Archive for April, 2009

Gay, straight or just perfect?

Posted in 1 with tags , , , , , , , , on April 26, 2009 by prekosifa

So I was listening to the radio last Wednesday and tuned in to hear a heated debate about a new medical procedure that can make gay people straight. The radio presenter, who was gay, was extremely offended by the American ‘doctor.’ When the presenter asked the doctor if it worked both ways, the reply was, ‘come again?’ Repeat: does it work both ways, like can it make a straight person gay? Not surprisingly, his question was dismissed and ridiculed.

In that moment it all became clear.

Now I know a lot of people have a problem with ‘gayness’, being gay, acting gay etc and although I thought I knew the reason why apparently I was wrong. In my humble opinion, the whole sexuality, ‘gay as abnormal’ argument is inherently flawed because it assumes that there are three types of sexuality – gay, straight and bisexual. 

So now let me take you back in time to when I studied economics in high school, about 20 years ago. In one class we learned about competition and were told that competition fell into three broad areas of Perfect, Imperfect and everything in between. Every country in the world lay somewhere on the line, between the two extremes. More importantly there was no country that had Perfect competition (America was the closest) and no country that had Imperfect competition (Albania was the closest.) We argued about the two types of competition and after many a heated debate finally came to the consensus that the best type of competition was straight down the middle, a perfect mix of the two extremes.

How is this relevant to sexuality?

Well, we have those that advocate straightness as the only norm and dismisses any variance as an abnormality or abomination even. Then there are those who argue that gayness is as normal as straightness and both sides agree on one thing, that there’s no such thing bisexuality as in get off the fence and declare your true position. So what if the case is that sexuality is on a straight line (excuse the pun) with Perfect gayness at one end and Perfect straightness at the other? Where we sit on this line then determines where we are sexually. For argument’s sake a macho rugby player may find himself way on the left and interestingly next to a not so macho ballet dancer. 

Let’s face it, we all have  our masculine and feminine sides and a man who cries at a movie is just a man who cries at a movie; a woman who enjoys playing football (or soccer) is just a woman who enjoys playing football. Society may associate both activities with one gender and by extension consider any deviation an indicator of deviation from the expected sexual preference of that gender but in reality it’s just not that simplistic.

People are just who they are so the whole gay debate is moot and essentially meaningless.

To suggest that there is a medical procedure for gayness is at best intriguing and at worst dangerous. I guess anything is possible but aren’t we being a little shortsighted about the consequences of  even discussing as medically legitimate the very idea of changing who a person is? At some point the death penalty seemed like a good idea until people realised that legal systems, however well intentioned, are subject to human error and failure.

Little help for those that had already been tried and hanged. 

My beef with all this is that there can never be a right a wrong in any of this, it’s about opinion or ideology and when I hear people like the guy on the radio offering to cure something he can never prove to be wrong in the first place, it’s infuriating. I am not saying that no one should have this experimental ‘operation’ but I just think that if you going to cure something then the least you can do is bother to prove scientifically that it is in fact something to be cured.

Right now all I see is opinion, judgment and bigotry.

We have the benefit of history and the present on just how dangerous acting on opinion or bigotry can be, think apartheid, slavery, the Holocaust, or the KKK. By accepting subjective opinion as fact and considering that a procedure to change something as inherent as sexuality is even viable, we are playing a very dangerous game. It’s like claiming to have a procedure that can cure race, Michael Jackson can tell you that actually you can’t and don’t even need to try. 

You simply cannot cure something you have failed to prove is a disease or a danger to the ‘afflicted.’

What that doctor on the radio and others have been doing for too long is trying to validate their opinions at the expense of other people’s right to be who they are, whatever that is. At best, trying to fix another person on such a fundamental level is plain foolish and at worst extremely dangerous. Like Rwanda and now Darfur, it is not a far stretch to move from being of the opinion that a group of people is imperfect to using that opinion as justification for murder, rape and genocide.

When opinion is mistaken for fact all you really get are idiots following idiots and a whole idiot army controlling then devastating the world. So I guess this isn’t about gay or straight, it’s about people. It’s about respect for the basic human right to just be you, without having other people’s opinion dictate how or who you live your life with. It’s about accepting that you and others are just perfect as you are – gay, straight or other.

So where do you stand on the line and does it even matter? Join the global conversation and leave a comment.

What’s the real issue? I know it’s not my clothes on the floor!

Posted in 1 with tags , , , , , , on April 18, 2009 by prekosifa

I leave my clothes on the floor by the laundry basket. I do this with full knowledge that I will pick them up and put them in the wash at some point. I also leave the bathroom floor wet and crumbs in the sink. I don’t do these things to upset anyone.

It’s just what I do. Simple.

Having lived with a few women in my time, I know that such behaviour is not appreciated and has caused more arguments and disagreements over the years than I can count. For my part, I admit to complaining about a girlfriend’s hair clogging the sink and clothes taking up more than their fair share of space in the closet.

Women though are in a league of their own when it comes to the art of bitching and moaning about the smallest things. Do I really have to hear about someone cutting the line at the grocery store? I don’t think so. The ultimate though is the classic and guaranteed to leave one or both parties miserable:

Does my bum look big in this? Hell yeah!

I know people that have been on the verge of a breakdown just because their other half used the same knife in the butter as they did in the jam. Truth of the matter is we get something from complaining and making silly demands. What if we just accepted that everything was as it should be? I suspect more than a few of us would be lost without our little quibbles.

Just think about it.

We spend our time in relationships trying to get our partner to do things they just don’t want to do. The big irony is if they did do things as we wanted then we would probably get bored of them. What if the man you find so exciting is exciting partly because he never quite manages to call when he says he will? Would that hot chick that makes your heart race hold your interest if she was always available, always answered your calls?

Probably not.

We take for granted the good things about our partners and obsess about the things we decide are bad. We don’t accept that our loved ones are perfect just as they are and just as they aren’t. Shit, when you eat an apple you don’t generally eat the core, but you accept that the core is part of the apple. Most of us though don’t extend that level of acceptance to our significant other.

So here’s the deal.

Most of us would rather hide behind the little things instead of confronting the real issue in our relationships. We secretly hope that sweating the small stuff will somehow eliminate the big stuff. I’ve got news for you, it won’t and if you think it will you’re plain crazy. Women are exceptionally gifted at the art of picking fights about the meaningless, although I’ll admit us men don’t help the situation with our flair for the passive aggressive (non) response.

Any disagreement that keeps coming up again and again is a good indicator of a bigger issue.

If you are in a happy, loving relationship then not much will bother you or knock you off the high you’re on. On the other hand, if you’re faking your happiness then every little thing becomes a big deal. A friend of mine’s husband used to put talcum powder on his feet in the morning before he put on his workboots. He would do this in the same place everyday, leaving talcum powder trails on the floor that he wouldn’t clean up. This drove her crazy.

Why does he do it? Why can’t he just clean it up? she would cry.

The talc wasn’t the real issue. If it was then that would make her the first person in history to name talcum powder as the third party in a divorce! No, the real reason she got divorced was that she didn’t want to be with him anymore. She wasn’t happy in her marriage and her unhappiness took the guise of complaining about small things, like talc. She was avoiding what she really wanted to say and he was avoiding hearing it. As each minor issue was resolved, she was still unhappy and nothing he did made any difference.

Eventually they found a resolution – divorce.

If your partner is constantly moaning about the same things, there is something else going on. Face that, whatever it is, instead of falling into an endless cycle of trying and failing to fix the little things. It may be something big but if you quit the avoidance it probably won’t be bigger than you or the relationship. Give yourself a fighting chance at happiness by having the courage to face the real issue. Like eating an apple, to get the best of your relationship you have to get to the core.

Join the global conversation and leave a comment.

Should you be friends with your ex?

Posted in 1 with tags , , , , , , , , on April 11, 2009 by prekosifa

So you meet a new girl and are going out for the first time. You get to the club on time and are partying away on the dance floor, loved up and acting silly – as you do when you’re trying to impress. You go to the bar to get some drinks, new girl in tow when you get a tap on your shoulder. You spin around, it’s your ex.
‘Hi’ she says and fixes you with a stare.
‘Hello’ you say back.

At that moment, what you do next determines the future of your new relationship and your old relationship. Do you introduce the two of them? If not, why not? If you do, do you introduce her as your ex or as a friend? Do you introduce your new girl as your new girl or not? Do you feel funny doing so? A lot can happen and what you do at that moment determines everything.

Women, as do men like closure. They want to know that when you have split up from your ex, you stay split and act accordingly. No guy likes to think about his woman ‘hittin’ it with an ex dick. We do not want that in our space. We are happy to know that it may have happened but there were no witnesses and it was terrible anyway! We dare not even think about the fact that, if it is indeed the case, we were not the first (and possibly won’t be the last) to go to that fun spot in the shade.

What do you do when your partner states, without a problem, that their ex is a friend and they plan to stay in touch? Would this be a problem for you? The first thing that goes through my head is, if you guys are friends and you have already had sex, then what is there to stop you doing it again? All my insecurities show up and I’m thrown into a cycle of uncertainty and questions every time they speak on the phone or hang out.

Most women, as a rule, don’t like to have a strange woman in their space and some even have issues with their OWN friends being around their man. Naturally territorial and protective of the fledgling relationship and maybe still trying to suss out if the new beau will be faithful, the ex as friend becomes symbolic of an all you can eat buffet in front of his face!

Since by a certain age most of us will have had more than one relationship, we are left with a lot of people in relationships who are worried. Worried about not being enough for their partner and that maybe the ex, now friend, is a little bit more. Worried about not being as important as this person who still seems to have a place setting at your table.

Common sense tells us that the ex is an ex for a reason. The relationship didn’t cut it. Some people are better off as friends but only find out after getting the sex out of the way first. For me the words honesty and trust come to mind. If we can be honest with and trust our respective partners then does it and should it really matter who they keep counsel with? You can choose to make it hard for them to be honest with you or you can trust that when they say friend, they mean just that.

The solution is simple, stop worrying and accept that there was someone before you and your current sees a good enough reason to have that ex remain in their life. You don’t have to like it but you don’t have to hate it either. If they’re honest about it then trust them to handle it with respect for you and your relationship.

What do you think? Should your ex be a friend? Join the conversation and post a comment.

Is chivalry dead or just not required anymore?

Posted in 1 with tags , , , , , , , , on April 4, 2009 by prekosifa

Growing up I remember one of the biggest ordeals I had to face was asking a girl out. I believed in opening a door for a girl, watching my language when in female company, always being polite when meeting their parents and trying my best to make a good impression.

I grew up listening to motown and watching old Hollywood classics where true love always triumphed and the good guy got the girl. Love was a big issue and treating a female in the right way was a big deal and a man’s priority.

Things, it seems, have changed. Last week a girl I know asked me out. As much as I liked the attention and the sincerity behind it I couldn’t help feeling a bit disappointed because it seemed the final line had been crossed. Wasn’t I meant to do the asking?

Don’t get me wrong, I was very flattered but something didn’t sit well with me about the whole episode. It kind of threw me off guard and left me with a sinking feeling. I had lost control of the situation and I found myself thinking forward about how this reversal of roles at the offset could influence the relationship. Would I be powerless or would it be irrelevant to how things progressed? I took my quest to the streets (well some of my closest friends at least) to see how the boys felt about women hitting on them.

Women seem hungry these days, came one reply. They’re just going out for theirs, quipped another guy. I know a lot of them are driving nice rides, have good jobs and are living a life that was strictly a man’s world for a long time but with it they also seem to have adopted some distinctly male characteristics. It shows itself mostly in clubs or other social settings. There’s a hint of aggression, especially towards other women. Whatever happened to the gentle touch?

More importantly, what does this new breed of alpha female mean for good old fashioned chivalry? Since women appear to have taken control from the boardroom to the bedroom, maybe chivalry is no longer required of us men. Of course there are those of us that still want to practice it but it could be that we’re stuck in the past. Heck, the way some women work out they should be opening the door for us anyway!

It seems to me that you no longer need chivalry to ‘get the girl.’ It’s not expected and I guess that means it isn’t necessary because women are not sitting around waiting for men to ask them out. They go out in packs now, ready to hunt for their prey.

The world has changed and along with it the roles of men and women. A lot of us are happy about that, some of us think we are happy and are truly not. Let’s be honest, we worry about what else is going to have to change. The whole male role is under threat and maybe in a few years we won’t even know what it means to be masculine.

As the dividing line between what is male and female gets thinner, it has also changed the social norms that we’ve always taken for granted. Not only do women ask men out now but some have even become laddish and predatory about it, leaving us boys feeling like disposable sex objects!

One night stands, once the domain of men with a taste for loose women, are now common place and can be had every night of the week with highly strung oversexed ladettes. Am I complaining? Not as an individual who can appreciate the obvious benefits of this new world order but as part of the collective male of the species, I am a bit concerned.

No one really likes change anyway because we don’t know what to do with it or how to act around it. I guess all we can do is go with the flow and see where it all ends up. As the Temptations sang in the 80s ‘I’m the kind of guy who doesn’t believe that chivalry is dead.’ Two decades is a long time though and maybe those lyrics don’t mean much anymore and I’m just part of a dying breed in the new millennium.

What do you think? Have women become too independent for their own good? Join the conversation and post a comment.