The New Normal

circlesby baldilocks

Let’s talk about sex. Don’t get your hopes or anything else up.

Yesterday, Drudge linked to a Telegraph article entitled “Have we forgotten how to have normal sex?” The author goes on about all the types of things which were once considered abnormal and are now “normal.” And you, know what? Reading about it is, to me, totally uninspiring.

I’m single and will be 55 years old in a few months. Just yesterday I had been thinking about the topic, and the three men I’ve tried to have a relationship with in the last decade— all younger—who were down with the New Normal and decided that I would rather remain single and celibate than have to deal with any of this sort of thing outside of marriage and even within it, if it’s focal point of the union.

Most of this attitude is due to being a follower of Christ, but not all of it. Before my conversion—and even, regrettably, for some time afterward–I certainly was not a good little virtuous girl. But there are certain things I did only with my former husband and I have been divorced for over 20 years. For me, it has always been a matter of trust.

And there’s another matter. The New Normal seems to have become the “real” sex and those of us who prefer the old normal have become “prudish” or “frigid.” I have been labelled both; the latter is laughable, but the former needs some unpacking.PrudeDefinition

Nudity isn’t shocking to this adult. But I really don’t care about seeing anyone nude, even myself. (This will change, should I remarry.) And the Internet has made nudity ubiquitous, tiresome, and nearly unavoidable, especially if one has a social media account. People like Kim Kardashian seem to think that public nudity is “empowering”—as if showing the world that you have the same equipment as billions of other humans imbues power over others. Bored, not shocked.

As for being shocked with matters related to sex, I’m not shocked about the large amount of information I have about the old normal version of sex, nor small amount of information I have about the New Normal versions. However, I just find obsession about orgasm in all its forms to be pointless. Orgasms feel great, of course, but what is the point of making a few seconds of physical pleasure the be-all and end-all of life?

Wilt Chamberlain is reported to have had thousands of women as sexual partners. Many men—and women—have been envious of that “achievement,” even more than of Chamberlain’s basketball achievements. But, to me, Chamberlain’s sexual conquest convey something else: an inability to be satisfied, along with an inability to form any lasting mental, emotional, and/or spiritual connection with a potential mate (Chamberlain was never married.) I find that depressing; it’s like looking for happiness by standing in one spot and spinning in a circle over and over again for decades. Wilt could have consulted King Solomon on this topic.

Consenting adults should do what they want and how they want to, but you and I know that the “not my circus; not my monkeys” attitude long ceased being enough. Then it was that New Normal needed to be approved of and celebrated. But now that’s not enough either.

Now you have to embrace the New Normal for yourself or there is something wrong with you. I refute this for myself and I’ll bet many others do as well, including one man out there whom God has picked for me.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

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