Though Kim is no bombshell, she’s certainly real-world hot. Great bod, killer personality, enough sexual dynamism to ignite World War III. Men write poems to her in European cafés, chat her up in bars despite the presence of their wives and girlfriends, and friend her on Facebook to tell her she’s still their “best” even if it’s been decades since their roll in the hay.
When Kim was younger, she liked being a sexual supernova. No shame felt she for her wanton ways, her colossal lustiness, her stereotypically manly ability to separate sex from love. She wasn’t a man stealer or desperate fool. Kim was a healthy sexual being, as whip smart as she was sensual, as capable of meaty conversation as she was blowing minds in the sack.
Then all in the same week, stuff happened. First, she had to tell the gentleman who wanted to pay for her services she wasn’t that kind of girl. Next, she got propositioned by a married male friend with a new baby. Then, a lover from the distant past re-emerged with an ill-timed, monstrously pornographic email.
But the real doozy was the text message from Matt, the one man with whom Kim had fallen deeper in love than any normal woman deserved. For a year, she’d enjoyed a passionate but inconsistent romance with Matt until he picked up and moved to Hawaii for business. Though Kim was trying to move on, whenever he contacted her, tiny red hearts poured from her eyes. A month had passed without word, when all of a sudden, in the midst of this already strange week, she got a text. Matt wanted to know what she was wearing. All this time, Kim had been pining away. Matt was only sporting a woody.
As she gets older, Kim wants love, a family. However, she hasn’t wanted to shut off the erotic valve to suckle the Goody Two Shoes one. But after this crazy, sexed up week, Kim came to a painful realization: the men in her life don’t see her as an intellectually gifted, emotionally sophisticated feminine force who just happens to like to get it on. She’s a fantasy, and like all flights of fancy, she dissolves in real life.
My dear friend is suffering the Marilyn Effect.
Marilyn Monroe might have been the sexiest woman ever to have lived. However, she was also the most notoriously heartbroken, bowling over everyone from dorks like Arthur Miller to superstuds like the Kennedys, yet being ditched as soon as these guys had their fill. By the end of her life, the loneliness and rejection tangled with the reality of losing one’s charm to old age. Legend tells us Marilyn just wanted a baby and a man to love her. But no one could see past her intoxicating sexuality.
“People had a habit of looking at me as if I were some kind of mirror instead of a person,” Marilyn once said. “They didn’t see me, they saw their own lewd thoughts, then they white-masked themselves by calling me the lewd one.”
My girl Kim is tons healthier than Marilyn, though she’s starting to feel just as tragic. She fears becoming the washed up floozy who one day turns into the unfortunate spinster.
It’s easy to blame men for being schmucks whose thoughts originate from the lower portion of their bodies. Easy to blame a society for creating double standards. But like every arrival at a crossroads, the question shouldn’t be, “how’d I get here,” but, “where do I go now?”
To imagine my friend no longer giving into her appetites is like imagining God turning off the spigot to Niagara Falls. But that’s what Kim’s decided to do. No longer will those of us who love her salivate over stories of sexual intrigue or envy her bawdy invitations from men. Kim’s done.
Sure, it’s nice to know your booty is so good, dudes will pay for it. Nice to find out an island of hula girls can’t distract a man from wondering what clothes you’ve got on. But at some point it’s much nicer to be in love.