Sex, Academically Speaking

Profiles. Looking for relationships. A relation between people. ‘Relationship’ is often used where ‘relation’ would serve, as in ‘the relationship between inflation and unemployment’. So, we’re really looking for a relation, the relation of one person to another. Of course, we’re all related, depending on the measure, by language, by humanity in varying degrees.

Formerly, we reserved the word ‘relationship’ for geometry or logic. Alas, it’s been sucked up by the correctness generation along with ‘values’ to replace ‘ethics’ and ‘morality.’ We are also related in another way, by our sexual natures – human to human.

Did you ever wonder while watching a sci-fi movie why we are not turned on, assuming no Ted Bundy propensities, by the aliens which other aliens go gaga over? The immediate response is, ‘They’re so ugly.” That’s what Zira told Taylor in “The Planet of the Apes” before kissing him. What’s with Zira’s taste? Charleton Heston would appear to be a handsome hunk to any female. Or, what’s wrong with the way Zira looks? Wow, are you kidding? She has fat jowls, hair that makes her head look like a 50′s greaser, and horrible posture. In other words, she doesn’t look like us. And Mr. Heston doesn’t resemble Cornelius in ways that would make him attractive to Zira.

All this seems really obvious, that is until it’s extended, the “looking like us” part. The extension is to change the “us” to “me”: Zira doesn’t look like me. Am I handsome? Not the issue. I’m in the ballpark, the human one, with upright posture, smooth skin, and a face which fits in the category we might refer to as humanogized. I look, for the most part like the other “me’s.” The age old question becomes, why are men and women, the humanogized set, attracted to each other. Bad question to ask in a red neck bar but permissible here. And why are only some men and some women discretely drawn together?

In the perceptive sci-fi movie “Enemy Mine”, from 1985, we’re shown two races, human and alien. They become friends out of necessity. In a long thoughtful conversation, the alien sizes up the one-sex reproductive capacity by saying that humans need to find their other half to feel whole. The first inclination from this remark is to say, yes, the unity of a man and woman does make for a new organic whole. But what do we long for. The sexual drive determines most of the powerful decisions we make in our lives. What the devil do we expect to gain? I’m speaking of sexual drive here in the pure sense, not in the currently commercially pop sense of “that’s a sexy car” or “that digital system is sexy.” Just Ms. She and Mr. He.

Down to the nitty-gritty. What is it like touching a person of the opposite sex and why? To me, it’s akin to touching ourselves, of course. Otherwise, flashing back to lovely Zira, the sensation would be purely informational at best and unpleasant at worst. All that alien flesh, a surface and texture as difficult to enjoy as eating dog food.

I have to speak from a man’s viewpoint here, my only experience. Touching a woman becomes an extension, in the sense from above, of that me. In Jerry’s words, the alien from “Enemy Mine,” we are finding our other half. But Jerry doesn’t quite have it. We are finding ourselves. Touching a woman’s body becomes an affirmation of myself, my connection to the essence of what I am, not recognition – that’s evident – but actualization, a stepping into our humanity. And as we become more and more familiar with a woman who surface-wise, doesn’t resemble us, she comes to by familiarity. We extend what we are and assimilate what we encounter.

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