I am guessing it was obvious to those that read my previous sub that I was doing self therapy, disclosing aspects of myself to the Stickman community to see how I, and perhaps others, reacted to this sort of semi public disclosure. Would I get some insight as a result of writing?
Well, I was a bit nervous and didn't want to go near the site or my email address for a couple of days. My sub was more one of personal resignation and so I was glad that Stick didn't comment in this instance, but I was pleased that some readers did via email. One writer had this to say, "Now upon reading your sub I must say (I am sorry in advance) that you come across as a rather morose, depressed person. For you to consistently self satisfy to me indicates, you may have some issues going on. Maybe your libido is down, maybe you have some mental health issues that need to be addressed or maybe there is some latent homosexuality at play… who know… only you do."
Yes only I do and I will put my hand up for all three. The last one is a bit complicated and exists so far only in my head and that's about as much as I want to say. I remain attracted to women and not men but there is something in the comment. For me the real issue is that I am the grey shrike bird. I go awwwk awwwk. Natural behaviors like sex have been turned into addictive processes. Lord knows there is plenty of unnatural conditioning out there and too much exposure to sex that sells. Each image leaving tiny residues of desire that build and need to be dealt with sooner or later. Even in country towns there are a surprising number of hot women and girls most of whom I am no longer able to pursue as I won't get anywhere. It would be frustrating for Mr Tall if I didn't take care of him. While no Casanova I always had pretty girlfriends up until I turned about 47. That was 8 years ago. And if the girl I was with at 48 was reading this she need not be alarmed as while not 'pretty' she had the right stuff baby.
What is realistic is that I face a choice. The sex can actually be really good with older women and the only real issue is my ego that is out of touch with reality (as they often are). I still want the pretty (and sweet, intelligent, active / lazy blah blah ) woman on my arm but am not doing what is required to compete. Can't see the point. Such women are in high demand and the thing you need most is a good sense of personal confidence to get into the game. Being like a three year old who can't keep his hands off it is not the way to build such confidence. It just takes the edge off the desire for real women and steals their power away from them. To keep the three year old analogy going it is as if I have said 'well if you won't play by my rules I won't play at all". My rules are that it shouldn't be this difficult for a 55 year old man to get an attractive woman. I am not into difficult. I am a lazy man in many areas of my life, a side player and not the heroic main character. While not proud of it life seems to teem with such characters and us peasants deserve a voice as much as the heroes?
Well not really. That is not usually how it works. Usually only those who excel get to be heard and those who excel are not usually lazy. We want to listen to experts and achievers not some fat guy in a pub smoking a cigarette (in the good old days) telling us about life when it is obvious his is not one you want to follow. I'm that guy. As Pink F put it :
"hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way,
the time is gone the song is over,
thought I'd something more to say"
Damn right. So I will say it here. In terms of Stickman I could get around the problem of being a little anxious about judgment by changing my submissions to stories based on themes other than personal introspection. I could try my hand at fiction, provocation, humor or vitriol towards other writers but I won't as I have no real talent for such things. As Lady Gaga says, when her mouth isn't full, "I've got the right stuff baby I was born this way". Born to be introspective. It is true that I often don't like what I see and it is also true that I make a practice of not taking my mind too seriously in order to deal with this. Some readers may conclude I am too hard on myself and others that I am not hard enough by far and they would both be right. I'm a bit slippery. If negative self judgments lead to the requisite behavior change then they have served their purpose but if they do not they are just a whining, nagging presence that is better ignored. I have read countless times about the millions upon millions of people with 'issues' and just so happens I am one. No point getting too uptight about that.
So maybe this is a story about the process of compromise. Imagine, if you will, that we had free will, in the problem areas of our lives, which is the place our lack of it shows up. What is between us and the exercise of free will is the basic triad of animal behavior and motivation for action. Seek pleasure and avoid pain in the most efficient way possible. It is possible to come to a point in your life where you decide that intimate monogamous relationships are not the most efficient way to seek pleasure and avoid pain and to consider and seek other ways of meeting the sexual needs such relationships satisfy. It happens after most breakups and the gaps simply get longer.
Relationships bring us up to meet ourselves and some of us have already been introduced as the 'uncommitted' type best suited to less intense styles of relationship. This may be because of attachments or addictions to other behaviors incompatible with harmony. Better to face it. Someone like us may come along one day. Maybe they do, maybe they pass by us and we miss them because they don't match what the mind, rather than life has created for us.
There is simply no way of meeting everyone's needs in this scenario. Every man wants an attractive woman and they can't have one. Not till they land at Soopybarmy anyway but we won't go there today. We will stay in reality where there is just not enough good sorts to go around. Not by a long shot. Might as well try for a hole in one.
The way I see it we are behaving like animals. In the animal world males have to scrimp and save and fight and ponce around like animals and they subscribe to the Wall St idea that greed is good. Now I don't see these attitudes are gonna change any day soon in these critters as apparently evolution is a slow process and it might take that lion another million years, give or take a few, to evolve into something so superior that it must have an attractive female lion and not some scrubber lion from the boondocks or some fussy lion with droopy tits. By that stage though it will also have the capacity to adjust its perspective. I wonder if this is the best overall answer. I know many see western women disparagingly but such an attitude only leaves them in a bit of a quandary unless they live in certain parts of Asia. It is what my father and uncles did. They adjusted and didn't run off chasing juniors as our mothers lost their looks simply because they must have an attractive female. I am guilty of this but I don't see it as helpful sort of thinking. Sensible thinking would be to say "I would prefer an attractive female but since one is not available I will settle for this one here who has some attractive features" (hopefully). Take a hint from hard core jailbirds who will use whatever is at hand to satisfy themselves, including you. At least you can still go for something female.
Comes a time as well where when you look back you see a pattern as clear as a crop circle and a lot more understandable. It includes your own role in why things work or don't. Nothing wrong with stepping back and sideways sometimes to dodge another blow. To speak more directly I am a bit of a sooky la la when it comes to endings and so I am simply avoiding pain until I have addressed the things that I know don't work.
Whatever free will we have shows up in our histories as much as our present and looking back at mine I sometimes wonder if I might have missed out on this most human of attributes.
I am sitting at a bar with two girls Pot and Porn. Can't choose between them so have to take both. That's fine. I'm now a happy man who doesn't think too much.
Now I'm sitting at my kitchen table. Porn is on the computer and Pot is in the bowl. Can't choose, have to do both. Now I am a happy man who doesn't think too much.
Don't seem to be doing much choosing just similar things in different places.
And on this note the other responder wrote "I am essentially just like you…dope, alcohol, porn, mid 50's, almost forced into the masturbation thing and looking for others when you have something..
but I was miserable…you seem content."
Content. Happy. Not thinking too much. No; all he said was content. This was easier to read than 'depressed and morose' but how true is it? It certainly isn't entirely false. I talked above about being an addict, and while true, I have got these things down to a level where there has been very little overt drama caused in my life for years. There was that heart attack last year but we might skip past that. In case you are not aware of this smoking is actually harmful. I have even almost adjusted to being single which carries a freedom with it. Been overseas twice in 14 inc Europe and Asia so still getting around and wouldn't call myself miserable. But not having a billboard around your neck with Les Miserable on it is not the same as announcing yourself as Les Happy Chappy. The greatest annoyance of my life currently is that I ended up in a career giving people advice on how to live. There is nothing wrong with my advice but I am personally not very good at taking advice and prefer to do things my way. Not Frank Sinatra's way perhaps but my way nonetheless. Of course, that's where I go wrong, along with the people who won't take my good advice and choose to continue to do it their way. Just like the folks on here who get given excellent advice and then go and do just the opposite. Regrets, you get a few but then again too few to mention, unless you write to Stickman and mention them there.
The astute reader will recognise bullshit from cowshit and deduce from this that I am out of balance. Hell yeah. We were not born to be solely introspective. We were, in the words of the great philosopher Patrick Hernandez, (and here comes the chorus) BORN TO BE ALIVE.
I have said it so it must be so but when I actually work out what this means to be 'born to be alive' then things will change. I will rise from my seat of inertia, dust off my sackcloth and venture forth to some new pursuit. I can only hope it is not too pleasurable.
PS. I got one other bit of advice from a Swiss Dr that herpes simplex 2 (no offence to those who have this common affliction) does not need to be in an active phase to be transmissible. Just finish on a little downer like that why don't you. Make every mongers day a bit brighter. Hey I did admit to being morose.