eave it to a Frenchman to teach me about making love. It was a few years back, but it has stuck with me ever since.
While in the throes of intense passion, me, heading straight for the Holy Grail, he stops.
He looks at me sweetly and says, “What is your rush? Making love is like a many-coursed dinner. There is so much to savor.”
“What?” I thought to myself. “Did I hear right? A many-coursed dinner? No American man would say such a thing.”
It has made me want to travel to France ever since.
As a New Yorker, delaying gratification has never been a cultural motivator. The faster the outcome the better. This is certainly true when it comes to love.
Speed Dating has been very popular in recent years.
It gathers together a room full of singles and rotates men and women from table to table, “dating” for three minutes until a bell rings. Then off to the next “date.” At the end of the evening, matches are tallied and contact information exchanged.
What one can learn about a person in three minutes is hard to guess, but such events are usually packed.
At least a couple of nights a week, someplace in the city is hosting a Speed Dating event. There are also various spin-offs. If you have a bit more time, there’s “8minuteDating,” in which you get eight one-on-one “dates” that last eight minutes each.
Take your pick; McDonalds or Wendy’s. It’s still fast food.
What ever happened to accidentally brushing up against someone in a cafe and exchanging a secret glance, flashing a churlish smile? Sitting across from them and watching, secretly, mirroring each other in gestures; a hand on a bare leg, a long look in return, a flip of the hair revealing a velvet neck.
Ah, there’s nothing like the dance of flirtation. Too bad it takes so much time. Who has an hour to sit in a cafe and basically do nothing?
No, we have no time for this. We want to meet Mr. or Mrs. Right with a clear straight path. Pass on the subtleties please. It’s a waste of precious time.
And sex, why think twice? Let’s hit the sack and find out if we’re any good together. We should know right away. As if sex needs no intimacy and seduction is accomplished by removing ones’ clothes.
Any one who’s ever enjoyed a true seduction knows the best part is when the clothes are on and an unspoken response is tantalizing, “We’ll see.“
Seduction requires long pauses when nothing and everything are happening at once. Time is necessary to tension. Simple waiting becomes a splendid torture.
Every whispered word is part of the intrigue. What cannot be seen is as erotic as what will later be revealed. Every look and touch and gesture has intent. Every finger, wrist and wisp of hair emanates a low burning heat.
In these moments of uniquely human interaction, there is nothing more precious to savor.
And the sensual self is always ready for a good meal.