|Bloggage, rants, and occasional notes of despair|
Steven Den Beste wrote articles about attracive young women, in string bikinis and in other garb (I don't link to the first because searching the depths of his blog causes my computer to lock up, and I'm not going to reboot a half-dozen times for the purpose of writing this). Eric Olsen was (or at least pretended to be) horrified by this.
This is because Olsen is an idiot.
Oh, not really. Olsen writes better than I do, and has been involved in several small but sucessful projects in dead-tree publishing and CD producing (and if this seems to be damning him with faint praise, then I belong in a lower circle of Hell than he does; my involvement in such projects, let alone successful ones, is precisely zero). Nonetheless, it seems to me that is missing the point by a wide margin when he writes
None of this matters unless you want to ACTUALLY SPEAK TO WOMEN and interact with them as human beings. [...] Sexual attraction can never be based purely upon looks alone: there is no real person who consists of only looks, therefore it is counterproducive, at best, to find most-attractive women with whom there is no hope of actual interaction.
Olsen is here, I think, confusing "sexual attraction" with "relationship". If I am sexually attracted (and nothing else) to a woman, I want to do exactly one thing: screw her. I don't care if she vanishes in a puff of greasy smoke immediately afterwards (save that I then have to hunt down and seduce another woman to whom I am sexually attracted). I don't want to interact with her as a human being; it would just get in the way of my having a good time. A purely sexual relationship lasts, depending on the refractory period if a man is involved, between 15 minutes and 24 hours.
I will concede Olsen's point that sexual attraction is not based on looks alone; I know several very sexy-looking lesbians, and the woman who is nothing whatsoever to look at, but is great in the sack, is practically legendary. On the other hand, a whole lot of sexual attractiveness is in the looks.
If we're talking about an honest-to-Heaven relationship, though, we're not really talking about sex at all. A relationship that is based on emotional satisfaction on both sides may be reached through, it may even have sex and sexual compatability as an important part of it (as Olsen notes, there is no real person consists of looks alone; on the other hand, there is also no real person who doesn't have looks), but as anyone as handicapped by disease as I (and who is still alive, an important qualification), sex is not a necessary part of such a relationship.
(I don't know what den Beste's love and sex lives are like; I don't want to know. As long as he doesn't spook the cattle into stampeding, it's None Of My Business. That statement might be profitably be tattooed on the stomaches of quite a few people, even if it would decrease the sexual attractiveness of some hot young women in string bikinis.)
Both den Beste and Olsen have written replies to each other; I still don't think that Olsen gets it (den Beste doesn't seem to be in the same debate). Everyone who is anyone in the blogosphere seems to be commenting on them, too. I'm nobody in the blogosphere, but I might as well throw in my two cents' worth, too (besides, it might me some extra hits).
John "Akatsukami" Braue Saturday, June 08, 2002