We aren’t afraid of their intellect or their spirit or their ability to bear children.
We are afraid that when it comes time for sex, they won’t choose us.
It’s her second date this week; her fourth this month so far.
Now that I understand the reality of that situation, I don’t blame women for demanding more for themselves than the life of the housewife.
Still, as a man, I could, if I wanted to, portray what I’m doing as “work,” and thus claim for myself the prestige men traditionally derive from “work.” Whenever I tell someone I stay home with the kids, they invariably say, “Hardest work in the world.” They say this because the only way to account for a man at home with the kids is to say what he’s doing is hard work. Despite my total withdrawal from the economy and the traditional sources of masculine identity, I can still argue I am a provider. In this way, my masculine self-image was stretched but not broken. It wasn’t until my wife mentioned one evening that she’d kissed another man and liked it and wanted to do more than kiss next time that I realized how my status as a Man depended on a single fact: that my wife fucked only me.
But there’s a subtext in the compliment that makes it backhanded: We both know no one ever says it to a woman. *** When people ask how it started, I say this: We married young.
She’d had sex before me, but only with a handful of people a handful of times. I was the first man she ever had the chance to get to know intimately.
It took me about six months — many long, intense conversations, and an ocean of red wine — before I knew it, too.