Saturday, 10 July 2010

Some Guys Lie

Many girls who are strictly brought up are sheltered from some of the great unpleasantnesses of the world and are therefore unprotected when they venture out to college or the workforce or even just to summer camp.

One of the things that strict parents ought to tell their daughters, but don't, is that some guys will do whatever it takes to get you into bed. They will try to drug you, which is why you always watch your drink. They will try to get you drunk, which is why you never get tipsy around men without a strict friend, your brother or a responsible chaperone. They will tell you the most outrageous yet strangely convincing lies to make you feel it's all okay and even necessary that you have sex with them. The first guy I dated more than twice actually told me that you can't get pregnant "the first time." He actually told me that. However, he was from Afghanistan and possibly misread "virginal" as "completely ignorant." Yes, I dumped his ass.

I thought of impure men and their outrageous lies the other day when I read Piers Paul Read's Knights of the Cross. It has spicy sex scenes, but it is a literary treat for any tradition-loving Catholic who can read (or skip over) spicy sex scenes without them becoming occasions for sin. There is a chapter with a married ex-Jesuit which I found screamingly funny, probably because all my Jesuit friends are as yet neither ex- nor married.

In this novel, a somewhat seedy young German countess confesses how she became the slapper she is, and it all started out with a horrific lie. (Incidentally, if you are German or Jewish, you might want to steel yourself before reading further.)

Babi was silent for a moment, as if considering carefully the words she should use. "Take the case of a German girl who, aged nineteen, goes to the Free University of Berlin. There she meets an American student who is Jewish. He tells her that his grandparents died in Auschwitz. Her grandparents, of course, fought for Hitler during the war. The past weighs heavily on both the German girl and the American. He makes little distinction between the German Army and Himmler's SS. However, rather than being repelled by the German race, the American is strongly drawn to the female of the species, particularly one with blonde hair and long legs. He wants to sleep with the girl. She does not want to sleep with him, but eventually she decides that it is the least thing she can do to make up for the Germans' monstrous crimes."

"But that is ridiculous."

Babi flushed. "Easy for you to say that, Father. Men can be remarkably persistent, and women easily confused. The girl in my story came to feel that to refuse the American student would be taken by him to mean that she was prejudiced against Jews.

"Did he accuse her of that?"

"Oh, yes."

"And was she?"

"Prejudiced? How could she know? He was the first Jew she had ever met. There were things about him that she did not like. She found him physically unattractive, but she went to bed with him all the same, just to prove to him and herself that she was not prejudiced."

"Did she grow to love him?"

"Oh..." She waved her hand dismissively. "You know how it is with girls at that age. She persuaded herself that if she was sleeping with him, it must mean that she loved him, until she found out that he was doing the rounds of her blonde-haired, long-legged German friends."

"Was she upset?"

Babi shrugged. "Not especially. At least she had proved to him and to herself that she was not anti-Semitic. But then others came who had to be persuaded."

"She had affairs with other Jewish students?"

"Yes. With two or three of his American friends."

"It is pernicious," I said, "to feel obliged to sleep with someone one does not love."

"And there is an ironic twist in her story," said Babi. "She subsequently discovered that none of them was in fact a Jew, but they had learned that pretending to be Jewish was a fail-safe method of getting German girls into bed."

--Piers Paul Read, Knights of the Cross.

So that is the most horrifying thing I have read in a month of Sundays. I comfort myself that it is fiction, although I can see it happening, and I counsel any girl in Germany fed the same crap to say, "If you hate the Germans so much, what the **** are you doing in Germany?"

I strongly believe you are allowed to, nay, encouraged, to use the F-bomb at men who are trying to get you into bed. Save it up, and use it then. Or practise saying "How DARE you!" in a tone of utter outrage and disgust. Repeat after me. "How DARE you!?"

In high school, a girl confessed to me that she had had sex with her permanently wheelchair-bound boyfriend, and afterwards he cruelly verbally abused her and accused her of having it off with his brother, etc. She was from a traditional Catholic background, and I can just imagine how Mr. Wheelchair may have played on her feelings of sympathy to get her to have sex with him in the same place. I have never forgotten how she wept.

Now, as then, I have no idea why she told me, since I was not a friend of hers. Perhaps she was inspired by the Holy Spirit to tell me so 20 years later I could tell you to scare you out of wrongheaded sexual self-sacrifice to men in wheelchairs. The number of times I have heard of women doing sexual stuff they didn't want to do out of a bizarre sense of political correctness! It makes me furious. Listen up, ladies. You're women. Woman trumps everything. Woman trumps wheelchair, race, poverty, everything--everything except "baby", whose special protection is our job. Once again, repeat after me, "No! How DARE you!?" (Then walk out.)

Uh oh. I am getting into a "men suck" mood, which means it is time for me to start chanting "bless his little heart" whenever I see one. Obviously most men are as good as most women. But there are some men (just as I imagine there are some women) who would do or say ANYTHING to get sex from the current object of their lust, and I feel it my auntly duty today to warn you and train you in the fine art of "No! How DARE you!" (Then walk out.)

P.S. No, it's not okay if you love him. It's not okay unless you're wearing a wedding ring, the guy involved gave you that wedding ring, and you feel like doing it. Kickin' it old-school, peeps. (Um... Did I say that right?)


Maggie said...

Some men even emotionally abuse so that women can no longer see their own worth and, thus, don't know how to say no anymore.

Ladies, Seraphic's right. From personal experience, some wounds are just not worth it, regardless of how much he won't let up and how guilty you feel, and never entirely heal.

Kate P said...

There was a priest at my college who advised us students that "Men use love to get sex, and women use sex to get love." An over-simplification, perhaps, but as somebody also "old school" who believes men's and women's brains are wired differently, it kinda works.

fifi said...

Alas, some men lie. However, I doubt that the men who read this blog are the lying kind. Hence, I hope they know that we women appreciate their efforts to live lives of virtue. We may yowl occasionally about the behavior of other men, so "bless their little hearts" for putting up with it. I hope they are learning lots and lots about how to be good husbands and fathers of daughters in the process.

hip2bsquare said...

Dear Seraphic,

I have no doubt that many of my sex have employed any number of horrific stratagems to bed and otherwise taken advantage of women. It is right and proper that women should be warned of this fact, and even be given concrete examples such as those you provided.

On the other hand, I worry about the long-term effects of dwelling on the perfidy of worst examples of the opposite sex. Obviously women need to be wary of users, but I can't imagine it would be helpful for women to imagine that every man they meet is a snake in the grass.

How does one strike the balance?


sciencegirl said...

Pretty simple, I think. The liars discussed above were lying with a goal: to get the women to sleep with them outside of marriage. We're not supposed to do that anyway. Here's one more reason.

If the desire to sleep with a man is coming because your boyfriend is so lovable and hot, and you love him so much, well, you should figure out how to avoid temptation. If that desire is coming because you think that sharing your body with someone you hardly even like will heal centuries of oppression or make up for genocide, you need to really reassess your relationship with this man, because it does not sound healthy at all. If the man is trying to stoke this guilt or pity in you, he is not very nice either, and shouldn't even be a friend.

I think there were two rather different stories in this post: crafty liars and a screwed up teenager. The kid in the wheelchair turned nasty and paranoid & cruel after having sex with his girlfriend. Shame to him. But to anyone who is not a teenager, the sad and upsetting story is really not that surprising. Sin has consequences, and one of them seems to be that rather than sex building love and trust like it's supposed to in the right context, it can actually erode it. The story could have ended the same if this guy had been captain of the football team: he lost respect for his girlfriend after he slept with her & thought she was cheating on him. It's a sad and nasty, but very old tale.

I think these stories are much more important for young women, who may feel compelled to be romantic out of guilt or pity. It could just be a Pity Date, or Pity Sex, but those things don't really go well, now do they? It is okay, it is really okay, to not go out with someone you aren't interested in.

Also, people with disabilities, if normal and decent, don't really want your pity. They can fall in love, have great relationships, and sex & marriage without needing Angels of Mercy (TM) to put out for them. So, if you ever want to be an Angel of Mercy, go do something more productive and volunteer at a place where you wear clothes.

Anonymous said...

Auntie Seraphic, thank you for this post! Timingwise it's perfect. I just went out on an... interesting date yesterday night and I (very imperfect NCG that I am) was having a hard time telling the guy to slow down. This post has reinspired me to draw the line and say 'This far and no further, mister.' And if necessary, 'No! How dare you!'
Again, thank you.

theobromophile said...

LOVE this post! I've heard the PC garbage, the "you don't love me" garbage, the "but I want to and you're frigid" garbage, the "Are you asexual or repressed" garbage and the "But I thought you were a feminist" garbage. My favourite (HA!) is actually from my non-dating life, however (and forgive me if I've already told you all this one!):

When I was over someone's house, his engaged roommate began to hit on me. I went to the bathroom as an excuse to gently extract myself from the situation, came out, and found him waiting there for me. He chucked me up against a wall and said, "I want to f--- you." I pointed out that he was engaged to someone else.
Him, while pinning me to the wall: "Don't worry about her."
Me: "I AM worried."
Him: "But she likes the ladies."
Me: "So why are you marrying her?"
Him: "She likes the ladies! C'mon, I want to f--- you."
Me: "It is NOT my fault that [insert town here] does not feature any sheep, but find yourself a nice cow and leave me alone."

Seraphic said...

Theobromophile, I'm so sorry that happened to you. I would have been so angry--if I hadn't been too terrified to be angry. That, of course, was assault and possible wrongful confinement. And I hope you (A) got out of there and (B) told his fiancee and (C) never spoke to that guy ever again. Frankly, I might not speak to the fiancee ever again, either.

Hip2BSq., of course it is a bad idea to dwell too much on the "evil that men do" or to mentally stuff then all into the same camp. But the fact remains that too many young girls think that because they are moral, honest, chaste people, no man would ever ill-use them, lie to them and torture them mentally to get them into bed. Somebody has to tell them, and today (yesterday) that someone is me.

The middle way is to mention the fact that some men are outrageously evil liars only once or twice a year, or once a book. And of course, one always says "SOME" men, and not all men, as in the infamous Dworkian "all men are potential rapists."

People get some very strange ideas about how the world works. When I was 29, I refused to believe that the guy I was dating was an alcoholic because I firmly believed my generation was past all that. And that is why aunties sometimes have to give younger people a shake. There is nothing new under the sun, and we are all lost generations.

Anon, you are seeing this guy again, why?

Julie said...

too many young girls think that because they are moral, honest, chaste people

Exxxxxactly. It is very easy to get into a groove of thinking "well, everybody knows how I am" -- which is really not all that true. Unless you have had an explicit conversation, no, that person probably doesn't know that you actually take "all that stuff" seriously. After all, without casting any stones, we all know that there are plenty of people who call themselves Catholic and maybe even go to Mass regularly but don't subscribe to the Church's sexual teachings (this goes for other faith groups as well). When I wear a crucifix, I tend to think of it as yet another outgrowth of my piety/nerdery, but personal experience has taught me the degree to which such symbols have been diluted. As a friend once commented on a guy who had been hitting on me, "Poor dude doesn't know he's picked the one girl on campus who won't get him laid." One hopes that would be an exaggeration, of course, but it is better to remember that you do have to assert your beliefs, these things are not automatic in "the real world" the way they were in Catholic school.

Seraphic said...

Oh dear, oh dear. So much to say, and so little time.

First, Fifi, I don't know who reads my blog. I just know that hundreds (probably majority female) do. Are they all Catholic? No. Are they all people of good will? I hope so. But some come from Saudi Arabia, having mis-spelled some word having to do with p*rn on google, and end up here.

I'm sure the men among your lovely fellow regulars appreciate your vote of confidence, but if there is anything I learned from 23 years (off and on) of dating (WAH!!! 23 years???) it is that you can't make assumptions about men without seeing them, talking to them and making judgments about them based on collected data. Don't assume that because a guy is Catholic, goes to Mass on Sunday and went to Catholic school that he is a parfait gentil knight. If some strange guy comes up to you and says, "Hi, I read Seraphic's blog," don't assume he is 100% safe and moral, etc.

Julie, I cringe when girls are singled out as "the only girl who won't". So not true. I am sure there are hundreds, if not thousands, of girls on your campus--including Wiccans and atheists--who would not have gone to bed with that guy.

But it is quite true that symbols-in-themselves can mean nothing, or even become eroticised by pornographers. I was hit on by adult men when I was a 17 year old wearing a cross and a Catholic high school uniform.

The best defense is to keep your wits about you and practise a look of scorn and spitting "How DARE you?!" at imaginary presumptuous types.

Anonymous said...

Something to keep in mind it that it can be female friends who seek to chuck you into the beds of various men. They may say outright that you aren't really an adult if you're not having sexual relationships; they may mock you for your prudishness; they may even ask "who do you think you are?", and imply that you must be very conceited if you think you can hold a man without having sex with him.

So, while you keep an eye open for manipulative men, watch out for your girlfriends, too. Sin loves company, and perhaps that's especially true for women, who are such consensus-oriented creatures.


Alisha said...

So many awesome comments - thanks everyone.. :)

Anonymous said...

"Men use love to get sex, and women use sex to get love."

The trouble with this is its faulty parallelism. It is possible to fake love in order to get sex. Unfortunately or otherwise, it isn't possible to fake sex in order to get love.


Lena said...

Trust me is always a surefire way of catching a guy in a lie, and might just stick, like it did me, with HIV. Please pray for me and my one mistake from living as a chaste, devout Catholic.

Seraphic said...

Dear Lena, I am very sorry to read this. I hope you are getting all the medical attention and loving support that you need. Certainly every Christian and person of good wil who reads this will immediately pray for you.