Monday, June 29, 2009

Atheists Mom has a Problem with Taboo

Have any of you ever had a threesome? Like many of you, I have not either. Recently while reading a natural history of love, I came upon the knowledge that fantasies of threesomes are actually normal amongst guys. I had a feeling such thoughts were normal, but I didn’t know for sure. The book actually claimed that there might be some biological reasons why guys dream of threesomes, specifically, straight guys dreaming of threesomes with two woman. The first reason is that sperm is cheap. Women are expected to be with one man, and try their best to hold on to him for the sake of raising kids (because eggs are costly). However, the strategy to increase fitness, for men, would be to have as many matings as possible. Two (or more) matings at once would definitely meet this goal (fantasy?). Another possible reason for these dreams is because they tend to be thought of as taboo, and things that are taboo, such as cheating on your wife, role playing, toy play, and public sex, tends to make such sexual experiences more exciting. This may be why the rate of infidelity to so high.

But why would I be talking about orgies with my mother? It seems like a weird topic to be talking about with someone outside of my age group (and definitely awkward to talk about with the person who gave birth to me). It all started when my sister was getting ready for a night out on the town with her girls.

My sister is 20 years old, and she is very outgoing. She is never single, however, she does break up with her boyfriend(s) often. She, like my mother, are both very emotional people, and they are easy to upset/fluster. They also have a sense of pride in themselves and their culture. Whenever they go somewhere they have to dress to impress, even if they aren’t going anywhere extravagant. In some cultures, once a woman settles down she is expected to purposely tone down her attractiveness to other men. Usually this is done by dressing conservatively or by not being as outgoing. This, unfortunately, is not the culture my sister (or my mother) have adopted. Instead they always dress to impress, to the discomfort of their significant others.

My sister, who I will refer to as Tiffany from now on, was getting dressed to go out with one of her girlfriends. She was getting dressed, doing her hair and figuring out what shoes to wear. She came into the kitchen and asked me if I wanted to have a few drinks and play pool with her and her friends. While I would normally jump at the idea of hanging out with people I have never met before, especially people in my age group, I declined. Currently my relationship with my girlfriend is going fine, and I wouldn’t want to do anything to mess it up (I love you Donna :) ).

After declining, Tiffany started talking about how good she looked, and how she was so hot. In reality, her ego is sometimes bigger than I think it should be. For someone who has not accomplished much, and for someone who has so much acne, it was surprising to hear her praise herself. I don’t know exactly what psychological, or biochemical process is giving her such high self esteem, but whatever it is, I want some. I wish I had as much confidence as her. I know there is a bulge in my belly (years of fast food), and I find myself less attractive or accomplished than many of my peers, so my self esteem is not as high as hers. I do not have low self esteem, just not self-praising sense of arrogance that seems to be common in my family (and possibly in my culture, as Puerto Ricans commonly show in the Puerto Rican parade). I think I am best described as humble (as my mom believes I am).

Tiffany then started looking at her butt, and talking about how big her butt was. This was supposed to be a compliment to herself, and I know many people reading this might not necessarily understand. Many cultures prefer their woman thin; anything that jiggles might be a problem. In Puerto Rican culture there is a certain amount of jiggling that is necessary to be considered attractive. Many people refer to this as junk in the trunk, what I call the J-Lo effect. A woman who is a healthy size with a small waist/big butt, is considered “bien quidada” (well kept/healthy) as opposed to fat. While complimenting herself I thought it appropriate to point out the obvious.

“My butt is bigger than yours” I said to Tiffany, half as a joke.

My mother looked at me quickly. My statement was true. My stomach was not the only place where there has been a noticeable weight gain since I started college. My butt has also grown. I am not particularly proud of this, but I think my girlfriend likes my butt, and my statement was factually true, so I decided to point it out. I am also much taller than my sister, so proportionally there might not be much of a difference, but in absolute size, I believe there is.

“Eww that’s gay” said my mom, not realizing how insulting she is, to both herself and Puerto Rican people. It really grinds my gears when people call comments that have nothing to do with homosexuality, gay. Many people used to do it in high school, and I always used to be called gay and fag, even though I am straight. It is insulting not to me, for being called called gay, but to gay people. I don’t mind being called gay now. I have known many gay people, especially after going to college in Vermont. They (mostly) have an excellent sense of style, and are some of the most intelligent, and helpful people I have ever met. Calling my statement gay also makes no sense. If I had said, “Well I saw some cute guy with an ass bigger than yours”, then I would understand how the statement is gay, but stating a fact about the size of my butt, in relation to my sisters was not gay. In fact, I might even go as far as to consider it science.

Homophobia is not a trait I share with my mom. I am open about my acceptance of gay people. I have no problems with them, and I think they make some of my most loyal friends. I can never invite my mother to meet them though, not because I am ashamed of them, but because I am ashamed of her! This battle with my mother, and my individuality has been long! If you would like to read more about it, feel free to click here, here, here, and here.

I decided not to fight with her about her statement, although I really wanted to. I might have been scarred if I were more sensitive, but even worse was the way someone may have felt if they were gay and in the room. I decided to let it slide to avoid conflict. If you have been actively reading my blog, then you know this isn’t the first time I let something like this pass.

But then I decided to answer my moms statement: “What is wrong with me having a big butt? Donna likes my big butt!”

And them mom said the unthinkable (and un-logical) “Oh, what is Donna gay?”

Well unless I was born a female, and I am unaware of it, no I do not believe that my girlfriend is gay. Either way, I am a male, and males having relationships with females are the norm in society, so I cannot see how my girlfriend, liking her guys with a nice round butt would be gay. If a guy can like a girl with a round butt, why can’t it work the other way around? Of course this logic doesn’t seem to work with my mother. She prefers simple ideas and she hates anything that does not go along with societal norms. 

I find this awkward. One of the greatest facts of life, one of the only reasons people have evolved is because of variation. People have different interests, cultures, races, sexual interests, gender identities, and even different ideas and definitions of family and love. They make the world colorful (sorry for anyone who is offended by this). I like the world to be colorful as opposed to my mother, who prefers things to be black and white. To her the LGBTQ community is to be shunned because she disagrees with it, and because she doesn’t find it normal. I see this type of memeplex (or memeone) all the time, and I can only hope the the dynamic zeitgeist continues it’s trend towards acceptance of pluralism.

This wasn’t always the case. In ancient greek life older men were expected to find younger men to have homosexual relationships with. One of the things they adored, along with philosophy, and strength, was beauty. Not having sex with a young man they found attractive was insulting! Quoting a Natural History of Love by Diane Ackerman:

“In Aristophanes’ The Birds, one older man says to another: “Well, this is a fine state of affairs, you damned desperado! You meet my son just as he comes out of the gymnasium, all fresh from the bath, and you don’t kiss him, you don’t say a word to him, you don’t hug him, you don’t feel his balls! And you’re supposed to be a friend of ours!”

Food for thought, Plato and Socrates also have had homosexual affairs.

But for some reason it has become taboo in traditional Puerto Rican culture, not only to be homosexual but to even talk about it. Like religious ideas, homosexuality cannot be spoken about. Why do I compare it to religious ideas? Well because when I started to question the existence of God my friends told me that it was blasphemy and I shouldn’t. Why? Because it was holy. But why can’t I question things that are holy? Because I just can’t. In other words, it is taboo. Well if religious ideas are too taboo to contemplate, then I consider myself quite a maverick, and quite an atheist.

I quickly thought of the prospect of Donna being gay. All of a sudden, I thought it would not be so bad. Perhaps, if Donna were gay (although I know the probability of her being gay is very close to zero), then just maybe I can fulfill every mans dream. The dream of 2 girls with one guy. I mean Donna is my girlfriend, and I know if she was gay, she might not want to break my heart. However, I would also understand her need to explore her feelings for woman (if she had them). Inviting another woman into the bed with us would be a perfect answer to the problem. I should have kept it as a thought though. I replied to my mother.

“If Donna were gay, that would be great for me!”

She was immediately agitated. She told me how girls having sex with girls is wrong, which I disagree with. If a girl wanted to have sex with another girl, then there is nothing wrong with that, provided of course that both woman were consenting to such activities. In my opinion, the population on this planet is too large for people to be against homosexuality anyway. They are part of the solution to our problem. She went on to explain how it wasn’t natural. I also disagree with this. A recent published review paper actually showed how MOST animals participated in homosexual relationships and behavior, including dolphins (click for link). I always told my friends that we had something to learn from the dolphins. 

She also said that having such a relationship would be something I would regret. I disagree. I think such a memory would be something I would cherish, something to check off the to do list before I die. Possibly something both Donna and I would enjoy, provided my performance was satisfactory for Donna. Of course this is less of a concern when there is someone else helping to please Donna.

However, like I have said before, in this household my mother thinks she is always right, and any arguing with her eventually leads to an argument I could never win, because she is an unreasonable woman. Mom plainly said to me, that if Donna were gay, what would make me think she and her girlfriend would want to have sex with me. Now I do not consider myself to have low self esteem but this is the equivalent of saying not only am I unfit physically to be attractive to two woman at a time, but it also takes away a bit of my manhood. The common taboo dream we all share but so rarely fulfill. 

Can I live in this household when it is so apparent that my mother not only wants to take away my style, and privacy, but also my freedom of thought? For the second time, I cannot help to think of the truth within the slogan- live free or die.

I looked at the various homeless shelters in NYC today. How surprised would they be if my mother brought me to the brink of moving out. A college educated 20-something, who has done research for Harvard, begging for food on the train. Collecting change to play his chances in the NY State lotto. 

Think it is too far fetched to happen? I am actually looking at the ratings of shelters right now. And as the commercial says, “Hey, you never know”.

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