The question for men of a certain age

Doctors get to ask strange questions and do a number of odd things. Sticking a finger up the bum of a male subject to check out the prostate gland is just one of many medically invasive things doctors need to do in order to check the internal health of their patients.

There are diagnostic tools as well, such as x-rays, MRIs and CAT-Scans to help doctors look inside our bodies when something seems broken, bruised or stressed. Dentists flip on the x-ray machine to check the bone and root health of our teeth. The medical field can even look inside our heads.

brain scan.jpg

I’ve had a brain scan done. Years ago I’d get optical migraines now and then. My  doctor sent me to get a brain scan to make sure there wasn’t anything going on behind optical nerves such as a mass or a tumor. Fortunately, the scan showed nothing except the fact that I do appear to have brains in my head. So that was a good result.

Usually the optical migraines were the result of stress, and possibly a combination of of hormonal issues. The vision in one eye would close down like a black curtain. After a bit, it would abate and go away.

retinal-detachment.jpegAt the mere age of twenty-one I was diagnosed with a retinal detachment in the back of my left eye. The small-town optometrist in Decorah, Iowa sent me to the Gunderson Clinic in LaCrosse, Wisconsin where they hooked me up to a machine the size of a Volkswagen and shot laser beams into my eye to coterize the hole in the retina. It worked, and I never had to have the intrusive surgery where people wind up out of action for weeks. So I tend to trust what doctors and dentists and opthamologists and the like have to say.

Four hour erections

But sometimes, they still catch you off guard. Such was the case with my last doctor’s appointment a full physical exam.

“Do you still get erections?” he asked.

That question wasn’t so much a surprise as it was a point of consideration. For years I’ve seen those Viagra commercials, sometimes in the presence of my daughter, who being of middle school age at the time, would laugh out loud when the commercial said, “Check with your doctor if you have an erection lasting more than four hours.”

“Four hours!” she’d laugh.

As a good father, I’d laugh right along with her, then make jokes about all the interesting and useful things you could do with a four-hour erection. “You could punch the elevator buttons without using your hands,” I jested one time.

“Okay dad, enough,” she insisted.

Erection scan.jpgI answered my doctor honestly that to this point in my life, there’s not a problem in that department. Erectile dysfunction, as they call it, has not caught up with me. And by the way, that’s not my junk in the illustration above. But according to slide C it looks like someone could be a Leftie. 

A part of me (yes, that part) believes that staying fit helps in terms of all body functions. Unless there’s a congenital (yes, that was another genital joke) heart problem, generally fit people are better prepared to have sex. Even the Viagra and Cialis people tell potential users to get their heart checked before popping their pills. It doesn’t help to have a four-hour erection if you’re already dead. The coroners would arrive to find the body and say, “Oh, look, we’ve got two stiffs.”

Well past hump day

It’s Friday, what can I say? I’m on a roll.

All I can say as a Man of a Certain Age is that it’s frankly a bit of a relief to not be as manically horny as I used to be. That drive had its purpose somehow during those hormonal years. For one thing, it made for fascinating playground conversations.

I remember hearing how to jerk off from a friend in the sixth grade during recess. Then we all made a pledge to go home and try it out that. The next day we reported back as if we had just completed a book assignment. Our leader was proud. “Yeah, it’s great, isn’t it?”  the Jerkoff Wizard enthused to us. To the six of us, he might as well have been Merlin, for he’d opened our world up to a magic we never imagined.

Relieved

Armed with that information and the sensations it wrought, we all graduated to a male habit that for many millions of people consumes countless hours and untold reams of toilet paper or socks. The guilt that used to be associated with masturbation has been largely relieved of its repressive power by a much healthier attitude: releasing sexual tension can be healthy for both men and women.

Be honest: There were times over the years when it was simply hard to concentrate without letting off some steam. Most of us guys turned to Playboy and Penthouse for sex pics. But these days? In the era of Internet 6.0? With live streaming and the like? I seriously don’t know how young people of any gender manage themselves in what amounts to the Golden Age of Porn. There is literally no limit to content for stimulation. But millennials seem to have their minds together on the subject. It’s just sex. They deal with it and move on to other things. Thus I admire millennials for many reasons.

A real sex education

The one good thing about the availability of online porn is that people no longer have to wonder about what human anatomy looks like. Male, female, transgender? It’s all there. No real biggie. Once you’ve seen a thousand, the mystery wears off.

Porn? Let’s laugh at some cats knocking things off counters instead.

But the question for men of a certain age is whether any of that sex stuff matters if the libido abates or the equipment doesn’t work. There are pills for all of that of course. But when it comes to legislation, it seems that men’s “health” (otherwise known as getting boners) is a big issue while women (can anyone say Sandra Fluke?) have to keep quiet and deal with the business of their lady parts and birth control on their own dime and time.

Big and little problems

The bigger problem these days isn’t the lack of libido in men. It’s the prevalence of insecure men consumed by power over women that is truly vexing society. Some of that fear of women is still driven by the relationship between sex and the power women ultimately have over men.

That makes the visage of dirty old myopic men passing judgement over a woman testifying to a rape incident in the past a truly creepy thing. It also brought to the fore the sight of an obviously conflicted man foaming at the mouth in denial of an attempted rape. If video had existed, it’s likely the old men in that room would still deny it as evidence. Their lust for power is raping justice in America, but they blame those who are trying to hold their ilk accountable for causing a disturbance in their force.

Matt lauer.jpegBecause it’s not the Democrats against whom the judge in question should be raving. It’s the proven and litigated behavior of sexual harassers such as Fox News’ Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly that are to blame for the suspicions from the public about power hungry men and boys behaving badly.

Kavanaugh can also blame TV props such Matt Lauer and yes, even Donald Trump for proving that men can be absolute jerks with their self-locking doors and pussy-grabbing habits. Those are the people Brett Kavanaugh should blame for the doubt cast upon his character by rape accusations from Christine Blasey Ford. And Bill Clinton does deserve criticism and public shame for abusing his power for pleasure. But his wife is not the one who did it. She stood by her man and worked toward forgiveness. What a Christian example of fidelity that truly was.

So the nation has been divided into camps that are determined to repress and excuse the truth about ugly male behavior and those who stand by the will to change. The right of women to be respected in society is the new Civil War in America. It’s that clear. And there will be other Civil Wars to come, because prejudice and zealotry and fear all go together, and they don’t give up easily.

No conscience at all

It’s not as if any of those Senate panelists offered any insight on what it’s like to be female and to be abused in society. They stood back from fear of “bad optics” and let a woman do the patented grilling of Ford. Then the men all came forward and fawned as Kavanaugh went rogue in preaching the belief that men can do what they want for two minutes or four hours or engage in a lifetime of bad behavior and women simply have to put up with it. There are no consequences for the permanently assumptive and the jerks who exhibit no conscience at all.

Annnnnd Fuck You, Lindsey Graham.  

The joke used to be “go take a cold shower” when a man got overheated. Shrinkage can go a long way in terms of managing an overwrought libido. But a conscience overwhelmed and shrunken by unresolved issues of control and repression toward women cannot be so easily healed. Let’s not forget that Vice President Mike Pence does not even trust himself to be alone in the presence of a woman other than his wife. No real control over his own conscience? That’s some repressive shit, right there. And it’s rife within the hearts of those who can’t stand the idea that women deserve respect as people, not just objects for male sexual desire and manipulation.

It seems there’s a lot of that going around these days. Men of a certain age seem to be the worst at understanding that. Like athletes living in the past, they long for the “glory days” of having their way without being questioned. If only we had a little blue pill for conscience that would last longer than four hours, America would be in a much better place.

 

About Christopher Cudworth

Christopher Cudworth is a content producer, writer and blogger with more than 25 years’ experience in B2B and B2C marketing, journalism, public relations and social media. Connect with Christopher on Twitter: @genesisfix07 and blogs at werunandride.com, therightkindofpride.com and genesisfix.wordpress.com Online portfolio: http://www.behance.net/christophercudworth
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