One of the better novels I have read is the General’s Daughter by Nelson DeMille that was made into a movie in 1999, starring John Travolta.
It tells the story of Anne Campbell, a daughter of an army general found murdered and abandoned in a forested part of the camp. She is tied on the ground, naked and the circumstances surrounding her murder are utterly bizarre. When investigations begin, the sordid details of her private life emerge.
Turns out, after being raped in the camp by one of the army chaps, she told her father, who chose to play it down to protect the integrity of the military institution. Those familiar with world news will remember the rape scandals did hit the US military a few years ago. This book painted the picture 20-odd years ago.
Anne, to get back at the father, goes out to sleep with a number of men in the camp, participating in BDSM (Bondage, Discipline, Sado-Masochism). She even had a secret playroom in her house. All the men she took to bed knew her lifestyle and each knew his space. Except for one, who was too selfish. He murdered her later because he wanted to ‘own’ her.
And that is the bane of sexual relationships with no strings attached, which have become part of modern life. What some call friends with benefits. Lately, there are men and women - some married - in relationships that are conveniently for sex...not disguised as anything. Any time the two meet, it is either in a lodging or a place where they will go to bed.
Everyone knows their space in the relationship. If it is a man sleeping with a married woman (same for the reverse), they know the times and the rules to make the relationship work. Because, should the husband of the woman discover and it ends in divorce, the two cannot marry.
Even individuals not necessarily married nowadays have a sexual partner on the side who they don’t bother with material or emotional demands. I’m tremendously concerned the ease with which some women have taken up the habit routine. Men used to frown upon platonic relationship, and we laughed at those men who are friend-zoned.
Maybe the women picked up clues on the ease with which men dabble with infidelity. Quite obviously, women always wondered how men are able to keep relationships purely physical without involving emotions... and they started taking lessons. And some have now perfected it. Recently, I stupidly asked some woman what kind of relationship she has with some other guy and her response was curt, and reprimanding,
“He is my shagmate, you got a problem with that?” she said without blinking.
I was enthused at her freedom and independence of mind. She did not mince her words. And I have met men of her disposition, even barring the new free-spirited Nairobi women, willing to be chips-fungwad, taken to some apartment overnight and released in the morning as if nothing happened.
But do these relationships have a rosy ending? Can they end without one party starting being selfish or demanding? A few do. But I doubt it. Somehow, either the man or the woman will start demanding more. A pregnancy or something always crops up, doubly compounding the relationship.
It takes a lot of maturity, a lot of freewill, a lot of discipline for such a relationship to work to an end without complications. Human beings are complex beings. So engage in such a relationship hoping that one partner is not a psycho, emotional or selfish. And remember sex has its own complications, for we are somehow beholden to people who have seen us in our nakedness.
Best of luck disentangling yourself.
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