just as I got to the end of this I started feeling those old familiar gotta have myself a pretty girl again feelings. They never do entirely go away and nor would I necessarily want them too. I don’t exactly know how this will pan out. The biological view proposed by BB (we like 'em young) is a powerful one as everybody knows. Mind you, I also know that even when I previously had really good looking partners it didn’t exactly stop me wanting more. Far from it. Dealing with the desire for variety and novelty doesn’t stop. The idea behind differentiation is that it is the ‘method’ by which you can get such variety in your current relationship.

One last point. We Aussies have tall poppy syndrome and I am not claiming to be more ‘differentiated’ than anyone else on a personal level. Quite the opposite as I can see I have a real ongoing challenge ahead of me. All I know is I that I like the theory behind this word ‘differentiation’ and as a 50 year old who is now having to face sex choices with women my age it offers an alternative that is so far proving to be satisfying. It would also be a useful ‘trait’ for me to continue to develop even if I end up becoming a monger instead, as Lord knows I sure am going to need it to keep those Thais from invading the fort. I hope I have managed to convey a little of the flavour of it and if not perhaps one of these cleverer writers can put it into plainer language.

Stickman's thoughts:

Thought provoking. I had to read some parts twice and pause, letting your points sink in before proceeding. That can only be a good thing.

nana plaza