May and December are Both Good Months

Society is full of “rules” about whom one can love. They attempt to define appropriate genders, structures, and even adult partners’ ages. All based on history, and all of which seem silly today.

People are attracted to who they are attracted to, he said tautologically. Once legally mature, chronological age really doesn’t enter into it.

The taboo on age difference between adults appears rooted in the idea that sex is for procreation, so people who are fertile should be with other people who are fertile. That doesn’t have much to do with romantic partnerships or recreational intimacy.

Young people can be attracted to older people and vice versa. As long as each side follows basic rules of respect and consent, and accept a “no“ when they hear one, there’s no problem.

Some other thoughts on the issue: https://pourvotreplaisir.net/2018/11/16/count-the-rings/

“I need you.”

The songs celebrate it, the romance novels are full of it. A passion so intense it becomes a need.

But is it a good thing to need someone else? For you or for them?

A need is involuntary. You can decide to want something, but a need doesn’t emerge from a rational process. We don’t choose to need oxygen, or water, or touch. They are hard-wired requirements.

So if you say you need me, I don’t know if you even like me. You have a need. Today it’s me. Tomorrow it could be for a vodka gimlet or an Eames chair, I don’t know. But that expression of need doesn’t tell me anything about how you feel about me.

It doesn’t even say what you really need. My compassion? My reddish hair? My collection of Flintstones jelly jars? What part of me do you need, because it would be very improbable to need all of someone — or even to like everything about them.

Moreover, it sounds like a trap. If you tell me you need oxygen, it would be cruel of me to withhold it from you. “Need” implies a requirement for survival. So saying you need me puts an obligation on me to meet that need. That may not be your intention, but it can be a very real effect of the language.

If, on the other hand, you want me, I know that you have made a choice. That you find me appealing. That what you want is me, and not just whatever can fill your need. Want is personal; need is objectifying. Want comes from the head and the heart. It says that you could do fine without me, but you have decided things would be better with me around.

That’s warm. That’s flattering. And that’s not an ultimatum. It is the beginning of a conversation, not a demand.