Imperfect as I am
Posted by O'Maolchaithaigh on February 21, 2016
I am a very imperfect man, with many flaws. That said, I’m going to tell you some things about the concert I went to this morning. There is a classical concert 50 Sundays mornings of the year here. I do not go every Sunday. For one thing, it costs $15, and since there are espresso baristas who provide great free coffee, tipping is a nice thing to do. There are people who bring fresh home-baked sweets as well, and there is another tip jar there, so it’s easy to spend $17, and I’m not going to do that every Sunday. Besides, sometimes the music is choral, or operatic, and I’m not going to those. I like my classical music, old or modern, to be instrumental only. Perhaps that’s a flaw, but I do not care to change it.
This was Bach, Johann Sebastian Bach, to be exact. Born 1685, died 1750. It was a sold out concert accommodating 150 ticket purchasers, and the volunteers who make it possible. The first part of the program was performed by a fantastic cellist who was solo cellist of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra in Norway, among other positions in the U.S. She played Suite No. 4 for solo cello in E-flat major. It is a complicated piece, and a very busy one, with seven parts. I remember thinking how thickly populated with notes it was. The notes seemed mostly brisk and sharp without long duration. Since I am not a musician, I cannot speak technically about the music, but it rocked!
There was a poet next, as on every Sunday. She spoke of life and death as poets do, and one poem referenced and included a stanza of music from the Grateful Dead. Her poems were very much fun to listen to. She has a witty intelligence.
Finally, there was a Concerto for flute, violin and cembalo (played on a piano). It was very good, but my mind wandered, as it often does at these things. I noticed that, of the seven women on stage, two were young, and five quite old. Of the five older women, four were quite svelte. The two younger women were not, as was one of the older women. I wondered if younger people tend to be overfat these days, but there are always a mixture of very thin and quite heavy types among the aged, so it’s hard to make any generalizations that stick.
I did notice that I found the younger women more attractive. That has always been a failing of mine. I evaluate women at first sight on their sexual attractiveness. I’ve always done it, and I do it automatically, without intent. Perhaps it is instinctual; perhaps it is cultural. Nowadays I do not have sexual relationships, although my youth was full of them.
Obviously, it is not considered correct, socially, to evaluate women solely on their appearance, and I don’t think I do that, even though I do assess their appearance. This is partly because I really have enjoyed sex all my life, and I find that, unless I’ve known and loved a woman for a long time, I don’t find many women sexually attractive, and it is an essential part of an intimate relationship, in my opinion. For, if I find a woman immediately attractive, I will always have a strong sexual attraction to her, and be easily aroused by her. Once I’ve established a relationship with such a woman, I maintain that interest, regardless of changes to her appearance. It is hard for me to explain this to a woman, especially those who believe that appearances don’t matter. Appearances do matter, when it comes to sexual attractiveness, which is why I find younger women more attractive. To be socially, culturally, and politically correct, I am supposed to be only attracted to women my age, or even older, but I am usually not, not for sex. With a dentist, opthamologist, doctor or tradeswoman, appearance doesn’t matter. I use their services, and their intelligence and abilities are critically important. I would be quite happy living with a woman of high intelligence and ability, like the outstanding musicians who performed today, but I didn’t find a one of them sexually attractive.
If I were a musician, I imagine, I could be turned on by the masterful and emotionally-charged music of a woman, if I were in a relationship with her. But otherwise, I don’t understand this obsession some women and men have, with equating sexual interest with intelligence. Certainly I like conversing on important topics, of politics, or science, or culture, with men and women. But it never gives me a sexual thrill, nor can I see basing a sexual relationship on intellectual compatibility. That makes me a pariah.
Certainly, if I am to live with someone, I want to be able to converse from time to time. We need to have a language in common. We need to have similar cultural references. We need to be able to understand each others needs and desires, and be able to compromise when our own preferences for shared experiences conflict. To that end, I think most people I’m likely to meet share a compatible intelligence. Everything else is gravy. If I were to live with a woman who is either a scientist, a musician, an artist, an athlete, a lawyer, a businesswoman or a politician, I’d be equally happy. I do like women who engage with the world, but I am not sexually attractive to them because of their career options. I have no idea, really, what makes a woman attractive to me sexually, but I know when I am, and, if I am to live with a woman on an intimate basis for a long time, I’m going to need that sexual compatibility to make it work.
This is not to say that touching and cuddling and kissing are based solely on that unknown quality that makes a woman attractive to me, but I find those things best enjoyed with someone with whom I’m having a sexual relationship. All other relationships have their value as well, and I like having friends of either sex, but to spend every day and night with one person exclusively? For that, I need a level of intimacy that involves touching and cuddling, and sharing a bed, for, without that, all else is insufficient. Touching other people, and enjoying it, receiving and giving tactile pleasure – that is something I require to go on living.
Despite that, I enjoyed this concert today. I watched these women play their instruments. I enjoyed the music they produced. I appreciated the hard work and emotion they put into it. I am aware of the long hard work they put into being able to play such music, and write such poems. It did indeed give me great pleasure. I think, for that hour and a half, I had a great, satisfying relationship with these eight women, and the male conductor.
But, I’m at home now, and I live alone, and I am likely to remain so. No one wants an intimate relationship with a totally honest man, and I don’t want an intimate relationship with someone who cannot be honest intellectually, physically and emotionally.