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

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Sexual Epiphany–Women Who Love Their Fathers And Men Who Love Them

Henry Marcus was nearing the end of his sexual life.  Although he didn't feel old, numbers don't lie.  He had precious few years of sexual activity left before him.  Of course he didn’t count the lubricated sex with his wife of many years.  No, he was only counting sex with women who needed no lubrication or encouragement; sex which only needed opportunity, serendipity, and some degree of Freudian undercurrents.

Take Lisa Froelich, for example, a young woman in her early thirties, a child of a badly broken Iowa family – father alcoholic, brother incarcerated, sisters wayward and lost, mother depressive and destructive – blonde, blue-eyed, attractive, slightly overweight, lower-level professional, and like most women her age, looking for ‘The Right Guy’.

She had no business with Henry, an upwardly mobile K Street lawyer in an A-list law firm, son of a well-known New England family, wealthy, professionally capable, but well on in years.  There was something about this virile, worldly, attentive man she couldn’t resist, and she invited him to her Adams Morgan apartment again and again.

Image result for images beautiful young blonde women

An early Christmas present, Henry told his friends, a bauble on the tree, a lovely gift under it.  After years of sexual parsimony – none of his own doing– he found himself sexually allied with sweet Lisa.  He spent every Saturday with her and weekends when his wife was away on business, stolen idylls for a man closer to the end of his sexual life than its beginning, a never-to-be explained or replaced affair, one of serendipity and pure sexual pleasure.  She told him she loved him, looked at him adoringly, kissed him hungrily, and talked of their life together.

Ah, the poor fate of an Iowa farm girl who had no say in the matter, so dependent was she on a father who adored her, a brother who  treated her like the Queen of England, and a mother who talked only of love and the hope of all women. And ah,  the lucky fate of Henry Marcus who had been married for decades to an appropriate woman; a man who had never forgotten his first love, a melodramatic diva whose sexual imagination was worthy of Hollywood; and who had always been attracted to sensual outliers, circus acrobats who flew on the trapeze as easily as walking a sidewalk, emotional daredevils; and thanks to whom he would forever choose his sexual partners to match her; women for whom sex was not just a physical interlude in an otherwise ordinary life, but a moment wherein potential lay.

Yet, who is to judge? The affair between Henry and Lisa was unusual only if looked at through the lens of class, background, and social measure.  Henry, on the lookout for a potential mate, would never have looked beyond Vassar, Smith, and Radcliffe;or beyond Miss Porter’s, Briarcliff, or St Margaret’s.  He might have had his dalliances off the grid, but on it, there were no Midwestern public school farm girls. 

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It was not surprising that Lisa fell in love with Henry, a man of position, wealth, and position.  Who better to give her life a boost? She loved Henry not for his money or position, but because he was her father; and what is more sexually potent, determining, and concluding than such a love?  Freud only scratched the surface when he described father-love.  Lisa had adored her father, wanted to sleep with him and would have done anything for him.   Her story was a feminist nightmare of reverse patriarchy and perverted sexuality; but it was not hers alone,  Thousands of women who grew up in a patriarchal age married their fathers, and savvy men have always played the revered father Jones or father Smith as well if not better than Olivier or Jean-Louis Barrault.

A woman who invests in her lover the feeling she has for her dominant, impressive father is queen; and men like Henry Marcus who understand this is king.   People marry for all the wrong reasons; and although we can be forgiven for our ignorance, naivete doesn't dilute disappointment.  There we are after twenty, thirty, or more years with women chosen for their acceptability, asking God why?

And all at once Henry’s prayers were answered, and he thanked God at every step he took up to her apartment, every time she opened the door, and every time she undressed. 

Both Lisa and Henry believed, in some way, that their relationship would continue.  She had already named their first daughter – Flannery – and he imagined his new family, living on St Bart’s or Rimini, little Flannery and second child Michel schooled with the Jesuits, all together far from the pig farms of Iowa and the Salem trials of New England. 

Salem Witch Trials - Events, Facts & Victims - HISTORY

This was not meant to be.  Few Iowan farm girls ever accede to New England privilege, and few Beacon Hill aristocrats ever marry down; but neither Lisa nor Henry regretted their affair nor their aspirations.  Without such Petrarchian, Medieval romanticism, everyone is poorer, and they, if not richer, at least had something to look back upon.   

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Henry, now in his seventh decade, always remembered his affair with Lisa. It was, among many, the only one which got down to fundamentals – the emotionally poor cornflower blue-eyed girl and the disappointed intellectual.  His dalliances with other women had never amounted to much, nor were they ever intended to be anything but casual affairs, sexual coincidences without consequence or import; but that with Lisa was ineradicable.  How could an affair between a girl and her father ever be thought of as incidental, sex in passing?

Henry had been married for many years to a woman who considered herself an independent New Age woman, free from patriarchy, a soldier on the feminist front lines against misogyny; and yet she was a Daddy’s Girl as were her sisters.  All had married dear Albert, and all three had entered into father-inspired marriages that ended badly. 

D.H. Lawrence, more than any other writer, understood sexual dynamics.  Sex was neither a pleasurable union nor procreative duty.  It  was – or could be – epiphanic.  No human activity or enterprise could compare.  The complete, final sexual union between a man and woman held existential potential. Years of dutiful, considerate, and respectful sex with a wife meant nothing except issue – his son and daughter; epiphany was yet to come

D.H. Lawrence | English writer | Britannica

Although his affair with Lisa never qualified for existential note, it approached it. A December-May  affair, however dramatic, can never be life-affirming or –denying; but a statement.  Love on the periphery of the acceptable, on the margins of acceptability is always verifying and validating.  Human nature, as Lawrence rightly assumed, is sexual.

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