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I came across … … No, let’s use a different phrasal verb considering the subject matter here. I stumbled across — much better — a quote from John Bayley, the (long-suffering?!) husband of the late Irish-British novelist Iris Murdoch. Bayley thought that sex was “inescapably ridiculous”, in contrast to Murdoch who, it is said, had multiple affairs with both men and women.

Down with this sort of thing Fr Ted, sex

Let’s talk about sex: Perhaps not for Fr Ted (R) and Fr Dougal (and Wrong Way!) …

Bayley’s “inescapably ridiculous” reference to sex resonated with me. I’ve had a number of sexual partners, the majority being more one-night stands than anything more regular albeit, and I struggle to remember a time when I found intercourse truly enjoyable. Most previous ‘engagements’ were more like jobs that had to be done rather than immensely pleasurable acts.

More by accident than design
This isn’t to say I was purely “selfish” about it, just in a race to reach my climax, to heck with her. Well, perhaps it was less so than by design in all honesty, but I did satisfy my playing partners before I was “done” on a number of occasions — unless they’re good fakers/liars, which would never be the case, surely?

Of course, the men’s problem, if we view it as such, is that when we reach the “point of no return” so to put it, we have to wait a while to get going again. Women, so it goes, can have multiple orgasms if men (or whoever) can be bothered to take them there.

“Having sex is not the be-all and end-all.”

The thing is, referring back to Bayley, I don’t tend to long for sex. When I see friends basically fretting about how long it has been since they last did it, I’m rather indifferent. It’s not, quite literally, something that keeps me awake at night.

It could be that I just haven’t met the right person to properly “get it on with”. I could equate it to the time I explained to a friend that my feeling when taking a certain drug was usually unspectacular at best, he suggested I hadn’t been getting it at the right potency.

Yet, my own experiences and the relationship hardships I’ve seen other acquaintances deal with would make me believe that the “right person” is a bit of a fantasy. You have to let a lot go, settle for certain things if you want to convince yourself he/she is the right person. The way it is for many things in life, really.

Avoidably ridiculous
Now my rather conservative Irish Catholic background undoubtedly plays a part in this sex indifference (Colombia is traditionally a Catholic country as well, but as I wrote before that influence has manifested itself quite differently here in many aspects).

The mere mention of the word makes Irish people of a certain generation somewhat uncomfortable. This doesn’t mean, however, that they don’t enjoy it.

For me, it’s certainly not the be-all and end-all as some of my peers seem to believe.

Unlike Bayley, though, I view it as “avoidably ridiculous” these days. For now at least.
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La vida en Colombia desde la perspectiva de un periodista y locutor irlandés, quien ha vivido en el país desde 2011. El blog explora temas sociales y culturales, interacción con los nativos, viajes, actualidades y mucho más. Escucha su podcast acá: https://anchor.fm/brendan-corrigan.

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