Because I’m a curious person, I get to wondering about how sexual the previous generations of my family were.
(This isn’t as weird as it sounds. My parents are dead. All grandparents bar one are dead. And the greats? Long gone.)
Obviously they were sexual enough to reproduce, otherwise I wouldn’t be here. That goes for the ancestors of most everyone on the planet. But were they happy? Did they smile, or ‘think of England‘? Did they have relations because it was part of marriage and expected of them, or necessary to survive, or did they take pleasure – and give pleasure – and feel joy in coming together?
Did my mother masturbate? Chances are good – she tried, unsuccessfully, to help me purchase a vibrator when I was in my late teens. That said, she really had no idea where to go, and was looking in pharmacies.
Did my father masturbate? Chances are also good – every year he purchased the January Playboy (or was it the December one?) that had the best of the previous year. He hid them in the back of his wardrobe, but in a box on the floor. Not the safest with curious teens! His second wife probably threw them away, which is a shame, as I never found them after he died. He also had a soft spot for the rude cartoons that appears in them, and had a pile of cheap paperbacks which collected them. I managed to snag those before they were lost, and still love reading them.
Did they find pleasure together? I fear that they did not. I hope that I am wrong (but a few thing my mother said in the months before she died, once married for a second time? I think she struck out in both marriages). I mean really, sleeping naked – something I definitely inherited – and on a waterbed – something I didn’t – has to mean something, right?
I know even less about my grandparents. I want to think of them (as I want to think of everyone) as sexual people. It’s just hard to reconcile with the teachers, the preachers, the seniors that I looked up to as I grew up. Still, age can be irrelevant to sex and pleasure. My grandmother had a good look through the recent catalogue of sex toys and pleasure products I had sitting on the coffee table a few visits back…
I’m set to wondering because today is Father’s Day here in New Zealand. My dad is fourteen years gone next week, and Father’s Day was one of the very last times I saw him alive, as I visited him in the hospice. He looked like a saint – gaunt and drawn and very thin – and was definitely not far from dying.
Later today I’m going to pick up my terminally ill brother – who I know all too well has had no sex drive, or life, at all for a number of years now (poor bastard) – from the same hospice. His daughter isn’t coming down to see him today (although I know she wants to). So we’re going to a movie together instead, and spending some quality time.
It’s not orgasmic pleasure. But it’s important for me, and him, and family. I just hope that’s not what my ancestors settled for.