So I’m riding with a group of sisters last week and one of them shares her fantasy: She imagines herself meeting an older man, she said; a sophisticated feller with good conversation and an appreciation for fine dining; a gentleman who is not averse to public displays of affection – tasteful ones, of course. But the feller has a secret which, in time, he must confess: He is impotent. Delighted at the news, the sister admits to him that she is impotent, too, and the two go on to have the happiest of relationships. And as they go about their business of no business, smiling and holding hands, the sister continued, other women will look at her with envy and say, “Wow! Just look at that Hyacinth, nuh; she must be getting it good!”
Well, when I finally stopped laughing, I remembered the column “See Jane sit; see Dick run,” from last month, in which we talked about the lengths men will go to (no pun intended) to protect and/or enhance an erection. And I wondered where one would find a feller willing to forego sex and content himself with the other facets of a relationship. Not in this Antigua! Which really is a pity, because there are lots of good and decent women – attractive, too – for whom the bedroom is the last place they’d want to be, for all sorts of reasons, including the various forms of female impotence… .
I know it will come as no surprise to sisters of a certain age that many women are simply not moved by the thought of sex. In fact, during the discussion I mentioned earlier, one sister was recounting how she’d heard a woman, at the end of her long workday, announcing loudly that she was “too glad” she didn’t have any man at home waiting for her. But this tired woman was also a canny woman; for, she said, she had already warned her newly married daughter never to refuse or deny her husband. All she had to do, the mother advised, was “just lie down; you don’t have to do anything.”
Then there are those women who definitely want to do something, but who are rendered impotent by some imagined disability. For one sister I know, the problem was her weight; she just could not countenance the thought (and, here, I’ll borrow a phrase from a reality show I saw the other day) of “the big reveal” – with the emphasis on “big.” For while the long-line girdle has been replaced, these days, by Spanks and other spandex-based torture devices that can make a plus-size woman appear smooth and sleek , the fact remains that they have to be taken off in order to have sex. And then the fat hits the fire and the sizzle goes out, if you know what I mean.
But don’t think it’s just the big girls whose self-consciousness defeats the purpose; for there are women out there who can’t get it up – their weight, that is – to the point where they are confident enough to get down. They think of their thin legs, their flat behinds, their childlike chests and say to themselves, “Oh no! Not me!” and run to the refrigerator for a malt and a Supligen. For they remember, in their growing-up years, some feller making a disparaging remark about bones rubbing together and causing a fire, and they do not want to be responsible – literally – for burning up anybody’s sheets.
Other women’s lack of desire, regardless of body type, stems from poor self-esteem or a bad case of embarrassment. In the first instance, a woman may simply compare herself and her abilities or performance to what she’s read or seen onscreen, forgetting that most erotic fiction is written by men – and that even the female-penned stories are just that: fiction. Hence, there’s hardly a “real” woman who will measure up to the silicone-enhanced actresses – or who would want to act that badly, anyway. In the latter instance, those of you who attended The Vagina Monologues will remember the old lady’s reminiscences in “The Flood,” and how she decided, consciously, after that experience, that she was done with that.
Unfortunately, too many women decide – or are persuaded – that they are somehow defective, or deficient, or disappointing, when, really, it is the fellow’s ego, ignorance, or other shortcoming that is responsible. I remember reading an article in which a woman said that, instead of being stroked, she felt like she was being rubbed out, erased; and in an episode of Frasier, another woman, astounded, asked her feller, post intercourse: “What was that? Heck, I’ve being vaccinated longer!” But most decent West Indian women will not speak out that way and, instead, “take innocent blame,” resolving never to walk that road again. And, as I have said before, there are men who are just plain boring in bed, and a sister simply doesn’t see the point of disarranging herself, displacing her nightdress, and disturbing her nice 600-thread-count Chris Madden linens for a yawn, when she can have a better time with Jay Leno or David Letterman.
You can see, then, why the sister at the top of the column might harbour such a fantasy, right? And you can understand the appeal of a relationship where there are no sexual demands and, hence, no disappointments on either side – especially when the two can agree on other compromising positions. And there are so many other benefits, even to the economy, when two people in a relationship fill their time with long drives, going out to dinner, taking in a concert, etc., instead of liniting themselves routinely to the four walls of the bedroom.
So, those fellers eavesdropping on our conversation today can rest easy if they are not as able as they once were, knowing that they need not put their health in jeopardy or blow their pensions on prescriptions any longer. For in the marketplace of romance, there is a niche out there that they could fill – if only, so to speak, they would think outside the box… .