"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Monday, November 11, 2019

Sex In The Back Seat Of A Ford – It Has To Start Somewhere, But No Telling Where It Will End Up

Brent Rogers was one of a dozen boys graduated from Muirland Country Day School who, on the basis of his  only partially satisfactory sex with Mary Fielding  on the ninth hole of the Grand Oaks Country Club, awaited great sexual things once he grew up beyond the expectations and confines of New Brighton.

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Between he margins, however, between the golf course and the church, marriages were expected between the proper and like-minded; and those of love and passion discouraged and barely tolerated. Better a sanctified union than none at all.

Sex in the back seat of the Ford had its consequences; and despite the folktales of moon and sun cycles, pulling out, and good faith, only the Good Lord determined by whom and when a child would be born.  Girls who insisted that they ‘had protection’ but never ever learned how to use it, and ‘just-this-once-boys were both surprised at what happened.

The times being what they were, the options were either a quick trip to Canada, a long process of consultations with psychiatrists to validate legitimate need, a back alley abortion, or giving up the child for adoption after laying in for nine months in a charitable home. 

Most teenagers and  young adults in New Brighton cared little for these options, and had passionate, unprotected sex whenever they could and as often as they could.  Their only inhibitions were the rounds of the greens-keepers who in the summer worked until eight-thirty or quarter-to-nine, smoothing traps, trimming greens and fairway roughs, and replacing  divots, the time when the first couples pulled in behind the water hazards, rolled down the windows to catch the breezes coming off the Southington mountain ridges mixed in with the early lilacs  and lilies of the valley and took off their clothes.

Brent would have gone on like this – immature, meaningless hormone-driven sex with any girl who was willing – if it hadn’t been for Mr. and Mrs. McAllen.   

The sex education class at Lefferts, held in the biology lab for propriety’s sake, but taught by the teacher with the hottest wife on campus, every sophomore’s dream – Lisa, 22, graduate of Wellesley , blonde, blue-eyed, sensuous, demure, and impossibly desirable, sitting by the terrarium, her blouse opened one button at the top, while her husband talked about reproduction and the wherewithal of sex.  

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Mr. McAllen was one of the youngest teachers on campus, not that much older than Brent.  He had graduated from Yale a few years before, married Mrs. McAllen n a big ceremony in Kingsport, Rhode Island, and had been appointed as the biology teacher at Lefferts. All students knew that once a year he gave his famous sex lecture; but since he liked to keep his classes guessing no one ever knew when it would come.

Mr. McAllen had divided the fifty-minute class into discrete segments: How to Get a Woman Hot; How to Know When She’s Hot; How to Know When She’s Coming; and How to Hold It In Until She Does.

If he had even hinted at any of these topics today, he would be tarred and feathered and run out of town; but somehow back then, the school administrators gave him a pass. No one was sure they would have if they had heard his talk about hard nipples, wet pussy, panting, moaning, and ‘ecstatic release’, but in any case this was how sex education should be taught.

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Mr.  McAllen had everyone's attention.  Fifteen open-mouthed adolescent boys being turned on by the biology teacher and the biology teacher's wife.  He must have known that every one would think of his wife in that way every time we saw her; and that she would be the woman every boy thought of when they masturbated under the covers.

Mrs. McAllen always sat demurely next to her husband while he ladled out the soup and carved the roast beef at the refectory table; but she had to have known that all eyes were on her and not the meat.  Brent said many years later that he was sure that the two of them must have been playing some elaborate, secretive sex game that involved the Third Form.

The problem with Mrs. McAllen, through no fault of her own, was that she became an indelible sexual icon for the boys of Lefferts.  While thanks to Mr. McAllen, they had no trouble negotiating sexual encounters with women, their emotional maturity was stuck on zero.  They could never get beyond Mrs. McAllen.  Women had to be as coldly beautiful, statuesque, and as blonde and blue-eyed, and as symmetrically elegant.

The partners of the Lefferts Class of ‘60 were like the Stepford wives.  Although Mrs McAllen had died long ago and been buried in Ohio, her many avatars lived on long after her.  Her husband, thanks to his charm and the complaisant forgetfulness of the 50s, went on to teach at a variety of West Coast schools, and was honored by the San Francisco school board for his ‘frank, honest, and welcome discussion of sex and sexuality’.  He had remarried and never returned to Connecticut, and so was unaware of the existential impact of his sex education class, but there was not a boy in that graduating batch who did not remember the icy beauty of his wife, the unbuttoned top button, her silky blonde hair, aristocratic carriage, and inexpressible allure.

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Mr. McAllen had righted the ship.  He had inadvertently corrected the sexual course of the young boys under his watch.  He had cured them of sex in the back seat of old Fords, prepared them for mature, adult physical relationships but consigned them forever to the likes of his wife who, ironically, had cuckolded him many times before her premature end. 

‘Fucked herself to death’, Mr. Lefferts said bitterly to his friends; but true to his love of sex and women and his natural, flinty resilience, he was never morose or remorseful, and went on to two far happier marriages.

Brent had many love affairs and almost as many marriages; but he could never find his Mrs. McAllen and stopped going to reunions because of it.  It was bad enough that he could never achieve his age-old dream, why make it worse by seeing Bobby Parsons, Keith Landon, and Petty Arthur with theirs? 

Someone who knew the Lefferts ‘60 boys once suggested that they would make a good psychological case study.  Freud would have had a field day with Brent and his classmates – sexual imprinting, adolescent male fantasies, female idolatry, alpha male worship, and a stunted emotional life. 

Of course the boys never thought there was anything unusual about their collective choice of mates and laid it to the unique male bonding that occurs in the best New England preparatory schools.  About half the class was divorced by age fifty, far above the average, and the same observer who had suggested Freud attributed it to ‘image failure’, the inevitable breakdown of sexual idolatry formed in puberty. 

Be that as it may, Brent’s Mrs. McAllen was actually far more like Mary Fielding than any of the other Stepford wives.  A bit of the loose woman (again Freud would have had a time with this Goddess-Whore paradigm) but a straightforward, uncompromisingly sensual one, more everyman’s woman that the ice goddess of Lefferts.

So, it all started in the back seat of Brent’s father’s Ford, took a right turn at Lefferts, and then circled around back again to the golf course behind his old house.  What ever happened to Mary Fielding, he wondered, once he had forgotten – or almost forgotten Mrs. McAlister?

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