I was handed a book by my father of the kind of man I was suppose to become. It had large sections on the rules, the guidelines, the "do's," and a large section of the "don'ts." This book was actually more like an encyclopedia set with very specific diagrams of what made up a good NY Jew in this society.
It was pretty straight-forward:
- Do well in school.
- Get a job.
- Find a wife.
- Get a better job.
- Get a house.
- Produce grand-children.
- Make a lot of money. Make more money.
- Retire young.
When given a game such as this, I excel. At 28 years old, I was married to a good woman, had a six-figure job, had
bought a five bedroom house in San Francisco, and was setting myself for a fine American future. "I was winning," I thought. Part of that American Dream was our typical sex life. Hot and frequent in the first 60 days, it had degraded down to vastly infrequent like a penny stock's value diving down to zero.
Our infrequent coitus was instigated mostly by shame, guilt or large amounts of alcohol. The saddest part was that I wasn't surprised or even really perturbed. I had read it before in my rule book.
So, I read and watched porn, had a rich fantasy life, flirted heavily with my corporate American co-workers fresh out of B-school and had no idea how to touch my wife. I stopped trying. My wife, however, wasn't so easily gratified with a non-existent sex life. She wasn't so quick to give up. One day, her teacher at massage school asked simply, "How's your sex life?"
"Good," she replied. <pause> "Okay." <bigger pause> "It could use something." Her teacher made her an offer. She picked up her phone and called me at work.
"Hi Honey," I said.
"Hey," she replied. "Do you want to take course on sex with me?"
I paused, looking into the phone, and said nothing for a moment. I was a good man. I was a responsible adult. I was a proper citizen. These type of people don't take a class on sex. We hide our desire and keep our secret fantasy-life to ourselves. We certainly do not take classes on sex. But when you are not having sex and your partner asks you to take a class on sex... you say, "YES." So I did and then hung up my phone in a strange trance. What had I just gotten myself into?
Ten days later, I drove up to Marin to take my first class. I remember being very turned on and nervous on the ride up. We got to the house, I stepped out of the car, took my wife's hand, and walked towards the door.