“You know what your problem is?” asked Dave.
Boy, do I love conversations that begin with this question. Nothing’s more fun than having a know-it-all friend instruct you on the failings of your existence.
Fortunately, I wasn’t on the other end of Dave’s question. My friend Kim was. She was complaining about her romantic life and asking our friend Dave for advice. The issue was sex appeal and how Kim simply oozes with it. Men are drawn to her like she’s a hunk of steel and they’ve got magnets in their pants. She has few limits, no fears and porn star levels of experience. On the outside, she’s a minx.
But on the inside she’s broken-hearted. Kim feels deeply and wants something real. But few men she meets see her as relationship material. Thus, Dave was educating us over a bottle of scotch.
“Your problem,” he said. “Is that men are intimidated by sexually assertive women.”
“How is that my problem?” She asked him and nervously lit a cigarette. “Sounds like their problem.”
“You know what it’s like?” Dave took a sip of scotch. “Batman.”
“I see your point,” Kim said. “Kind of…not at all.”
“You’ve got Batman, right,” he said. “Batman’s strong, he’s successful, he does good in the world, he’s got his life under control. But see, there’s this other side to him, this dark side where all his sensuality and weaknesses are. We all have a dark side, but Batman thinks he has to fight it.”
“Did I ever tell you how much I love Val Kilmer?” asked Kim.
“Then you’ve got Batgirl,” Dave continued. “All she wants is to take direction from Batman, y’know, she looks up to him and never steps on his toes except in cute little sassy ways that really don’t threaten his power. Most men really want Batgirl.”
“But what about Catwoman?” I interjected. “He wants her too, doesn’t he? Catwoman can defend herself. She has her own agenda and doesn’t need any direction from Batman. He wants her because she’s sexy and strong and tempts him to his dark side. He wants her as much as he fears her.”
“Catwoman’s evil,” said Dave.
“Only because no one will let her enjoy her own power,” I told him. “Batman can’t handle Catwoman because she’s sexual in her own way, and if she’s sexual in her way and not his, then he has to satisfy her and he may not be able to. How can he dominate a woman he can’t satisfy sexually? How can he control a person who has her own agenda? How can you tame a wildcat fighting for her own survival?”
A trail of smoke poured from Kim’s lips. “I totally need to see that movie again.”
Dave and I glared at each other. He was just about to attack my Catwoman theory when Kim flailed her hands in the air as if she’d burnt them.
“Oh my God,” she shouted. “I’m Batgirl. I just realized I’m Batgirl. I wanna be Catwoman but I’m really Batgirl. Oh God, who else is there? Pick somebody else. I don’t wanna be Batgirl!”
“You’re not Batgirl,” Dave assured her.
“I’m totally Batgirl,” she whined. “Oh God, this is terrible.”
“Well, even if you were Batgirl, it’d be okay,” I said. “She’s the one Batman loved.”
“No, Batman loved Vicki Vale,” Kim whined. “And she didn’t have any power at all.”
According to Dave, lust and admiration were mutually exclusive concepts for some men. Apparently for these guys, the two-hour conversation a woman had about the implications of Derrida’s quasi-transcendental thinking on modern deconstructive theory was erased by the image of her boobies jiggling as she grinded him into the box spring.
And so what was a woman like Kim supposed to do? Deny her desires and be the Madonna dazzling a guy’s romantic vision, or give into them and become Magdelene getting flicked off the hem of his robe?
Kim wasn’t interested in smothering her sexual passions and didn’t really buy Dave’s Batman analogy. However, she did come to one conclusion. Whether she was Batgirl or Catwoman, she had to stop knockin’ around with jokers.
**Reprinted from Laura K. Warrell's blog Tart and Soul at www.TartandSoul.com.