A Thing Of Beauty Is A Joy Forever

I have a theory about men who are married to the same woman for a long time, and that theory is that she never changes (in his eyes) from the woman or girl he married.

I think the seed of this was planted when at age 20 or thereabouts, I met a man who’d married a beauty queen when he was 24 and she 19. At the time, they’d been married over fifty years, and I don’t know, but I’m certain that they’re both deceased by now.

He’d been a soldier in the British Army (he was a WWI veteran), was still a good-looking man and carried himself with that erect bearing that is unmistakably the look of a senior NCO — in his case, a sergeant-major. His wife had, as the saying goes, not aged well: she’d put on a lot of weight and her once-beautiful face was now moon-shaped. The only thing still beautiful was her hair, which was long, thick and grey, permanently worn in a plait down her back.

But he loved her; good grief, he loved her more than any man I’ve ever known to love a woman. One night, we were sitting in his living-room, both a little tipsy after dinner, when he suddenly said out of the blue, “You know what, boy? I know that _________ is old and overweight. But the only time I ever see that is when we go out and we’re with other people. When we’re at home all alone together, all I can see is the beauty queen I married back in 1922.”

I don’t think he’s alone in this, in fact, I think there are lots of men like him. The popular meme these days is that men divorce their wives as they get older, to “trade up” to a younger, more beautiful woman. That would certainly be true among the rich and famous set — because, let’s be honest, wealth and fame gives them the opportunity to do so, especially when those younger women throw themselves at their, ummm, feet.

But not every man is rich and famous, of course — let’s be honest and say that most men aren’t rich or famous — and among those men, and especially those men who have been married to the same woman for a long time, the very thought of “trading up” is not only ridiculous, but outrageous (i.e. likely to cause outrage). Men like my sergeant-major friend.

I’m going to illustrate the point by looking at a rich and famous man who hasn’t traded up, and has been married for sixteen years to his second wife (his first wife, to whom he’d also been married for about the same length of time, died of ovarian cancer). His name is Pierce Brosnan, and his wife’s name is Keeley. Here they are on their wedding day, in 2001 (they met in 1999):

Here they are today:

…and here they are at some red-carpet affair:

Whenever you see them together, they’re holding hands, or are walking arm-in-arm, or they’re kissing like damn teenagers.

Now I’m going to go out on a limb here, and suggest that Pierce Brosnan could have “traded up” on more than one occasion. In fact, I’m pretty sure that he could have had his pick from, oooh, about half a million women all over the world, had that been his intention. Yet he’s still married to Keeley, and he obviously still only sees the woman he married.

In case you’re wondering about the title of this post, the full sentence written by John Keats is:

“A thing of beauty is a joy forever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.”

As for me… well, I’m one of those men.

Selling Yourself

I remember talking once about prostitution on my old blog, and coming down hard against it:

I’m familiar with all the “rational” arguments in favor of prostitution: freeing the police, freeing up jail cells, monitoring the health of prostitutes, whatever. They all have to do with saving money, but they all suck compared to the damage that would be inflicted on our society through legalization.

As you can see, I used to be quite judgmental about this kind of thing, and I still don’t agree with prostitution per se, but as I’ve got older, I’ve become more tolerant about it, with a few caveats.

The problem is that there are in essence three kinds of prostitution: the age-old “selling yourself on the street kind” — i.e. to all comers [sic] — and the more formal transactions, whereby women contract for sex on a more formalized basis, or marry for money. In all cases, the motivation is the same: women are trading themselves to men for financial support, only the first kind is frowned upon by society, the second kind winked at, and the last is pretty much the glue whereby society is held together. (As my friend Patterson* once commented: “All women fuck for money if they’re going to be honest about it, but they seldom are.”)

And, of course, as with all things, there is a murky area between these two extremes: the “contracted” kind whereby young women (and it seems to be mostly the young ones, for obvious reasons) rent their bodies out to wealthy men in order to pay off college loans, or get through some other adverse financial circumstance — hence the popularity of websites like Sugardaddy. This is what I call a “part-time prostitute”, and the exchange is quite cynical — as are most transactions of this kind. But this is different from the “brief encounter” or street-corner type of prostitution, because older men (usually older, because younger men don’t have the financial wherewithal to pay a young woman thousands of dollars a month just for “companionship”) set up an ongoing financial support system, buying Little Miss Hotbody expensive clothing, jewellery, cars and even sometimes a condo. (Note that I’m not saying that this is better than the street-corner kind of prostitution, just that it’s different. The process is the same — women having sex for money — but the terms of congress, as it were, are dissimilar.) If I’m going to be really cynical about it, I’d call this kind of prostitution a “halfway house” between street-corner sex and marital sex.

Of course, wealthy men have always done this kind of thing, but in the modern world, where shame and social opprobrium seem to have disappeared, these transactions are now conducted quite openly. We can argue all day about the morality (or lack thereof) of such an action, but I have to tell you, there is absolutely no way of ever stopping it.

In fact, if I become a part-time Marxist for a moment (shuddup, let me finish), one might almost view this as a “class” issue. Poorer men, who can’t afford to be sugar daddies, go for the “brief encounter” kind of prostitute because that’s all they can afford, and the street-corner prostitutes, who most likely are not candidates for the attentions of the Sugardaddy Set, offer their services. Needless to say, this is the kind of activity which attracts the greatest attention from legislators and morality guardians (e.g. the church, back when anyone cared what that institution thought), which means of course that the police become involved. It’s easier to crack down on street prostitution because the transaction is out in the open.

Now imagine a Vice Squad trying to crack down on the women and men who use Sugardaddy.com to arrange their sexual / financial transactions, and I think we can all agree that their efforts would result in resounding failure. Take it a step further, and imagine a Vice Squad going after someone like the late Anna Nicole Smith marrying a septuagenarian billionaire — even though the transaction is precisely the same as both the other two kinds of prostitution — and the task is impossible, because at this end of the prostitution index, the transaction has become accepted by society and is even blessed by marriage vows. As with most things, the wealthier the people involved, the less law enforcement will be interested. [/Marxism]

We can argue all day about the morality of the activity of women selling their bodies for sex, and about the disappearance of public morality which allows Sugardaddy.com to exist, nay flourish, but this is where we find ourselves today, for better or for worse. As the modern idiom goes, it is what it is, and it seems like we pretty much have to live with it.

Fine. Let us at least acknowledge that street-corner prostitution presents a greater danger to women — slavery, forced prostitution, human trafficking, violence and murder — than does the Sugardaddy- and Anna Nicole-style prostitution. (We can leave class out of it because, as with most Marxist thought, that’s just an overlay of political theory on an age-old situation, and no class warfare is ever going to “solve” or end street-corner prostitution.) I do think, however, that in this regard there is a real need for law enforcement attention, simply because of the many dangers to which poorer women are exposed. Honestly, though, I think that the law should go after the management of the street-corner prostitution industry — that would be the pimps and procurers of women — rather than the actual participants (the women and their clients), because the former are the ones who generally cause real harm to the hapless women under their control. I’m not advocating State-run brothels because both the concept and likely execution are going to be foul.  (To put it in perspective: imagine a State-run restaurant, e.g. managed and staffed by the same kind of people at the average DMV office, and you’ll see why I think State-run whorehouses are a bad idea.) Nevertheless, they are the lesser evil than those managed by the (illegal) private sector, who as a rule do not have the interests of their employees at heart.

The solution, of course, is the free market: legalized brothels. Dennis Hof’s Moonlite Bunny Ranch (which is a legal business in Nevada) is not the norm in the current prostitution industry, but a statistical outlier. It and others like it may be “safe” establishments for both the prostitutes and their clients, but as a bookie might say, that ain’t the way to bet, in numerical terms. (I’m not suggesting that Hof be prosecuted for pimping, by the way: he runs a good business, everyone gets what they want, and nobody gets hurt. Would that all businesses were run that way.) What I am suggesting is that brothels should be legalized, but treated the same as (or perhaps even more strictly than) restaurants: licenses, frequent inspections, staff protection regulations, the whole enchilada.

Is there danger to the Sugarbabies and gold-diggers? Of course there is, but it’s orders of magnitude smaller than that to which street prostitutes are exposed. Law enforcement has no place in this area, and justifiably so. Is this “fair”? Of course not, but it’s not unfair because of the class of the participants; it’s a concern because of the dangers to those at the lower end of the scale. (Again with the ur-Marxism: the working classes are always exposed to danger in greater numbers and to a greater degree than the wealthy; but that’s not a class issue, it’s just a fact of life: oil riggers’ and Alaskan deep-sea fishermen’s lives are more at risk than those of doctors, architects or small-town bankers.)

Some time back, the prostitution topic was broached at Instapundit, and I made the following comment:

Maybe I’m just jaded, but I see little difference between anyone selling their talents to a willing group of buyers, and someone selling their bodies. If you can throw a baseball accurately at 105mph and end up playing professional baseball, how is that so different from a pretty woman selling her body and/or personality skills for an hourly fee? When I was a consultant, clients had access to my mind and business experience for $175/hour… so how is that different from prostitution? How is that different from a person who sells their time, attendance and skills to work in a corporation, for a monthly salary?
I know, this is about sex, and sex is SPECIAL. Sorry to say, but I don’t think that’s so true, anymore. Or maybe my advancing years have made me more cynical about the whole thing. But I see people like the Kardashian coven becoming fabulously wealthy by selling the intimate details of their lives to the public (via television), and I just don’t see the difference between Kim Kardashian and Air Force Amy [at the Bunny Ranch]. Actually, I find Amy less objectionable, come to think of it.
And yes, I know that prostitution is dangerous for the women — human trafficking being one danger, disease and violent death likewise. But it isn’t as dangerous at Dennis Hof’s places — certainly, the girls/women there seem to be okay — so maybe there’s a lesson there somewhere.
One thing I do know: no laws or police forces are ever going to stop the demand for contracted sex. So… [shrug]

By “contracted sex”, of course, I meant the Sugardaddy and gold-digger kind. I personally find both distasteful — I find all kinds of prostitution distasteful — but what the hell. It is what it is; and frankly, I have better things to worry about.

Finally, no article on this topic would be complete without a completely gratuitous pic of one of the participants. Here’s Amy:

I think she’s magnificent.


*Postscript: Longtime Readers of my scribblings know all about my friend Patterson. Newer Readers may not, so allow me please to post the original introduction to this splendid human being (and by the way, he is a real person and not my alter-ego).

Introducing Patterson
February 18, 2008
4:10 AM CDT

For the longest time, Patterson and I have been friends. He’s a little more politically-incorrect than I am, has (like me) been married three times, to (respectively, from oldest to youngest), Mavis, Agatha and Sheila. Unlike me, he has no sons, only four daughters. Perhaps because he is surrounded by women, he drinks a great deal more than I ever did. Last I heard, he was still married to Sheila, who is actually Agatha’s younger sister (his comment on this piece of frightfulness: “I’d do anything to avoid breaking in a new mother-in-law”). Luckily, he and Agatha had no children (the marriage lasted barely a year), so he’s been spared the “daughters as cousins” mess.
He has a first name, but everyone, even his wives, call him Patterson. He is as funny as the day is long, but with a hint of tragedy always lurking in the near background (and sometimes front and center, as you will learn).
Stories abound. Here’s a quick one.
Back in the day, if a refrigerator had a cold water dispenser in the door, it was not hooked up to a water pipe, but was fed by a reservoir inside the fridge. This meant that one would have to take the thing out and refill it periodically. It was a huge pain in the ass, except for Patterson. What he did was quite brilliant. (This was during one of his bachelor periods.)
He would fill the reservoir nearly to the top with spring water, and then top it off with Scotch: ergo, ice-cold Scotch & water, on tap.
Patterson is mostly drunk, and has absolutely no sense of shame or pride about the several embarrassing things which have happened to him over the years as a result of his many episodes of drunkenness and foolishness.
I am also ashamed to admit that over the years I have stolen from him many sayings and passed them off as my own. (One being: “Women have orgasms? Next you’ll be telling me they have the vote!”)
Anyway, I’ve always refrained from including him in the stories of my youth, because it would have required too much back-story and flashback. No more. Now that you’ve been introduced, he can take up his rightful place in the Pantheon of Heroes, and he will feature in many stories in the future.
He deserves no less.

Closing The Gap

Oh good grief. Via Insty’s Stephen Green (who should know better), I came across this foul piece, which attempts to examine the so-called “orgasm gap” that supposedly exists between men and women — i.e. men have orgasms more frequently than their female partners — whereas with lesbian women, there is little or no gap.

“…95 percent of straight men reported usually or always achieving orgasm when sexually intimate. Only 65 percent of straight women did.”

Okay, there are two ways of looking at this. One is to see the article as a not-so-subtle dig at men, who it appears are not satisfying their female partners adequately — they reach their Big Moment too soon — whereas the Dickless Set are doing a better job of it. Big whoop.

Another way to look at this phenomenon is to understand that women are impossibly complicated creatures when it comes to bedroom delights. Obviously, Madame requires a considerable amount of, shall we say, incentive before she deigns to favor us (and herself) with a climax. The always-irascible Howard Veit once put a man’s perspective on this situation with excellent brevity and candor:

“As I watch far too much daytime TV and get drenched with the almost total commitment to the feminist rant about how bad in bed we men are because we can’t satisfy all them sexy women out there, I can’t help but ask: Since when have we men all come to accept as fact that if a woman can’t enjoy sex it is the fault of men?  Bullshit.  It’s my job to show up at the party with a stiff dick, perform like a wild man for five or so minutes, shoot my baby seed into her, and then pretend I care for her.  If a woman can’t achieve orgasm it’s her fault. I never have a problem ejaculating, ever.  In fact it feels so good I always come back for seconds, eventually.  In fact I sometimes let her go to sleep and go straight over to my girl friend’s house and do a crazy.  And BTW when was the last time you checked out the women standing in line at the grocery store or department store?  It’s a miracle any man can get it up for most of them fat slobs… Women having trouble with orgasms probably have desensitized their vaginas from over-use of sex toys (thrill sized dildos), vibrators that they have used so often they now have to have one that’s 20hp and must be kick started, or in a pinch pick up a homosexual once in a while for a little anal.  Poor babies, maybe Obama Care will pay for their sex toys so they’ll be in a good mood once in a while…”

(Howard, if you read this, please get in touch. I miss your writing terribly.)

Of course, if I’m going to be perfectly candid about this errr ticklish topic, it’s also a well-known fact that some women never have an orgasm with a partner, no matter how long they are pleasured:

…in which case, there’s always booze, as noted in this wonderful study done in the U.K. a year or so ago:

Millions of women drink alcohol before having sex because they lack confidence in their bodies, a study has found.
Almost half of those questioned said they preferred sex while under the influence of alcohol because it helped them to lose their inhibitions and be more adventurous.
Researchers, who surveyed 3,000 women aged between 18 and 50, found the average woman has slept with eight men, but was drunk with at least five of them.
On two of these occasions they couldn’t even remember the man’s name the next day.
Three quarters of women claimed they felt more able to let their hair down and go wild after a few drinks.
Four out of ten have ‘always’ been a bit tipsy when they have slept with a partner for the first time. But astonishingly 48.5 per cent said they preferred sex while under the influence.
The study also found that 75 per cent of women said they liked to drink before getting into bed with their husband or boyfriend. Some 6 per cent of women have never had sex while sober.
More than half of women polled claimed drinking with a prospective partner was ‘part of the dating process’ so they were bound to be a bit drunk when they had sex.
It was also revealed 14 per cent of women in a relationship can’t face sleeping with their partner unless they had a couple of glasses of wine beforehand.

Which reminds me of that old joke:

Question: “If a guy has six beers and a woman has six beers, who’s going to come first?”
Answer: “Who cares?”

I think I’ll just let the subject lie there, so to speak.

Quickie

Also from my Disqus history (and yes, this actually happened to me):

“I’d never heard of the term “nooner” until I came to the U.S. back in the mid-1980s. I thought it meant a lunchtime cocktail. So when I suggested to a couple of the ladies at the office that we nip out for a quick nooner… HR was not impressed.”

No Irish Need Apply

I was chatting to a friend about dealing with the loss of one’s wife, when he made a rather startling admission. Now before I go any further, I should point out that he’s been more-or-less happily married to his Mrs. for well over two dozen years, and says he’s never been unfaithful to her (and I believe him, because… well, because I know him).

“If something horrible were to happen to _____,” he said, “and I wanted female companionship after I came out of mourning, there’s no way I would ever have any kind of long-term relationship again.”

“You’d just date women?”

“I’d rent ’em,” came the calm reply. “With the way women behave nowadays, I doubt whether there’s a single one who’s worth the trouble.”

Which leads me to the next point. Apparently, some Australian prostitute [Redundancy Alert] recently came out into the open about her chosen profession, and gave a list of her absolute no-nos when it came to things she’d do for a client. The most amusing one was: “No Irish men… for obvious reasons.”

You have to know how badly she views Irish men, when almost all her clients would be Australian. Of course, she’s Australian too, which means she’s dreadful. Even my friend wouldn’t touch her with a long stick.

Lest I be accused of being a hater or Strine-phobic, here’s a pic of an Australian wedding party:

My friend’s comment: “Good grief. No wonder Australian men drink so much.”

Not All Men

In the Comments to Random Partners below, Reader Egregious Charles takes issue with my statement about treating woman as the gentler sex.

Women have never been the gentler sex; notice how tribal people turn over captives to the women when they’re to be tortured, as in the Congo and Native American tribes in the Old West? There’s only one way men are less gentle, and that’s to other men when it’s on behalf of women (or to show off for them).  

Well, yes. Except that I’m sorry, but I refuse to use the rituals of primitive peoples (e.g. the Congo and Native American tribes, also Islam) as an example for anything other than something to be avoided. Western civilization has improved the lot of both men and women immeasurably by improving on the customs and mores of primitive peoples, while holding on to those aspects that actually improve society. This includes institutions like marriage (which formalizes the family structure), and treatment of the weaker members of society (e.g. forbidding that women to be stoned to death for adultery, genital mutilation to “curb” the female sex drive, etc.)

I would suggest that much of today’s societal woes in the West have come about because we’ve taken a step backwards — undermining the social institutions and mores upon which Western civilization was built, to where we arrive at revolting outcomes such as Tinder.

Most men don’t use Tinder.

Of course not, and nor do most women. But countless millions do, according to the app’s download statistics, and my commentary is based on that fact. I don’t ever buy into the “NAWALT” (not all women are like that) or, on this case, “NAMALT”, because the fact of the matter is that when something becomes widespread, especially in a certain segment of society (e.g. Millennials, in this case), it’s worthy of commentary.

Men aren’t generally speaking assholes except to each other, and I’m sorry but this is just an example of posturing to look better than the other men. 

To take your points in order: I would respectfully suggest that the coarsening of society has enabled men to go back to treating women like shit. Here’s what people seem to forget. The laws which make divorce so advantageous for women in terms of child support and property division didn’t appear out of the blue: they were a reaction to the fact that men often deserted their wives and refused to live up to their responsibilities as parents. Of course, not all men behaved that way towards their wives; but enough of them did to make the passage of such laws possible. That women have turned around and used divorce against men is terrible, but that’s just an example of laws often having good intentions but unintended consequences. (This is true of most laws, by the way, but that’s a topic for another time.)

So your comment that “Men aren’t generally speaking assholes except to each other” is factually incorrect: men are assholes quite promiscuously, whether to each other or to women. We can talk all day about why this is or is not the case, or who’s to blame and so on, but you’ve committed an egregious [sicfaux pas on this website, which is to take an obviously-flippant comment seriously.

My position on women behaving like assholes, by the way, is well documented — a reading of my essay, “The Pussification of the Western Male“* might be salutary — and yes, I am (and was then) perfectly aware that Not All Women Are Like That (the latter being tiresomely pointed out to me in the thousands of angry emails I received after the publication of said screed).

As for “posturing to look better than the other men“, you will find, as you read more of my writings, that I don’t ever “posture” or, to use the current en vogue expression, “virtue-signal” in any way. I state my position on matters quite clearly (and often bluntly), and how people take those positions is a matter of utter indifference to me. To restate that (because it’s quite important, in visiting this website): I once stated in an earlier time that you may agree with me, and stay; or disagree with me, and move on: either choice is irrelevant to me, because I really don’t care about other people’s opinion of me, one way or the other. I live my life in splendid isolation [sic] from the opinions of others. If you understand nothing else about me, you need to understand this.

So if you excused me of “posturing” out of ignorance of who I am, that’s okay; if you used it as a debating trick or insult, it didn’t work.

By the way, Readers can expect a lot more posts on topics like Tinder, the male backlash against modern feminism in the PUA (pickup artist) and the  MGTOW (Men Going Their Own Way) movements, and so on. I find the whole thing fascinating, and visiting the various websites dedicated to the above has been at times hilarious and at others, deeply disturbing. I once predicted the MGTOW action, but I did not foresee the PUA activity or the industry is generated. Watch this space.


*At some point, Tech Support v.2 and I will figure out how to import various of my earlier essays (Pussification, Let Africa Sink, The Gun Thing etc.) from the old websites and post links somewhere on the sidebar of this site. It just won’t be today.