How to Pick a Lover

On Being Perfect Enough

American women expect to find in their husbands a perfection that English women only hope to find in their butlers.
—Somerset Maugham

Having outlined in previous posts some of the things that it might be nice to have in a lover, and some of the signs of trouble to watch out for, there is an important qualification to be made: nobody’s perfect. If you insist on waiting for the perfect lover to come along, you will die an optimistic but inexperienced ninety-year-old virgin.

Trust is good, Control is better .. Control is...

It might even be admitted, sotto voce, that you are not quite perfect yourself.

The ideal lover would be a complex, composite man. He would, perhaps, have the physique of a Viking, with the sparkling eyes of an Irishman and the graceful eloquent hands of an English nobleman. He would have the wit and repartee of a French jeunesse dorée, with the keen mind of a Jewish intellectual, the bearing of a Spanish matador, and the chiseled muscles of an African-American male. He would have the penis of a Nordic stud, with the clothes of an Italian dandy, and the vitality of an Australian drover.

If you don’t like my national stereotypes, you can spend an amusing half hour making up your own. But even the ideal man does not necessarily make for an ideal love affair.

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