The Curse Of The Player

Beware the blessings of gratification.

The relationship. The long-term relationship. The Holy Grail for some. Purgatory for others. Serene limbo for most.

The relationship — aka marriage, when in its most loathsome permutation — is supposed to be the culmination of romantic transcendence. It moves lovers beyond lust into the realm of silent covalent bond. But this bond, unspoken and understood, can’t form out of any primordial soup; it requires the presence, and the absence, of specific ingredients. The rarity of the founding broth is the reason why poets elevate inviolate love to the sublime. One isn’t liable to effuse about the commonplace or the trite, which can spring like weeds from the craggiest soil.

In every relationship, there is a transition period; that window of time when a man senses he has crossed a boundary from experimental abandon to tribute paid in increments of freedom. A man stands at the Gates of Pudenda and makes his decision for Eros: to step through, committing himself to a revised moral code etched with broad brushstrokes of obligation and the peculiar rewards accrued therein, or to turn back to gallivant another day.

The decision at the moment of transition is not the same for every man. If you haven’t experienced multiple lovers, your transition into an LTR will be easier. You won’t sacrifice much in leaving behind your life of infrequent elation for the rhythmic reassurance of content stability. Players with a lurid, technicolor memory plate filled with many women will find it harder to accede to the straitjacketing of an LTR because of an acute sense of something missing, of what could still be had for the taking, and of withdrawal from the thrill of the hunt. The man who has bedded in his lifetime more than two or three lovers (the average number for the typical beta male) has a feature length film of past and present conquests running in a continuous loop, instantly evoked, as H.H. would say, on the “dark innerside of his eyelids”, in perfect optical replication, to effortlessly remind him of the incomprehensible pleasure of vulvic variety and of all the women waiting in oblivious anticipation for the arrival of his plunderprong.

The memory and the knowledge are the curse of the player. Memory stokes the wanderlust with insistent, torrential recall of scores of curvaceous bodies and rippled vulvae. Though in theory one vagina is no different than the rest, in a man’s mind each furrow is an ecological feature etched into strange planets across the galaxy. Every vagina is a new world to a man, some more exotic than others, and the unbridled enthusiasm he will feel planting his flag on fresh colonizations is no accident of evolution. Contrary to feminized misappraisal, this is not the pretentious joy of shame or escape; it is the sincere joy of pleasure that needs no reason.

The knowledge that the player possesses at his whim the skill to seduce women is the twin sabotage that undermines relationship endurance. A player will see the world of women lit from every angle, exposed to his exploration, if he knows, through experience, through the touch of a thousand fingertips, that he can bed women fairly consistently, and with manageable effort. The psychological emollient of knowing this power is his is enough to burden the heart of a man contemplating even a facsimile of fidelity. Bound to his lover by, in turns, conscience, social opprobrium, and legal sanction, the streams of waiting conquests slipping past like rivulets of glimmering intimacies, taunting his parched loin loosely moored to the ballast of loyalty, is the torture of a lifetime of short-circuited ejaculations.

In contrast, to be the grateful man with no history of sexual plenitude, for whom omnipresent sensual possibilities seem as remote as the twinkling stars in the heavens and thus unlikely to stir his ancient calling, is to be released with the gift of the constrained vision. Where possibility is dead, or unfathomable, so is dangerous yearning. He is now free to step back from the beautiful painting and dryly ponder its geometric contours. When this man falls in love with an accessible work of art, one he can call his own, he has little else to compare its grip on his imagination. He cherishes his chosen muse, blissfully ignorant of the carelessness and glibness with which he would succumb to, and love, the millions of competing muses were they to be more tangible to him than airbrushed magazine cover placeholders.

The curse of the player, then, is ultimately illumination, tactile and cerebral. His own success in love betrays his quest for the ultimate love. He has seen vistas he cannot unsee.

He is not a disbeliever in everlasting monogamous love, quite the contrary; but his eternal search for it has corrupted the destination. Each step of his journey lands like the heavy stamp of slash and burn machinery, decloaking the mystery of the source at the mouth of the tributary. He is as certain to destroy underfoot the elixir of redemption as he is to finally catch it, leached of its nutrients.

Ironically, the man (or woman) best situated to find divine love is the one whose efforts aren’t excessively profitable.

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