A Bastard’s Thanks

from Arthur Rackham's illustrations of Wagner's Ring

Illustratrion of Wagner's Ring by Arthur Rackham

Today is the day that everyone (by which I mean, those of us living in the Greatest Country in the Fucking World) takes a moment to be thankful for all the things they take for granted the other 364 days a year. Most of them will talk about how grateful they are to have a happy, functional family, friends, food, health—all that stuff.

But that’s boring to write about. I am thankful for all these things, but I make a point to be grateful for all these sorts of things every day. This is not because I’m a fantastic person (I’m not), but because I’m greedy when it comes to happiness and I want more.

I’m going to take a moment today to be explicitly thankful for all the things that would be indecent for me to mention in conversation.

I’m thankful for having a penis. It’s a wonderful organ, a knob of pleasure nerves between my legs that grows turgid when I get close to something I like. It’s my medium through which I hear the voice that all my ancestors heard, which when I interact with another human with no penis and larger breasts and wider hips, says to me: “Yes!”

My penis is my compass needle—my big, thick, stiff compass needle with a blunted end—pointing ever in the direction of happiness.

But it doesn’t end there. I’m thankful for all the perks and advantages that come with having a penis.

I’m thankful for the capacity for bone-headed, simple-minded thought that females just don’t seem to have. That voice that says, “Pleasure now and fuck the consequences!” I’m thankful for the ability to shut off the analytical portion of my brain, to temper my need to understand, to under-analyze instead of over-analyze—the opposite of which is the curse that so many girls have to deal with.

My dick enables me to listen to the voice that says, “Decision now, and if it’s a mistake then fuck it, who cares?!”

I’m thankful for the breaks I’m able to take from my emotions that women can’t. I’m thankful for the disconnection between feelings and sex that I have, somewhere deep in my sanctum of suppressed male powers. I haven’t made use of it as much as I should have because I’m too much of a moral bastard, but it’ll happen. You’ll see.

I’m thankful for my male ability to box my thoughts, to have just one thing on my mind at a time. A woman’s consciousness is a web of thoughts and worries and preoccupations and conversation topics—and the whole network is electrified with emotion. But not mine. I can peruse the shelves of my mind, remove one book from those shelves, and just read that. It’s wonderful.

I’m thankful for readers who allow me to make sweeping generalizations and gross over-simplifications.

But you know what I’m thankful for, most of all?

I’ll tell you.

Being a heterosexual male allows me to ability to see feminine beauty. Girls don’t get to see it—they understand it only superficially—and I would contend that lesbians have a different attraction to women than men do.

The best thing about being male is seeing the beauty in women. It’s not even the raw, animal pleasure of their breasts and their buttocks and thighs—though those are wonderful things—but the more subtle things that girls only understand as “pretty.” The delicate features of a female face. Her narrow shoulders, much smaller than mine. The soft warmth of her body—a woman’s body should be soft. The gentle curve of her abdomen—no muscles, but smooth and elegant. The curves of her legs. Her slender neck that tightens just a little when I kiss it. Her voice.

These are all attractive on a physical level, but that’s because they’re interlaced with something deeper. We recognize all of these features to be _the feminine_, which is something worth living for—even worth fighting and dying for. It’s a misunderstanding to believe that men fight wars and hunt food and invent wheels for access to vaginas. That may be part of it on some level, but it’s more profound than that. The feminine is the future, not just of our own genes but of humanity itself. It nags you to get up off your ass and do something; it encourages you to accomplish everything you’re capable of, and ignore fear; it loves you with a look in its eye that nurtures your confidence in yourself. The feminine makes you feel masculine. A woman makes you feel like a man.

Take a look again at the illustration at the top of this post, and you’ll get some idea of what I’m talking about.

What I’m really thankful for is the women in my life who have provided that unique, powerful feminine influence.

I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, “If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.”

—Kurt Vonnegut

Blonde girl with a big beautiful ass

If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.


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