Thursday, December 10, 2009

Private Lives

I think my blog would be more interesting to read if my commentary were more timely. I usually read or do something that inspires me to write a blog, but then I push it back a week or so or more before I write about it. So I did read Married (Happily) With Issues when it debuted on the cover of the NYTimes Sunday Magazine but I'm writing about it now.

Pursue sapience read this too. (As did a lot of other people. It was the most viewed piece on for a couple days.) It was eye-opening since people usually don't speak frankly about their personal lives, but I also know the window into their private lives is an illusion, the way that celebrities don't really reveal who they are. I'm not sure how I feel about articles dissecting the author's personal lives anyway. It's interesting, voyeuristic on one hand, but it's too (fake) confessional. Not all secrets will be unearthed to the NYTimes.

About the article itself: It thumped the steady drumbeat of disillusionment that I now think is inevitable in middle life with moments like this:
The psychologist Michael Vincent Miller describes marriage as mocking our “fondest dreams,” because the institution is not the wellspring of love we imagine it to be. Instead it’s an environment of scarcity, it’s “a barbaric competition over whose needs get met”; it’s “two people trying to make a go of it on emotional and psychological supplies that are only sufficient for one.” 
But the article was also punctuated by moments of  "WTF! I can't believe someone took this seriously enough to write about it in a book". 
Then one day at my desk I started reading “The Multi-Orgasmic Couple: Sexual Secrets Every Couple Should Know.” I sent Dan an e-mail message entitled “Nine Taoists Thrusts.”
Page 123, from the seventh-century physician Li T’ung-hsuan Tzu:
1. Strike left and right as a brave general breaking through the enemy ranks.
2. Rise and suddenly plunge like a wild horse bucking through a mountain stream.
3. Push and pull out like a flock of seagulls playing on the waves.
4. Use deep thrusts and shallow teasing strokes, like a sparrow plucking pieces of rice.
5. Make shallow and then deeper thrusts in steady succession.
6. Push in slowly as a snake entering its hole.
7. Charge quickly like a frightened mouse running into its hole.
8. Hover and then strike like an eagle catching an elusive hare.
9.Rise up and then plunge down low like a great sailboat in a wild wind.
This last point also falls into a category of “ancient non-white people are soooo mystical, soooo exotic, and had the secret to fantastic sex using ridiculous metaphors” that sets off a whole other theme I like to blog about. So now you know that behind the placid veneer of the wizened, beared Daoist, they were getting it on like rabbits. Or like sparrows plucking at pieces of rice.

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