Friday, September 3, 2021

Free Love

Image by 👀 Mabel Amber, who will one day from Pixabay

This is: A weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandkids and my great-grandkids — the Stickies — eventual selves to advise them and haunt them after they've become grups and/or I'm deleted. Reading via monitor/tablet is recommended for maximum enjoyment.  

Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — Perusal by kids, callowyutes, or grups may result in a debilitating intersectional triggering. Intended for H. sapiens that are — in the words of the late, great bon vivant and polymath, Professor Y. Bear — "Smarter [and cooler] than the av-er-age bear." 

Erratically Appearing Hallucinatory Guest Star: Dana — A Gentlereader  

"We don't need a piece of paper from the city hall, keeping us tried and true."
                                                                                                   -Joni Mitchell

Dear (eventual) Grandstickies and Great-Grandstickies (and Gentlereaders),

You know how some memory (accurate or otherwise) from your distant past of no real importance gets stuck in your head for some reason? 

I remember a conversation I had when I was a 16-year-old virgin male with a 16-year-old virgin female wherein I confidently stated that I was a firm believer in free love way back in... well, it was a long time ago.

Hint: The meme Make love, not war was popping up here, there, and I'm told, even over there.      

The young woman in question... 

By the by and for the record, I have it on good authority that she currently self-identifies as cisgender, her pronouns are she/her, thinks her sexual orientation is none of your damn business, that your sexual orientation is none of hers, and that modesty and discretion are virtues worth cultivating. 

The young woman in question's reply was, essentially, "Well, of course, you're a guy." 

While I can't recall her exact words, I do recall her tone. It clearly communicated that she didn't regard me at fault in any way, I couldn't help it, I was just a normal "guy." Guys are extremely creative about rationalizing the fact that most of us are primates in heat — 24x7x365.

In the course of a single lifetime I've witnessed the cultural pendulum swing (pun intended and embraced) from one extreme to the other, at least in the culture I live in (some others not so much). 

Women, long oppressed and suppressed have been set free. They now are free, often encouraged in fact, to release their previously shackled sexuality. Having been blessed by an encounter or two with women who did — in fact, was married to one for 21 years (my late wife) — I couldn't agree more.

However, going from one extreme to the other, rapidly, has its downsides. 

{You need to squeeze a few more cliches into this column.}     

Thanks, Dana. I don't know what I'd do without you. 

In light of the conversation that began this missive, but primarily because of my (Warning: fresh cliche ahead) "lived experience" since, I've arrived at two conclusions that are not currently popular in some circles. 

First, free love ain't free. 

Despite what you may have heard, men and women are in some fundamental physical, mental, emotional, etceterical ways (fortunately) quite different from each other. 

And one person's casual one-night stand is another person's emotional crisis. 

{You've got a keen eye for the obvious, sir!}

Depends on who ya ask. A sexy senior citizen with a modicum of wisdom and an eye for common sense would likely agree with me. A given Wokie would stamp Pasty Patriarch, cancel immediately on my file and forward it to the Intersectional Inquisition.   

Second, consider the ongoing epidemic of illegitimate parents. Ask all the kids of all ages being raised/having been raised without a mom or dad — or both — in the picture what the price of free love is. 

{Wait-wait-wait. Free love merely refers to enjoying sex without guilt or having to submit to stale cultural conventions.}  
I don't have a problem with that per se, however, if the law of unintended consequences swoops in things can get ugly, and fast. For example, an STD is your problem, well, you and your partners, and they and their partners, and...

{Enough already!}

Unwanted progeny however is more the fruit of your loins problem than yours or your partners. 

He/she/they weren't planned for, didn't ask to be here, and are unlikely to be fully mature till they're at least 25 or so. Kids with a mom and a dad in the picture have the best chance of surviving and thriving. "Follow the science," we are told, to which I would add, and follow the common sense.  

{Fruit of your loins? Seriously dude? Anyway, what should we do? Here's another cliche, you can't turn back the clock.} 

I'm not suggesting/hoping for a return to the conventional American morality of the 1950s. I merely wish to point out that our (cliche alert) actions have consequences, sometimes unpleasant ones. 

And that given what's being called a mental health crisis, and no shortage of STDs and unwanted pregnancies despite cheap and easily available condoms and other birth control methods, that we've tossed out the tot with the Jacuzzi water and...

{You've turned that phrase into a cliche over the years.} 

Good. We should all give a bit of thought to dreary old virtues like prudence, modesty, and delayed gratification. The culture (and life) you save may be your own.

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

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