Tuesday, March 15, 2011

My brief career line writing, and observations on gender roles.

Once again I was musing on the metaphor of preparing a lovely barbecue for a vegetarian. The short version is that I was, as you may have gathered from my previous post, all enamored of writing lines. By not fulfilling my commitment to keep our financial records in order, I ended up with the writing assignment I listed in my previous post. As B?, the expert, pointed out, that was a significantly large assignment, larger than I had anticipated.

The idea emerged from the fact that in our lives, time is the most valuable thing that we have. I took that to the conclusion that by forfeiting my time as a consequence for not fulfilling my obligations, I would establish a big incentive to stay current on them. So when my beloved was seriously annoyed by encountering some unupdated records, I thought I needed a consequence of similar magnitude.

So I was all happy with the thought that every waking moment not otherwise commited was going to be spent writing lines. I was content. Why? I don't know, but I must speculate a little. I was losing the ability to do what I wanted, because I had created a situation that displeased my beloved. I was incurring inconvenience because she had become upset. In essence, all the time I spent writing (2.5 hours more or less) was time I spent expressing my desire to please her. All of the things I gave up doing (watching movies, reading, web surfing, doing e-mail) were things I couldn't do because I hadn't fulfilled my commitment. It was a sacrifice and a form of communication, I felt, with my beloved.

She, perhaps not surprisingly, took this to a completely different conclusion. "All that time you're spending writing lines? You could be spending it doing what I really want done: getting the financial records in order." It's really hard to argue with logic like that, since it's so self-evidently true.

(In my own defense, I wasn't completely oblivious to this fact. Another part of the consequence for the state of the financial records was my obligation to work on them for a half and hour each and every day without fail until release from that obligation by her. But the fact remains that all the time I spent writing I could have spent working on the records.)

So she's given me what seems to me to be a more-or-less symbolic additional number of lines to do, while taking lines off of the menu of consequences. Perhaps they'll reemerge as a reward, I don't know.

To the vegetarian metaphor, if knowing that I am being denied something that I'd like to be doing (reading, hanging out, etc) does not give my beloved any frisson, I got to contemplating what value this whole dynamic might have for her. Frankly, the only non-contrived one I can see so far is the sex, which I think has improved dramatically for her. Sex is all about her pleasure now, and my desire for her. As a result, she has it when she wants, which can be three days in a row, and then not for two weeks. But there's no pressure.

That got me to thinking that my most effective course of action was to become as sexually desirable and stimulating for her as possible. Which is, of course, a complete reversal of our societal sexual roles. Given who we are, this is perhaps not surprising. For most of my adolescence, I harbored strong thoughts of being transgendered, and this was 40 years ago, when the concept was quite exotic. Christine Jorgenson and Jane Morris were my hero(ine)s. My beloved, on the other hand, was one of the first women to graduate from her university with a technical degree. So we've been wandering around those sex role lines for a long time.

I did ask her if the idea of sexual allure or suggestiveness, by behavior, dress, etc had any attraction for her, and she didn't dismiss the idea out of hand. Given that women and men get aroused by different things, I'm thinking that the kinds of displays women to do attract men are not going to be the ticket. Even so, based on her attraction to my anatomy, I was wondering if sexier underwear was in order. Perhaps. Or perhaps this is just another misguided idea on my part. But a cheap one to test out.

So the evolution continues, sometimes at a dizzying pace.

1 comment:

linewriter said...

Result no wholly surprising to me.

You are on to something when you talk about reward.
She could also get some value if she looks at lines as keeping you out of trouble, out of her way and "parked".
Can you see lines being like a mental bondage?
There is a calm with them but also a lack of control.
They can be terribly useful if she just wants you gone.

I would try just a few at a time at first. Like exercise 20 minute blocks seems to work .