I Really Didn’t Notice That Vagina Until Just This Moment, I Swear1comment
To begin, this requires some mental time travel back to the last James Bond movie. I’d already forgotten the name, so I had to look it up…it was called Quantum of Solace. Already off to a bad start I know, but I love action movies, so of course I saw the movie twice. The first time I thought it was kind of awesome, though clearly not awesome enough for me to remember anything about it three years later. The second time I saw it was with a girl I rather fancied, and right about 40 minutes into the movie, I suddenly realized my great error in having endorsed the movie in the first place. Apparently, this movie was a good bit more misogynistic then I might have previously observed. Strike one probably came way earlier than this, but I definitely noticed my date’s almost electrified body language right about the moment of the super-obvious, big screen vagina shot that I somehow failed to notice on my first viewing.
Now normally, I’m quite good at noticing female body parts in movies. I’ve been a huge fan of movie nudity since my childhood in the innocent 80’s when I stayed up past midnight watching movies like Hot Dog and Airplane before networks started re-editing these masterpieces for the family set. But in the case of Quantum of Solace, the scene in question was quite rapey, so I did what I always do in these situations: I turned off my normal male circuitry and adopted a brief, but cold distance from the action on screen. Thereafter, all was returned to normal, and I was free to begin hating this obviously bad guy and rooting for his comeuppance. Problem solved, and spoiler, score one for comeuppance!
In this case, though, problem not solved. Not surprisingly, my totally awesome date, who later turned into my totally awesome wife, demonstrated a much lower tolerance for sexual violence towards women. James Bond would not have been pleased to hear her review.
Okay, so time travel back to now-ish, and the Zero’s poll of a few weeks ago about what women really think about strip clubs. Prior to meeting my wife, I was never a big fan of strip clubs, but I’d been to enough to recognize the familiar scent of baby powder and daddy issues when I smelled them. There pretty much ended my thoughts on the subject at the time. Now, like many Zero’s readers it seems, my opinion has shifted, and I avoid strip clubs as a general rule because I know my wife would prefer I did so. She wouldn’t throw me out of the house or anything, but I know she wouldn’t totally like it, and since she’s totally awesome and I love her, I do my best to avoid doing things that make her unhappy.
Individually, the above anecdotes don’t add up to much pain and suffering on my part. I’m neither a fan of rapey-movie-bad-guys, nor a connoisseur of strip clubs. No loss there. But the question was put to me whether I thought these sacrifices taken as a whole, added up to life being just a little less fun. Whether adopting some of the sensitivities of my wife meant I was losing some sort of childhood, boyish innocence, robbing me of some of the low-brow joys in life.
I’ve thought about it. The answer is yes. But it’s also no. I’ve always resisted any assertions that I’m a “man”. In my mind, like so many of my 30-something contemporaries, I want to think that I’m still a cavalier cool spirit who would much rather go to a rock show than stay home and plan for retirement. In my mind, I feel a kinship with the teenagers next door who rock skateboard tricks on a ramp in the street. In reality, however, the last time I rode my skateboard I sprained my wrist dodging a car. In reality, I do not go to many rock shows these days. As I write this, it’s approaching evening, and instead of scheming which bar to close tonight, I’m trying to think of what I should cook my wife for dinner. Clearly I’ve lost a bit of touch with my inner boy.
But in the end, we’re all the product of our instincts. When I was younger, those instincts were generally good, but they probably weren’t that finely honed. A few years go by, you meet the best woman you’ve ever known, and suddenly you’re catering some of your best instincts to account for what’s best for her too. That’s exactly what relationships are all about if they’re working. It’s as simple as that. I’ve tied this to being young, but it’s really just one of the countless examples of the tradeoffs you make to be with someone you love. Being young for me meant being selfish, and while it was totally awesome at the time, I’m more than okay with the choices I’ve made since.
I’ll choose my hot wife over watching a strangers vagina any day of the week. End of story.