I was at an after-work event last night, specifically at an oyster bar, the kind of super-hip Old Montreal joint full of beautiful people who never seem to work but have lots of money, which operates as a supper club, serves expensive dinners until 11 pm and then all the tables are cleared and it becomes a super-exclusive hard-to-get-into-club. I don’t normally hang out at these kinds of establishments anymore, unlike in my late teens and early 20s when I was clubbing and hanging out at all-night raves or going to gay bars to listen to alternative and industrial EBM music like Nitzer Ebb, 808 State and Meat Beat Manifesto and dance the night away with friends. I was only there because I’m actually an Elite reviewer on Yelp! and it was an event I was invited to join. And I love slurping on fresh, briny oysters.
When I eyed the crowd who were populating this place, it was largely middle-aged graying men, executives who work in the local gaming and tech industry and women in their early 20s in super-tight clothing and immobile, plastic cleavages, on a Wednesday night, no less. Pretty obvious what’s happening here. I don’t judge, I just sit back, relax and watch the comedy of manners which is about to take place. I look at it as a transactional, sexual marketplace. People put their goods out in display and other people place their bids, all with the aid of libations and snacks, agreements are reached and off they go. Some bids are too low, some goods are not up to par, it’s basically the same story with different actors. I doubt there’s any love here. I doubt that’s what they even want. There’s no feeling here, it’s just mechanical sex. Maybe one of these girls will end up with a sugar-daddy or one of these men will end up with a young trophy wife. Good for them if that’s what they want and get.
I’ve had this discussion now with several male friends who are in their late 30s and 40s, how their sexual partners these days, usually women in their 20s, how the sex basically feels “plastic” or “fake”. How hardcore porn, and given how ubiquitous it is, has basically made girls feel they have to perform like the girls in porn these days. Everything from anal bleaching, to Brazilian waxes, to clitoral enlargement or reduction, to plastic surgery on their inner labias (and apparently one of *THE* most painful plastic surgeries out there) and breasts just to get the “right look” to begin with. One of these friends told me that sex now feels like a show and that he feels like he’s not with a real person but a “plastic sex doll who knows how to moan properly, acts like there’s an invisible camera in the room which she is performing for and isn’t really paying any attention to me and there’s no real satisfaction in it. All you want to do is get her to leave as quickly as possible once it’s over” (<—- real quote).
Personally, I just have to shrug my shoulders. Like I wrote earlier, I think the whole thing is a giant comedy. I think people forget a real connection to another human being oftentimes takes a real investment of time and emotion, if you’re not willing to put it in, don’t expect to get much out of it.
It’s just falling into line within a larger pattern in the world where everything is being reduced into a culture of shortcuts. People want satisfying sex on a physical, emotional and physiological level, yet don’t want a relationship or even a friendship for that matter. They want a gourmet meal without the hours of preparation and knowing proper cooking techniques but they just want to pull it out of a microwave or buy it ready-made or have a catering company do their dinner party (as a foodie and someone who loves to cook, where’s the fun in that?).
I see this in the workplace too. Kids graduate from university, have zero experience, zero professional acumen, zero life experience or street smarts yet expect to start off at $60 000/year just because that is what they feel they are worth. Unfortunately, it’s exactly these talkers who get into companies who schmooze the HR department and never do a shred of real work and ruin departments with their incompetence while they leap-frog to other opportunities.
Same thing in spirituality. We all know about the Sunday Christian or the Ramadan Muslim, people who act like jerks and idiots during the rest of the week or year, yet when Sunday or Ramadan comes around, suddenly because they showed up in church or they fasted, it’s absolved them of all their previous dumbfuckery. People read a New Age best-seller or two, decide to take up yoga or tarot cards and are now suddenly “spiritual” while they cheat on their spouses or lie to their friends.
They want instant wisdom and insight without ever having to go through those (usually painful) life experiences which could have afforded them that wisdom and insight. In short, people want the rewards without having to actually work for it.
Shortcuts and life-hacks are great when you’re trying to figure out a travel itinerary or how to organize your linen closet. I highly doubt that the same principles will hold when it comes to your emotional and spiritual (and sexual) reality.
Do your “job”, put the hours in and you’ll eventually get there. I’m not saying that miracles don’t happen like winning the lottery or meeting someone and knowing within 10 minutes that they will play an important part of your life, but generally slow and steady (and genuine, I’d add) always wins the race.