I was scrolling Facebook this morning and came across an article that one of my friends had liked. Titled, “My ‘Naked’ Truth,” it details an experience the 59-year-old female author had with a 55-year-old man she met on a dating site. I’d encourage you to read it for yourself before you finish reading this post.
Did you read it? Okay, good. Let’s proceed.
I understand that it is very current and politically correct to applaud a woman’s confidence in her appearance. Upon reading Robin Korth’s article, though, it wasn’t the issue of her self-image (or what Dave had said and done to influence it) that stood out for me. Rather, it was what Ms. Korth had done to initiate the whole sequence of events.
Here’s the problem as I see it: Ms. Korth climbed into bed with a man that–by her own admission–she didn’t know all that well. In her article, she states that she “longed for the full knowing of this man”, hence the reason for the weekend away together. Yet, in spite of not knowing him all that well, she expected that he would be aroused by her mature body and make love to her. It seems to me that Ms. Korth is disillusioned and is missing a key point. That is: sex and intimacy are two related but separate entities. Any two (or more) people can engage in sexual acts. Most often, when casually dating couples have sex, emotions take a backseat to much more carnal, physical needs. Intimacy is totally different. By definition, intimacy is “close familiarity,” the kind that is rooted in a deep, meaningful relationship, like, oh I dunno, marriage? Here’s an illustration:
In her piece, Ms. Korth blames Dave for inflicting horror upon her. And then in the comments that follow the article, she states that Dave’s suggestions made her feel objectified and belittled. I don’t doubt that. But Dave alone is not to blame. When Ms. Korth made up her mind to engage in sexual relations with Dave, a man with whom she was not in a committed, intimate relationship, she objectified herself. She allowed her body to be used as a means to an end. She doesn’t state whether she was looking for love, or just sexual gratification, but either way, she put her body up as an offering to get there. Why, then, should Dave be villainized for honestly sharing his thoughts about the object she was offering up (her body)? If it was love she was looking for, his response communicates that she has the wrong idea about his intentions for the relationship. And if it was strictly sexual gratification she was after, anyone who has watched even a single Discovery Channel nature program can tell you that one willing partner does not a couple make.
In her article’s closing, Ms. Korth takes one last look in the mirror and claims every inch of her body with love, honor and deep care. I’m glad to hear that. I hope it’s true. I hope she loves, honors and cares for her body and her soul enough not to give it away so freely next time.