Harvard Virgin Leo Keliher Not As Horny As The Times Made It Sound

Remember Leo Keliher? He's that virgin I made fun of last week after the New York Times Magazine published his musings on why he felt it important to deny his ever-present lust. It was a really cheap shot, not that it isn't always a cheap shot with me, but it was a cheap shot because some of the things he said made me think about actually thinking about the whole thing — lust, desire, need, self-sacrifice, blah blah — for a few minutes before I took the whole "God grant me the wisdom/empathy/attention span to resist the overpowering urge to turn this whole story into an explicit doggy style church pew fantasy, but not just yet" route. Leo, the son of a child molester whose mom's second husband had left her for a woman 20 years younger, who had seen a lot of shit for someone barely born in the Reagan administration, seemed like an extraordinarily thoughtful person. I emailed to tell him that, and he emailed me back and I thought I'd share.

"I just have a huge amount of frustration with guys," he told the Times. "They need to know that so much hurt can come from the lack of respect for women."

Dear Moe,



Here are some explanations of the conversation that I actually had with Randall, and the understanding that he surely had, but didn't present in writing. The main problem with the article is that it presents only the fact of sexual arousal and temptation, and says nothing about the degree. I carefully explained to Randall that almost all men in our culture live at a hyper-stimulated level of sexual arousal, fed by pornography, their own fantasy, advertising, women's fashion choices, etc. Almost everyone knows that men are "horny," but what they don't realize is that it's not a natural state. When you stop pouring gasoline on the fire, as it were, it goes down to a manageable level. Living a chaste lifestyle means not drooling over every attractive woman you see, fantasizing whenever something crosses your mind, and watching pornography. The sexual input is minimal, and so it is easy to live with it from day to day, so that you're not pulled around by your nose. It's an incredibly liberating and hopeful message for men, because they feel like they have no possibility of controlling their sexuality, when in reality it's entirely possible.



About the way that he manipulated the quotations from me: describing my lust as an "untamed beast" was a comment on the nature of lust itself, not the strength of my own. It's untamed precisely because it is lust, and if given free rein it considers nothing but its own gratification. It seeks to use another person to gain personal pleasure, which is why you have to take away constant fuel for it if you want to love and respect women for who they are, and not just how they turn you on. Also, the ways in which things like a touch, a glance, or a random thought can bring arousal is simply an observation about manners in which it can happen. The actual occurence of such stimulation goes down at the same rate as the willful input of lustful stimulation, and while such things (like a thought) may occur regularly, they rarely bring any arousal at all if you learn to let go of them and ignore them—like a fly buzzing around. Basically, it's not a huge deal! I'm frustrated that Randall didn't make any of this clear, because I said all of this to him, and more. It would have been easy for him to pain a picture of me as someone who had fought a battle and emerged free, happy, and comfortable with his sexuality, but instead he makes me seem like a repressed weirdo. All this does is perpetuate the myth that men have no choice except to be horny, and if you act like I do then you'll go crazy and salivate at every little thing that crosses your path. Our culture so badly needs role models of the opposite lifestyle.



Oh, and on another note—Janie was laughing when she was asked about being attracted to me! Lol, we both found it a funny question, but he totally changed it in the article. And we weren't supposed to smile in the photos either—somebody commented on that, lol. They said that Janie and I should smile more and lighten up!



Everything above is what I wrote, so if you could write up something to append to your blog, I would be very grateful.



Peace,



Leo

Incidentally, I also met up with Lena "Whore Whore Slut" Chen, who appears to be in a monogamous relationship with an amusingly pretentious German graduate student. She felt the virgins were portrayed as being overly mirthless, and also wanted to state for the record that she was not wearing stilettos during her interview with the Times, because it was raining.