The gigolo

-“Doctor…It’s so much easier than a real relationship—it’s a transaction.”

Carol X. is a successful real estate agent and entrepreneur that has confided to me that she regularly patronizes the services of a discreet escort agency. After meeting a male stripper in a bachelorette party that offered his after-hours services to her, she got hooked on a young, muscular company. .

After a long marriage with an indelicate man that only wanted to achieve a quick orgasm and then left her wanting, both physically and emotionally, she got a divorce a few months ago and vowed never again to marry a man. She has experienced with several occasional partners, even with a woman. But the daily pressure of comforting somebody’s needs is too much for her extremely busy life.

She has only shared that secret with a gay confidante, her coiffeur and moi. In a modern woman’s world the attendance to church to give a confession to a priest has been replaced by a visit to the salon or the medical office. Not a single one of her friends, even women, have an inkling of those escapades. The web has given that newfound opportunity to women who are not rich. In general they want the perfect combination between sexual performance and affection, their own gladiator in bed who knows how to cuddle them right.

Sometimes the feminine interest in a man transcends her mere erotic desires.

Long, long time ago (before I became a monk of Medicine) I happened to work in a medical clinic owned by a wealthy and widowed Russian lady. She seemed to like me enough to pay me generously, including some living expenses, and she invited me to fine restaurants. She enjoyed my company and conversation but she did not want sex.

-“Mommy, she doesn’t want to sleep with me,” I told my mother by telephone.

-“Really? That’s perfect…She gives you a lot and asks for nothing, dear.’

-“You think so?’

-“Of course…Just find a young, eager girl to enjoy that largesse without remorse.”

What do you want me to say? That episode of redistribution of wealth from one privileged lady to a needy one may have sparked my monastic vocation…

What do you think?” Please tell me.

Don’t leave me alone.

The social stalker

-“Doctor…He’s madly in love with me—he just doesn’t know it yet.”

Sylvia X. is an attractive young secretary that believed her supervisor was interested in her, even though he had had a steady girlfriend for many years. She followed his movements all over the social media and spent hours dissecting all the details of her search, trying to find an edge to ensnare him.

This modern possibility to spy on other people’s lives on a constant basis has brought privacy issues to the stalked individuals but also mental health issues to the stalkers: paranoia, loss of self-worth and delusional behaviour. The social price of this unhealthy snooping is shared by both ends of it.

The stalking patterns run a gamut between a rather innocent interest in knowing “what the other person is up to” through many intermediary stages until the more morbid attitude of creating a wholly false internet personality. The latter can include the use of insults and threats to coerce the recipient. The stalker picks bits of information and creates a collage of information that might not be completely accurate or even remotely pertinent for its use.

Dr. Walter H. Ghedin says “the imagination of the hurt person starts to fill up with a myriad data that starts to mesh into a painful platform in the mind. And what in other persons produces just emotional pain, in others can trigger a desire of vengeance. Of course all of us have psychological defense mechanisms to face an amorous deception, doubts about faithfulness or even emotional dependence. But the permanent, voluntary exposure to images and texts that speak of ‘the other person’s life’ often invalidate any recoveries.”

Sylvia X. came back to my office with a distraught appearance last week.

-“Oh my…What happened to you?” I asked her.

-“Er…It happened…We went to an office party and then he took me home.”

-“Then you should be ecstatic and not in this sour mood.”

-“The next day he ignored me completely—going to get back at him.”

There’s only one entity worse that a social stalker. A spurned social stalker.

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.

The secret trigger

-“Doctor…After so many years, my husband still doesn’t open up to me.”

One of the commonest concerns of ladies in steady relationships is the one expressed by Jane X. in my office a while ago. Their partners do not show the same willingness to share their innermost feelings as they are with their bodies in the bedroom’s intimacy. And they have emotional frustration.

It is far more difficult for men, especially of mature age, to confide their most intimate secrets, fears, desires as they had been often reared with the silly motto that “men don’t cry” or that “men must toughen up at all times.” Well, we all know that men do cry and it has nothing to do with our sense of manhood as there are many circumstances in life that alter our equilibrium.

For many years I’ve been pondering whether the fabled “secret trigger” that makes males forfeit their usual defensiveness and open their hearts to a particular person exist as a constitutional feature. I know I have one. But do men of all stripes and backgrounds possess such a hidden emotional lever?

Wandering the magical streets of Venice I had the sudden inspiration to write a scene of my novel where two characters inebriated with love find it. If science cannot yet confirm our assumption of its existence, the women’s sentimentality and writers’ imagination can start to shape it in our minds.

“Chiara and Saul arrived at the ‘Ponte della Donna Onesta’, a small bridge that spans the ‘Rio della Frescada’, uniting Dorsoduro with San Polo. A legend affirms that a cutler lived with his beautiful wife nearby; a young patrician ordered a knife so he could get close to her. When the artisan was absent, he raped her. Full of shame, she took her own life with the same tool.

As they were crossing it, Chiara suddenly stopped and turned around.

-“Tell me…Can a woman love a man so much as to die for him?”

-“Hu-huh…Don’t really know…It could have been more plausible in other times when women were less empowered—much more dependent on men.“

-“What do finances have to do with a woman’s feelings?”

-“ C’mon, Chiara…. I’m not the right one to answer that—”

-“What? Can’t you appreciate the devotion of a woman in love?”

Saul averted his eyes, watching the slowly moving brackish watercourse.

-“Forget it,” Chiara said, tearing a piece of krapfen. “Open your mouth—“

Caressing his face, she gently placed the morsel inside. He closed his eyes.

A Swann moment paralyzed the neural networks of his sensory grid.

Saul is tightly holding his mother Rebecca’s hand, shopping together for groceries in the Venetian quarter, right after the Sabbath ended. After they left the bakery, she pauses. “Wait, dear… Have a bite.”

She takes a crisp pastry out of the bag and gives it to her eager son. No futile words or judgements. Only categorical motherly affection. Opening his eyes, Saul grabs Chiara by her waist and kisses her.

Chiara, the bookish spinster with little life experience, finds what his late wife did not in their twenty years of marriage: his secret trigger.

Nature’s sentimental ruse that forever attaches a man to a woman.”

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.

The hopeless struggle

-“Doctor…How could I not discover it before? My husband is gay!”

Kathryn X. is a nice and attractive middle-aged lady that has devoted her life to take care of her husband and two children for the past fifteen years. When her husband decided to go to the gym three times per week after work, she accepted it as a necessary lifestyle compromise to lose excess weight.  However when he returned late at night, she started to have her suspicions. She didn’t know that the cause of his tardiness was not a “she” but a “he.”

In 1929 Marguerite Yourcenar published “Alexis or the treaty of the useless combat” which basically consists of a long detailed letter from a famous musician to his wife in order to tell her that he is gay and is leaving her. The sexual desire is hardly ever a single conscious decision but a series of subjective experiences that mould our loving and erotic needs in our lives. Usually the choice of mate is aligned with the sexual desire but when there is a mismatch between the two, the individual has an emotional frustration.

Dr. Walter Ghedin said: “when the homosexual desire surfaces and settles in the emotional staple, thousands of images appear in the mind.” They are:

  1. What do I do?
  2. How do I satisfy it?
  3. Do I share it with someone?
  4. Am I homosexual or bisexual?
  5. How do I live with this burden?

In most young men there is an occasional brief imagery of homosexual affinity that quickly fades away without ever being put into real practice. In other men the homosexual desire appears during the adolescence and they can conceal it with an occasional transgression that does not bother them. But in a minority of them the homosexual desire becomes stronger as they age with a firm determination to share their lives with a “special someone.”

Dr. Guedin says “when the desire and the homosexual orientation appear without a comeback in a man ‘apparently’ heterosexual, the coming out of the closet is the most healthy attitude as you cannot live in the middle pulled apart by two opposing desires…The stronger sexual desire will prevail.”

The “coming out of the closet’ will provoke a disconcerting situation for the family members, especially the concerned spouse. She will ask herself:

  1. How could I not notice it?
  2. How could I live in the middle of a lie?
  3. Why didn’t he tell me before?
  4. How am I going to tell the kids?
  5. What will my family members say?
  6. Should I have done more to retain him?
  7. Was I too careless and distracted with the kids?
  8. Should I have gone to the gym with him?

Dr. Ghedin says that “men and women that go thorough the experience of trying to understand the camouflaged sexual desire of their loved ones are in fact meshing their psyches with dilemmas and assumptions that do not help. That need to understand should be replaced by a capacity to empathise.”

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.

The sleepwalker

-“Doctor…I sleep with only one eye closed—my son sleepwalks.”

Brenda X. is a pleasant lady in her thirties that has been babysitting her son aged seven years since he was three years old because he is a sleepwalker. She is always on the watch because he has frequent bouts of somnambulism and she guards him against any possible harm during his nightly forays.

When I was a little child I often sat up suddenly in bed and walked to the living room of our apartment in Montevideo to sit down and chat, sporting a glazed over look, with my dear father Mario who often escorted me around. He told me that after peaking at 3- 4 years old, this activity started to wane and then suddenly stopped; I never had any recollections of these events.

The sleep walking episodes occur during the initial or Non-REM phase of sleep in the initial third phase of the cycle when slow activity predominates. Sleepwalking is more common in children and its prevalence can reach up to 10% of the population; it can be inherited as an autosomal dominant trait. Patients with sleepwalking have a rise of brief arousals in the EEG tracing.

Sigmund Freud said that the unconscious sexual desires of the “Id” are usually repressed by the “Super Ego” during the waking period but when the conscience dims down, they surface to take control of the person’s volition. Those impulses metamorphose into dreams and in certain cases into motor impulses that can prodd the individual to walk and talk. Sleepwalking has been adduced to be an attenuating factor in many crimes.

Long, long time ago (before I became a monk of Medicine) I went to a New Year’s Eve party in an East Upper side townhouse in New York City… I do remember going to bed in the wee hours with a gorgeous mature brunette…I woke up the next morning in the arms of a red-haired girl in a Brooklyn flat.

What do you want me to say? Mmm…How did I manage to cross the East River in the middle of the night? Still can’t remember…

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.

What she doesn’t like in sex

-“Doctor…He sent that dirty selfie to our daughter—imagine her surprise!”

Maria X. is a nice and attractive middle-aged woman that had been separated from her husband for a few months and lives with their teenage daughter. A few weeks ago, he had the bad idea of taking a picture of an intimate body part and, trying to send it to his girlfriend, he erred with the speed dialing.

The most common sexual attitudes that produce emotional frustration in women are :

  1. Use of explicit pictures to stimulate libido
  2. Take an inordinate amount of time in intercourse
  3. Hasty stimulation of the clitoris without a proper preamble
  4. Refrain from moaning and other expressions of pleasure
  5. Excessive attention to “romanticism” instead of passion

Use of explicit pictures to stimulate libido. In contrast to the seemingly boundless masculine appetite for erotic pictures of the opposite sex, women are not particularly interested in watching explicit pictures or pornography. Women like to compose their own imagery about someone they like so they would rather have a picture of the smiling beau wearing a smart Italian suit and being coveted by a competing woman (the Ferrari key chain is optional)

Take an inordinate amount of time in intercourse. After the nice foreplay is finally over, the feminine body is prepared to engage in sexual intercourse in full swing. The necessary lubrication of the vagina in order to avoid harm will only last for a limited amount of time, after which she feels severe pain. The erroneous belief that men should pump on and on is counterproductive.

Hasty stimulation of the clitoris without a proper preamble. Women have the benefit of having the only human organ full dedicated to sex: the clitoris. It is a well-vascularized organ with multiple nerve endings in order to transmit the sexual sensations to the CNS. Before attempting to touch it, the partner must suavely caress the labia majora and minora of her vagina for some time in order to prod it to come out from under its capuchon. Then he must patiently exercise the gentlest of contacts to avoid overstimulation.

Refrain from moaning and other expressions of pleasure. Men have been taught to avoid overt expressions of pleasure in bed, as it is supposedly not “manly enough” and only apt for “sissies”, which has limited the feminine excitation. The exchange of explicit noises and exclamations is paramount to achieve a good excitatory state and the attainment of a satisfactory orgasm.

Excessive attention to “romanticism”, instead of passion.  Men have properly learned how to treat women more gently and respectfully in the past few decades as the surge of Feminism has changed the social mores. However women have passionate fantasies that can match and even surpass those of men as we have already discussed before in our blog “The ‘forbidden’ fantasies.” Men should carefully heed the feminine need for intensity in the bedroom.

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.

The virtual rival

-“Doctor…I’m desperate…My husband fell in love with a web woman.”

Did Claudia X. mean that her husband had met someone in the Internet? No.

Did she mean that he was pursuing someone in the social media? No.

Did she mean that he was registered in an online dating service? No.

She literally meant that he had created a woman of his complete liking.

The daily travails of a steady relationship, marriage or whatever other type of accommodation it takes, mean that the partners must tough it out. The fantasies of a forbidden relationship can help to endure that slogging in a clandestine way and all too often without any consequences to the couple. Occasionally the fantasizing individual may decide to go into real action.

The modern connectivity has enabled many frustrated individuals to surpass the limits of a rigid, loveless relationship into the pseudo-choices of the web. Many people maintain secret, quasi-platonic relationships with other persons they have never met personally and they like that bonding just the way it is. It is clean, fulfilling, even exhilarating, and what’s better there’s no remorse.

A BBC report says: “unless something happens to boost Japan’s birth rate, its population will shrink by a third between now and 2060. One reason for the lack of babies is the emergence of a new breed of Japanese men, the otaku, who love manga, anime and computers—and sometimes show little interest in sex…A survey by the Ministry of Health, Labour and welfare in 2010 found 36% of Japanese males aged 16 to 19 had no interest in sex.”

Having sex and later babies is part of the growing up process that humans have experienced for thousands of years in earnest. The social upheaval caused by the economic downturn of the early part of the 21st century and the relentless emancipation of women has caused a lot of anxiety in men, many of whom had withdrawn into their own fantasies.

Perhaps Claudia’s husband is an otaku who is not interested in her anymore.

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.