Let’s talk about what it means to have bad taste in partners. And no, I’m not talking about business partners. I am searching, rather, for some gender-neutral, all-inclusive use of the more specific (to my case, at least) phrase, bad taste in men. So, in my case, let’s talk about what it means when I say I have bad taste in men. More importantly, let’s talk about about it means when my friends say I have bad taste in men (i.e. not theirs).
Oh, screw that. Let’s just talk about how I want to bang The Mooch.
(FYI, because this is the Internet, let me take this moment to point out that if your answer to the previous question is, “No, let’s not talk about that,” now’s the perfect time for you to depart BEFORE you begin composing a tirade in the comments about how this should have been a blog post about something you find yourself more interested in today. Like the all female reboot of LORD OF THE FILES. Or you.)
It’s true. There. I said it. I want to bang The Mooch. Hard and fast and in a cramped room. A few weeks ago, I tweeted it (not the cramped room part). A little while later I tweeted it again in a thread about something else I tried to hijack. Foolishly, I assumed this “coming out”, if you will, would cleanse me, heal me, purge me of my sinful desire. But then, just a few days ago, I visited the social media profile of an ex whereupon I saw a post from him asserting that if he went into politics, he would, in fact, be The Mooch. And that’s when I decided this was a warped, but deeply embedded aspect of my character and only a village of contemptuous blog comments would be capable of extracting it from my fiber. (And a fair helping of social media judgment, which started trickling in the minute I announced my intentions to write this post.)
But before I get into The Mooch’s Moochness and how I want it to Mooch all over me, can we take a moment to define what it means to have bad taste in sexual partners? In my opinion, there are two different camps of bad taste when it comes to self-defeating sexual attraction. (Note: When you’re writing a reductive blog post about something, there are always at least two camps of everything.)
The first camp is what I call blind bad taste – an overwhelming desire to build a romantic future with someone who is crushingly wrong for you. This desire is often driven by a deep, unaddressed trauma in your past. It causes you to pursue people who are powerful reminders of past lovers or parental figures who wronged you early in life. Because they often bear a striking physical or behavioral resemblance to the person who either failed you or abused you in your past, you do your absolute best to lock them down, convinced that this time they’ll do a better job of showing up for you because this time you will be perfect and get it right and say all the right things.
It’s a serious problem, probably fodder for a more serious blog post than this one, as it often traps people in cycles of abuse. And in the person afflicted, it’s almost impossible to make them see the presence of it without an intervention involving multiple therapists. A befuddling aspect of human existence, for sure, so pervasive that good romance novels explore it in detail, but by all means, please give me another lecture on how your giant mutant bird novel is a superior literary endeavor, dudebro.
Then there’s a second type of bad taste; more manageable, but sometimes more astonishing because it pops up in people who not only should know better, they do know better. I call it filthy bad taste. As in, “I know this dude is filthy, but I want his filth all over me while we call each other filthy names.” It makes people who are usually fairly intelligent and self aware say horrible things they mask with self-deprecating humor. “Yeah, I know he’s a douche bag. But a little douching is good for you now and then, isn’t it?” (This judgment usually applies to straight women and people on the LGBT spectrum for the very simple reason that nobody’s all that surprised when a straight man goes to bed with someone terrible.)
That’s how I am with The Mooch.
Is he a terrible person? I’m not sure. I’ve never met him. But if he really did text his wife “Congratulations” after she gave birth to his son while he was in another city being The Mooch, then yeah, I’d say he might not be a very good person. But filthy bad taste doesn’t lead you to good people. But also – and this is the important part – filthy bad taste does not always lead you to people who are physically gorgeous and oozing sex appeal and confidence and Christian Grey whateverness while also being catastrophically stupid or morally suspect. Yeah. It’s easy for someone to say, “That guy seems like a sociopath, but he’s looks like a Michelangelo, so why not get naked with him, right?” That’s not what filthy bad taste is about. And it’s not about slumming it or just finding some sort of rebellious release either. I’m not some Regency-era aristocrat looking to sow my oats with the stable boy. (The Mooch is probably a lot wealthier than me. He’s also older …I think.)
It’s about an intense desire to get sweaty with someone you believe to be a not very good person because they are a not very good person. Because you believe deep down that the qualities that make them a not very good person are a certain kind of fearlessness, lack of remorse, lack of inhibition and delusional swagger that will allow them to effortlessly treat your body like a Thanksgiving meal. This concept kicked into place for me when a close friend said to me that he couldn’t quite figure out my physical taste in men, but the one thing all the guys I’d been interested in had in common was swagger. Swagger that was in some cases the result of foolish confidence.
This foolish confidence is the lure for those of us who suffer from filthy bad taste. When it comes to The Mooch in particular, the finer points of his ten-day career inside the White House – from his idiotic Steve Bannon self suck interview to the press briefing in which he addressed the White House Press Corp as if they were a college football team – suggest someone who simply can’t be bothered with the rules. And if you’re a grown up with a robust sexual history, you know that people who can’t be bothered with the rules don’t observe the “I did this for three minutes, now you do it for three minutes or ELSE IT’S NOT FAIR” rule that makes for terrible, predictable sex. They just gobble until they pass out.
I will concede that there’s another possibility, not as exciting, which is that people who seem like they can’t be bothered with the rules sometimes turn out to be people who were either too stupid or narcisstic to learn that the rules exist. (Case in point: our president.) And sometimes these people are terrible in bed because they’re afraid sex will mess up their hair.
I don’t think that’s who The Mooch is, but I’m not willing to make a federal case about it because that’s not what this blog post is about and I’m already defensive enough on this topic.
What I’m trying to do is establish a working definition of filthy bad taste by way of my desire to bang The Mooch. So let’s be very, very clear about what a desire to bang The Mooch actually is.
It’s not a crush. Say that with me again. It’s not a crush. When you have a crush on someone, you imagine yourself doing multiple things with them and enjoying all of those things in a giddy, youthful fashion. Sexual fantasy is often the smallest part of a crush, which is why heterosexual men and women are perfectly comfortable proclaiming their crushes on members of the same sex (and then having sex with them when they’re drunk.)
So let’s look at the actual words in the sentence “I want to bang The Mooch”. What other activities are described aside from banging? NONE! No other activities are described. In other words, Judgy Internet Person, if you assume my desire to bang The Mooch is going to involve any form of celebrating or enabling the more unsavory aspects of The Mooch’s character outside of that sweaty cramped room I referenced above, you can take a seat. I never said I want to buy a house in Connecticut with The Mooch, or raise a French bulldog with him. I said, quite simply, I want to bang The Mooch.
No doubt this post will be updated with defensive addendum based on how people respond to it. But I feel somewhat better for having written it. I can’t account for how you’ll feel after reading it….unless, of course, you, too, want to bang The Mooch.