Marcus Williams has figured it out. Sex is beautiful and communication should be open—except when there’s lust involved.
Tom Matlack’s recent article, “Is Male Lust Turning Us Inside Out”, was a thoughtful piece about male lust and how it … the way men … that it would be great if we could …
Shoot. Beats me what it was about. I mean, I’m sure it was about something, and I really did read the whole thing the first time through, but the ensuing discussion in comments was focused on the first paragraph, in which Tom described a friend as a “wonderful husband,” despite him having dropped the bomb that motherhood had “ruined” his wife’s tits. (It’s possible that wasn’t the only focus, but I stopped trying to keep up around the 150th or so comment.)
To be fair, the husband didn’t just say that his wife’s breasts were ruined—he also told Tom about sneaking porn and going to strip clubs without his wife’s knowledge because “she would freak out if she knew,” and made it sound like his only alternative would be to have an affair with a teenager. As a man, husband, and human, that part of Tom’s description did not sound very wonderful to me, because I don’t think that kind of deception is consistent with a healthy relationship. It’s the deception I have a problem with, not the porn or strip clubs.
The deception aspect of Tom’s friend got a little attention in discussion, but what really depressed me was how quick the women in the thread were to condemn the friend and dispute the “wonderful” part for the crime of no longer finding his wife’s breasts as beautiful as he once had. Over several comments and even across threads on other articles, many commenters echoed the theme that if a man wasn’t prepared to lust after his wife’s breasts—and nobody else’s—forever and ever, then he shouldn’t have married her and he damn well shouldn’t have got her pregnant. Breast fetishes are disgusting anyway and a wonderful husband would know that and transfer his lust to other body parts or, even better, the whole person. Selfish asshole. (I’m paraphrasing.)
I’m onboard with any argument that fading physical beauty is not justification for deceiving one’s spouse, much less cheating on them, but I am dumbfounded by the shock and outrage over a statement that age and/or children had a negative impact on physical beauty. I can’t believe that any of the women criticizing Mr. Wonderful would suggest that his wife’s breasts were just as amazing to look at after motherhood as before, but they seem to be saying he’s a lout for not thinking exactly that, as if there’s a magic switch husbands can toggle to cancel out the effects of gravity and breastfeeding on their visual cortex.
Absent from Tom’s description, but assumed in many of the comments, was any evidence that Mr. Wonderful was so fixated on his breast lust that he no longer found any other part of his wife attractive, physical or otherwise. There was no indication that when the breasts sagged, he ceased wanting or having any physical intimacy with his wife, but several commenters scolded him for not shifting his desires to other parts, implicitly assuming that once a breast man, only a breast man. There was no elaboration of whether Mr. Wonderful’s wife also considered her tits ruined, and perhaps out of self-consciousness, no longer let him enjoy them like he used to. There was a whole lot of missing information, some of which may have made the husband more sympathetic, and some which would confirm everyone’s worst suspicions, but what I found depressing was that among the women, this passing statement about lust from one male friend to another was reflexively judged in the worst possible light.
The subheading to Tom’s piece was, “Tom Matlack wonders what would happen if men were allowed to be open about their lust.” In my recent article, “From Librarian to Eye Candy in 20 Seconds”, and it’s follow-up, I took quite a bit of heat for being open about some lust I barely expressed as a single man, getting criticized for objectifying women and having it suggested I should learn to care about other things besides appearance first—even though I hadn’t done anything. Now I’m on the married side, to a woman I only knew through written words for almost a year before we met in person. We’ve had kids, and I still love her and lust after her, but her body, alas, shows some of the hallmark signs of age and motherhood. I can easily imagine myself saying to a friend, “Motherhood has not helped her tits.” If I go by the reaction to Mr. Wonderful, that would be enough to make me a selfish, disrespectful horndog of a man, even without the secret porn and strip clubs.
The answer to Tom’s wondering about the consequences of men being open about their lust appears to be that it will be characterized as selfish and hurtful, whether you’re single or married, and whether you keep it to yourself or do something with it. Lip service is paid to the importance of open communication and how sexuality is a beautiful thing, but the dominant message in comments is: Don’t! Don’t lust. It’s yucky. It’s shallow. If you have to lust, keep it to yourself. Lust for your wife is almost okay, but it’s not allowed to change, and don’t tell her if it does. Don’t tell your friends if it does. And whatever you do, don’t tell Tom about it, because that dude will tell everybody.