An epiphany, of sorts

In the years leading up to my beginning this blog, I spent gobs of time and money on a futile quest for perfection. I had the deluded fantasy that, if I could just find the right woman, just organize things in the right way, I could achieve a sort of transcendent, perfect sexual experience – and that, having done so, I could transform my life, my wife, my marriage, into precisely what I wanted (needed) it to be.

Much of the initial work I did in the months leading up to this blog lay in understanding the folly of this quixotic quest. The perfect sexual experience doesn’t exist. And, even were I to find it, all it would bring – apart from some momentary Nirvana – would be the loss of that Nirvana. Everything is impermanent, except impermanence.

Recently, I’ve been traveling a parallel journey of recognition: just as, then, I sought the perfect sexual experience, in recent years, I’ve sought the perfect sexual plaything – a woman who would comply with me, with my wishes, perfectly. No woman, of course, ever possibly could do this. But that hasn’t stopped me – from trying to make a woman into my perfect plaything, from defending against the imperfection every human represents, and, devastatingly, against the inevitability of loss.

This manifested brutally with Marina, who both longed to be what I wanted her to be, to give me what I wanted her to give, and who, alas, simply could not. Not because of any shortcomings of hers, but because she and I are two separate people (separated, in this case, by thousands of miles – and a pandemic).

More recently, it’s popped up again with first Cleo, and then, with both Serena and Milica. Cleo was a flash in the pan, a momentary glimpse of heaven, who quickly first disappointed me, and then dumped me.

Serena and Milica appeared at almost the same moment, and, lucky for me, just as this psychosis was easing up a bit. Milica offers something close to distant perfection: she’s exquisitely attuned to my desires, responds almost exactly as I wish, almost 100 percent of the time. And Serena offers something close to perfection in the bedroom: a preternatural sexual attunement. Our bodies and desires simply fit together in a way that feels – well, at its best, it feels like that aforementioned Nirvana.

Each, in other words, offers something like perfection. Except not.

I could detail the details of that “not,” but they aren’t interesting. It all boils down to the fact that they each are human. Each has her own life, her own desires, her own needs and concerns, and however attentive each might be to me in her way, neither, actually, can give me all of what I want, all the time and whenever I want it, and not, when I don’t.

Add to that: each will, with 100 percent certainly, fade. Their lives will pull them away from me, one way or another, with 100 percent certainty.

Even just a few months ago, my internal configuration had me defended against this truth, striving – as I had done with Marina (and L, V, Isabel, Sofia, and a dozen others) to defy the inevitable, omnipotently, desperately struggling to make them what I wanted them to be, and, while doing so, to trap them in amber, defying not just difference but time.

Today though, I’m in a different spot. Today, I’m reveling in, glorying in, not the fantasy of what each might be, the fantasy of a timeless, permanent, perfection, but instead, in the reality of what each offers me, the reality of who each of these pretty damned spectacular women is. A hope for improvement, and for longevity, of course, persists. But not a demand.

Neither can perfectly gratify me. Neither will perfectly gratify me, except momentarily. And both will fade.

That’s sad. Not tragic. Not devastating. Just. Sad.

And of course, as always is the case, on some level, none of this has anything to do with them: it’s all about my mother. It’s all about my longing to have had her, for her to have been perfectly attuned to my needs, for her not to left me.

But she wasn’t. She did. And no one can undo that. And that? That is a tragedy.

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