I've never met him; all I know about him is that he is recovering from prostate cancer and he writes about it the NYT. But he has such wonderful insights about life with and after cancer and how it has changed him.
The latest column details the lack of a sex drive that comes from prostate cancer and the resulting treatment. He talks about how he doesn't feel like less of a man because his *manhood* as sleazy gossip columnists or giggly freshmen girls might say, has been, shall we say, compromised. Then, three-fourths of the way through his column, I came across this.
"In the popular mind, manhood and womanhood have become ever more confused with the sexual act. But manhood isn't about prodigious feats of lovemaking or how many partners you can bed. There are no official standings.
"True manhood is about love and kindness. It's about responsibility and honor, about working hard and raising your children the best way you know how, with love, respect and discipline. ... True intimacy isn't about the hydraulics of the flesh."
Words of wisdom.
I have been thinking a lot lately about relationships between men and women, about the dynamic between these two groups of people who are ridiculously and fundamentally different and yet were created for the very purpose of becoming one. The sexual aspect of becoming one is such a small factor. It's part of it, and it's an important part, but truly becoming united, being intimate, loving each other is so much more vast and far-reaching. And much, much harder to do. Sex isn't what makes love great. Real love can make sex great, and because with or without sex, money or power, the love is real.