The Feng Shui Master Of The Soul
The following Atomic Dog was first posted on April 27, 2000:
I was reading Ann Landers' column the other day, you know, because I feel empathy with all the letter writers who share the same problems that I have, from "Never Got Toilet Trained in Tampa" to "Chronic Masturbator in Cleveland."
And when Ann cuts to the tumorous core of these problems and cures them, doing in two or three sentences what no psychiatrist has been able to do for these people over the course of hundreds of hours of therapy, they, and I, are able to resume our lives, once again mentally healthy, morally upright, men and women.
Yes, Ann Landers is the Feng Shui master of the soul.
However, as many times as she's rearranged the furniture of my mind so that the brain energy can flow unencumbered, she occasionally puts the damn barca lounger where the loveseat should be and the result is emotional chaos.
Take for instance the following letter that appeared in a recent column, which I've edited for length:
"When I first moved in with George, I threw out his collection of pornographic magazines. He agreed that he no longer had a need for them, and it did not seem to bother him when I tossed them in the garbage. Since then, I have caught George watching pornographic movies. I asked him why a married man would engage in such activity when a willing wife was available. I told him it made me feel betrayed and hurt."
"Heartbroken in Idaho" goes on to say that she just caught George reading a girlie mag in the bathroom and how it's "extremely upsetting" to her. She finds the material "disgusting" and a "violation of our marriage."
"George says he loves me and that I satisfy all his needs, but apparently, I am not enough for him...I cried myself to sleep last night."
Luckily, Ann is no stranger to this kind of deviance. She tells "Heartbroken" that it's obvious that George is "hung up" on porn:
"Accept the fact that his tastes are vulgar, and that he is operating at an adolescent level."
She then recommends joint counseling.
It's a pity that "Heartbroken" didn't just write in to Testosterone instead. Here's how we would have answered:
Excuse me? You thought George no longer had a need for porno? The only way a man would no longer have a need for porn is if he shared a one-bedroom apartment with adult film stars Jenna Jameson and Houston, and a squadron of female gymnasts who insisted on using his penis as a pommel horse.
Of course, even that lucky guy probably secretively pops a porn tape into the VCR when the whole kit and caboodle go to the grocery store to stock up on Pepsi, talcum powder, and condoms.
In fact, if any wife, mate, or girlfriend out there wants to find their man's secret porn stash, leave the house for, say, at least ten minutes. When you get back, walk up to the VCR and hit the "eject" button. Odds are a copy of "Lawrence of a Labia" will pop out at you, almost as if the VCR itself had a raging erection.
Unfortunately, our minds don't work very well when we've got a hard-on, and it's only some minutes later, when we're in the garage pretending to be hammering away on that birdhouse that we've been working on for two years, will we remember that we left the damn thing in the machine.
Heartbroken, you may have the temerity to think that you're "all he needs," and when the gods pulled your exquisite female form from the cauldrons of creation, they said, "Stop, it's been done to perfection; there's no longer any reason to make any more females. No longer will men look at other women, because if they do so, all they will see is imperfection. Quick, make a plaster cast of her breasts and ass so that we can hang them over the fireplace and create envy in the other gods when they come over for coffee and snackcakes."
The truth is, our desire to watch porn has nothing to do with you; it doesn't mean that you have any shortcomings; it doesn't mean that we're "unfulfilled, and it definitely doesn't mean that there's something wrong with us. We are visual creatures, and if we can't have sex, the next best thing is watching other people have sex.
In fact, if the world got smart, they'd take advantage of this urge. Want to increase blood donor participation? Feature two people humping on a hospital bed in the middle of the Red Cross center. You'd have to turn donors away. People would want to donate all their blood. Want to increase voter turnout? Have a Republican and a Democrat naked on a floor mat in the middle of the high school auditorium screwing each other's brains out. Voters wouldn't care who they elected, but at least they'd be taking advantage of the democratic process.
Of course, Heartbroken, there's always the possibility that maybe you are a little tame in the sack, and your husband's need for dirty movies and mags is a "cry for help." Are you adventurous in bed, or do you lie there motionless like an electrical wall socket, waiting to get pronged? Maybe you should think about becoming a "three prong socket," if you catch my drift.
Does preparing for sex with your husband involve taking off your Woolworth's discount-bin special, whiter than the snows of the Himalayas, double reinforced, the kind the fat lunch ladies at my elementary school used to wear, underwear and putting on a Minnie Mouse, authentic Disney World flannel, floor-length night shirt?
Maybe, just maybe, George needs a little fantasy in his life because, Heartbroken, you're a little sexually repressed.
You're probably the kind of woman who doesn't want her husband going to strip clubs, either. A lot of women think that it's standard operating procedure for men who go to nudie bars to end up having sex with the dancers. Well, from my experience, that's the last place a man's going to get laid.
The closest I ever came to seeing anyone exchange bodily fluids was when I went to a topless bar with MuscleMag publisher Bob Kennedy and his editor-in-chief, Dennis "Johnny Fitness" Edwards. The naked dancer, gyrating above us on a wobbly table, looked down on Johnny Fitness' bald pate, and for some reason we'll never know, spat on it.
The women in strip clubs are there to take our money and make us feel really foolish for believing for a moment that we're somehow special ù different than the other thousand guys they toy with every night ù and nothing else.
Furthermore, a lot of cities have ordinances that don't allow a completely naked woman within 6-feet of a man, which makes having sexual relations at the bar or for that matter, at home, quite a challenge. Being a law-abiding citizen, I usually have my wife wear oven mittens during lovemaking so we can get reasonably close. Otherwise, I'd have to be six feet away, and that's literally quite a stretch, even for Mr. Fantastic, which is what I call my unusually elastic penis. But I digress.
Ahh, Heartbroken, being disgusted by porn seems strange to me, given that what's actually deemed offensive by society changes from generation to generation. Consider that, in Victorian times, it was indecent for women to show a bare ankle or leg while it was considered proper and even respectable to show mounds of laced cleavage.
Likewise, the ancient Greeks weren't freaked out at all by full frontal male nudity, but the sight of the glans penis if a man pulled back his foreskin was enough to make proper men and women gasp. "Stripping the head" in public showed blatant sexual intent, while a plain ol' naked, retracted penis was fine and dandy.
Who knows what will constitute porn or indecency in the next generation? Personally, I think full female and male frontal nudity will be quite acceptable. Buck naked men and women will be seen attending ball games, addressing Congress, standing in line at the bank (but not too close unless they know each other), and doing all the things that we do today while clothed.
Odds are, something that we consider totally innocent today will be considered obscene tomorrow; something like appearing in public naked, except for a pair of flip flops, a baseball cap, and a string of Tasty Kreme donuts stacked on our penises.
So, in conclusion, Heartbroken, relax. The next time George pops in a porn movie, put on a teddy, crack open a Corona, and sit down next to him. You might find yourself enjoying the movie, or what happens soon afterward.
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