Sunday, 14 October 2012


A few weeks ago, I posted about people with low self esteem being uncomfortable with success.

A couple of days ago, I remembered this, from Luke Rhinehart's book, The Diceman.

`Jerkins,' I said one morning to the masochist Milquetoast of Madison Avenue, `have you ever considered rape?'
`I don't understand,' he said.
`Forced carnal knowledge.'
`I . . . don't understand how you mean that I should consider it.'
`Have you ever daydreamed of killing someone or of raping someone?'
`No. No, I never have. I feel almost no aggression toward anyone.'
He paused. `Except myself.'
`I was afraid of that, Jerkins, that's why we'd better give serious consideration to rape, theft or murder.'
Jerkins lay neatly and quietly on the couch through this whole interview, not once raising his voice or stirring a muscle.
`You . . . you mean daydream about such actions?' he asked.
`I mean commit them. As it is, Jerkins, you're becoming just another dirty old man, aren't you?'
`Spend most of your time lying on your crumb-filled bed reading porno and fantasizing about lovely girls who need you to save them. After they've narrowly missed being crushed by the landslide, or cut in two by the cultivator, or stabbed by the lunatic or burnt by the fire, you rescue them and they give you a spiritual kiss on the fingertips, right?
But when do you reach a climax, Mr. Jerkins?'
`I . . . I don't know what . . . I don't understand?'
`Does the final pleasure come when you're comforting the rescued girl or when the flames are licking at her face, the knife scraping along her veins, the cultivator about to mash her potatoes …? When?'
`But I want to help people. I feel no aggression. Ever.'
"Look, Jerkins,' I'm sated with your passivity, your day dreaming. Haven't you ever done anything?'
`No opportunity has ever `Have you ever hurt another human?'
'I can't. I don't want to. I want to save `First you've got to save yourself and that you can only do by breaking your inertia. I'm giving you an assignment for our Friday session. Will you do it for me?'
`I don't know. I don't want to hurt people. My whole soul is based on that principle.'
`I know it is. I know it is, and your soul's sick, remember? That's why you're here.'
`Please, I don't want to rape any-'
`You've noticed I have a new receptionist. I mean a second one?'
[She was a middle-aged call girl I had hired expressly to date Mr. Jerkins.]
'Er, yes, I have.'
`She's lovely, isn't she?'
`Yes, she is.'
`And she's a nice person, too.'
'Yes,' he said.
`I want you to rape her.'
`Oh no, no, I, no, it would not be a good idea.'
`All right then, would you like to date her?'
`But . . . is it ethical?'
`What are you planning to do to her?'
`I mean . . . she's your receptionist . . . I thought-'
`Not at all. Her private life is her own business. [It certainly was.] I want you to date her. Tonight. Take her to dinner and invite her back to your apartment and see what happens. If you get the urge to rape her, go ahead. Tell her it's part of your therapy.'
'Oh, no, no, I'd never want to do anything to hurt her. She seems such a lovely person.'
'She is, which makes her all the more rapable. But have it your own way. Just do your best to fuel aggression.'
'Do you really think it might help if I got a little aggressive?'
`Absolutely. Change your whole life. With hard work you `might even make it to murder. But don't brood if at first all you can do is swear under your breath at pedestrians.'
I stood up. `Now go. You'll need a couple of minutes to wheedle Rita into accepting a date.'
It took him twenty, despite Rita's trying to say `yes' from the moment he told her his name. After three and a half weeks of Jerkins-style courting he finally managed to seduce her in the front seat of his Volkswagen, much to the relief of all concerned. To the further relief of the principals, they shifted to Jenkins's apartment for further indoor work. The only evidence I was able to garner that Jerkins was trying to express aggression was that once he accidentally bumped her nose with his elbow and didn't say he was sorry. Rita toed the old game of `Oh you're so masterful, hit me,' but Jerkins responded by assuring her that no matter how masterful he was he would never hit anyone. She urged him to bite her breasts, but he said something about having weak gums. She tried to irritate him into anger by using her body to arouse him and then deny the desires she had aroused, but Jerkins sulked until she gave in.
Meanwhile he was trying every trick in the masochist's trade to try to make Rita break off with him. He stood her up on two occasions (Rita sent a bill for her time), accidentally broke her wristwatch (I got the bill) and as a lover usually had his orgasm when she was least expecting it and in the middle of a yawn. Nevertheless, Rita clung lovingly - three hundred dollars a week - on.
At the end of a month of solid success with her, Jerkins was definitely more comfortable with women; he even flirted for five minutes with Miss Reingold. But he was also perilously close to a total nervous breakdown. Being unable to contact a venereal disease, make Rita pregnant, infuriate her, cause her to leave him or fail in any other obvious way, he was desperate. Of course, he'd compensated by accelerating the rate of failure in all other areas of his life. Twice he lost his wallet. He left the water in the bathtub running while he was out and flooded his apartment. Finally, one day he told me he'd lost so much money on the stock market since taking over his own investing, that he'd have to drop therapy.
I urged him to continue, but that afternoon he managed to get hit by a bulldozer while watching some construction and was hospitalized for six weeks. A few months later the dice told me to send him a bill for Rita's services and, I regret to report, he promptly paid it. I've tentatively listed his case as a failure.
It's a work of fiction of course, but like any decent fiction, it contains grains of truth. We tend to think of Masochism in it's purely sexual context - people deriving sexual gratification from being hurt, humiliated, etc. But it's much more than that. The idea of this guy pretty much subconsciously fucking up his life to avoid success rings pretty true to me.

driving lessons in Wallasey? learn to drive in Wirral? driving instructor in Birkenhead?

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