Enhance Me or Leave Me

No, I’m not seeking duck lips or melon boobs. If you’re currently single, don’t you find it interesting that as you age you limit entrance into your life to people who enhance it? The more self-sufficient you become, the less tolerant you become. I’m not speaking exclusively about sex. I doubt I’ll live to see masturbatory equipment make the other gender obsolete. It’s more about spending significant time with another person.

When we were children, we had little choice. We can’t select our siblings, neighbors, and classmates so we cope. Once we leave school, we begin to have options but the peer and familial pressures shove us down the aisle.

We go through the big wedding, nesting, reproducing, and straying. Once we hit our forties we begin to wonder what’s left. Some of us take the brave and expensive route of reentering the mating pool with what some people will call damage and baggage. Pity. My experience taught me well. I’m not damaged. I’m just fine.

Then, a new strategy arises: We’re no longer out to find soul mates; we’re casually seeking people who make us happier. We’ve learned that more than one person is qualified for the position, so we don’t race back down the aisle again. We enjoy the rides and step off once things get complicated. Expiration is approaching so there’s no time to force together pieces that don’t fit.

I’m sure some people (married ones) see this as a dysfunction. It’s promiscuity, perhaps. Still, I don’t desire casual sex; I desire pleasurable sex with minimal aftertaste. I’m confident that one woman at a time can deliver those goods, but I won’t find her without hunting.

For example, say you left your husband today. (If it is easier, assume he left you.) You’re single and free. Cast away all of the financial nonsense and parental guilt that will keep you tied to an unhealthy relationship. You’re single, financially secure, the nest is empty, and your hormones are still flowing. What will you do?

I’ll tell you.

At first, you’ll timidly stick a toe in the mating pool. It’s chilly. You’ll consider going back to what you know (sucks). You’ll stick another toe in. It’s the post-marital Hokey-Pokey, if you will. You’ll have good sex with bad men and bad sex with good men. You’ll be frustrated and consider going back again. You won’t. You’ll gain confidence that you can find good sex with a good man. You finally find it and hang on. Then it sours.

Suddenly, you’re approaching fifty and you realize you don’t need your sentences finished for you. You’ve arranged your nest the way you like it and it doesn’t need more birds. You’ve found your happiness and you’re not about to trade it for penetration. Mr. Next is going to have to enhance your life significantly or he’ll remain with his competition on the fringes.

When you’ve reached this point–whether pets are involved or not–you’ve become the most attractive person you’ll ever be. Isn’t that ironic?

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About the author

Author of humorous essays about relationships and lifestyles.