Scent of a woman

There's a difference between making love and today's rampant narcissism.

Prostitute 248.88 (photo credit: AP)
Prostitute 248.88
(photo credit: AP)
The three Duke Lacrosse players who were vindicated this week were falsely and tragically accused of rape, but were correctly held responsible for vulgar male lechery in needing to hire strippers to perform at a team party. The sad affair of students at an elite university craving, as a form of entertainment, the degradation of women into submissive objects of lust brings to mind how men today are no longer sex addicts, but orgasm addicts. Indeed, men who watch porn or go to strip clubs are not sex addicts so much as orgasm addicts. There is a considerable difference between the two. The sex addict actually enjoys sex. He loves the friction of sex, the intensity of sex, the loss of self that comes about through sex. He loves the strong emotions and the sense of closeness that sex brings about. The sex addict loves the sensuality of sex as well. He loves the feel of a woman, the scent of a woman, the sound of a woman, the taste of a woman, and the look of a woman. In short, he drinks in a woman with all his senses. Now, does this sound like any university-age man you know? Most young men today are trained to bed women rather than stand in awe of them. The orgasm addict hates the strong emotions that sex conjures up, which is why he wants sex over with as quickly as possible. For him, sex is nothing more than a means to an end. At the moment of sexual climax, he reaches his intended goal of non-feeling, utter emotionlessness, followed by the nirvana of sleep. Presto. A world of numbness, just as he intended. Men today hate feeling emotion. Raised with a false stereotype of machismo that is all about brawn and never about the emotions, they scarcely know how to feel. So they use sex to achieve a state of non-feeling and they objectify women as a means of ensuring that no woman will ever have a hold on them. The orgasm addict also despises the sensual woman. He doesn't want a woman with curves or flesh. No, he wants them super-thin, looking like an emaciated scarecrow. It therefore can't be argued that he really enjoys the feel of a woman. Because a bag of bones and a rib cage, lacking any curves or contours, is just not that pleasurable to touch. Young men today want women to wear perfumes, so it's not the woman's pheromones or natural scent they're attracted to. And they certainly don't want to hear them speak. The misogynistic attitude of the porn addict is, "Just shut up and drop your clothes." Talk? Never. The sex addict enjoys the friction of two bodies in ecstatic embrace. So he prolongs sex. He's not running to the finish line - like the orgasm addict who is a narcissist who treats women as a means to his own selfish ends. She is there to get him off, to bring him to climax. And that's why the woman in question is not specific. It could be almost anyone. It's the anonymity of her body rather than the specificity of her face which he seeks. THIS IS why men these days have so many sexual partners. They use variety to obviate connection. The more sexual partners they have, the more meaningless sex becomes. And the more meaningless it becomes, the less connected to the woman they will be. Porn is the male orgasm personified. It is not smart, it is not entertaining, and it is not erotic. It is pure sexual detonation. The French call the male orgasm "la petite mort," "the little death." After orgasm the male narcissist is granted the pleasure, not of intense emotion, which the sex addict craves, but non-emotion, which the orgasm addict seeks. Loving sex reflects a love of life, because during sex we feel intensely alive. But loving orgasm reflects a love of death, because after orgasm we feel expended and kaput. In October 2003 New York Magazine ran a cover story by David Amsden about the total male addiction to pornography and how it is ruining male-female relationships. Entitled, "Not Tonight, Honey. I'm Logging On," the story was advertised with the following tagline: "Internet porn is everywhere; even 'nice' guys are hooked. So where does that leave their girlfriends?" The feature went on to say that Wall Street traders, the most manly of men (because they make the most money!), have reached a point where they prefer to stay at home and masturbate to pornography than have sex with their girlfriends. The story was scarcely believable. These men are dating gorgeous women. Because even sex involves an exertion. You have to woo the woman. Take her out to dinner. Take off her clothes. Give her a compliment. But wait a second. Since the desired result is orgasm, heck, just act it out at home. Why waste time romancing a woman? THE TRANSFORMATION of men from sex addicts into porn addicts also explains why men aren't having sex with their wives. The American marriage is quickly becoming a platonic affair with even Newsweek magazine publishing a cover story in June 2003 about how 20 percent of American marriages are utterly sexless. On my television program Shalom in the Home, of the 20 families we worked with in our first two seasons, roughly half had not had sex in more than a year. And these were young couples, not men on a Viagra drip. As for those couples who are still physically intimate, studies show that marital sex in America lasts on average for about ten minutes (and that includes the time the husband spends begging). Sparse pickings indeed. Husbands who are orgasm addicts are also impatient and goal-oriented lovers who slowly extinguish their wives' libidos and carnal desire. All this results from what we would otherwise see as young men having an innocent fascination with strippers. I find it astonishing that a university like Duke has not made it an absolute prohibition to hire strippers. Had they done so, there never would have been false rape charges in the first place. And they would have pointed their young men in a direction of respecting women rather than degrading them. The writer's Web site is