The following is part of This is Not My Spacesuit: A Diary of Dean Holdsworth.
November 2, Monday
Maybe I’ll be really good at sex. I imagine it will be difficult to learn at first. It will require plenty of pauses and probing – both for information and as part of the act itself. Then I’ll have some cumbersome moments. I will be eager to try a combination of things, any of which might bore the partner, but I’d be excited to experience all the sights on the pleasure-ground of the human body, unsure of the rules and breaking boundaries. I’ll be working off page, over the script, in no man’s land, adlibbing the show. I’ll be blundering about and crying out “I’m sure this is right,” with no heed for good sense or taste. “Does it go in here?” I’ll add with too much honesty for the humour to really work. I hope my partner would laugh in honest comfort, and acceptance as I treat their body like an amusement park, being dazzled and wide-eyed by the options I could spend all my money on the first ride before eating a packed sandwich and wandering around the grounds for a bit before going home.
This could be a fresh approach to sex. I could be a kamikaze pilot attempting various angles of attack. With no training or pedigree, I’d be absent of hang ups, expectations or common sense. I won’t even know what is common. Women might wear horns. They might have elbows that must be rubbed for anything to work. If someone told me to do something, like stick a foot somewhere or hold onto a ladder elsewhere, I’ll trust them and do it.
Sex is good for you too, so I’ve heard. It reduces stress. This, by some irony, seems to balance out the stressfulness required to find someone to have sex with. I’ve also heard that regular sex lowers the chance of cancer. Specifically bowel cancer. I’m not sure on how that was proven, or even if it was. It sounds like something a male doctor would lie about in order to have sex.
“Hey,” one male doctor may have said. “You should come home with me for some sex. It’ll decrease your risk of bowel cancer.”
“Where’s your quantitative data to prove this theory?” Might have replied a female doctor.
“I’ve only got anecdotal evidence,” he’d reply. “Would you like to be part of a focus study?”
“No,” she might have said, but after some better dialogue he might have had sex with her and she didn’t immediately get bowl cancer. Theory proved.
Unfortunately this requires that I have sex before I die to prevent the risk of dying. I wonder how that will happen. The sex, not my death. Drunk hopefully (in both cases). If I am drunk I can blame the alcohol for a forgetful memory on the process of sex, as well as an excuse for a possible bad performance. That’s what I worry about. That I will disappoint. That she will expect something, especially at our age, and that I will have to mask my inabilities and ineptitude, and if I am found out then the only person to accept me may well also reject me.
To counter this I have learned that there are different ways to have sex. There’s cerebral sex, passionate sex, comforting sex, angry sex, joyless sex, tantric sex, missionary, doggie style, sex with muscular people, sex with skinny people, sex on beaches, in the back seat of cars, in public, out of town, on tables, on chairs, on a table while another is on a chair, sex with costumes, sex with themes, in a fantasy, in a rush, in charge, in nature, in a ditch, on a plane, to make a baby. There are many various kinds. It is a lot to learn and none of it was covered in my school. We learned about diseases and pregnancy.
The whole problem the same as a rabbit in the headlights. It’ll have to much to see to know what to do. I’ll be a clumsy mad scientist, and while they are fun to read about the reality is nobody likes that guy. They cause too many problems and they touch and poke all the wrong things. They are an annoyance. A frustration. I wish for my misunderstanding to be seen as some sort of boyish charm. In fact women don’t want an imbecile, they say they want a man.
By thirty women are probably tired of the rigmarole of sex. Everyone has to be serious. Job focused. No need for cuddling in bed, kissing and holding, playing of feet. Everything that I would find as a novelty, they would see as a waste of time. I don’t want to waste anyone’s time.
I want to lie in bed with someone, my arms held around them. I want their head to rest under my chin. I want to hook one arm under theirs. I want their breast on my chest to feel their heart beat. I want their hair on my neck and their breath near my ear. I want hips adjacent. I want legs linking. I want to be a shield. I want to feel that we could lie in bed and never need to let go. This is my ignorance. This desire is the kind of thing nobody will want any more. I have a youth’s needy embrace yet am the owner of an old body.