Darling, a true lady takes off her dignity with her clothes and
does her whorish best. At other times you can be as modest
and dignified as your persona requires.
Robert A. Heinlein
Lazarus Long and The Long Family
Robert A. Heinlein is one of my top five favourite writers of all time. He was considered a “hard” science fiction writer. His stories featured bulkheads and rivets, and more than enough references to physics and mathematics equations to keep the average geek happy, including me.
But his bigger novels wandered a lot further afield than Einstein’s theory of relativity. Heinlein had plenty to say about history, politics, religion…and sex. Sex was one of his favourite subjects. Polyamory, group sex, gay sex and just about every variation that romance novels are just starting to deal with Heinlein had already featured in his science fiction novels. Considering that he was writing in the seventies and eighties when he was at his peak in popularity, this was quite an achievement. Heinlein was constantly in the best sellers lists in his day.
The above quote from Heinlein is from his 1973 book, Time Enough for Love. It is my favourite Heinlein novel, depending on my mood — I sometimes drop it to the number two position in favour of To Sail Beyond The Sunset, which is an unofficial sequel. Both of them deal with the serial lives of Lazarus Long and the Long Family. They are both massive books — Time is over six hundred pages in paperback, and Sunset is 448 pages. The above quote was something said by Maureen Johnson Long, Lazarus’ mother, and the main character in the sequel.
Maureen Johnston Long
Maureen was raised just before the first world war, but she was trained with a different moral standard than the mores of the day. She was taught to enjoy sex, but to blend in with society at all times for reasons that I can’t explain without providing spoilers. Outwardly she was a corsetted, buttoned-up matron with an impecable reputation, not a hair out of place, who didn’t drink, smoke or swear and who looked like she didn’t understand male anatomy from the chin downwards despite bearing multiple children. Behind closed and locked doors, she bedded nearly any man or woman she wanted, sometimes two and three at a time. Sex was her favourite occupation and when she wasn’t actively engaged in coitis, she was mentally planning her next conquest. All her partners remained friends, if not committed fans, for life.
For a book written in the 1970’s and a character set in the 1900’s, Maureen’s attitudes and behaviour were shocking.
Sexual Hunting These Days…
These days, I suspect that the reverse pattern is the norm, more often than not. The prevailing attitude toward sex that seems to be encouraged as the social norm is one of experimentation and multiple serial partners. Multiple simultaneous partners is not always frowned upon, if the situation is temporary. Clothing has evolved to the point where social nudity is legal in some countries, states and provinces, while clothing itself is so provocative, nudity is a waste of time. It is perfectly acceptable to walk around the shopping mall with your bra on display. No one looks twice anymore. You can wear a top that stops just under your bra and pants that stop just above your panties and again, no one will say a word. You can wear see-through pants or a see-through skirt so that your underwear is visible, and again….
This is the complete reverse of Maureen Long’s time, when everything was buttoned up, covered up and hidden away. She did all her sexual hunting with her eyes and feminine charm…and a wordless promise that she delivered in spades once the door was locked. In Sunset, she said “I aim to be a panic in bed,” and she spent her formative years learning what she could about sex, and how to be better at it.
Maureen Long implied with a glance, or perhaps a twinkle in her eyes, when she thought she could get away with it.
We in our day and age pour out the equivalent of a small nuclear power plant in heated promises with our lingerie, make-up, perfume, short hemlines, hosiery, high heels, clothing that clings to every curve, exposed flesh, and on and on…
Are we living up to the promises we’re making?
Or do we get behind the closed door […or into the back seat of the car, or the back alley, or the meadow…] and start to fumble? Or worse, roll right into the same old-same old moves we always make and have been making for ten years now?
If it takes a Master’s Degree to earn the corner office, shouldn’t it at least warrant some education and self-learning to master basic sex techniques? And shouldn’t that education be on-going, or at least brushed-up once in a while? If Maureen Long delivered a trip around the moon based on a twinkle of the eye, we should all be delivering competent and varied sex based on the flagrant advertising we do on a daily basis.
Have you ever taken a formal sex class? Probably not. Have you ever determined to improve your sexual performance, and methodically “learned” and improved your techniques? Or have you just picked things up with experiences? I suspect most of us just drifted along, learning as we went. It’s a very pleasant way to improve, but it would also be fair to say it’s a form of false advertising, too.
The resources for learning how to provide better sex experiences for your partner are everywhere these days, and many of them are childproof, virus free and couples-oriented. The one-handed, single white male, porn-oriented sites are not what I’m referring to.
Here are two of the best I I know. There are others, and these sites have links: