Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad
Credits of course to my hyper-melodramatic teen idol Meatloaf, and his lyric: "I want you, I need you but there ain't no way I'm ever gonna love you, so don't be sad, 'cause two out of three ain't bad." For the ILIASM crowd, want, need and love are our stock in trade.
But I have a different trilogy to offer up for comment: Sexuality, Marriage, and Authenticity: You can have two out of three, and maybe that ain't so bad. But the ***** is, you probably can't have all three, or at least, that has not been the real experience of most of you and me up to this point in our lives.
I offer my case in point.
Sexuality: after more than a decade of a sexless marriage, I consciously opted to become a practicing heterosexual again. It was like coming out of the closet, screaming (silently and discretely of course): "I'm a sex person!" I started having an affair. I rediscovered one of my favorite parts of myself: I'm a sexual, sensual, intimate, loving person. My girlfriend will wear me out physically and then cuddle till we sleep. That's both the sex and intimacy that we in ILIASM have been denied. I joined the Sexless Liberation Front (thanks for the invite Mary Ryan).
Marriage: thirty some years now, and while the sexuality dwindled and died quite awhile ago, a lifetime of important connections have grown: a child, a house, complicated and good interconnections of family, friends, work, and life. Thanks to Boy Scouts and church, the basic premises of which I have rejected but whose core values I have integrated, I remain "trustworthy, loyal, kind, etc." and mainly "responsible" and "committed."
Authenticity. I have followed Nefundus' admirable quest for authenticity and sexuality within his marriage. Regardless of how it turns out for him (or me), the lure of authenticity is strong. I'd like to be as honest with others as I am with myself. As you can guess, I've got two out of three: sexuality and marriage. I don’t have the third: authenticity. I have zero feelings of guilt, but I generally like to be an open and honest person, and I don’t have that. My ILIASM friends wisely advise me that unless I'm actually looking for a divorce, confessing an affair may make you feel better but is not a nice thing to do.
Others may choose another two of the trilogy: If you choose sexuality and honesty, you can kiss the marriage goodbye. If you want marriage and authenticity, you can kiss your sexuality goodbye (and that is dishonest in another way: you can't put the sexual genie back in the bottle once you've let him/her out). Perhaps a third way is to sacrifice and marriage and the immediate sexuality and become a searcher of "the one" that will somehow bring it all back together again. Good luck with that.