Money, Status & Pussy

As long as people believe that they understand what you desire, they think they know you.

That means they think they can predict what you do and can manipulate your choices for their own ends.  They think that understanding what you desire gives them power over you.

The lead character in Carl Hiaasen’s “Razor Girl,” Merry, is always rolling her eyes at men, declaring them as kind of stupid.   She is a shapely, vivacious redhead who learned that men want pussy, so she comes up with a scheme to put hers on display in a critical situation — she is found shaving her “bikini area” after she smashed into the back of their car, claiming she is late for a date — to get the control she needs.

Straight white men have pretty simple desires.  It’s all about money, status and pussy, though not necessarily in that order, so women like Merry find them easy to understand and to manipulate.

This is why, I suspect, that when a presidential candidate appears to have lived a life obsessed with money, status and pussy, we are able to give him a pass.   After all, boys will be boys, so his desires make sense to us, are simple and easy to understand.

It’s when desire gets slightly more complicated that the system gets fuzzy.

Selling systems to tell men what women desire and how to use those desires to get what you want from them are all over the internet.   Straight men whose desires are simple often find the desires of women complicated and even baffling to understand, which they feel puts them at a disadvantage.

What do women want, anyway?   And how can we get them to give us what we want?   For many men, this is an unanswerable conundrum.

The more mature we get, the more we understand ourselves, the less we are easily manipulated by simple, one note desire.   We see the price of desire, live inside the ambiguity of what we want and need, making more considered decisions about what we want.

Marketers understand this as a challenge.   That’s why they want to get to customers early in their lives when their desires are simple, hoping to set brand choice patterns that will continue though an entire life.   The more obsessed we are with having what others have, having status in the group and attracting partners the more we can be manipulated with those primal urges.

As women mature, their desires become much more complex.  They have to consider their family and their community,  often doing so even before considering their own needs.   A woman who is still just out for money, status and sex after a certain age just seems pathetic, even if a man can continue to be a hound dog, following his basic urges, for life.

That’s why Merry never has to worry how old the guys she bumps are; they all get a little woozy when faced with the possibility of fresh, young cooch.   And it’s why an old boss of mine was baffled when I wasn’t motivated by money or social status; how could he manipulate me if I didn’t follow the pattern?

Transgender is about nothing if not about desire.   Transpeople have desires that cross gendered expectations assigned to their birth sex, that come out of the simple assumptions.   This is why trans and gay have always fit together, because the desire to be with people of your own sex/gender is just beyond the comprehension of a purely heterosexist mind which projects trained norms.

As a culture we have dealt with this by setting up another binary, declaring people to be straight or gay, fitting into one set of expectations or another.  In this political model, bisexuality doesn’t exist as a “real” position, rather it is always about play, experiment, and denial, just like crossdressing was categorized in the Virginia Prince era.  People “really” fit into nice, simple roles, just sometimes they goof around.

The first question I was often asked at gay bars was “So who do you want to meet anyway?”   Until they understood my desire, they couldn’t understand me.   They constructed a gender presentation to attract the people who they were interested in, so they assumed I did the same.   When I tried to explain that my presentation was about expression, not attraction, people felt I was too weird to engage.

 To have another language is to possess a second soul.

The more marginalized we are in the world, the more off the normative, the more we have to understand multiple worlds.

Straight white men can get away with just understanding their world, for example, but women have to understand the world of women and the world of men in a way that men don’t have to do.   Gays have to understand the world of gays too, while straight white men got a pass.

Add to that racial, religious, cultural, language, class and other differences and the amount of variation of needs & desires gets complicated in a way that can baffle and frustrate people.   They want a simple world with simple rules, not some complicated network where they have to consider lots of connections before they get the simple things they want, which may well be just money, status and pussy.

The way to regain power, they can easily believe, is by just purging all this bullshit complex desire and just making America great again by reimposing the simple rules they learned from marketers growing up.

As long as people believe that they understand what you desire, they think they know you.

That means they think they can predict what you do and can manipulate your choices for their own ends.  They think that understanding what you desire gives them power over you.

If they don’t understand what you desire, though, if it is too complicated to fit in their current assumptions and expectations,  is out of their cultural realm, well, then they feel can feel powerless.

We are moving towards a society where desire is much more complicated than the simple, old binary heterosexual model.    Enhancing the speed of connection in the world broadens the network, linking us far outside of the parochial notions we may have grown up with.   Diversity is no longer a concept taught in college, rather it is part of the flow of everyday life.

People are different, make different choices because what they value and what they desire are different.  Beyond cultural assumptions lies individual choice with people synthesizing their own expression and priorities with the best from across a full spectrum of humanity (1994).

A world where the simplicity of just desiring money, status & pussy may be scary to some, but I don’t see us going back towards that capitalist, sexist notion anytime soon.