In life, as in work, the irreducible Murphy
quantum is control--control of self, control of the environment,
of people and relationships. Sex requires the most sophisticated
controls of all. The alternative is uncool. You are young and
loose and moving effortlessly in and out of complex human relationships;
getting it on with one or two or a multiplicity of females; showing
your macho colors with the subtlety of a tumescent bull; challenging
the whole world to look upon, examine, and admire the awesome
proportions of your young and irrepressible manhood.
"The first woman I loved set the pattern for all the others since then. She taught me that all the little things--the touches and caresses, all the gentle, tender things--are what's really important.
"I know intellectually that sexual
variety is okay--it's healthy, in fact--and yet emotionally I
yearn for one lady that I can be totally faithful to and who can
be all things to me--lover, friend, companion, etc. The problem
is, this woman may come along once or twice in a lifetime and
what do you do in the meantime--join a monastery? No, man, you've
got to go out and let it rip--sex is an enjoyable human function
and you can't bottle it up waiting for the perfect person to come
"I even find myself being used at times by a woman as a sexual object, in much the same way I have sometimes used women. It's a real mindblower to have a lady jump out of your bed and say, 'Wham-bam, thank you sir,' and prance off never to see you again. That's something we guys always did to them, and now they're doing it to us--all I can say is, 'Right on, ladies, I guess we deserve it.'
"But if two people are honest and
open with their emotions, it's amazing what can happen in twenty-four
hours--you can meet for the first time, make love, argue, make
up, make love again, wake up together and face each other, and
feel genuinely warm for having had the experience. That's what
happened with Bess and me--we enjoyed each other while we were
together and we didn't feel that the relationship should last
forever--the important thing was that we did enjoy it while it
"I do a lot of traveling and there have been several occasions when I have met a lovely lady in some town who had never gotten it on before, but the time was right, I guess, and we made it together. Those were great experiences. Someone has to break the ice, so to speak, and invariably, after I leave, they settle down with a local guy and enjoy a good sex life.
"I am really no different from the guy next door, but because of my celebrity status, I am elevated to the position of sexual executioner. I become a shining knight who gallops into Podunksville on a white charger to rescue the local maiden from her own virginity. In this case, the happy ending comes after I leave town and the now sexually liberated lady settles down with the boy next door to live happily ever after.
"I never met a virgin that I didn't
Viva introduced Bess Cofield, lead singer in the W. W. Fancy rock group, to Ben expressly for the production of this pictorial love essay. The weekend they spent together--during which period these photographs were taken--constituted a brief, authentic, and thoroughly shared relationship for them both. Among the locations used for the photography were Butterfield's restaurant, Casa De Pets, and Valley Garden Supply.
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