15 Minutes of Shame: Confessions of a Sexual Alpha Male #MeToo

When I hear the noise and see the headlines about people I truly admired - Charlie Rose, Bill Cosby, Kevin Spacey, Louis CK, Al Franken, etc. - I mostly turn my head.  Not that their shameful acts are directly comparable, but they are all people I admire (not so much Bill O'Reilly, Roy Moore, Roger Ailes, etc).  So far, I haven't really spoken to anyone about my disappointment or empathies I share with both victims and perpetrators.

By the time I graduated (Carleton) college in Minnesota, I had learned enough - about myself and my capacity for both positive and selfish love - that I thought it best to take a two year "time out".  I signed up for a Peace Corps position as a high school teacher and was placed in a very remote rural high school in north central Cameroon.

While I wouldn't describe it as a vow of chastity (unsuccessful at any rate), it did change the game, and challenge me.  I'd later explain, after Peace Corps hired me as a Cross Cultural trainer for new volunteers, that our ideas about Peace Corps as a remote and lonely adventure are really mistaken. We arrive with hiking boots and backpacks, but find ourselves enrolled in a black fraternity. For most of us, it's intensely social, lacking privacy.

"All the other kids with their pumped up kicks..."

But at any rate it did remove me from my college "game" as an alpha male sexual.  At times I'd say predator, at times sex consumer, at times just lonely, pitiful and desperate.  In college I found myself repeatedly in a position of power or authority (relatively - as an RA or student body association president or student manager in food service or lead in a musical etc) wanting to hook up with simply the most attractive and smartest woman I could aspire to f**k.  Any asset I had was worth a try to pry a gal's pants off.

Like most men, I was able to balance my evolved predatory sexuality, my Freudian hangups, and my desperate need for social acceptance, without doing actual harm to girlfriends and sex objects. Like most men, I could also be pretty selfish, and pretty driven. I hurt some womens' feelings, but got my own feelings dashed in some kind of equal proportion.  I got my heart broken about as often as I did the breaking.

Today I'd say I'm very happily married, extremely proud of my wife and adult kids, and perhaps can wade into the social media with some advice on how I got (or stay) here.

There's one really simple thing men should imagine.  That is, how will you feel about your "conquest" fifteen minutes later?  Sexual experiences aren't bitcoin.

Part of my routine of attraction was to be a guy who was meditative and spiritual.  But I wasn't faking that, I really was praying and really did want to be my best. I wanted to be a bodhisattva. The Peace Corps thing was, in large part, an attempt to get away from a pattern of using what was attractive to women about a spiritual pursuit as a kind of spiritual honeypot, attracting sincere friends with whom I'd ultimately enjoy carnal pleasure.

What I eventually figured out was that my brain was able to imagine a climax, a sexual glory, but that if I tried I could also imagine the awkwardness that follows.  If you don't actually really have a meaningful relationship with the sexual partner, and you do actually care about being a good person rather than a dickhead, you should be able to imagine what I imagined. It's just not worth it to be a sexual predator.

It's also true that I had my own #metoo moments.  I had a very scary experience as a victim or object of sexual harassment at 16 years old, when I worked at the University of Arkansas Student Union as a janitor.  The man at first approached me as a caring friend (he had gorgeous blue eyes), but when I rejected his advancements he stalked me, whispering lewd things, commanding me to "suck him", and following me in his car after work at night as I walked home (I eventually called the cops). I was also brushed up against and experienced obvious sexual advances by a female co worker, though it was something easy to ignore.

To wrap this up, my technique of dealing with feelings of sexual competitiveness (can I "get" this younger, attractive, smart, vulnerable person into the sack?) worked for me.  I am able to imagine really regretting it 15 minutes later, after the sex.  The feelings of embarrassment and shame expressed by Al Franken, Louis C.K., and Charlie Rose don't take rocket science to preconceive.

Just relieve your sexual tension some other way, dudes and lasses.

Cheating and gambling with your affections isn't worth it.  You'll be sorry for hurting feelings at best, and at worst you might actually become an obnoxious loser dickhead, or lose a marriage that was worth keeping.  Sure, it helps to have an intelligent, attractive, witty, and beautiful partner. But I've seen people throw that away for 14 minutes of pleasure.  Try throwing your wallet off a bridge into a river, see how you feel 15 minutes later.

Keep your love, marry someone you believe can love you forever, and feed that fire with sticks of passion and logs of devotion. If your eye strays, you won't go to hell... but only a fool thinks the passionate abuse thrill will last an hour or much less become something necessary, important, and positively impactful.

No one cares about your Wilt Chamberlain score.  You can't string occasions of 14 minutes of pleasure into a meaningful life. Take your sticky wicket and Greyhound ticket on your way to Kokomo.

For what it's worth.

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