Work v. Sex

I make a living as a freelance writer, so every day presents a wide-open choice to either work or seek pleasure. While compiling notes for this essay, many was the time when I decided to jerk off instead of write. At this moment while I type these words, I’d rather have myself planted deep inside some pale brunette, knocking her skull against the headboard with my hip thrusts. But it’s difficult to put food on the table that way.

At times, it seems as if my entire life can be distilled into a simple decision between having fun or getting things done. My life’s trajectory has been a long, undulating loop of either hard work or a hard dick—but never both at once.

This has been a constant since my childhood, when I was either getting the highest grades in class or the most demerits. I was either getting into trouble or getting straight A’s. I was either a bookworm or a juvenile delinquent. I was either hanging out with the smart, boring kids or the dumb, fun ones.

Adulthood has only brought more of the same. I find it nigh impossible to work hard and play hard simultaneously during any given phase in my life. I’ve gone a year straight without working and a solid year without fucking. Depending on when you catch up with me, I’m fixated on either one or the other: mind or body. Superego or id. Angel or devil. Gallant or Goofus. Mature or infantile. Ascetic or hedonist. Long-term fulfillment or short-term satisfaction.

These phases come and go with the predictability of seasons. The excesses of one phase lead inevitably to the other phase. The work gets so boring, I turn to sex. Then the trappings of a busy sex life get so tumultuous, I turn back to work. The hedonism will leave me so broke, scattered, and imperiled that I am forced to reorganize. And then, after endless months of dull, colorless work, my pleasure-starved brain sends me diving into the deep, filthy pond of fun. I’ll keep my nose to the grindstone until I nearly die from unhappiness, then emerges Mr. Pleasure, who becomes so reckless that I eventually revert back to a monastic existence.

I feel happier—but emptier—during the sexy phases. If there’s anything that feels better than a tight pussy, I haven’t found it. Nature, cunt that it is, designed the orgasm to feel better than anything. When I’m focused on pleasure, I eat well and preen and tone my body and wear cool shoes. I develop an animal awareness where I radiate pheromones like isotopes and can smell the sex on others.

But I’ll shoot gallons of cum and wind up without a nickel in my pocket. I’ll chase after pleasure only to discover yet again that it’s not very pleasurable to be broke and nearly homeless.

I feel worse—but oddly more fulfilled—when I’m working. When I’m thinking and creating and planning, I don’t feel sexy in the slightest. I’ll eat lousy and miss sleep and pepper my body with toxins. Working feels about as sexy as chemotherapy.

My inner Civil War between sex and work has a global corollary. There are nations on Earth, and I don’t want to point fingers, where people have lots of sex and babies but never really invent anything. The tropical cultures where lovers lazily toss coconuts as their glistening genitals are tickled by warm breezes have traditionally not fared very well against the cold-climate sourpusses who focus on labor and invention.

A culture which espouses pleasure at the expense of work will invariably be overrun by a hive of worker bees. Modern America is a lazy, fat, stupid, regressive, pleasure-gorged place. And somewhere out there, there are billions of disciplined little worker ants poised to devour us.

Ultimately, successful societies might frown on sex for reasons which have less to do with religion and repression than the fact that we’d never build anything if our libidos were permitted to run wild. Civilizations who fuck at the expense of work don’t thrive for very long. Animals can fuck, too, and they do it much better than we do.

But working and creating are what raise us above mere animals. Work, not sex, is the main reason we ascended above the apes. Mosquitos can fuck with the best of ’em, but they can’t draw blueprints or master calculus or debate ethics.

The trick, obviously, is to integrate the id and superego into a manageable ego, but so far I’ve failed. There seems no way to reconcile these natural enemies. The people I admire the most are the workers and creators, not the guys who shoot their wads the furthest. But generally, I’d rather be licking some chick’s armpits than learning some new software program.

I asked some friends if they had any suggestions to lift me from this quagmire. One of them said this:

Engage in an occupation which incorporates sex…porn star, gigolo, male prostitute….It’s a win/win sitchy-ation.

Another said this:

Get a woman that is so high-maintenance that the sex actually seems like work. Bingo, life in balance.

Um, I think I’ll choose “porn star.” Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Jim Goad

Stop worrying about good and bad...and start thinking about true and false.

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