You can’t blame Richard plus size cheap lingerie Dawkins for getting in early with his tweet. See it from his point of view: if you are of the conviction that organised religion encourages a dangerous delusion and that Pope Benedict XVI’s “first instinct when his priests are caught with their pants down is to cover up the scandal”, then the announcement of his retirement is an opportunity too good to miss. “I feel sorry for the Pope and all old Catholic priests,” he tweeted. “Imagine having a wasted life to look back on and no sex.”
It’s a cunningly laid trap. “A wasted life!” I hear a chorus ofold priests crying. “We’ve had more sex, young man, than you’ve hadhot dinners”, before it dawns on them that Dawkins has caught themwith their pants down again. But this is not a column about Dawkinsor the Catholic Church. It’s about sex. Or rather no sex. Imagineit, Dawkins says. So I’m trying.
Perhaps I am of an age to try. Any earlier would have beenimpossible. For the first 40 or 50 years of your life there is onlysex – the wanting, the waiting, the wondering, and then the greedfor more. Other things distract for a day or so, but they are nomore than an intermission. You take up chess or cycling, you tryyoga, you bake your own bread and learn the names of foreigncheeses, you garden and croon over hollyhocks, but you aren’tfooling anybody, least of all yourself. The fires die down brieflyonly in order that they can roar back into life with ever moreferocity. We are on an errand, emissaries of the future, and wedeliver or we die.
Up until the age of 10, I lived opposite a convent school. Frommy bedroom window, I could see the convent girls running around theplaygound and sharing one another’s lunch. Ten was too young forthat to be an arousing spectacle. But it wasn’t too young to wonderabout the nuns who taught them. My heart broke for those nuns.Something about the way they dressed and moved told me they weredenying themselves that without which life was not worth living.And what was that? I had no idea, but I could read the abnegation,or the terrible consequences of that abnegation, on their faces.You can be a sentimentalist of sex, even at 10.
Years later, I supervised a thesis on DH Lawrence written by anun whose quick intelligence, demure bearing and keen but foreverdown-turned eyes beguiled everyone who taught her.
Her work was plus size cheap lingerie brilliant but we believed her religion dulled hernatural vitality. Once she got her First, we hoped, she wouldrenounce her vows. And she did. We threw her a renunciation partywhere she got comprehensively pissed, told lewd stories, flauntedherself disgracefully, and left us all wishing she’d never readLawrence. Celibacy may have few pleasures but in this instance itbeat incontinence hands down.