For the love of God, what to do?

A friend, now in his 70s, once explained the stages of life to me this way: The first third, you live for your parents; the second for yourself; and the final stage, you live for God. I’ve been observing keenly, since then; and, from what I am seeing of my peers and those ahead, I have determined that my friend is right. I guess that is why last week’s column, in which I addressed the attraction of younger women for the 60-and-over male crowd, provoked the discussion it did. Because, just as their wives’ earthly desires are waning, these fellers are hearing the heavenly call. How, then, does the aspiring Christian man answer? And what does he tell his God, who made him human?

As one of my readers explained, his wife, whom he loves dearly, no longer has any desire for sex; meanwhile, his libido is still raging. Why should he be “punished” by a sexless relationship, he asked, through no fault of his own? Since I know scores of women who have retired from combat and who are inclined to look the other way while their men take up active duty elsewhere, I very tentatively asked if his wife might be one of these rational ladies. The problem, he explained patiently, was not what his missus would think; the problem was what God might….

Now, at the risk of being chupsed out of the congregation of the righteous sisterhood, I have to say what I believe: That we make too big a deal over a little sex. I just cannot subscribe to the dogma that a feller stands to lose his immortal soul forever because he has sought comfort out there when it is not to be found at home; especially when he, himself, has provided every reasonable comfort to the one withholding it. We like to talk about a “just” God, and in this regard, I cannot see the fairness in any relationship where one partner is making no effort to please the other or to meet him/her halfway.

Let’s be honest here: If we were discussing some other aspect of a partnership, instead of sex, most of you, regardless of denomination, would agree with me. Imagine we were talking about caring for a disabled child, for instance, and the father simply threw up his hands and walked away, saying, “I can’t deal with this! This is too much effort; it’s too hard!” Every one of us would cry shame on him, asking, “Wait: Is not his child, too?” Or if, say, only one party was paying all the bills while the other feted away his money. We would say, “Girl, if you have to manage on your own, you might as well be on your own. God nar vex wid you….” So, what makes this sex situation so different, then?

I’ve seen sisters get all hot under the collar – and not just because they are menopausal – to defend those women who have shut up shop. “The woman tired! You think it easy to have man jumping up on you straight-straight-straight?” they will ask, both aggressive and defensive at the same time. “You clean house, cook food, wash, iron, and mind children for years! All you want now is some rest, some peace! Man damn disgusting!” Well, Sisters, I have never met the feller who would rather have freshly pressed jeans and a hot lunch instead of his woman shucking off her pants and steaming up the bedroom with him, instead of the kitchen.

And notice I said “steaming,” because there are those who will “give in” and who treat sex like one of the chores: one last thing to be gotten through – put the food in the fridge; make sure all the taps are turned off; put on the alarm; have sex (sigh) – before they can retire for the night and “rest Jesus body.” Because, instead of thinking of the half-satisfied feller spooning behind them, their mind is on the fact that they must get up at 5:30 next morning. And for what? Not to have a second round before the sun comes up, mind you, but to fill the tank in case APUA water happens to be on. Is it any wonder, then, that, as another reader told me, making love to such a wife is like “a duty, instead of a pleasure?”

In the book of Samuel, Elkanah and Hannah came home from their annual pilgrimage to the temple and, straight away, went to bed and had sex. But what is the recourse, the respite, for the current Christian feller whose wife says “no” on a Saturday night, because she has just had her hair done for church on Sunday morning? Does he take himself in hand, and then spend the rest of the night pondering the story of Onan? Or does he roll over, take his Bible from the nightstand, and console himself by reading the Song of Solomon, that ode to sensuality, and mutter, bitterly: “By night on my bed I sought her whom my soul loveth: I sought her, but I found her not. I will rise now, and go about the city in the streets, and in the broad ways I will seek her whom my soul loveth…?”

Verily, verily, I say unto thee, my Sistren, that some of you driveth your men not only out of your beds, but away from the kingdom of God. Where did you get the idea that sex is on the lowest rung of the marital relationship? Or, maybe I should ask, instead, why you continue to hold the idea, since I know, already, that you got it from your mothers and grandmothers, who put it into your childish heads that this act was “rudeness” (and which good girl wants to be described as rude)? Then came the contradiction when this base thing was elevated into a sacrament, like Communion, that you could consume only if you went through the church ceremony called marriage. In that state, it was wonderful, and the evidence that you were doing it was called “expecting,” and spoken about, with pride, to relatives, in-laws, and not-so-lucky girlfriends. But, somehow, in some strange way, after the begetting stage was over, sex fell into disrepute again, because you were “a big woman” now….

Well, Sisters, is it any wonder that your big-woman excuse is driving your big man to seek out a woman that is not so big?

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