Love: Nothing But Sex Misspelled?

General discussions of interest to readers and fans of Harlan Ellison.

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theworstusernameever
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Love: Nothing But Sex Misspelled?

Postby theworstusernameever » Sun Dec 20, 2009 7:57 pm

Hi. Maybe you nice folks will be able to help me figure this out.

Harlan Ellison's been my favorite for a decade - ever since I was in my early teens.

I've always tried to implement the advice of LANBSM: I'm fearlessly honest and demand the same, in a relationship.

But I've had a hard time really feeling comfortable with the part of the book that seems to say, "fuck and let fuck."

It isn't love, and it shouldn't interfere with love -- that's logical.

And a lot of people agree: libertarians on the right and free-love types on the left.

So is it just because I'm weak and insecure that I don't think I'd take it very well if my better half started at it?

They want to, and they told me.

Is this just something I've got to get over in order to be a rational, reasonable, intellectual person?

Is a fear of it completely at odds with enlightenment?

Is there any legitimate intellectual defense of monogamy?

What am I entitled to ask for?

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David Loftus
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Re: Love: Nothing But Sex Misspelled?

Postby David Loftus » Sun Dec 20, 2009 11:51 pm

Not entirely sure what you're saying here. I see two questions in your post: whatever Ellison said, and what you're asking us.

I simply don't recognize or recall whatever you're referring to from Harlan's book; perhaps you could be more specific about the passage -- where you saw it and what you take it to mean (I do have at least three different editions of LANBSM, so I should be able to find it easily enough).

As for your more essential question to us, the answer is simple: You are entitled to ask for whatever you want. Simple as that.

You don't have to adjust your needs and expectations just to become some "certain type of person"; you are only obligated to be and to become the person you are and must be. No one else.

There probably are legitimate intellectual defenses of monogamy; certainly many people have tried to concoct them. But reason and logic and intellectually tight consctructions mean almost nothing in the face of human desires, capabilities, and weaknesses. All it really comes down to is: what do you want? what does the other person want? And how much is each person willing to compromise and/or give up to get the other stuff?

In a similar way, "enlightenment" is meaningless as an objective condition or state of being. Practically speaking, "enlightenment" means little more than knowing who you are, what you want, and what your limits are.

Now, who you are and what you expect from someone else may not jibe with whatever a specific other person is willing to put up with. That's a deal whose value you're going to have to weigh. Maybe you can put up with more than you'd prefer to -- more than you thought you could.

But there's certainly no harm in insisting on what you'd prefer to have, ideally, as an opening gambit.
War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus

theworstusernameever
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Re: Love: Nothing But Sex Misspelled?

Postby theworstusernameever » Mon Dec 21, 2009 10:38 am

I think maybe I conflated something he wrote elsewhere with the introduction LANBSM. Nevertheless, I still remember reading Harlan endorsing essentially "open" relationships - or am I wrong?

Anyhow, thank you.

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Re: Love: Nothing But Sex Misspelled?

Postby Moderator » Mon Dec 21, 2009 11:05 am

Worst Name - Welcome. I'm usually not fond of anonymity (we've had some very bad experiences here) but am happy to have you join us. Only some basic rules about conduct -- no flames -- but otherwise have at it. New voices are always appreciated.

Should you be compeled, please introduce yourself properly over in the Webderlanders thread. Thanks!
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

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David Loftus
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Re: Love: Nothing But Sex Misspelled?

Postby David Loftus » Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:35 pm

Dear Worst:

I can tell you fairly certainly that while Harlan may well allow other folks to behave as they choose, openly and consentingly between participants, he has never been a particular fan of "open relationships" in his own life. He may have had a grand old time during the periods when he was single and unattached, especially during his Hollywood years, but I feel fairly certain he preferred monogamy once two people were focused in on each other.

I believe he has stated with pride that he's never "cheated" on a spouse or steady girlfriend, and I know he was pretty outraged in at least one instance when someone else did not accord him the same consideration.
War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus

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FrankChurch
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Re: Love: Nothing But Sex Misspelled?

Postby FrankChurch » Mon Dec 21, 2009 7:05 pm

Men are sexual beasts, there is no getting around that. The main thing that matters is sex and guilt do not mix.

diane bartels
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Re: Love: Nothing But Sex Misspelled?

Postby diane bartels » Tue Dec 22, 2009 5:06 pm

Dear Worst,
Hi. Welcome. All I can share is my own experience and thoughts. If the relationship is casual, friends with benefits, whatever, and both people understand and agree with that, no harm, no foul. If there are deep and serious feelings on one or both persons part, I have never personally seen or experienced outside sex working. I have known those who swear it benefits the relationship,but I have ne
ver seen it work. Basically it does come done to what you want and need, as David said. If I were you, I woulfd not compromise on something that important to me. Good luck. Been there, done that.

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FrankChurch
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Re: Love: Nothing But Sex Misspelled?

Postby FrankChurch » Tue Dec 22, 2009 6:18 pm

Got a pic, Diane? lol

diane bartels
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Re: Love: Nothing But Sex Misspelled?

Postby diane bartels » Thu Dec 24, 2009 6:56 am

Maybe, Frank, maybe. Wish I could type well.


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