This installment of the Pipeline If’n Series comes to us courtesy of Chuck Klosterman’s book “Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs”, which itself came to Pipeline courtesy of Jim at Hyperbole. At one point in the book Klosterman introduces 23 questions he poses to people as a sorting mechanism. All of the questions are absurd. We will examine three of them.
Question 1-At long last, someone invents “the dream VCR”. This machine allows you to tape an entire evening’s worth of your own dreams, which you can then watch at your leisure. However, the inventor of the dream VCR will only allow you to use his device if you agree to a strange caveat: When you watch your dreams, you must do so with your family and your closest friends in the same room. They get to watch your dreams along with you. If you don’t agree to this, you can’t use the dream VCR. Would you still do this?
My answer is: Hell no. Our subconscious rarely has anything positive to reveal about us.
Question 2-You have won a prize. The prize has two options, and you can choose either (but not both). The first option is a year in Europe with a monthly stipend of $2,000. The second option is ten minutes on the moon. Which option do you select?
My answer is: The moon. Europe for a year would be life-changing; the moon would be consciousness-changing. That’s a really tough question, though.
Question 3-Imagine you could go back to the age of five and relive the rest of your life, knowing everything that you know now. You will re-experience your entire adolescence with both the cognitive ability of an adult and the memories of everything you’ve learned from having lived your life previously. Would you lose your virginity earlier or later than you did the first time around (and by how many years)?
My answer is: Please. The circumstances under which I lost my virginity were a complete fiasco that I will not recount here, but despite the fact I felt like it took me forever to do so, in reality I should have waited longer. But that’s not the question, is it? I get to go back as the wise soul I am today, not the doofus I was when I lost it the first time around. I go back knowing what I know now, a part of which is figuring out which girls are interested in a good time for a good time’s sake, and which ones will lead me down a path of frustration and deception. (In theory.) When I go through that whole teen hormone thing again, am I going to use my knowledge to say, “Wait. I’d better wait longer this time, because the first time I was a sap who did something with the wrong person for the wrong reasons?” No. If I did that I’d be an even bigger sap the second time around. I’m going to use my knowledge to find somebody I’m comfortable with, and I’m going to get busy with somebody I know isn’t going to toy with me emotionally. It’ll be sexy fun for the sake of sexy fun, on the part of both parties.
How will I do this? I am reminded of some sage advice I received from a Friend of Pipeline who shall remain nameless, but if you are ever in Madison, WI and need an attorney or some sex advice, this is a good guy to call. He once remarked to me that he was going to tell his kids (and at this time he had no kids, but now has two sons) that when they get to “that age”, they should not hesitate to, in his words, “Go Ugly”. His premise is that teenagers have such unbelievably high standards they usually end up being sexually frustrated by chasing people they have no shot with. This means they get to a relatively advanced age and have no sexual experience, which tends to become a self-fulfilling prophecy at that point. At that point I was nodding in agreement because, well, let’s just say that all had an air of familiarity to it for me.
Instead, he believes a lowering of standards is the proper course of action. Once that happens, lots of sexual options present themselves. And one of the things most adults learn, except for those people who do happen to sleep with Beautiful People, is that the enjoyment of a sexual experience typically has very little to do with appearance and very lot to do with attitude. Going Ugly might not be the kind of thing you brag about a lot, but most of the time people who would give you a hard time about it aren’t getting any action themselves, because they are chasing something that’s unattainable. Going Ugly naturally begets experience, and experience becomes it’s own asset down the road, along with attitude. And
Sure, a nice six-pack stomach or perky rack never hurt anything, either. But those things are bonuses, and not necessary to have a heck of a good time. I know that now. The first time around, I didn’t. So to me, the question isn’t how long you wait. The question is how you figure out a way to pass the time till you can get to puberty.