MARK L. BAKKE'S
Night Owl Mk. II

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LOVE AND RELATIONSHIPS

Ideally, these topics are intertwined rather pleasantly. The world would certainly be a better place if we took "Make Love, Not War" seriously. Unfortunately, all sorts of factors tend to get in the way.
First, we seem to have all sorts of hangups about sex. In this case, I'm using "sex" as a generic term that applies to any pleasurable physical contact between men and women -- whether that be hugging, kissing, or good old-fashioned "man-on-top-get-it-over-with-quick". Oh, there's few problems with perfunctory, meaningless hugs or pecks on the cheek that many people exchange almost as an afterthought or a custom. Just don't make it "good" enough that it might be enjoyable! And, there will really be hell to pay if you should do that with somebody who is not your spouse/significant other.
Why is this? Is there something inherently wrong with a simple act that brings a little pleasure into another person's life? If you are married to one member of the human race, does that mean that you must treat the remaining population of the world as "untouchables"? Our society seems to think that "Yes" is the correct answer to each of those last two questions.
Personally, I'm of the opinion that Man (generically speaking) is not, by nature, a monogamous animal nor was he meant to mate for life. The high rate of divorce and unhappy marriages would seem to bear this out. Marriage should be considered to be a contract under which two people acknowledge and accept responsibility to care for and support each other and any children that they may have. If ever the time comes when either or both parties no lon ger wish to do this, the contract should be easily dissolvable. If the contract is followed, there should be no restrictions on anything else that either party wishes to do.
I also feel that a marriage contract should be like a high-level security clearance in the military in that neither is permanent and must be revalidated and renewed every five years in order for it to remain in force. That knowledge alone might help prevent such things as marriages where the woman only seeks a "meal ticket" or the man only seeks a "trophy". If it becomes apparent during the five-year update that there is no real marriage in place, it would not be renewed. Yes, more marriages would likely be broken, but you might just also find that fewer bad marriages are entered into in the first place or are maintained out of fear of what society or religion might think about a divorce. I think that the good would outweigh the bad.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not advocating the blanket approval of wanton "fooling around" or any cheapening of the institution of marriage. It would just be nice if we could be honest with ourselves and with each other concerning how we relate to our fellow human beings. Speaking of which, let's talk about the ritual known as "dating".
"Dating" and everything that accompanies it is the human equivalent of what biologists call "courtship rituals" in animals. Let's face it -- as a general rule, when a man asks out a woman because he would like to "get to know her", he's speaking in the Biblical sense of the word "know". Any woman who claims not to understand this is either delusional or ignorant. Now, this doesn't, by any stretch of the imagination, imply that accepting his invitation means that she has to "put out" for him. However, she should certainly acknowledge the fact that she would very likely not have been asked out in the first place if he wasn't interested in "doing the horizontal bop" with her. While most men certainly desire other qualities in a woman besides physical appearance, it's highly unlikely that those qualities would override the fact that a given woman might be sexually unappealling to them. Women certainly do know this. Why else would they spend time and effort on their appearance before going out on a date? I'm sure that will enrage a lot of ardent feminists out there, but, I must speak the truth.


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