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Stale Mates

One of the nicest fringe benefits of having selected the sub-specialty of andrology  as a career is that it makes for great party talk.  Even the most inept and inarticulate  social conversationalist can find an easy opening line with which to start talking to me.  You see, sex is everybody's  favorite subject.   Nobody wants to talk about  morbid conditions like  sex after a heart attack, epileptic attacks, paralytic attacks and stuff with doctors, but sex.now, that's  different thing!  Besides, many guys are self-proclaimed authorities on the subject of sex too,  and, since I'm always willing to learn fro the maestros, they find in me a willing victim.  Also,  it helps  people if they say hello to me and are seen talking to me at parties.  It serves  as the perfect decoy.  The conclusion drawn by others when they  see someone  in animated conversation with me  is that this guy can't be my  patient, because, if he was a patient, he'd have  been  too  embarrassed to meet me and would have avoided  me instead.  Anyway, now word has got around about this phenomenon, and nowadays it is in fact my patients who make it a point who make it a point to come up to me early in the evening to say hello.  They feel that this way  they'll be above suspicion.  I don't complain or passage to manhood judgment on all this.  I am happy either way because, patient or no patient,  I get to meet  and talk to a lot of interesting people, both during  and outside  of working hours.

At a recent party, one such sex pundit strode up to me.  Clutched in his right  fist was  what seemed like his fifth  'large'.  Nestled between his left  index and middle fingers  was a vile smelling Havana.  He swaggered up to  me with gregariousness oozing from every pore of his being.  I braced myself for the oncoming  onslaught.

'Howdy, doc!'  he began, his left hand slapping my right  shoulder  hard.  He didn't notice the cigar  ash  that immediately fell on my right shoe.   He didn't notice the whisky-soda that fell on my left shoe either.  He was just too full of himself to care.

Our man Flint was in a pontific mood.  'I'm  telling you doc, all marriages, sooner or later, end in a stalemate.  It's   like a mix of both.   Win-win  and lose-lose.  More of the latter I suspect  though.  Finally, even  the mate becomes stale .'   He guffawed at his won humour and continued, 'By this time, the electricity between man and wife is long gone.  The thrill of just a touch or a look that we used to experience  in our younger years becomes  history.  the sex addict be]comes a perfunctory duty and a chore that both  parties would rather  not engage in.  My wife and I have talked a lot about this, doc, and have  agreed that we would  like to work at obtaining  a solution to this within the context  of monogamy only.  Surreptitious  affairs, wife swapping, and open marriage are not for us.  We'd  rather  work on our own marriage.'

Suddenly, I because aware that I was nodding metonymically in response to this soliloquy and was now standing with my back to a wall, approximately fifteen  feet away from where this  assault began.  To my luck, the wall had a large open window.  I made a mental note  of this emergency  exit.  I had a  feeling that I might need it soon.

'I've done a lot of reading on this subject doc,' Flint went  on, with authority.  We've tried everything, ell  nearly.  You seminal,  I'm almost fifty-five  now, and my wife  isn't must younger.  Surely, it's too much to expect us to recreate our wedding night and feed  each other cherries, for God's sad in the sack!  Yet,  this is what one of your colleagues, a famous sexologist, has advised us to do.'

I let that pass, and waited for him to continue.  He didn't  disappoint.'I believe that  even eighty-year-old  Americans  do this  to keep  their juices flowing.  These guys are crazy, I tell you.  As it is my simpler.  She prefers instead  to lock herself up in  the puja room for several hours.'

I didn't blame her.  I would  have done the same thing too if I was a woman and being in the bedroom with  Flint was  the alternative.  Flint turned  briefly to signal for another  drink and I quickly seized  the opportunity  to pull out the hanky from my  pocket and wipe  his salivary spray off my face with it.  Shortly, his fuel arrived, and he was  ready once again for propulsion.

'Aah, where was I?   Yess-sss! And then here was this other  freaked out therapist who told us to buy some perfumed oils and give each other sensuous massages.  He went  on to say that throughout the message we should both mutter naughty, erotic,  sexy nothings to one another.  When I told  my wife  all this, she  thought I'd gone crazy, and advised me to see a shrink.  Her pujas became longer after that.'

My only thought was that these guys  would require a considerable amount of oil to cover each other's bodies.  I wondered I the stuff  was very expensive .  fleetingly, I tried to  visualize  Mr and Mrs Flint, naked  in bed, and slathering one another with oil.   A shudder passed down my spine.

But Flint  had other  plans  for me.  'Do you think there's something wrong with me, doc?'  he asked  rhetorically, 'Why does  my wife   want me to see a shrink?  I assure  you, I'm not impotent.  I get damn good erections at all other times - especially when  I'm alone in the  bathroom with myself- EXCEPT when I am trying to have sex with my wife.  I tell you doc, this is a serious problem and you must write about it in your  columns.  I'm certain that this happens in many marriages.'

Just then Flint  gestured  to the bartender hypnotically, like Mandrake  the magician , and a full glass  of whisky-soda appeared in his hand from nowhere.  I was impressed.  Flint's  vice jolted me back to the reality of the present.

'What doc?  You are not saying anything.  I'm the only one  doing the talking,' he accused, perspicaciously.

I was  quick to seize this  rare  privilege to squeeze in a few words sideways.  I was  sure that this favour was not  bestowed upon  too many  people.  'What you say is very poignant indeed,'  I reassured him, 'why don't we discuss it over dinner?'

Mandrake seemed unhappy  to relinquish his strangleholds on either  me or his drink, but  reluctantly agreed after fixing  himself one more slugger for the table.  By now,  we also  noticed  that most people were leaving.
'So tell me  doc,'  he pushed.

I told him that  human sexuality, both in the male as well as in the female, changes  with advancing  age, or at least,  it should.  And that  trying to recapture the sexuality  of one's  twenties  in one's fifties  is quite absurd.  And that one should  embrace a new sexuality that is age  appropriate.

Just then,  Narda (isn't that  Mandrake's beloved?) made her  appearance  out of then air, just like his drink.  Only, this  time one who is still drinking and hasn't eaten,' she uttered  ominously.

I understood  instantaneously that my friend's  term 'stalemate' was  the greatest euphemism  of all time.  And that his term  'win-win' was pure  delusion.

This was  a one hundred per cent 'lose-lose', 'checkmate' situation.  And poor Flint was talking about mating!  Better  get out of here fast, my antennae told me.
I gestured  discreetly to the valet for my car and vanished  into thin air.

Take Home Message:

It is true that human sexuality in both sexes  changes with age.  It is now known  that human  beings are sexually  active until very ripe old age, even in their  eighties and nineties.  This is  nothing to be embarrassed  or ashamed about.  Geriatric  sexuality is very real.  Even the aged need makes love not war, and sex  is but  one avenue for its expression. Hence, one should  try to embrace   an age-appropriate  sexuality.  Many resources  are available  on this subject.