How could I possibly pass up an article called “Instant Sex“? Even if it does appear in the Weekly Standard and even if it is written by that burning hunk o’manlove David Gelernter, certainly “Instant Sex” had to be worth a read. Sadly, no. I probably should have realized that in the pages of the Weekly Standard instant sex would, like international diplomacy, civil rights, habeas corpus and social security, be a really bad thing.
Now why instant sex is so awful is something Gelernter doesn’t fully explain, probably because instant sex is something that, for a variety of reasons, he hasn’t ever experienced first-hand (unless you count his own hand.) So Gelernter resorts to some staggeringly awful metaphors:
Instant sex and romantic love can’t coexist any more than hurricanes and forest fires. One drives out the other.
Hey, but what if the hurricane is romantic love and the forest fire is the instant sex? Then the instant sex doesn’t destroy the romantic love, does it? I bet Gelernter didn’t think of that.
But the wingnutaphors have just started:
Why can’t they coexist? Because, just as green leaves transform sunlight to useful energy in a process called photosynthesis, human beings transform longing for an adored object into a heightened state of consciousness in a process called falling in love.
I’m sorry but comparing love to photosynthesis is, well, just icky. It’s like comparing romantic love to, say, fungal anastomosis. Ewww. Given the choice between instant sex and photosynthesis, I think I’ll pick the instant sex.
Thwarted sexual desire is nearly as necessary to young people as food and shelter.
That sounds to me like a desperate rationalization of an unhappy adolescence, but even if its true, I suppose that means you can start the instant sex business at age 35 or so. Yippee!
Premarital, premature sex drains the power reserve that would have propelled them into emotional (versus mere physical) adulthood.
And it makes you grow hair on your hands, lose track meets, and go blind, not necessarily in that order.