50 SHADES OF GREY, MAGIC MIKE, SEX & BACON

Posted: 07/10/2012 in Uncategorized
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Stay frosty, men. Because women want you.

Apparently, this is news to us – that women have any kind of sex drive whatsoever. I know it was a huge discovery for me when I found out I was the product of sex and it really altered my view of my parents. Because if there were two people on the planet I deemed least likely to gettin’ it on, it was Mom and Dad. Luckily, my perception of their love life never bothered them, and they went right on with the lovin’ until after 38 years of marriage, Dad passed away. He was a man’s man, that man.

The fact that women are just as likely to be interested in making the beast with two backs is not news, though from the hype over book series like “50 Shades of Grey” and the male strippapalooza “Magic Mike,” we’re treating this as if women have just awoken from a 2000-year-old coma because they heard the jangling of bondage chains and g-strings.

Yet there’s not much difference between the female creature and me when I was a about 14 years old. Back then, we didn’t speak openly of thing like “Mommy Porn,” the new nomenclature for books like “50 Shades.” We just had regular porn. Most of it, at least for teen boys, was rooted in magazines like Playboy and Penthouse and 40-year-old sex manuals our fathers kept around. (Yep, believe it or not, there was tons of sex – with women, even! – during World War II). For me, the best cache of pictures of naked women (or nekkid women, for you Louis Grizzard fans) was located in my neighbor’s garage. Luckily for me, he kept his garage open and it gave me the chance to go all ninja and make off with magazines from his seemingly vast collection of “Gentlemen’s magazines.” Because, after all, only Gentlemen had the right to look at naked women and entertain the prospect of having sex with them. I entertained a lot of prospects in those formative years.

That said, I don’t think viewing such things scarred me for life. It did, however, give me unrealistic expectations when it came to making the transition to having actual sex. In some of these magazines, women were depicted in word, deed and pictorial as lust-hungry co-eds who basically spent every day seeking to serve my every desire. Yet, we know, clearly, from just about every teen movie ever made that things like that don’t happen, right? They don’t. If you get your hopes up that raiding that Sorority house will lead you to some magical land of pillow fights that end up with you and sixteen sisters getting it on, I’m here to burst that bubble. Stop sniffling, bro. Time to keep it real.

Which is what these movies and books don’t do. They depict people in situations that we desire in our fantasy lives. We can be very different people inside our minds than we are on the outside, and what stimulates us sexually in the fantasy realm does not necessarily stimulate us in the realm of reality. I’ve seen a number of good Christian women stand up and call out “Magic Mike” and “50 Shades” as trash and declare it to be nothing more than their gender’s counterpart to internet porn. While I cannot personally make that kind of mental long-distance jump, I get their point. If they are going to stand up and declare the visual degradation of women harmful to their men, they cannot turn around and take a front-row seat at a movie about male strippers and have any footing to stand on.

Most of these same women have suggested that they simply put “a little more time into their marriage,” which is admirable. You’ll never find me telling Christian women – or any women for that matter – not to spend more time sweating and moaning with their husbands. But I think it has to go far beyond that. We have to recognize that sex is not a bad thing, and we have to avoid telling our kids that it is. Sure, we don’t want little Jenny coming home preggers at 16, but we don’t want little Jenny freezing up in the bedroom when she’s 24 and married. We want her to be happy.This means we need to have rather frank conversations about sex with the young folk. Couch it however you like and interject your own morals on the issue, but there should be a huge amount of time talking about how to communicate with your lover. In the same way that we screw up marriages over a lack of communication about finances, we screw up marriages because both partners are afraid to address sexual issues at home. Which leads to Magic Mike or 50 Shades. Or affairs. Or all of the above.

Listen, I’m not implying that watching Magic Mike is going to make your wife of seven years hit the streets looking for a new Casanova with a rigid six-pack, but I am saying that if there’s a strong desire to look for desire outside of the bedroom, there may be an issue and it needs to be confronted. Now. Not later. Because later is when you and your divorce attorney are going over all the things you could have done to save the marriage.

Women are a lot like bacon, and you KNOW how much we like bacon! (Spouse: I don’t think of you as bacon, but I’m relating to men here, not chicks, so I’m working the visual angle. Love, me.) So now you’re asking, “Mark, how can I get a woman made of bacon?” You’re getting ahead, so slow down there, Turbo. There are lots of types of bacon and pretty much no one cooks it the same way. Some like it with lots of fat, some like it nice and lean. (See the metaphor evolving?) Some like Fatback, some like Center-cut, some like hickory-smoked and some like pre-cooked, wrapped bacon. At the end of the day, what type of bacon and how you cook it is irrelevant, save to you and the bacon. If you don’t keep an eye on your bacon, it burns. If you don’t keep an eye on your relationship, YOU are going to get burned. You spent a lot of time over the years cultivating your love of bacon just as you spent a fair amount of time wooing your spouse. Woo your bacon. Woo your spouse. The wooing shouldn’t stop just because you have her in the frying pan. Ok, maybe the bacon analogy has dragged on a bit far, but you hopefully see the point. You have to talk about sex with your bacon…er, your wife. And you need to be willing to trying things in the bedroom that may seem unlike what you have experienced previously. At the end of the day, your sex life belongs to you and her. It doesn’t involve anyone else (unless you are polyamorous. If so, we think you people are just plain greedy, but you probably have your issues under control.) but you and the woman. Or man, depending on your flow.

Sex increases mental agility, is a cardiovascular workout, reduces stress and makes us feel good. Ok, it makes us feel awesome, but that’s not the point. Or really, it is the point. We have done a lot in our society to make sex a bad thing. It can be, if used in an unhealthy way. We’ve all seen too many episodes of “To Catch A Predator” not to understand that sex can lead down some dark roads. But that’s a huge debate about the dark nature of humanity rather than a frank conversation about sex with your spouse. A great deal of that is the connection with your partner. Sound like BS? Trust me, that deep connection with the person you love makes for great sex. Or don’t trust me. There’s only like a thousand or so studies out there backing me up on this. Men, even we can drop our inner Neanderthal for a moment and have a deep emotional connection with our spouses. And that’s what we need to be seeking in our lives. A real relationship. How do I know? Besides being married to the same woman for 16 years? Because I totally found a page in the Chick Manual and let me tell you, it was instructive. Here’s the skinny:

1. The more you put into a relationship, the more it will benefit you by default.

2. The more time you spend with her, talking with her, relating to her, the more she will want to be around you.

3. The more she thinks you dig her, the more likely she will be in the mood for sex with you.

4. The little things you do to surprise her – like flowers on a non-holiday – or even a little note telling her she’s beautiful, go a long way in the relationship bank. The more full that bank gets, the more she will want to have sex with her husband.

5. The more time you invest into communicating with her about her desires and making her feel great in the bedroom will result in you finding that she’s doing the same.

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