Monday, April 28, 2008
Here are two definitions to consider:
Monogamy: The practice or condition of having a single sexual partner during a period of time.
Polygamy: The condition or practice of having more than one spouse at one time, e.g. "plural marriage."
Isn't that strange? You would think that if polygamy is having more than one spouse at a time, then monogamy should mean having one spouse at a time, wouldn't you? However, for some reason, which I suspect has to do with certain social and cultural agendas, polygamy is defined with respect to the number of spouses one has, while monogamy refers to the number of different sexual contacts one has.
I'm confused. Why aren't these two related concepts defined in more similar terms? Do you know? Shouldn't monogamy really be defined as having one spouse at a time? After all, you can be either polygamous or monogamous and yet in addition, be promiscuous, i.e., have sexual contacts outside of your spouse or spouses. It seems to me that we need to clean up the definition of monogamy and de-politicize it. Monogamy should be defined as having one spouse at a time, just as polygmy is defined as having more than one spouse at a time. The correct term for having multiple sexual partners is promiscuity (undiscriminating sexual behavior: behavior characterized by casual and indiscriminate sexual intercourse,) which really has noting to do with monogamy or polygamy.
PHOTO: The "Schuylkill Navy" refers to the rowing associations that maintain boathouses along the Schuylkill River In Philadelphia
Sunday, April 27, 2008
There was a reason, of course, why so many gay men my age and older seemed
intent on living a protracted adolescence: We had been cheated of our actual
adolescence. While most of our heterosexual peers had experienced, in their teens, socialization around courtship, dating and sexuality, many of us had grown up closeted and fearful, “our most precious and tender feelings rarely validated or reflected back to us by our families and communities,” as Alan Downs, the author of “The Velvet Rage: Overcoming the Pain of Growing Up Gay in a Straight Man’s World,” puts it.
So, we who had no sexual adolescence feel compelled to make up for lost tine once we finally come out. It's a powerful argument and quite a revelation I suspect for many men. In my own case, not only was I robbed of my gay adolescence but I also married a woman in my early 20s, so I was robbed of that decade as well. Nevertheless, when I finally came out at age 29 I did not feel the need to "make up for lost time" by racking up a number of sexual conquests. Rather, I went looking for a partner to fall in love with and settle down. So I guess I don't quite fit the mold. But I can see how this could resonate with a lot of gay men.
The article in the Times, entitled "Young Gay Rites" focuses on gay men who get married in their 20s. It certainly is a different world for them than it was for us older gay men. By and large these young gay couples favor absolute monogamy and do not view the sexual and emotional components of their relationships as potentially separate entities as many older gay men do. I was at a cocktail party the other evening with a group of mostly older gays and I tried to make the argument that it is possible to separate out the two as in the case of loving but sexually "open" relationships, but no one would agree with me. Particularly, two younger 30 somethings professed their monogamy in response to my argument.
My own attitudes about monogamy have changed somewhat over the years. How to define monogamy is also something I'm not sure of. Strict monogamy means absolutely no sexual contact with others, I suppose. I think that's a tough standard for many people, both straight and gay. A casual one time contact, or even several with different people, or an occasional three way, are these violations of monogamy? Or, as I am beginning to believe, is an "affair" or a multi-session liaison with the same person that contains both sexual and emotional components what constitutes non-monogamy?
My own behavior actually fits the strict definition for the most part because I have just never felt the need to experiment sexually with a number of different men. I have a loving partner who I enjoy sexually and for those times in between I can look at porn and get off. That's always been enough for me. Come to think if it, porn and self release was enough for me during all of those bleak years of my tortured adolescence, and those years I spent married to a woman. Sure, I yearned for sexual contact with another male, but I never experienced it until my wife left me when I was 29.
I'm glad things are better now for younger gay people. I'm glad that they can come out earlier, date earlier, and marry earlier. They'll experience some of the same problems we all do in life, but at least they won't start out behind the eight ball to the same degree that we older gays did. No one should be robbed of their adolescence. There's no way to make up for that no matter how hard you try.
PHOTO; The Fire Island Pines Harbor on an early Spring morning
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Friday, April 25, 2008
PHOTO: The fixed-up Fire Island Pines Pizza And Bistro
Thursday, April 24, 2008
The young struggle with suicide. I've had a suicide close to me. I have a friend whose brother took his own life. It's tough to get through. At age 59, I'm past the point where it matters very much or where I can relate to the problems of the young, but for the them maybe a song can help those who feel desperate.
PHOTO: New construction in the Fire Island Pines - sprucing up the entrance to "Sip 'N Twirl"
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
What happened was that there are a lot of people who have been turned off by Clinton style politics. After all, we had eight years to evaluate the way the Clintons do business, and so we know that they have no real principles, except what is best for them politically. They maintain a fleet of buses to throw people under who get in their way.
We also have seen Senator Hillary Clinton in action. Much of the base of the Democratic Party, including young people, are dismayed by her votes in support of the Iraq War, and her vote to declare the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization - the same as authorizing George Bush to attack Iran. They don't trust her to end our involvement in Iraq. Come to think of it, they don't trust her, period. She won't renounce the Defense Of Marriage Act, and she still thinks "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was a good idea at the time.
This is what the pundits mean when they point out that Hillary Clinton has "high negatives." This is the reason why she has not been able to seal the deal even though she was thought to be a shoe in for the nomination. Should she steal the nomination from Obama, she will still have those high negatives. In the meantime, she is tearing Obama down with her negative attacks. Read today's New York Times editorial, which chastises her for the negative tone of her campaign.
Let's hope Obama finally manages to drive a stake through the Clinton's political heart during the next set of primaries. Otherwise, we might as well prepare for the third McCain-Bush term.
Photo: Sometimes the sand piles up over the stairways on the Cherry Grove beach.
Monday, April 21, 2008
What to McCain, Obama, and Clinton have in common? They all refuse to promise to cut military spending, the real "sacred cow" that ought to be slashed, rather then the favorite whipping boy: "entitlements."
Military spending is 28.5 percent of the federal budget. It's the biggest single expenditure item, and it's growing:
Between 2000 and 2006, there has been a 70% increase in military spending,
while spending on debt payments, veterans benefits, housing assistance, the
environment and job training have been cut.
There is no really progressive candidate running, not even Obama.
PHOTO: Another Spring view along the Schuylkill River in Fairmount Park
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
PHOTO: The garden on Fire Island in the early Spring
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
PHOTO: The lovely blooming trees along the Schuylkill River in Fairmount Park
Monday, April 14, 2008
What will a Hillary Clinton presidency look like?
The answer by now
seems obvious: It will look like her presidential campaign, which in turn looks
increasingly like the first Clinton presidency.
Which is to say, high-minded
ideals, lowered execution, half truths, outright lies (and imaginary flights),
take-no prisoners politics, some very good policy ideas, a presidential spouse
given to wallowing in anger and self-pity, and a succession of aides and
surrogates pushed under the bus when things don’t go right. Which is to say,
Just what we don't need: a re-do of the first Clinton presidency, with all of its unfulfilled promises, failures of leadership and of character, and bitter disappointments (ask most gay people how they feel about the Bill Clinton legacy for our community ("Don't Ask, Don't Tel, and DOMA.)
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Friday, April 11, 2008
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
The invasion of Iraq was illegal and was based upon a fictional "WMD" (Weapons Of Mass Destruction) premise. Now, five years later, 4000+ Americans dead, many many more Iraqis dead, and a half a trillion dollars spent, we remain mired in an occupation. The leading General cannot say when we will be able to leave. If asked, which he was not yesterday, I doubt that he could even say what his mission is except to act as a police force to help prop up the current regime in Iraq. Will the Democratic candidates for president actually end our involvement in Iraq if either of them is elected? I doubt it. They won't be able to do it. Meanwhile, don't be surprised if Junior Bush starts a war with Iran before he leaves the White House. You read it here.
PHOTO: Sea foam.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Friday, April 4, 2008
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Wednesday was a beautiful day. On our afternoon walk we saw these two gulls standing in the bay shallows.
It's great to be back out at the seashore.