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

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Adultery, Female Sexuality, And The Nature Of The Gender Divide

Cecile Ponte was a beautiful, elegant, alluring and irresistibly attractive woman.  She knew it from the age of twelve when her uncles fawned over her at Easter dinner; at the age of fourteen when her teachers always called on her first and asked if she needed extra help with arithmetic; and at the age of sixteen when she enticed Bobby Porter into the bushes.   She was essentially sexual, and no amount of intelligence, social grace, or street savvy could ever blur her brutally forward sexual desire.  In eighth grade Latin class, she wore sleeveless blouses and sat by the open window so that the Spring breezes from the Meriden mountains would tousle her hair.  She was delectable, an early sexual bloomer, full breasts and full lips, aware of her irresistibility, and seducing the most attractive boys onto the lush, green, manicured fairways of the fourth hole of Far Meadows Golf Course – by and often in the sand traps, on the tees, and on its tonsured greens.

In third grade before any boy had any idea of what was what, Cecile invited them to the mossy, forested woods behind her house, undressed them and touched them there.  Neither she nor they had any idea what she was about, but only she had an instinctive sense that she was about God’s business. There was always an insistence about Cecile that even at eight years old had no patience for male demurral.  Many a boy stood there before Cecile, pants down, weenie shrunken and hidden, nonplussed and dumbfounded at the presence of the sex goddess Cecile long before she ever had matured into such.


Cecile came into her own in high school, the belle of the ball, queen of homecoming, princess of Alden High, and mistress of all she surveyed.  She was not particularly beautiful, but neither girls nor boys were immune to her sexual charms. She was the girl all the girls wanted to be and the one all the boys wanted to be with.  Neither one understood their desire or her attraction.

She was plain, always simply dressed, never exaggerated or meretricious, respectful and disciplined but always and immutably the center of sexual attention.  It was as though she gave off pheromones, irresistible sexual perfumes that drew boys and girls to her – strange, unexplained, primitive signals as subtle and as powerful as any in the male testosterone-driven zone.  Cecile, even at the age of fourteen was an Ur-woman, a purely sexual being with only one purpose.

Her adolescent and college years were unremarkable other than for her coming of age.  Men would always be boys, she now understood, studs on a tether for whom a whiff of pussy was irresistible and therefore slaves to her.  She enjoyed the Liaisons Dangereuses game of seduction, mastery, and sexual dominance far more than sexual satisfaction. Her female Ur-nature had little to do with orgasm and more to do with dominance.  She was Hedda Gabler, Rebekka West, Hilde Wangel, and Christine Mannon all rolled up into one.

Image result for images Film Liaisons dangereuses

As Celine matured, her sexual interests  never waned.  She was as sexually predatory after marriage as she had been before.  She knew that men were always necessary in the reproductive scheme of things and useful as social props in a persistently conservative age, but supernumerary at best.  The rooster’s contribution says Laura, the heroine of Strindberg's play, The Father, confronting her useless, defeated husband before committing him to a mental institution.  You have done what biologically was required of you, now off you go.

Celine was a bit perplexed by the gender spectrum – a notion that sexuality is a smorgasbord choice rather an genetic given.  Heterosexual sex had been the standard sexual equation since the first human settlements, a procreative and social necessity; and for thousands of years the sine qua non of human existence.  While there had always been sexual aberrations, they had been dalliances, insignificant liaisons between masters and their male slaves, sexual trifles.  To raise such anomalies to the norm, to the run of the mill was an example of human hubris at its very worst.  Gay sex was to most unacceptable, unpleasant, and unnecessary; but if men chose to be incontinent in extreme circumstances so be it, but let it end there.

Arnold Simmons was a transgender woman, now Amanda Simmons, who demanded equal rights and respect.  He would heretofore always be a ‘she’ and accorded the respect and admiration men have always given women. She would be a girly girl with make up, frills, sequins, and an alluring sashay, and anyone who questioned her sexual orientation or preferences, be damned. She had the cubicle next to Cecile, and the click of her high heels, cloying perfume, and melodramatic entrances were  examples of her recent change-over. Newly transgendered women always did vaudevillian shtick at first, Mae West, Bette Midler, and Judy Garland combined.  Only after – and if – they settled into their new sexuality, did they calm down, and act like the majority of those in their chosen gender pool

Image result for image transgender men

There is a funny scene in the movie The Bird Cage where  the Robin Williams character tries to straighten the swishy, gay, Nathan Lane.  “I know it’s a caricature”, Williams says, “but imagine John Wayne”; and what follows is a hilarious gay impression of the Duke at his most swaggeringly male. The woman who moved in next to Cecile was more burlesque, vaudevillian, and Big Top clown than Nathan Lane ever was.

All of this was itself burlesque to Celine who had never questioned the primacy and centrality of heterosexuality.  Such transgender antics were at best comic diversions and at worst disruptive elements in normal sexual development.  It is one thing to strut in the great shows of the Castro and the Folsom Fair; another entirely to take gender alteration seriously

Celine had never budged one inch from her particular sexuality – a sexually aggressive if not predatory female who understood the immanent power of maternity, the doddering weakness of the pursuing male, and the ultimate victory of the dominant female.   She did not look at Victorian patriarchy with frustration or anger, but only to Ibsen and Strindberg and their Nietzschean heroines.

Although she married, had children, and led for all intents and purposes, a classically conservative suburban life, she was no less a sexual libertine than before.  Her business required extensive foreign travel and she bedded Malian princes, Senegalese poets, and British explorers.  Hers was a take-it-or-leave-it marriage, and her husband while not an absolute believer in open marriages, knew that adultery came with the territory – a beautiful , smart, ambitious, savvy woman of inherited means. He was no celibate, faithful husband, and she took his dalliances as a matter of course.  In her mind they were male trifles, never serious, intimate relationships. Her husband, like most men, rarely got beyond sexual gratification – so she paid his affairs no mind, never asked him about them, never looked for smoking guns. 

She knew that she had landed him as securely as a trophy Lake Michigan pike.  He would pull at the line, struggle, flap, and flounder, but would remain hooked.  She had no worry about anything more; and in the event that he did find someone of interest, she would have no trouble in letting the line go slack and cutting it loose.

Image result for images fisherman pulling pike out of lake michigan

Although writers and playwrights from Shakespeare to Richard Ford have written about sexual favors, indiscretions, deception, and adultery, no one has understood the centrality of heterosexual sex like D. H. Lawrence whose characters were not interested in sexual liaisons per se but in the existential nature of sexual encounter. If a man and a woman were to find that particular, unique, and indefinable balance between male and female desire, sex could be more than a satisfying release of desire and an emotional and psychological completion.  Celine was far from Lawrentian either in her desires or expectations, but she was cut from the same cloth.  Sexual freedom, the liberty to explore the intimacy of an unlimited number of men, was essential to her makeup. Given her beauty, her allure, and her keen intelligence, few encounters were wasted.

She had no dearth of detractors – salope, putain, tart, hooker, and salacious trollope - were but a few of the epithets hung on her by wallflowers, jealous women, and censorious preachers.  As much as women might criticize her for her anti-social ways they envied her sexual freedom and adventurism. What any one of them would have given for a night under the Saharan stars with a Bedouin prince.

Celine gave lie to transgenderism.  She with no political agenda driving her choices, was the Ur-woman in an era of floating sexuality.  She was the strong, defiant woman of Shakespeare, Ibsen, Strindberg, Albee, and O’Neill.  She was Nietzschean in will and Lawrentian in desire.  Sex for Lawrence meant nothing unless it had an existential purpose – a colossal waste of time, energy, and ambition.  Within the right context it could be epiphanic, revealing and spiritual, Tantric and ying-yang harmony.

Whatever happened to Celine’s marriage was insignificant.  As in Laclos’ Les Liaisions Dangereuses marriage was nothing more than a minor obstacle in a more serious race of sexual conquest, dominance, and submission.

Social progressives are intent on promoting the gender spectrum and the notion that heterosexuality is an outdated concept.  One was not born male or female but with the potential to be either or somewhere in between.  Life’s journey is one of sexual choice.

Celine’s was a defiant, outspoken, absolute denial of any such attempts to tinker with the nature of men and women.  In her Lawrentian libertinage, she expressed the best and most fundamental aspects of human nature and refused to be corralled into harnessed ideas of sexual propriety. 

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