Taking It Off With No CompunctionWednesday, June 03, 2015
I have a friend who is struggling to write an essay on the paradoxes that a man faces in the 21st century in talking about, writing about and addressing women.
At one time this old man, when he was young would not have dared to peruse a Playboy in a Mexico City bus. For one the magazine was banned. I remember getting very excited about the few Mexican magazines that showed Brigitte Bardot’s cleavage.
The closest one would have gotten to pornography were the sex scenes in Frank G. Slaughter’s medical novels. The 1958 film, The Vikings with Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh did not get close to being as steamy as the novel version, The Viking (1951) by Edison Marshall. I know because I read the novel in 1955. This was hot stuff. If any of the Catholic brothers at St. Ed’s in Austin had caught me with it I would have been sent to immediate confession!
In those days of the mid and late 50s it was impossible to have a girlfriend unless you could dance. I was in a boarding school and we had as “sisters” the girls from St. Mary’s the Catholic school on the other side of Austin (by the University of Texas). The place to connect with them was in our basketball gym sock hops or when St. Mary’s had the equivalent. I never went because I could not dance. I was too shy. But I did manage to find one, Judy Reyes who was a cheerleader. I was in the school band so we were both present in school games.
Judy was the most beautiful apparition in the world and I treated her as such. I have an idea (now) that I might have been far too respectful.
All that changed as I got older and soon we had free-love. I remember going to San Francisco around 1967 and meeting up with a female school chum from Mexico City. She invited me to her house in the outskirts for a weekend. I had to take a train. I remember little of it all except I know there were at least two women with whom I shared a bed on that weekend.
That is not the case in my own Buenos Aires, right now. This is particularly the case with the moneyed elite (my family). There young men woo women for a year and there is never any hanky-panky. It is old-fashioned but I am sure that beneath it all those women are like other women who consider themselves liberated. Of course no Latin man would ever go Dutch or allow the woman to pay for the meal.
One of the restrictions for married couples until recently in Argentina was the inability to find an apartment at a fair price. More often than not the couple would live the girl’s parents. Imagine that!
So now this 72 year-old man connects with a woman model. She comes to my living room and in a few seconds all clothes have been shed as she faces my camera. I am in shock at the lack of (I don’t know what to call it) propriety?
Has the world changed that much? I know what’s next. Soon we will not be able to utter or write, “Gay, lesbian & transgender.” We will have to add hermaphrodite.And to the statement, "No means no," we now have, "Yes means yes."