Love is... contest is the ever-insightful commenter Mongo, At the Moment. For his efforts, he wins a cock ring. What? You can't hear me? Okay, FINE! He wins a COCK RING! That's right, a big ol' candy colored, waterproof, vibrating cock ring, with girth adjustment, "extra nubs," a "baller" (which could probably use a more appealing name) and hell, probably a bacon-cooking attachment. There, I said it, COOOOOOCK RIIIING, happy now? (btw, if you want your own damn cock ring and the joy that is the baller, gather up your courage, and order one here.)
Mongo, who, presumably, is woefully un-cock-ring-festooned at present, answered my exchange rate question about the money Kim Casali made for drawing the inexplicably popular comic "Love Is..." (or, as Cagey-C gorgeously put it, "'love is...' oddly uninhibited Precious Moments") during their 70s heyday. (Short answer: it was a fuck of a lot of money.)
Actually I loved ALL your comments and wish I could drive my parade limo through town like Mr. Monopoly, tossing cock rings to you all.
But it wasn't Mongo's £ to $ exchange rate wisdom that got me. It was the comment he left a few minutes later on the post Help This Reader Out--Girl's Got the Dopamine Sickness! that sealed the deal.
Actually, if you have time, go back to that post and read what everyone had to say on monogamy, chemicals and what the fuck to do about it. Everyone was so honest and insightful and smart, I could have wept. I especially loved mjs's comment, which contained such wisdom as:
The eternal struggle between novelty and secure intimacy - it is a classic. You are experiencing the power of novelty and chemistry. It is why when we start dating someone there is so much energy. It comes from the mystery, the tension, the surprises. It is the opposite of secure intimacy.
Now we also love secure intimacy as well - the knowns, the stability, the familiarity...but there is no tension or excitement there and hence sexual tension can often diminish or vanish. It gives us great comfort to know everything and share everything with our partners but it more often than not kills desire because that full sharing on every level including mundane details makes lovers into family - and who wants to fuck their family?
Anyway, on to Mongo's tale of dopamine, lust and excruciating restraint. Here, go get a cup of coffee or something, settle in for a few moments, and read what he had to say:
A similar situation happened with me, about a year ago: A friend, with kids; I'm single. Her husband is more an acquaintance of mine than a friend.
She: Simmering long-standing issues with husband. Me: Always wanted to duct-tape her to the back of a Zip Sharecar and drive to Carmel for the weekend. Husband: Would not see the humor in the situation.
This kind of contact can become the functional equivalent of bungee-jumping -- The juice, tension, the frisson of an unspoken agreement to skirt the edge of forbidden contact. Hormones; endorphins; secretly flaunting convention and feeling more alive; both of us were thinking: Yeah, sign me up for more of that...
It was clear that if either of us had made even a modest physical move, the escalation from flirting to fucking would have been a rapid progression. It hurt so Bad it was almost blissful. After a while, it was clear all this was getting in the way of our relating to each other the way we always had -- so we talked. A lot.
I was clear that the relationship between my friend and her husband was something they would have to work out -- and if their relationship took a nose dive, it would not be because of me. There were issues between them, and having an affair wouldn't make a real resolution (or, not) any easier or clearer.
We also agreed that her children didn't deserve to have their sense of security sacrificed to our barely-in-control curiosity and desires.
We decided not to see each other for a while. When we did, after a few months, she made it a point to include her husband, and I simply followed her lead. And I remembered the pleasure of her company was what I was really there for. Her relationship with her husband isn't perfect, but it feels more solid, now.
In the end, she and I wanted our friendship preserved. That was the Reality. People who know you well over time are nearly impossible to replace. It meant holding my desire for sex, intimacy and romance, along with my experience of her as a friend, in my hands at the same time. It'll always feel that way, and I can live with that.
And Mongo, send me your mailing address, and your prize will be on its way.
(photo source: http://liliumregale.blogspot.com/2008/09/vintage-erotica.html)