Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Independent Travel for Husbands, Wives and Lovers

Not to make light of the case of the twice divorced Chinese computer scientist who was sentenced to three and a half years in prison for group sex (“18 Orgies Later, China Swinger Gets Prison Bed,”—a title which alone could win the Times a Pulitzer Prize in punditry—5/20/10), but in many ways America doles out even harsher punishments, especially to neurotic New Yorkers. There are men who are sentenced to a life-time in prisons of their own making just for having the thoughts described in the Times article. Is there any significance to the fact that the Chinese computer scientist is named Mr. Ma, and that most of his misdeeds were performed in the Nanjing apartment he occupied with his elderly mother? Ma, according to the Times, went by the online handle Roaring Virile Fire and lived with a woman whose online avatar was Passionate Fiery Phoenix, and who had been traveling the land searching for those who shared her proclivities. “Marriage is like water,” the Times quoted Roaring Virile Fire as saying. “You have to drink it. Swinging is like wine. Some people feel it’s delicious the first time they try it, so they keep drinking. Some people try it and think it tastes bad, so they never drink it again.” It doesn’t hurt that Mr. Ma sounds and looks like Confucius. What would a Freudian analyst do in the face of such equanimity? According to the Times, Mr. Ma’s crime spree began in 2004 with a game of strip poker. He had an anxiety attack and couldn’t get it up, but he stuck to his guns and created a chat room called “Independent Travel for Husbands, Wives and Lovers.” Sounds like Ma was on top of his game until he got in trouble with the law.

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